cauliflower tots on white and red plate

Homemade Cauliflower Tots

  • Author: Amy Palanjian
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 22
  • Total Time: 52 minutes
  • Yield: About 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

To make these Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend.

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.

yummy family food

Toddler Won't Eat?

Here's Help!

My favorite tips for getting your littles to enjoy their food!

free email bonus

toddler drinking green smoothie square
Send this to a friend