Cauliflower Tater Tots

Only two ingredients; three or four with spices. It doesn’t get much easier. While you know it’s cauliflower (you’re not going to fool anyone into thinking they’re potatoes), the Parmesan cheese adds a layer of flavor and helps brown the outside of the tots. Try using other vegetables to vary textures and flavors, including zucchini, radishes and turnips, for even greater variety and other crumb mixtures (pork rind crumbs, almond flour, coconut flour) for other browning, flavors and textures (more experiments will be following).

Cauli Tots (Baked)

1 12 ounce bag frozen cauliflower
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
salt, pepper, onion powder (to taste)

Cook cauliflower, covered, in microwave for 6 minutes. Pour off water and let stand until cool.

Process well in a food processor, (or rice using other means). I’ve found the smoother texture holds together better than the more coarse texture. As you form cauliflower into its shape, squeeze, working any excess water from the vegetable. Roll into approx. 1.5″ balls and drop into Parmesan. Form into tots by flattening the tops. If the mixture is still too moist and falls apart, work a little of the Parmesan into the tot, and then roll the formed tots into the Parm once again to coat.

Place tots on a greased cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes prior to baking to help tots hold their shape. At this point it’s good to note that you can freeze them longer or make these ahead of time. Simply place in a freezer bag after the initial chilling period and store for up to a month.

Below, you can see the uniform shape of the tots. (The ones to the far left were stuffed with American cheese inside, and only incredibly amazing. My kids swiped those. The whole world should be covered in cheese stuffed cauli tots.)

To bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating tots every five minutes or so for even browning.

Makes about 30 tots. One serving is 6 tots.

Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 38, Carbohydrates: 5g, Fiber: 1g, Net Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 7 g, Fat: 4.5g.

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  1. I have everything to make these-except the food processor. I wonder if chopper will work.

  2. Can you use fresh cauliflower instead of frozen? They look so yummy!

    • Yes, you could for sure. Just be sure to process into a fine (almost couscous) consistency to ensure thorough baking.

  3. Brilliant! Thanks so much!

  4. These look and sound great! I was looking for something (relatively) simple for a dinner for friends tomorrow and I love cauli out of the oven (I regularly roast it, it’s YUM!) so these are definitely getting a go. Thanks for posting!

    OMG.. am drawing a blank with the anti-spam sum below….how embarrassing!! hahahaha

    • I draw a blank with some of those, too. I am not a person who embraces math. I should have asked for a sentence diagramming captcha…

  5. I linked your recipe on my blog. I tried them and please note my mediocre review has to do with my cheese that I used and not your recipe. I will be trying these again!

    • Oh, you don’t have to explain but you’re sweet for telling me. I like using fresh, but so often it seems out of season and I end up going with the frozen. The frozen is slightly different. Also, because Denver is at a higher altitude, things here sometimes cook much faster, which could also explain the added cook time needed. Hopefully your next batch will be a winner! I appreciate you sharing your experiences with me. Nosh on, sweet mama!

  6. I made these last night and LOVED them. Dipped in low carb ketchup was perfect complement to the brats. I didn’t have any parm or food processor so here is what I did.

    I used the frozen cauliflower, chopped small by hand, and then added some fine shredded colby/jack cheese. I made small balls (smaller than a golf ball) and put on parchment paper on a baking sheet (made 26 tot balls). Baked as directed for 10 minutes at 400 then carefully turned over and cooked 7 more minutes to brown on both sides. Let sit for about 5 minutes and then we dug in!!!!! Smiles all around.

    Thanks for your fabulous recipe!!

    • I am so glad you liked these, Karen! I love what you’ve shared, too! Thank you! To me these are even better than Sonic Tots…and I love Sonic Tots. I want to try and fry them up and see how they do.

  7. Can’t wait to make these. I bet my kids would love them. Do you think they would freeze well?

  8. can you make these with a fresh cauliflower (and the pizza too for that matter?) I have a fresh head here now that I want to use up.

  9. ok, Jamie, your site is the missing link in my life! I cannot wait to try these recipes! just read about it in Womans World Sept. issue. I think this is the real solution to solving our weight problems. God bless you!

  10. Hello! I have a ricer…that will work, right? I have a food processor too, but I’m just too lazy to drag it out.

    • If you cook the cauliflower enough, the ricer will absolutely work.

      • SO these tots? Excellent!! I got my anti-cauliflower BF to gobble them up. I added a wee bit of Smart Balance to the mix before I rolled them just because I wanted to make sure he would love them. Success!! Thank you. Oh, this is the second recipe of yours I have pinned to my ‘Tried and True’ board so others know.

  11. Do you think these would be at all good without the parm? I’m lactose intolerant and try to avoid cheese.

    • You want something to hold the cauliflower together, and cheese typically does that. You could try to go parm free and see what happens, but my guess is that the cauliflower might fall apart and make baked hashed browns. Soy cheese might be a solution, but I am only guessing, since I am allergic to soy and haven’t tried it!

    • I can not eat any dairy but tolerate Parm cheese just fine, we even use it on Pizza ……I am trying a low carb diet and really appreciate all the recipes

  12. So I used a 16oz bag and only got about 8 tots out of it. How did you end up with so many?

  13. Thank you for a great easy recipe! I made these tonight and well…. They do smell good but mine were still sooooo soft. They didnt crispify when I baked them except the outsides. I skipped the freezing part cuz this was a last minute decision. Would that have made the difference?? If so, next time I will definitely NOT skip the freezing part. Oh, I added cheddar into the mix and bread crumbs to bind together and THEN rolled in Parmesan 🙂 What a great alternative!

    • That’s a good question! They might crisp up more nicely if they’re not frozen. I just like freezing them because it helps them hold their shape for awhile while the outside cooks.

  14. I made this tonight!!! AWESOME!!!!!!! I came across your blog about 4 years ago and have been following your blog since then and making lots of your recipes!! Love It! Thank you for all the delicious recipes!

  15. I made these tonight with fresh cauliflower, and they had the consistency of mashed potatoes. Did I not cook them long enough, or does that mean they still had too much water? How do you actually squeeze out the excess water? I did the best I could, but it was still pretty watery when I put it in the freezer.

  16. At first I was confused since the directions say to process or rice. I decided to process-use the blade- and not the shredding attachment for my food processor. Worked fine, I processed the cauliflower and cheese together. Made 27 small to medium tots! I will use them for the chili cheese tots! 🙂

  17. says

    I love,I don’t have food processor,I only have a blender,will that work.

  18. I recently discovered how much I love cauliflower and love trying new recipes. This sounds so wonderful! Thanks!

  19. i wonder if using egg might help bind it and add a little more protein?

  20. I took a fork and mashed the cauliflower up before I cooled it. When it was cool I put in a dish towel and squeeze out as much water as I could. (My husband helped me) They were very easy to form and roll in parm. I used 2 bags of frozen cauliflower (16 ounce bags) and got 37 tots. They look great. I can’t wait to try them, as they are in the freezer right now. Thanks for the great recipe, I am going to try zucchini also.


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