Skip the spuds and ditch the deep-fryer in favor of this quick and healthy recipe for 5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots.

5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots Recipe

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?

5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots Recipe

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.

5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots Recipe

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.

5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots Recipe

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.

5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots Recipe

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!)

5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots Recipe

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.

5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots Recipe

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Baked Parmesan Zucchini Chips in red basket lined with white food paper with ketchup and mayonnaise in the background.

Easy Baked Broccoli Tots: Get the Recipe

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Side Dish

5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots

Skip the spuds and ditch the deep fryer in favor of cheesy cauliflower tots made with just five ingredients.
4.67 from 12 votes
5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots Recipe
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 35 tots


  • 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.

Kelly’s Notes:

  • 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.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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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.

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Serving: 1tot, Calories: 17kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 28mg, Potassium: 104mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 13IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg

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  1. 4 stars
    Tots were a little salty. Will cut back next time and just salt outside after baking if needed. Ended up increasing oven temp to 375 and baking longer to get a nice crispy crust.
    Hint: used a 2-Tablespoon cookie scoop to create little round tots then flattened them a little with a spoon. Really saved time!

  2. l made these and they are delicious, but they fall apart too easy! What can I add to make them bind together better?

    1. Hi Debora! Was there any excess moisture in the mixture? It sounds like maybe the cauliflower may have been overcooked or some extra water was in the mix.

      1. Debora, I’d use a cheesecloth. Put small batches in it to drain more excess out. Won’t fall apart easily next time. Haven’t made these, but I love to cook. Trust. It’ll work.

    1. Hi there! I’ve never tried making these in an air fryer so I’m not sure what the results would be. Let me know if you give it a shot!

    2. I’m sure they’ll work in the air fryer. you might want to put them on a piece of tin foil that’s sprayed with some cooking spray, though, in case they want to sink into the wire rack and stick.

  3. can you use already riced Cauliflower, and if so,, do you have to cook it first before adding it to the mixture?

    1. It’s hard to say without seeing the actual product but if the pieces are about the size of grains of rice, you’re all set to go!

  4. Do you think you could put the “batter” into a mini-muffin tin to bake? I’m kinda lazy… :)

  5. How long long would these be cook for after being cooked if left in the fridge?

    Would be be okay reheated in the microwave?

    1. Hi Rachael! I’d recommend freezing the tots after baking them. They’ll keep in the freezer for several weeks or even a month when stored in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. Then to reheat, pop the tots back into the oven or microwave and cook them until warmed throughout. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Ann! I’d recommend freezing the tots after baking them. They’ll keep in the freezer for several weeks or even a month when stored in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. :)

  6. 5 stars
    For a burger cookout last week, I made these for a friend who’s doing Keto. I substituted finely ground pork rind “bread crumbs” that I ordered online for the regular bread crumbs. I worried that with the parmesan cheese, they would turn out too salty; however, they were great, and my friend truly appreciated having an alternative without having to forego a side to go with the bunless burger. Even those not doing Keto enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. 5 stars
    I just made them using two 12-ounce bags of frozen riced cauliflower (from Trader Joe’s) which I thawed in the microwave, then squeezed out as must moisture as I could (put the thawed cauliflower on a clean towel and wring out the water). I also added 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.

    They are delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Does the cooked cauliflower need to be squeezed to get extra moisture out? Most other recipes for this do, but I don’t see that in these instructions.

  9. Just to let you know, you should edit the points on this. Cauliflower and eggs is 0 weight watchers points even when in a recipe. The only points to be counted are for the crumbs and cheese. 1/4 cup parmesan is 3 points, and 1/4 cup bread crumbs is 3 points. The entire recipe is 6 points and you said it makes 35 tots. So 6 tots is 1 freestyle smartpoint not 3. Definitely going to try since it’s low in points and healthy way to eat “tator totally”.

    1. Hi Lindsey! Thanks for your note. The calculations are all just based off of their standard SmartPoints program, not the new Freestyle one. :)

  10. 5 stars
    I used raw cauliflower and riced it in my food processor. Froze unbaked tots on a cookie sheet and stored in a ziplock. Cooked in my air fryer from frozen….AWESOME.

  11. 5 stars
    Attempted this but failed to fully read the instructions. My version turned out better than expected though! Used raw, riced cauliflower (forgot to cook it), subbed cheddar for parm and cheese-its for bread crumbs, added buffalo sauce, and flour (needed more binding agent). Baked for 20 mins at 350 and 30 mins at 375. Came out for cooked, great texture and flavor, and more importantly, husband enjoyed it. I’d call it a success!

