With just 6 simple ingredients, including quinoa, these Cauliflower Tots are a healthy homemade finger food the kids (and the parents) will enjoy. Bonus: They reheat from frozen beautifully!
I love to use wholesome ingredients and produce to make kid-friendly foods that are easy and fun to eat. These Cauliflower Tots, which are a healthy take on the classic tater tot and all of the frozen tots now available in most stores, are a toddler dinner or lunch option that I turn to regularly.
TIP: We love these tots alongside chicken and a simple side of veggies, but they are also balanced with a mix of nutrients, so they’re a pretty great stand alone meal with some fruit!
Ingredients in Cauliflower Tots
The healthy ingredients combine to make tots that are slightly crunchy on the outside, tender in the middle, and packed with fiber, protein, and subtle flavor that pairs really well with ketchup and Ranch! Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
- fully cooked quinoa
- shredded cheese
TIP: Everything comes together in the food processor and you can cook the quinoa ahead of time so it’s ready to go when it’s time to make the tots.
How to Make Homemade Cauliflower Tots Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making these Cauliflower Tots.
- Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet.
- Let the cauliflower soften in boiling water. Drain and pat dry with a towel.
- Place the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.
- Grind into a uniform batter.
- Form into balls, form into tot shapes, optionally roll in additional breadcrumbs, and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake! Serve warm with ketchup, if desired.
TIP: If you’re making these for toddlers who are 1, or older babies, I’d recommend leaving the crunchy coating off. For older kiddos, it’s a fun and satisfying texture though!
Can I freeze these Cauliflower Tots?
Absolutely! Let them cool fully, then place into a zip top freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. See the note at the bottom of the recipe for how to warm them from frozen to serve.
What should I serve these tots with?
Honestly, we sometimes just eat them as a stand along meal since they have a few food groups tucked inside, but they would also be a nice side dish for fish, chicken, or scrambled eggs. Or simply paired with fruit and milk!
Tips for Making the Best Cauliflower Tots
- Cook your quinoa so it’s completely soft and allow to cool before starting the recipe.
- You can cook the quinoa up to 3 days ahead and store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
- If you have any trouble with the batter sticking as you form the tots, pop it into the fridge for a few minutes. I never have had a major issue, even though the batter is fairly sticky, but that would help if needed.
- Use a measuring spoon to portion out the tots. If they’re all pretty close to the same size, they’ll cook evenly.
- Roll the tots in additional breadcrumbs for a slightly crispier outside.
- To make these gluten-free, use gluten-free flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Let them cool slightly before you serve them and break them into smaller pieces for younger toddlers and older babies as needed.
LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE THE RECIPE—I’D LOVE TO HEAR WHAT YOUR FAMILY THOUGHT OF IT!Print
With quinoa, cauliflower, and cheese, these healthy little tots are a great finger food for kids. This recipe makes about 20 tots, which is 4-6 servings for toddlers—or 1-2 servings for adults.
- 1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped
- 1 cup quinoa, fully cooked and cooled
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs, divided
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (or cup-for-cup gluten-free flour)
- 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pizza seasoning or cumin, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bring a kettle of pot of water to a boil. Place cauliflower into a heat-safe bowl and pour water over top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and spread onto a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry well.
- Place the cauliflower, quinoa, cheeses, egg, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, flour, salt, and spices, if using, into the bowl of a food processor. Grind into a uniform batter.
- Form into 1-tablespoon balls, form into a tot shape, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. If you’d like to have the outsides crispy, coat each ball in the remaining breadcrumbs before placing on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes. Serve warm with ketchup, if desired.
Storage: Store veggie nuggets for 3 days in the fridge.
Reheat in the microwave or for about 5 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Or, let cool fully and store in a zip top freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To warm from frozen, place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Cook your quinoa so it’s completely soft and allow to cool before starting the recipe.
You can cook the quinoa up to 3 days ahead and store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
If you have any trouble with the batter sticking as you form the tots, pop it into the fridge for a few minutes. I never have had a major issue, even though the batter is fairly sticky, but that would help if needed.
Use a measuring spoon to portion out the tots. If they’re all pretty close to the same size, they’ll cook evenly.
Roll the tots in additional breadcrumbs for a slightly crispier outside.
Let them cool slightly before you serve them and break them into smaller pieces for younger toddlers and older babies as needed.