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If you love low carb comfort foods or sneaking in veggies for your kids (or significant other!), this cheesy cauliflower tots recipe is for you. They’re soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and easy to make!
But even though these are keto low carb cauliflower tater tots, they also make a healthy side dish or appetizer for just about anyone – no matter what dietary lifestyle you follow. Zucchini fries are a popular choice, too.
So, you probably want to know how to make cauliflower tots crispy? The key is the method – you need to fry them! I love roasting and baking many things, but when you want something with the crispiest exterior, nothing beats frying. Trust me, these turn out much crispier from a pan than they do in the oven.
What Are Cauliflower Tater Tots?
If you haven’t heard of cauliflower tots before, you may be wondering, what are they? Or, what do cauliflower tots taste like?
Cauliflower tots are simply tater tots made with cauliflower instead of potatoes. To replace the potatoes, cauliflower tater tots use cauliflower rice instead.
I won’t lie – you can taste the cauliflower. So, they probably aren’t for you if you hate cauliflower.
But if you like the idea of a traditionally starchy comfort food turned low carb and healthy…
If a crispy outside and soft inside sounds appealing…
If you want to sneak in a veggie when you’re bored with roasted veggies…
Then you have to try this easy, cheesy cauliflower tots recipe!
Cauliflower Tots Nutrition
Are cauliflower tots keto friendly? Yes!
Are cauliflower tots gluten-free? Yes!
Are cauliflower tots healthy? Definitely yes!
Cauliflower tater tots replace the starch in potatoes with plenty of good stuff from cauliflower – vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin.
And since we already know cauliflower is the power lifter of low carb comfort foods, it’s no surprise that a cheesy cauliflower tots recipe can be pretty amazing.
If you want to see a few other reader-favorite low carb comfort foods with cauliflower, try these:
Tips For How To Make 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 the cauliflower.
You can use a box grater, but a food processor is so much faster. Check my cauliflower fried rice post for more tips on ricing cauliflower.
Cook the cauliflower rice is cooked 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.
Here it is in the pan when it’s done:
If you need to, you can pat it with paper towels at the end to get rid of extra moisture.
Here it is in the bowl with the other ingredients – notice it’s sticky and cheesy with no extra moisture:
This makes it super easy to make them uniform in size.
Flatten the cauliflower 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.
Cauliflower tater tots rely on oil to get crispy, so don’t skip it!
Use a heat-safe oil.
Many types of oil, like extra virgin olive oil, have a low smoke point that isn’t suitable for high-heat cooking. Make sure you fry your cauliflower tots in an oil that can handle the heat. I like avocado oil best!
Play with the temperature.
There’s a happy medium between having the cauliflower tater tots too pale and burning the outside before the inside is done. 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.
What To Dip Cauliflower Tots In
There’s a particular common pairing for regular tater tots – ketchup, of course! But, if you’re trying to avoid sugar or carbs, most commercial ketchup options are off the table.
Instead, it’s super easy to make your own homemade sugar-free ketchup. It goes perfectly with this cauliflower tots recipe, and lasts a long time.
Serve ’em with some low carb chicken nuggets for a complete kid-friendly – or childhood throwback – meal.
Can You Make Cauliflower Tots Ahead?
Yes, you can. The best way is to pre-make them but only fry right before serving.
However, if you have leftovers, you can definitely refrigerate them and reheat later. They will just be softer and less crispy, but still good!
Can Cauliflower Tots Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze cauliflower tots either before or after frying.
How to freeze cauliflower tots after cooking
To freeze cooked cauliflower tots, simply 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 for long term freezer storage.
To eat frozen cauliflower tots, you can reheat them 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.
How to freeze cauliflower tots uncooked
You can also freeze cauliflower tots prior to cooking. However, you do need to cook the cauliflower rice and form the tots before freezing.
Arrange the uncooked cauliflower tots on parchment paper, place in the freezer until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag.
To cook the cauliflower tots later, you can roast them in the oven or fry them. Either way, don’t thaw them first because they will get mushy.
If you choose to fry frozen cauliflower tots that were not cooked before freezing, do it at lower heat so that you don’t burn the outside before the inside is hot.
Reader Favorite Recipes
The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.
Tools To Make Cauliflower Tots:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Food processor with shredding disc– The fastest way to make cauliflower rice for cauliflower tater tots (and for cauliflower pizza crust, cheeseburger casserole and more!)
- Small cookie scoop – For making uniform sized tots.
- Hard-anodized French skillet – This one is non-stick, PFOA/PTFE-free, metal utensil safe, and lasts a long time. The large size makes it easy to stir fry cauliflower rice.
- Turner – For flipping your cauliflower tots easily.
Cheesy Low Carb Cauliflower Tots Recipe - 4 Ingredients
This easy, cheesy cauliflower tots recipe needs just 4 ingredients! Low carb and keto cauliflower tater tots with sugar-free ketchup make the perfect healthy comfort food.
Recipe VideoClick or tap on the image below to play the video. It's the easiest way to learn how to make this recipe!
Click underlined ingredients to see where to get them.
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Get RECIPE TIPS in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Stir fry cauliflower rice in 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat, until soft and lightly browned, with no moisture left in the pan.
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.)
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Serving size: 6 tater tots
Video Showing How To Make Cauliflower Tots:
Don't miss the VIDEO above - it's the easiest way to learn how to make Cauliflower Tots!
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Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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