Broccoli tots are a new staple of the freezer aisle, but making them at home is actually easier than you realize! With a handful of accessible, healthy ingredients, you can bake broccoli tots that are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. And…they kind of taste like broccoli tater tots!
How to Make Homemade Broccoli Tots
This recipe comes together in the food processor, which quickly turns rice, broccoli, egg, cheese, and breadcrumbs into a batter. Once you use a tablespoon measuring spoon to portion out the tots, all that’s left is for them to bake up in the oven. These are great right out of the oven and my kids like them dipped in ketchup. (Okay, the little one often uses one as a way to eat ketchup on its own, but that’s probably to be expected from a toddler!
Are these homemade broccoli tots healthy?
These broccoli tots have fiber from the rice and broccoli, a little protein from the eggs, and cheese, and are made with recognizable ingredients so you can be sure that your toddler is getting the good stuff. Plus, they are an excellent way to use up leftover rice and broccoli should you have some lingering in the fridge!
Frozen Broccoli Tots
You can make these veggie tots ahead of time and store them, once cooled, in the freezer. To serve straight from the freezer, simply warm in a 375-degree F oven for 8-10 minutes. They’ll crisp right up in no time at all for a quick toddler dinner.
Are there any tricks to making really good homemade broccoli tots?
The only trick to this recipe is to make sure your rice is very soft and fully cooked. This will ensure that the interior of the tots is soft and easy to chew, while the exterior gets a little crunchy. I like to use rice instead of potatoes since it’s a little easier to work with. A short grain rice works best here, but you can use brown or white rice, depending on what you have and your preference. I like this short grain brown rice from Lundberg.
How to Make Broccoli for Broccoli Tots
For this recipe, you simply soak the broccoli for a short amount of time in very hot water to soften it. You can also use leftover broccoli—which is handy since you actually might find yourself with a cup of broccoli one of these days that could use a new home!—or simply steamed broccoli instead.
Dairy-Free Broccoli Tots
To make these without cheese, simply omit the shredded cheese and the Parmesan and use just 1 egg instead of 2. (You will get a slightly smaller batch of 14 tots.) You can try adding a tablespoon of nutritional yeast if you want to add a little more savory flavor.
Gluten Free Broccoli Tots
To make this recipe gluten-free, simply use gluten-free breadcrumbs. I like the flavor and texture of Ian’s breadcrumbs and have used both the regular and Italian-flavors.
Egg-Free Broccoli Tots
To make this recipe egg-free, simply omit the egg, use 1 cup grated cheddar cheese and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. This creates a nice mixture that holds together really well without the need for an egg to bind it! Do be sure to grind everything well to help with the consistency. And know that these are a little softer in the center and need to be baked a smidge longer at closer to 30 minutes.Print
You can cook the rice up to 5 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the tots.
- 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
- 1 cup short grain brown rice, fully cooked
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup Italian-flavored or regular breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil and pour over the broccoli in a heat-safe bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Drain well.
- Add the broccoli, rice, cheese, Parmesan, eggs, and breadcrumbs to the bowl of a food processor. Grind very well to make a uniform batter. Portion into 1-tablespoon size ovals and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until firm to the touch and lightly golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Reheat in a 375-degree F oven for 6-8 minutes to get them warm and crunchy.
To make dairy-free Broccoli Tots, omit the cheese and use just 1 egg. Bake as directed. (Makes about 14 tots.)
To make egg-free Broccoli Tots, omit the eggs. Use 1 cup shredded cheese and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Bake as directed, leaving them in the oven for 27-30 minutes. (Makes about 19 tots.)