These cheesy cauliflower tots are quickly mixed in your food processor and then baked in the oven until golden brown.
It's a tasty snack that you can feel good about enjoying. Needless to say, they are perfect for game day!
I started making these tasty tots after my cheesy broccoli tots were such a hit. It occurred to me that I should make a version with cauliflower. So I did, and I think these are actually better than the broccoli ones.
This is probably because cauliflower is milder than broccoli and very similar to potatoes when cooked. So these make a truly wonderful alternative to tater tots.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make cauliflower tots. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Olive oil spray: A delicious oil and my favorite to use. If you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
- Cauliflower florets: You can use fresh or frozen, though I prefer to use fresh cauliflower for the best flavor and texture.
- Eggs: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use, or the tots could turn out too salty.
- Spices: Garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Make sure they're fresh - a stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
- Almond flour: An excellent flour substitute. I use blanched finely ground flour.
- Shredded cheddar: I like to use sharp cheddar for its great flavor.
Making cauliflower tots at home is easy because I simply mix everything in the food processor. Scroll down to the recipe card for the details. Here are the basic steps:
- First, steam the cauliflower and drain it.
- Then, add it along with spices, almond flour, and shredded cheddar to the food processor and process to combine.
- Scoop the mixture into a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown. That's it!
Using the food processor is easy. But it also means that the tots are smooth. They don't have these little textured pieces that are typical of traditional tots.
I think they are wonderful! But if a coarser texture is important to you, you might want to chop the cauliflower very finely by hand and then mix the ingredients by hand rather than use the food processor.
Frequently asked questions
No, but they are surprisingly close to the real thing, especially if you chop the cauliflower by hand. The cheese and spices mask the cauliflower flavor so it's not very pronounced.
No. These two flours are not interchangeable. Coconut flour is extremely absorbent and will dry out the tots.
Yes. You can pan-fry them in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Make sure not to crowd them in the pan and cook in batches if necessary.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- You can pan-fry the tots instead of baking them. Use a nonstick skillet and cook them over medium heat, about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Work in batches if necessary - you don't want to crowd them in the skillet. I love frying them in ghee - so good!
- Add different spices. ½ teaspoon of onion powder is good.
- Add ¼ cup of dry-grated parmesan to the mixture.
- Add ¼ cup of bacon bits.
I usually serve these cauliflower bites as a side dish, but they are also great as an appetizer or snack. Needless to say, they are perfect for game day!
My kids love dipping them in ketchup. I like them dipped in spicy sour cream (¼ cup of sour cream plus 1 teaspoon of chipotle hot sauce).
When I serve them as a side dish, I like to serve these tots with a main dish that I can bake in the same 400F-degree oven, such as:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave at 50% power. They are also good when served cold! You can also freeze these tots in freezer bags for up to three months.
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Cheesy Cauliflower Tots
- Olive oil spray
- 1 lb. cauliflower florets fresh or frozen
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup blanched finely ground almond flour (4 oz)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar (4 oz)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with high-heat-resistant parchment paper and spray them with olive oil.
- Place the cauliflower florets in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add ¼ cup water. Cover and microwave on high until tender, stirring midway through cooking. Frozen florets will need a total cooking time of about 7 minutes. Fresh florets will need a total cooking time of about 5 minutes.
- Drain the cauliflower florets well and place them on a clean kitchen towel to dry. Add them to your food processor and process until coarsely chopped.
- Add the eggs, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to the food processor bowl. Briefly process to combine.
- Add the almond flour and the cheddar and process until well combined.
- Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheets. Each baking sheet should hold 12 mounds of the mixture, evenly spaced. Gently flatten them, just a little, with the back of a spoon.
- Spray the tots with olive oil spray. Bake them until the bottoms are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Flip to the other side, gently flatten some more, spray with more oil, and bake until set, about 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.
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