Cheesy Baked Zucchini Tots

from 20 votes

All you need is 30 minutes for Cheesy Baked Zucchini Tots that are the easiest and tastiest way to squeeze in some greens. Plus, they’re freezer-friendly and require just five simple ingredients!

Cheesy baked zucchini tots piled high on a white plate.

Many a veggie have appeared in tot form around these parts, from broccoli tots to butternut squash tots and cauliflower tots to now, zucchini! 

With summer coming to a close, I’m looking for any excuse to turn my zucchini surplus into something extraordinary. We’ve covered zucchini chips, zucchini fritters, and even zucchini fries, but perhaps the most family-friendly (and lunchbox-friendly!) of the bunch is none other than cheesy tots.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Delicious! The combination of fresh zucchini, savory cheddar cheese and a touch of onion creates a burst of flavors in every bite.
  • Healthy twist on traditional tater tots.
  • Easy and quick to make. It requires only a handful of ingredients and takes minimal time to prepare. 
  • Family-friendly. Whether you’re serving them as a snack, appetizer, or side dish, they’re sure to be a hit with the whole family. Pair them with your favorite dipping sauce, such as marinara or ranch.
  • Perfect for sneaking veggies onto kids’ plates. Your little ones won’t even realize they’re eating something healthy because they’ll be too busy savoring the cheesy goodness.
  • Customizable. You can get creative and add your favorite herbs, spices, or alternative cheeses to customize the recipe to your taste preferences.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Two zucchinis next to various sized of clear bowls containing eggs, diced onion, breadcrumbs and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Zucchini: The star of these tasty tots! Shredding and then squeezing out the zucchini leads to a wide range of quantities, so it’s more accurate to just use two medium zucchini (versus stating how many cups, etc.).
  • Onion: The onion adds a savory depth of flavor to the tots, but the recipe will still work without it.
  • Breadcrumbs: Finely ground breadcrumbs act as a binding agent in this recipe. They help hold the zucchini tots together and give them structure during baking. 
  • Eggs: I’ve snuck not one, but two eggs into the mix, which ups the protein power of these zucchini tots while also leading to a light and fluffy texture akin to my all-time favorite healthy egg muffins.
  • Cheese: Any variety of shredded cheese will work well in these muffins, but I love the flavor pairing of zucchini and sharp cheddar.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Zucchini Tots

  1. Start by preheating your oven and preparing your mini muffin pan. Preheat the oven and prepare your mini muffin pan. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Next, prep the zucchini. Shred the zucchini using the large hole on the side of a box grater then transfer it to a kitchen towel or strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
A pile of shredded zucchini on a cutting board next to a box grater.
  1. Once the zucchini is ready, transfer it to a medium bowl. Add the diced onion, breadcrumbs, egg, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, and mix until combined.
A clear bowl containing diced white onion, shredded zucchini, two freshly cracked eggs, shredded cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs.
  1. Divide the mixture evenly into a mini muffin pan. 
A mini muffin pan containing zucchini tot batter.
  1. Pop them in the oven, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing and serving.

Serve these cheesy zucchini bites with your favorite condiment of choice. Keep it classic with ketchup, go big with quick-fix homemade buttermilk Ranch dressing, or go wild with homemade beer cheese dip or 10-minute marinara sauce.

Two white dinner plates piled high with cheddar cheese zucchini tots next to a small bowl filled with ketchup and a small bowl containing ranch dressing.