    1. Hi Laurie – It’s hard to say without seeing the actual product but if the pieces are about the size of grains of rice, you’re all set to go!

  12. Hi,
    When you say these can be frozen, do you mean before baking, to bake later, or after baking, to reheat later. Or – does it matter. Thanks. Can’t rate because haven’t made them yet, but will.

    1. Hi Lulu! I’d recommend freezing the tots after baking them. They’ll keep in the freezer for several weeks or even a month when stored in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. Enjoy!

  13. Quick question: Why not combine everything in the food processor? I mean, I understand ricing the cauliflower first, but why not toss the other stuff after?

    1. Absolutely! They’ll keep in the freezer for several weeks or even a month when stored in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag.

  14. 5 stars
    A friend of mine sent me the link to this recipe a few days ago, and I made them last night. YUM!!! …and a healthy YUM!

    1. Hi Julia – I’ve never tried that so I’m not sure what the result would be. Let me know if you give it a shot!

    1. Hi Sarah – The breadcrumbs can be swapped for ground oatmeal, almond flour or even crushed up gluten-free pretzels!

  15. 3 stars
    How do you prepare the cauliflower heads?
    Do you just cut them, boil them etc?
    I’ve never tried Cauliflower before but I want to try it and try this recipe.

    1. Hi Sara! As noted in the recipe above: First, cut the cauliflower into florets. 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. Hope this helps!

  16. 5 stars
    These were DELICIOUS, I put them on the dinner table – walked back in to the kitchen to get some salt and when I returned – my kids had eaten them all up!
    I transferred the batter of these bad boys into a piping bag and piped them out in nice uniform size – less messy and much faster. Can also use a regular bag with the corner cut off.

  17. it looks very delicious..
    if in indonesia.. food like this is the name ” bakwan ” ..
    you should try it..

  18. 5 stars
    These were super tasty! Looking forward to trying the broccoli version as well. Fun way to mix up eating cauliflower. Thank you!

  19. Sounds really delish! Can Almond Four be used instead of bread crumbs to keep the carb count down?

      1. 4 stars
        Hey! Can we use almond meal or coconut flour instead of breadcrumbs? IF yes, do we take the same amount? Thanks!

      2. Hi Khadija! Yes, the breadcrumbs can be swapped for almond flour or coconut flour. Enjoy!

  20. I bought Trader Joe’s rices cauliflower and riced broccoli. Can this be used right away in the mixture or do I need to blend it more?

    1. Hi Athena! It’s hard to say without seeing the actual product, however, if the pieces are about the size of grains of rice you’re all set to go. Hope that helps!

  21. From my understanding, paleo means non-dairy. That being said, I’m not sure how you would make them without cheese.

    1. For a cheese free version, yet still maintaining a “cheesy taste” use nutritional yeast instead of cheese.

    1. Hi Jessica! They’ll keep in the freezer (if stored in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag) for several weeks or even a month. I’ve never kept them frozen longer than that so I’m not sure if they’d last past that point!

  22. Help!! Mine came out kinda mushy and did not stick together well. I’m def not a huge cook but I really want these to work for my 3 year old. I baked 20 min then 15min after flipping…then put them under the broiler for a few minutes hoping to crisp them up. Suggestions?!

    1. Hi Jenn – Was there any excess moisture in the mixture? It sounds like maybe the cauliflower may have been overcooked or some extra water was in the mix?

  23. Hi Kelly,
    Thanks a lot for your lovely recipe! I tested it, added curry, nutmeg and parsley. It was delicious!
    Marlyzen, a french fan :)

    1. Hi Andrea! I’ve never tried this replacement, but I have read you can mix together 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons water then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and use it as you would a normal egg. Would love to hear your results if you give it a shot!

    1. Hi Debbie! I’d recommend freezing the tots after baking them. Then to reheat, pop the tots back into the oven or even a microwave and cook them until warmed throughout.

  24. I am wondering if quinoa could be substituted for the bread crumbs? I might try it. It could be a gluten free version… :)

    1. Hi. I used TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) instead of bread crumbs. It worked great and added protein! I just ground it up a little in the food processor to make it a little more fine.

    2. They have gluten free breadcrumbs or you can make your own GF breadcrumbs. This is what I plan on using.

  25. I really like the New spin on tater tots thanks what about a spinish tot have you tried them ? Try it let me know what you think

  26. This looks like an amazing recipe! I’m a huge fan of subbing cauliflower for rice in all kinds of things like fried rice or Mexican rice. I am wondering if you have a suggestion as to how to leave out the bread crumbs? I am trying to cut bread, potatoes, sugar, etc out of my diet. Thanks so much!

