Sep 20, 2018
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I’ve been making these baked broccoli tots for more than 5 years since I first published it on MOMables. I created this recipe years ago to add variety to our side dishes as well as to help my picky eaters learn to taste broccoli.
Broccoli is one of those foods that picky eaters love to hate, but this recipe changes the texture and flavor enough so that even the pickiest kids are often willing to try a veggie tot or two – especially if they are served with the right dip.
Truthfully, steamed broccoli is not something most of us love, so it’s understandable that kids might turn up their noses at it. Even I learned to love broccoli with the recipe because Parmesan cheese makes everything better!
What are Broccoli Tots?
Turning broccoli into tots is borderline genius, right? These Parmesan Broccoli Tater Tots are baked to perfection with a crispy outside and soft, cheesy middle. It’s a spin-off recipe from my Sweet Potato Tater Tots that I created first.
But what exactly are broccoli tots? It’s simple. Everything you and your kids love about tater tots, with a little bit of broccoli blended in. The broccoli adds color, but the texture and flavor of the tater tot remains almost entirely the same.
The broccoli is not overpowering since they’re combined with the mild flavor and texture of potatoes, which makes them taste more like the original tater tot, without the guilt!
While many kids don’t like the texture of cooked or raw broccoli, they do love tater tots (seriously, who doesn’t) so why not make the two a thing? It’s not your typical compromise but hey it WORKS! If your kid can get over the shades of green, they’ll get devoured.
As a parent, it’s important to me that my kids learn to eat foods that are good for them, not only at my table but even later on, when they are on their own. This also requires me to set the example to eat those things too. And no matter how many times we may steam, sauté, or stir-fry the veggies, it can be very frustrating because they just won’t budge.
With three picky eaters, I’ve personally found that reintroducing foods in a way that kids already enjoy has been the most successful method in overcoming certain problem foods. Hence these broccoli tater tots.
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Broccoli Tot Ingredients
I love keeping it simple so I’ve made this recipe with just four basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this tasty side.
- Parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning
Gluten-Free Broccoli Tater Tots
This recipe is made without breadcrumbs or eggs. So if you’re gluten, grain-free, paleo, or just need a new way to enjoy veggies this one is just for you! I prefer to use shredded potatoes and Parmesan cheese to help “bind” the ingredients plus it makes the edges crisp up while keeping the middle pillowy soft. Yes, my mouth is watering as I write.
How to Make Broccoli Tots
It might seem like it would be complicated to make homemade broccoli tots, but it’s really quite simple. In fact, your food processor will do almost all of the work for you.
Take your peeled and cubed potatoes and steam them until slightly tough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 425F
Place your broccoli in the food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse rice. Place in a large mixing bowl
- Pulse & Combine
Use your food processor to chop and combine potatoes and Parmesan cheese. Transfer mixture to bowl with Broccoli
Add the Italian seasoning to the bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
Use your hands or a spoon to make small tot-sized balls. Roll each freshly formed broccoli tot in the remaining Parmesan cheese and place on the baking sheet.
Place the broccoli tots in the oven and bake for 12 minutes until golden brown.
It really couldn’t be easier to make your own broccoli tots! You can print this recipe and get all of the exact measurements below.
How to Serve Broccoli Tots
These can double as a dinner side dish or be packed into a lunch container for school or the office or even served as a snack. While. I enjoy my veggie tots straight, my kids prefer to dip them. A few of the favorite dips in aour house are:
- Homemade Ketchup
- 5 Minute Ranch Dressing
- Marinara Sauce
Can You Freeze the Broccoli Tater Tots?
Now that my kids are older, they can totally help make these broccoli tater tots. They’ve been rolling the potato-broccoli dough for years and since they don’t have to be perfect, it’s an easy way to get a little helper to double (or triple) the batch and freeze extras for later!
All you have to do is line a pan with parchment paper, place the broccoli tater tots onto the parchment paper, and freeze. Once frozen, transfer them into a zip bag and freeze.
Of course, you can freeze them cooked and then just heat and eat.
What are some of your favorite ways of cooking up broccoli that your kids will eat?
Parmesan Broccoli Tater Tots
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 cups raw broccoli chopped
- 2 cups parmesan cheese divided
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 425F, place oven rack in the middle of the oven, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Boil, steam, or microwave the potatoes to the point where a fork punctures through but they are too tough to cook -about 10 minutes in boiling water, 5-6 in the microwave.
- Drain the potatoes and set them aside.
- In a food processor, pulse the broccoli florets until it resembles rice. Add the semi-cooked potatoes, 1 ½ cups of the parmesan cheese, and seasoning, pulse to combine, and break up the potatoes.
- With a spatula, fold the ingredients together to combine, making sure no large pieces of potatoes were left behind.
- With your hands, begin forming small balls -smaller than meatballs, larger than traditional tater tots.
- Roll each ball in parmesan cheese and place them onto the lined baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining mixture.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove from heat and serve.
- Pack at room temperature in a lunchbox.
- Do not use wax paper. The cheese will melt onto the wax and the recipe will not turn out.
- Freeze unbaked leftovers for up to 2 months.
Yes, this tots recipe made my kids eat broccoli!!! I can’t thank you enough!
Can these be made with frozen broccoli that’s been lightly streamed (before going in the food processor)?
Absolutely! You an use frozen broccoli, thaw, and then lightly steam.
Have you tried using cauliflower instead of broccoli?
Yes! you can absolutely use cauliflower with this recipe. Enjoy!
I made these broccoli tater tots and my kids liked them! They asked, “why are they green?” I told them that Shrek eats them. So now, these broccoli tots are a winner at my house. Oh. I also tripled the recipe and froze them. They come out great in the oven and air-fryer.