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Cheesy Cauliflower “Tater” Tots

Servings: 6 to 8

These tasty tots can be served as an appetizer. Swap gluten-free panko for regular panko, if you like.


  • 1 large head cauliflower (2-3/4 to 3 lb.)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (about 3 oz.)
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. granulated onion
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2 oz.)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with 2 Tbs. water
  • 1-1/2 cups panko (about 3-1/2 oz.)
  • Sriracha mayonnaise or ketchup, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 190
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 13
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 60
  • Sodium (mg): 390
  • Carbohydrates (g): 13
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Sugar (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 9


  • Position a rack in the upper third of the oven, and heat the oven to 400°F.
  • Cut the florets from the cauliflower, and discard the core. Coarsely chop the florets into 1/2-inch pieces. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 2 Tbs. of the oil and 1 tsp. salt, then spread into an even layer. Roast until the cauliflower is mostly tender and golden in places, tossing once halfway through, about 40 minutes total. Remove from the oven, and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  • Put the cauliflower, Cheddar, parsley, Aleppo pepper, garlic, and onion in a food processor, and pulse until combined, about 10 pulses.
  • Scoop out about 1 Tbs. of the cauliflower mixture, and form into a tater-tot shape, 1-1/2 inches long by 1 inch in diameter. Put on a plate, and repeat with the rest of the mixture. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Put the Parmigiano, egg mixture, and panko on three separate rimmed plates, and set aside. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Gently dredge the tots first in the Parmigiano, then the egg, then the panko. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden-brown, rotating the pan halfway through, 26 to 30 minutes total. Serve with the Sriracha mayo.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • MrsWall | 04/28/2019

    My family loved this recipe. I followed it exactly, and the only thing I would change is that I'd use a little less salt. The cheeses tend to add enough salt on their own. This recipe is not difficult, but does take time for roasting the cauliflower, and then roasting the tots.

    My husband said they reminded him of hush puppies.

    I'm not sure why another reviewer dinged this recipe for being unhealthy. Fine Cooking is a cooking magazine , not a health magazine. Diet trends come and go, and the decision about whether a dish is healthy or not is up to the individual.

  • Teresa_B | 03/31/2019

    I made these today and am a low carber. I liked that I only had to make one change--instead of panko, I substituted pork rind panko for the breading and they were quite crunchy. The tots were tasty; however, I did not detect any cheese flavor. Due to the cooking method and individual scooping and shaping, these are a better weekend recipe instead of after work midweek. As there are two of us, I made a half recipe which was about 16 tots.

  • ThatBlonde | 03/26/2019

    I tried this recipe and I love it. I did add a bit of Italian seasoning for a kick and totally think it was such a great sub for those real Tater Tots.

    I have to disagree with Leah. I write this with no ill will. We all have our own idea of healthy. This recipe was not titled healthy, but in my mind it serves that purpose for me. Replacing potatoes with a low carb veggie is perfect for many of us who are leaning toward the versatile cauliflower and watching our weight. As far as the bread crumbs, I've never heard anything unhealthy about bread, e-vah. Cheese is a great source of protein and if you want to clean it up you can use a low fat version. And finally, baking is above and beyond anything fried.

    I didn't see any nutritional info--if I missed it, please let me know. My view of this recipe was a new spin on Tater Tots and it was darn good! Again, we all have our own version of healthy eating.


  • Leah | 03/24/2019

    I'm a huge fan of cauliflower and always use it instead of mashed potatoes for recipes like shepherd's pie. I made this recipe exactly as written; it was super fun to make, turned out exactly like the picture, was nice and crispy... and tasted absolutely horrible. Also, these "tater" tots are in no way healthier than the regular kind! There's so much unhealthy cheese and breading added to this recipe that if you look at the nutritional info for these and regular tater tots, the potato version wins. I gave it 2 stars because the recipe worked, it just isn't worth eating.

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