  27. Have you tried with broccoli? Any modifications need to be made? I have one child that refuses to eat green vegetables, so they all have to be sneakily prepared and this sounds perfect.

  28. Can you substitute the egg in this recipe? Im allergic to egg (whole) and try to find alternatives that dont alter the recipe that much. Thanks!

    1. Hi Traci! I’ve never tried this replacement, but I have read you can mix together 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons water then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and use it as you would a normal egg. Would love to hear how it turns out if you give it a shot!

  29. This is wonderful! I just purchased a bag of Bird’s Eye Cauliflower Tator Tots and didn’t look at the ingredients until I got home – they have modified food starch in them – YUCK – that’s another name for MSG – something to greatly be avoided at all costs!

    Sorry I bought them! Why did they find it necessary to mess up the food with MSG?!

    1. No, it’s not “another name for MSG”. Some may contain similar elements, chemically, but they are not the same thing.

  30. This has become a FAVE for us. I’m a gastric bypass success story and these fit it very well to my healthy life food plan. I have varied the recipe by changing the herbs and spices. I do Mexican with chili powder ,cumin, minced onion and a tiny bit of Manchego cheese. Our fave is with garlic , rosemary, and Romano cheese. Try Italian, Middle Eastern, Greek, Asian, Hungarian…whatever your mind can create from the herbs ,spices, and condiments you have in your pantry and fridge. I’ve shared this recipe so many times and friends can’t believe it’s actually cauliflower…They usually say, “But I don’t eat cauliflower! “

  31. Very good. The only thing I would change would be to cool the cauliflower before putting into the food processor. Probably a no-brainier, but yes, I didn’t cool them. Very, very good and will be making them again.

  32. Absolutely beautiful! Left out the breadcrumbs but added in some chives… delicious! Thank for the recipe

    Luke, Manchester, UK

  33. I think I would add a little garlic powder and perhaps some fresh chopped parsley, if I had it on hand! Can’t wait to try these!

    1. Hi Julia! I haven’t tried these substitutions, but other commenters below have said ground oatmeal or almond flour work. Hope that helps!

      1. For atkins or paleo ppl…ground pork rinds have been substituted…that’s what I’m going to be trying!! These look great though!!

  34. Hi Kelly:
    First, thank you!-for amazing recipes. Your cauliflower tots will be the star of my daughter’s birthday.
    Also important, I (almost ) have to laugh; Here you provide healthy, delicious goodies, and 1 or 2 folks ask you to be responsible for nutrition information, instead of looking it up themselves. It’s as though you give someone, and what dawns on them is “give me more.” I believe this is loosely related to the “no good deed goes unpunished” concept.
    People: There is NOTHING implicit in recipe sharing, including characterizing said recipes as “healthy” that obligates the sharer to spend even more time …
    Finally, to the author Kelly of this site: You wisely choose to answer these people graciously- I saw that. This is internet world!

  35. I’m making them tonight and I bought the cauliflower chopped up already small, I will cook it, then take it from there, saving a step. I’m on Weight Watchers and lost 50 lb’s and I’m tired of making the same old veggie. This looks wonderful, thank you, I make it with eggplant and they are great in sticks, so I’m excited to try this.

  36. can you freeze the tots after there baked and then just warm them up when you want to eat them ?

  37. So delicious! I think Cauliflower can do almost anything! Just fixed a cauliflower pizza crust that was incredible. These were so great as a movie snack, and no reason to even ben a bit guilty. I baked it on my baking sheet, i REALLY crisp them when I put them on a cooling rack that can take the broilers heat (not all of them can), broil them for just a couple minutes, and they are even better!

    1. Hi Heidi! I’ve never used frozen cauliflower in this recipe, so I’m not sure. But when you defrost it, you just want to make sure there isn’t any excess moisture or the mixture will be too wet to stick together.

  38. We are grain free over here, could we use almond flour or coconut flour in place of breadcrumbs? Thanks, I cant wait to try these!!!

    1. Hi Niamh! I have never tried this replacement, but I have read you can mix together 1 tablespoons flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons water then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and use it as you would a normal egg. Let me know if you give it a shot!

    1. I’ve never tried this recipe with a ricer, so I’m not certain! But definitely let me know if you give it a shot!

  39. it is super delicious! Thanks for the recipee. As I’ve had it at home, i put some shredded zuccini in it too.

    1. Hi Sherri! I’ve never tried freezing them but I don’t see why not. I’d freeze them prior to baking them and then you might just have to bake them a bit longer to ensure they’re warmed throughout (if baked from the frozen stage). Enjoy!

