Baked Cauli-tots

May 15, 2017 at 8:44 pm (Alma's faves, B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), breakfast, Cruciferous rich, Derek's faves, Monthly menu plan: brunch, Monthly menu plan: dinner, Root vegetables, Website / blog) ()

There are a million recipes online for cauliflower “tots”. They’re a fun change of pace from simple roasted cauliflower, and they’re easy to make in advance when you need a quick breakfast. Serve the cauli-tots with some already cooked beans and some fresh fruit and they’ll make a great breakfast.


  • 600g (1 medium head) cauliflower, grated (use the whole cauliflower, including the stem, and do NOT cook it)
  • 1 to 2 carrots, grated (about 110-220g, optional)
  • 1 to 2 scallions, finely sliced (optional)
  • 4 to 5.25 ounces / 130 to 150g sharp cheddar cheese or gruyere, grated (about 1 to 1.33 cups) 
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 60g (1 cup) cornmeal, wholemeal breadcrumbs, or ground oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (maybe still too much?)
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • teaspoon ground mustard (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a mini muffin tin or a baking sheet.
  2. Shred the cauliflower using your food processor’s smallest grating holes. Then place the shredded cauliflower in a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix with a fork until combined.
  4. Using a spoon or scoop, divide the mixture between the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cups. If you’re using a cookie sheet, use a spatula to flatten the balls out into pancakes.
  5. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip halfway if using a baking sheet.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before running a knife around the edge to pop the tots out of the muffin tin.

My notes:

The first recipe I tried was the one on the Cupcakes and Kale Chips blog, which (doubled) calls for 1 head of cauliflower, 8 ounces cheese, and 2 tsp. kosher salt. I used 1/2 a teaspoon of fine salt. Yikes, were they salty. They were very tasty, but very salty. The next time I made them I reduced the cheese and used less salt, and they came out better. I also forgot to squeeze the water out of the cauliflower, but the texture was still good.

I made them for a third time tonight for dinner, but this time I didn’t bake them in mini muffin tins. Instead, I just used an ice cream soup to portion out balls onto an oiled cookie sheet, then flattened the balls into disks, and baked in the oven at 200 degrees until browned. Then I flipped them and baked briefly on the other side. I used about 2/3 bread crumbs and 1/3 the leftover breading mixture from my Mom’s baked tofu recipe. Derek and Alma both loved them.

The fourth time I made them I had way too much mixture for one cookie sheet, so I ended up making several batches, but I didn’t add any oil to the cookie sheet after the first batch, and they still came out well. The only issue was that the caulitots on the outside and back corner of the pan cook much faster than the others, so I had to keep checking them and taking out the brown caulitots and replacing them with more uncooked mixture, until finally all the caulitots were done.

Next time I may try something more like this Healthy Little Foodies version.

  • 550g (1 small head) Cauliflower, cut into cauliflower florets
  • 220g (2 small) Carrots, chopped roughly into 1½-2cm (½-1inch) pieces
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Flat Leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 75g / ¾ Cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 20g / ¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 60g / 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs


  • Preheat oven to 190c / 375f. Line a baking tray with baking/parchment paper.
  • Steam carrots for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and steam for a further 5-9 minutes. (Until fork tender)
  • Drain and rinse the cauliflower and carrots with cold water. Pat dry and add to a food processor. Pulse until uniformly chopped (you don’t want to over pulse) Add the pepper and spring onion and pulse until combined.
  • Add the cauliflower mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Lightly stir until combined.
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture into your hand and roll into a tot shape. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. (It should make around 33 tots).
  • Place on the prepared baking tray and spray with oil (optional), bake for 20 – 25 mins.

Update December 20, 2022: I only had a little bit of cauliflower left, including a quite large core. Together they added up to around 300g I think, so I also shredded up some brussels sprouts (maybe 12 or so?) and one sweet potato. I omitted the carrot. Altogether I had about 800g of shredded veggies. I added 3 eggs instead of 2 since the batter seemed quite dry, and I used leftover breading from my baked tofu recipe, along with a little dried polenta meal. (I thought it was cornmeal.) I cut back on the salt since the breading flour was salted. I used 150g of cheddar and 3 scallions. I didn’t add the mustard. The veggie-tots came out well. Derek and Alma didn’t notice that they were any different than the usual ones. We tried some in our new air fryer as well, without oil, but they seemed undercooked inside. I think I needed to use a lower temperature and brush or spray them with a bit of oil next time, for the air fryer to do a good job. I served the cauli-tots with a salad for dinner, and everyone seemed to be satisfied. We were low on ketchup, so we let Alma have it and Derek and I ate ours with marinara sauce. It kind of made the cauli-tots taste like pizza. I liked the combination.


  1. My time-saving kitchen tips | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] dishes I make extra of and freeze: lentil soup, caulitots, banana pancakes, hummus, baked oatmeal, black bean and sweet potato burritos, my Mom’s […]

  2. Healthy vegetarian breakfast ideas | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] vegetable-containing breakfasts we occasionally make are quinoa spinach croquettes and cauli-tots. Both freeze and reheat well in the oven. Both contain some veggies and a little egg but also lots […]

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