Skip the spuds and ditch the deep-fryer in favor of this quick and healthy recipe for 5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots.
There are two things I always scour a restaurant menu for: doughnuts and tater tots. My obsession with the former has been well documented around these parts (See: Easy Glazed Doughnut Holes and Doughnuthon), while the later is just now making its debut. But before you go reaching for the potatoes, can I gently encourage you to make a mad dash for the cauliflower instead?
Yes, indeed. Potato-less cauliflower tots, a.k.a. a veggie-packed, slightly cheesy, absolutely easy alternative to the traditional finger food we all know and love.
Aside from being the ultimate way to sneak veggies into any meal, cauliflower tots have many redeeming qualities:
- They’re made with only five ingredients. Sweet!
- They’re baked, rather than fried.
- They’re a (nearly) starch-free side dish or snack.
Suddenly craving cauliflower? Preheat your oven, grab the veggies and feel free to fancify these tots by tossing in fresh herbs or spices for added zing.
Then all that’s left to do is dip and dunk in your choice of sauces, from ketchup to roasted garlic aioli and beyond. Phew. An entire post about tots and not a single Napoleon Dynamite reference.
(Now give me some of your tots!)
And for all those with even more cauliflower cravings, don’t miss my top-rated recipes for Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese and Chives, Cheesy Roaster Cauliflower Dip and Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Dressing.
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- 2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1/4 cup small diced onion
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely ground breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a nonstick baking sheet liberally with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets to the water and cook them just until fork tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Thoroughly drain the florets and transfer them to a food processor. Pulse the cauliflower for a few seconds just until the it breaks down into small pieces (about the size of grains of rice). (Do not overmix the cauliflower or the mixture will be too wet to form.)
- Measure out 3 packed cups of the cauliflower and add it to a large bowl. (See Kelly's Notes.) Stir in the diced onion, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, mixing until thoroughly combined. (The mixture should be roughly the consistency of mashed potatoes.) Using your hands, scoop up 1- to 2-tablespoons of the mixture and mold it into a tater tot shape. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and repeat the shaping process with the remainder of the mixture, spacing the tots about 1 inch apart.
- Bake the tots for about 20 minutes then flip them and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until crisped. Remove and serve with ketchup, pesto, hummus or your preferred dipping sauce.
- The onion should to be cut small enough so that it’s not too chunky and can be easily mixed into the cauliflower mixture.
- Any extra puréed cauliflower can be turned into my go-to mashed potato substitute, Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese and Chives.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.