  40. I put lots of seasoning and bacon bits in mine. This is wonderful versatile side dish! In my family, you can never have enough garlic, so we added a mashed head of roasted garlic.

    – Mo

  41. The 5 of us, including 3 teens, loved these! They tasted so close to the real thing, we were amazed! I added about 1-2 tablespoons of water because mine was drier than your hint about the consistency. Also, it took a little longer to bake for me but they were so good! Will definitely make again. Thank you!

  42. The recipe states prep time 30 mins., but it took 60 mins. to cook, process, mix, and roll out. The cook time was accurate. For the end result, this is labor intensive and bland. Even using Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, it needed more seasoning, possibly garlic powder. I would not make this again.

    1. Hi Laurel – I haven’t tried steaming the tots but I wouldn’t recommend it, as you’ll want a bit of crunch.

    1. Hi Sharon! I’m not a nutritionist so I cannot provide nutritional value for the recipes on the site, as I’d have no way to guarantee it’s 110% accurate, which is very important to me!

  43. Looking forward to try this recipe but would you be able to tell me how many grams is 2 heads of cauliflower by any chance as my cauliflower are big and I think 2 would be too much…please
    Thank you

    1. Hi there Julie! Every head of cauliflower weighs a different amount so it’d be difficult to provide an exact weight.

  44. Hi, I made these with gluten free flour,(brown rice) and they were delicious. Today I made them using regular flour and they were delicious as well. Great recipe and very hard to stop eating them.

  45. Good recipe. I found, though, that 2 heads of cauliflower are too much. My two heads made about 7 cups of mashed cauliflower. I doubled the recipe and ate the rest.

    I also found that an old-fashioned potato masher works well instead of a food processor..

  46. I have never made this recipe,but I substitute pork rinds for bread crumbs when I make other things requiring bread crumbs .

  47. Hi Kelly,
    Would you know what the metric measurements for 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup of Parmesan would be.
    These sound amazing and I can’t wait to try them.

  48. Hey Kelly,

    wonderful recipe and a great way to include cauliflower in the menu :) !
    I will give it a try and I will use garbanzo beans flour instead of the breadcrumbs. Garbanzo beans is also a very good substitute for eggs, just an idea, for those who avoid eggs.
    Thank you for this great recipe and have a good weekend!

  49. This looks fantastic! I’m vegan.. can i omit the egg completely or do you suggest i substitute it with a flax egg?

    Thanks! Cant wait to make these tomorrow night!

    1. Hi Melissa – You’ll definitely need an egg substitute because that’s what binds the mixture. I haven’t tried a flax egg so I’m not sure it that’ll work but let me know if you give it a shot!

    1. She isn’t a nutritionist as she has stated in a couple other responses. But you could easily find a nutrition break down site and plug in these ingredients and give yourself an idea.

  50. I was wondering if maybe you could substitute almond flour or almond meal instead of the breadcrumbs..? Anyone know if it does/would work?

  51. I substitute coconut flour for regular b /c we’re gluten free (and grain free for about a year until I got too busy to sustain that). Coconut flour is about 1/3 cup to 1 cup of regular flour and you generally have to increase the eggs when using coconut flour.. So I would say 2-3 tablespoons of coconut flour with one egg and increase to 4-5 tbl w/two eggs. Check for how dry it the mixture is as you add the flour. I’ve used coconut flour w/cauliflower to make pizza dough w/fairly good success (have to squeeze the cauliflower really good or it’s mushy).

    Kelly – do you squeeze the cauliflower at all to make the tots?

    Also to the person who asked about the raw cauliflower before cooking. If you wait to steam it, the smaller rice sized pieces take on too much water and the mixture becomes much more mushy.

  52. Have you tried grating the cauliflower raw? And then mixing it with the other ingredients and proceeding with the rest of the instructions? Will it hold it’s shape? Will it be a bit on the dry side? Does the cauliflower have to be boiled?

  53. Hi there.
    These cauli tots looks delicious. Can the bread crumbs be substituted with something else maybe? Just asking for health reasons.


    1. Hi Fiona! I’ve never made this recipe without the breadcrumbs so I can’t say what other substitutes might work.

  54. Hi Kelly,

    I adore your newsletter, blog and most of all your recipes! My question is: Can these little cauliflower tots be baked and frozen for future yummy-ness?
    Keep those great ideas and recipes coming!

    1. Thanks so much, Kym! I’ve never tried freezing these before but it should work! You may just have to bake them a touch longer, but otherwise they should turn out great. Enjoy!