I’ve been making these baked Parmesan broccoli tater tots for more than 5 years since I first published it on MOMables.com. 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.
Because the truth is, that not everyone is a steamed broccoli fan. I know I wasn’t until my mid-30s! So I too learned to love broccoli with this recipe because Parmesan cheese makes a lot of things better!
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.
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!
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.
Teaching my kids to learn to try new foods has been a process and a seven-year experience for our family. We’ve sought out help from professionals and made many mistakes. But, the lessons and best techniques that work (where the internet doesn’t teach for free) I put into MOMables’ Picky Eater Course.
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.
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.
These can double as a dinner side dish or be packed into a lunch container for school or the office. When it comes to dipping, I recommend marinara sauce, ranch dressing, or ketchup. I can eat these just like they are, straight from the oven, which is what usually happens.
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
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- 2 cups cubed russet potatoes
- 1 ½ cups finely grated raw broccoli
- 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Peel, cube into small dice sized pieces, and measure 2 cups of russet potatoes (about 2-3 potatoes). Steam or microwave the potatoes to the point where a fork is easily inserted but it’s too tough to eat (about 10 minutes boiled, 6-7 in the microwave). Once they are cooked drain them and set aside to cool down.
- 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.
- In the bowl of your food processor, pulse about 2 cups of chopped broccoli florets (depending on how you cut it, it should yield about 1 ½ cups chopped) until it resembles coarse rice. Measure 1 ½ cups of finely chopped broccoli and transfer into a large bowl.
- Next, pulse semi-cooked potatoes and 1 ½ cups of the Parmesan cheese; just enough to break up the potatoes and combine them with the Parmesan cheese. Transfer mixture into the bowl with the broccoli.
- Add seasoning into the large bowl and fold all ingredients with a large spatula to combine.
- Place remaining Parmesan cheese into a small bowl.
- Begin to form tater tots into small balls with a 1 tablespoon size cookie scoop or you’re your hands and a spoon. Once formed, roll each tot on more Parmesan cheese – just enough to coat it. Place each tater tot on the baking sheet, about ½ inch to 1 inch apart.
- Bake 12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve.
- Please do not use wax paper. The cheese will melt onto the wax and the recipe will not turn out.
- You can make the mixture ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can freeze individual tots prior to baking for up to a month. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Calories: 118
- Fat: 5.6g
- Carbohydrates: 8.6g
- Protein: 8.8g