Expert Tips

  • Squeeze Out Excess Moisture: After grating the zucchini, make sure to squeeze out as much moisture as possible using a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Excess moisture can make the tots too wet and affect their texture during baking.
  • Spice ‘em Up: For added flavor, you can incorporate herbs or spices into the zucchini mixture. Try adding a teaspoon of dried herbs like thyme or oregano, or a pinch of garlic powder or paprika.
  • Consistency Matters: Aim for a slightly sticky but cohesive mixture when combining the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry, the tots may not hold together well; if it’s too wet, they may become mushy.
  • Shape Like a Pro: Rather than shape the tots by hand (and add unnecessary prep time to the equation), use a mini ice cream scoop to portion the mixture into a greased mini muffin pan.
  • No Muffin Pan? No Problem!: If you don’t have a mini muffin pan, shape the tots by hand and place them on a greased baking sheet.
  • Bake Until Golden: Keep an eye on the tots while baking. They are ready when they turn golden and crispy on the outside, usually in about 15-18 minutes.
  • Adjust Baking Time: Baking times can vary depending on the size of the tots and your oven. If the tots are larger, they may need a few extra minutes to bake fully.
  • Serve Immediately: For the best texture and taste, serve the tots while they are still warm and fresh out of the oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to peel zucchini before cooking?

No, you do not have to peel zucchini before cooking. The skin of zucchini is edible and contains valuable nutrients.

Can you freeze zucchini tots?

Absolutely! Once the tots have cooled completely, package them in plastic wrap and seal them in a plastic bag or airtight container and freeze. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, microwave each for 30-60 seconds or until thawed and warm. Alternatively, you can reheat the tots in the oven or toaster oven to regain their crispiness.

What do you serve with zucchini tater tots?

These tots are perfect on their own as a snack, as a crowd-friendly appetizer or as a side dish. Serve them with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce, buttermilk Ranch and marinara sauce both work great. 

The Best Zucchini Recipes

Staring down a surplus of zucchini from your garden? I’ve got you covered with top-rated recipes for breakfast through dessert.

Cheesy zucchini tots on a white plate next to a small white ramekin containing ketchup.
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Side Dish

Cheesy Baked Zucchini Tots

Skip the spuds and whip up a family favorite recipe for Cheesy Baked Zucchini Tots perfect for dipping and dunking.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.60 from 20 votes
Pile of Cheesy Baked Zucchini Tots on white plate
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 24 tots

Ingredients 

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/3 cup small diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely ground breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • Shred the zucchini using the large hole on the side of a box grater then transfer it to a kitchen towel or strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. 
  • Transfer the strained zucchini to a medium bowl then add the diced onion, breadcrumbs, egg, cheddar cheese, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and mix until combined.
  • Divide the mixture evenly into the 24 muffin pan cups. 
  • Bake the tots for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing and serving with ketchup or Ranch for dipping.

Kelly’s Notes

  • After grating the zucchini, make sure to squeeze out as much moisture as possible using a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Excess moisture can make the tots too wet and affect their texture during baking.
  • Aim for a slightly sticky but cohesive mixture when combining the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry, the tots may not hold together well; if it’s too wet, they may become mushy.
  • Rather than shape the tots by hand (and add unnecessary prep time to the equation), use a mini ice cream scoop to portion the mixture into a greased mini muffin pan.
  • If you don’t have a mini muffin pan, shape the tots by hand and place them on a greased baking sheet.
  • These tots freeze well. Once they’ve cooled completely, package them in plastic wrap and seal them in a plastic bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, microwave each for 30-60 seconds or until thawed and warm. Alternatively, you can reheat the tots in the oven or toaster oven to regain their crispiness.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 20kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Trans Fat: 0.001g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 25mg, Potassium: 54mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 68IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 0.2mg

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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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I added a very small amount of minced pork. I did not drain the zucchini but, to counteract that, I added 3 teaspoons of corn starch. My daughter and her husband loved them and continued to eat them as part of the main meal even though they were meant just to be the entrée. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    These zucchini tots which I made last night were absolutely the best ever! I had been frying my zucchini in little pancakes, and this recipe will be replacing mine from now on. All the delicious taste without the unnecessary fat and calories. Very simple preparation and clean-up.

  3. 2 stars
    I tried this recipe. Even after 40 minutes in oven at 400F, the knife didn’t come out clean. After cooling for 10 minutes, they were still sticking to the bottom. And while cutting with fork/knife for eating, they were breaking.

      1. 5 stars
        Loved these little zucchini bites! Was looking for a new recipe for zucchini & this was a hit with us!!
        Trying today with a hot spicy cheese!! This is a keeper in our house!

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