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If you love healthy comfort foods or sneaking in veggies for your kids (or other family members!), this cheesy cauliflower tots recipe is for you. Cauliflower tater tots are soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and so easy to make!
Cauliflower tots have become a popular “healthier” option in stores, but they usually contain hidden starches or even artificial preservatives. Homemade ones are much better!
So, you probably want to know how to make cauliflower tots crispy when you make them at home? The key is the method — you need to fry them! I love roasting and baking many things (like baked zucchini fries), but when you want something with the crispiest exterior, like fried zucchini or pan fried chicken, nothing beats frying.
Why You’ll Love This Cauliflower Tots Recipe
- Taste a lot like potato tater tots
- Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside
- 4 simple ingredients, plus salt and optional garlic
- No fillers or hidden starches
- Ready in 20 minutes
- Only 3g net carbs per serving
- Naturally healthy, gluten-free, low carb, and delicious as a side dish, appetizer, or snack
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for cauliflower cheese tots, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Cauliflower – This recipe begins after you’ve riced your cauliflower. See my cauliflower rice recipe for tips on how to rice it yourself from cauliflower florets, or buy riced cauliflower at the store (fresh or frozen will work). You could also replace cauliflower with broccoli to make broccoli tots!
- Avocado Oil – This oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for pan frying. You can use any high-heat cooking oil you prefer.
- Egg – Helps the tot mixture hold together.
- Mozzarella Cheese – This acts as a binder but also adds cheesy flavor. Mozzarella is the most neutral option, but you can also use cheddar cheese, Swiss, Parmesan cheese, or feta to give your cauliflower tots an extra cheesy kick!
- Garlic – Although optional, I like including it for the added flavor. You can use 2 cloves fresh garlic, 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic, or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Sea Salt – You can also add black pepper if you like.
How To Make Cauliflower Tots
This section shows how to make cheesy cauliflower tots, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute the cauliflower rice. Stir fry the cauliflower rice in a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat, until soft and lightly browned, with no moisture left in the pan.
- Mix the other ingredients. Whisk the egg in a large bowl. Mix in mozzarella, garlic, and sea salt.
- Combine. Stir cauliflower rice into the bowl right away while it’s hot. It will melt the cheese in the bowl and make the mixture sticky.
- Roll. Use a small cookie scoop to pick up balls of the “dough”. Form small tater-tot shape patties and flatten slightly.
- Fry. Heat the avocado oil in pan over medium heat. Add cauliflower tater tots in a single layer and fry until golden brown. Flip and repeat until golden on the other side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all tots are cooked.
Tips For The Best Cauliflower Tots
Cheesy cauliflower tots are super easy to make, but here are a few tips to streamline the process:
- Use a food processor to rice cauliflower. You can use a box grater, but a food processor is so much faster. Check my cauliflower rice post for more tips on ricing cauliflower.
- Cook cauliflower rice correctly. No one wants cauliflower tots that are crunchy or watery on the inside! To avoid both, stir fry the cauliflower rice over medium-high heat. Make sure it’s both soft and dry before mixing with the other ingredients. If there is too much liquid, they will fall apart. You can pat it with paper towels at the end to get rid of extra moisture if needed.
- Use a cookie scoop. Using a small cookie scoop makes it super easy to make uniform size tots.
- Flatten tots before frying. Unlike regular potato tater tots, cauliflower tots are best flattened rather than rounded. This ensures that the inside cooks through by the time the outside browns.
- Use enough oil — and the right kind. Cauliflower tater tots rely on oil to get crispy, so don’t skip it! Additionally, make sure you fry your cauliflower tots in an oil that can handle the heat. I like avocado oil best!
- Play with the temperature. The heat level will vary depending on your stovetop and the pan you use, so you may need to adjust it to find that middle ground.
- Drain on paper towels. Since we are using plenty of oil, paper towels will help soak up the excess and make the cheesy cauliflower tots more crispy.
- Store: If you have leftovers, you can refrigerate them in an airtight container for 3-5 days. They will just be softer and less crispy, but still good!
- Meal prep: If you want to make these cheesy tots ahead of time, pre-make them but only fry right before serving if possible.
- Reheat: You can reheat the tots in the microwave (they will be softer this way), in the oven, or lightly fry again for a crispy exterior. No need to thaw before heating if they are frozen — they will be mushy if you do.
- Freeze: You can freeze cauliflower tots either before or after frying. Either way, arrange them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once they are solid, you can transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 4 months.
What To Serve With Cauliflower Tater Tots
Crispy on the outside and soft in the inside, these healthy tater tots are the perfect accompaniment to any main course. Here are my favorite ways to serve them:
- Dipping Sauce – There’s a particular common pairing for regular tater tots: Ketchup, of course! If you’re trying to avoid sugar or carbs, make your own homemade sugar-free ketchup. They are also yummy with cheese sauce or spicy mayo.
- Kid Friendly Mains – Serve ’em with some crispy low carb chicken tenders (or coconut chicken strips), easy bacon wrapped hot dogs, or healthy keto chicken nuggets for a complete kid-friendly (or childhood throwback) meal.
- Sandwiches – Serve this cauliflower tots recipe alongside your favorite juicy burgers, hands-off slow cooker pulled pork, or a loaded lettuce wrap.
More Easy Cauliflower Recipes
Cauliflower is a nutritious and versatile vegetable that works in so many comfort food recipes. Here are a few of my favorite cauliflower recipes:
- Food processor – The fastest way to make cauliflower rice for cauliflower tater tots (and for cauliflower pizza crust, cheeseburger casserole, and more!)
- Saute Pan Or Wok – For the best results when frying cauliflower tots, use a non-stick saute pan or wok. The non-stick coating helps prevent the tots from sticking and makes for easier cleanup.
- Small Cookie Scoop – For making uniform sized tots.
Cauliflower Tots (Easy, Cheesy, 4 Ingredients!)
These easy cauliflower tots need just 4 ingredients: cauliflower, oil, eggs, and cheese! They are the perfect healthy, low carb comfort food.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg in a large bowl. Mix in the mozzarella, garlic, and sea salt.
When the cauliflower rice is done, stir it into the bowl right away while it’s hot. It will melt the cheese in the bowl and make the mixture sticky.
Use a small cookie scoop to pick up balls of the "dough". Form small tater tot sized patties and flatten slightly. (Make sure they are not too thick so that they'll cook through.)
Wipe the pan lightly with a paper towel to get rid of any cauliflower rice pieces.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) avocado oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the tater tots in a single layer, trying not to have them touch, and fry for about 2 minutes, until golden on the bottom. Flip and repeat until golden on the other side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Repeat with all tater tots. (You may need to add more oil between batches.)
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
Serving size: 6 cauliflower tots
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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