Broccoli Tots (Vegan and Non-Vegan Versions)
*This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclaimer here.
Level up your late night snack game with this savory and crunchy, veggie loaded Broccoli Tots Recipe. Vegan or not, these will be a crowd pleaser!
By the time it happened, I had been scouring the pantry for waaaay too long for a couple of potatoes.
My hope was to make one of the late night tater tot recipes I had been obsessing over since a Tastemade video featuring tots had popped up in my Facebook feed.
But, after two thorough searches of the pantry and the crisper, I had to concede there were no spuds.
I had broccoli though. So I got my Google on. I searched for broccoli recipes and for healthy broccoli recipes and for baked broccoli – all to no avail.
Snacks are important
My hope was to make a late night snack that was both clean and delicious. But 45 minutes of searches wasn’t giving me the inspiration I was looking for.
Obsess much? Uh – yeah, I’ll admit it, I was! Try as I might, I couldn’t get tater tots out of my mind.
I closed the computer and decided I’d just make popcorn.
Then, as it so often does, inspiration struck when I had almost given up.
I would make broccoli tots. And I hoped they would be delicious!
Broccoli tots: A leap of faith
I think you’ll agree that making a veggie tots recipe (when you’re REALLY craving tater tots) is a bit of a stretch.
Well, it turns out, these crispy, savory and super tasty broccoli tots are so good that eating them didn’t feel like a compromise at all.
In fact, from the perspective of flavor alone, I actually prefer these baked healthier broccoli bites to deep fried tater tots!
Good news, friends: today I’m going to show you a recipe that will totally satisfy your craving for crunchy, fried potatoes – in a healthier broccoli based package.
How to make broccoli tots
I gotta tell you, this is a super straight ahead recipe. And, yep – it’s definitely doable as a late night snack in your PJs.
You’ll want to blanch the broccoli florets before working the broccoli into the mixture that’s going to become your veggie tots mixture.
Two important things about the broccoli
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when prepping the broccoli.
- After blanching and draining the florets (but before finely chopping them), pat them dry with paper towels or a tea towel. This way you won’t introduce a ton of unwanted moisture to your broccoli tots mixture.
- After blanching and patting the florets dry, it’s super important to chop the broccoli quite finely. If the broccoli has large pieces, the mixture won’t stick together when you go to form it into individual tots. You can easily use a knife here – or feel free to break out the food processor.
After making the mixture, it’s all about forming the broccoli tots and baking until golden brown!
To cheese, or not to cheese?
You’ll notice that the instructions below have a couple of options.
- Egg and Parmesan: When making these broccoli tots, you can use an egg as a binding agent. Similarly, feel free to use a bit of Parmesan cheese for an umami punch.
- Vegan: Or go with ground flaxseed as your binder if you’re following a plant based diet. Instead of the rich kick of Parmesan, you can opt for super savory nutritional yeast if you’re making vegan broccoli tots.
The best part
Whichever route you choose, your tastebuds are gonna be dancing.
I tried these broccoli tots both ways, fully expecting to prefer the version with egg and Parmesan. Shockingly, I found that I preferred the vegan version with ground flaxseed and nutritional yeast! Go figure.
Nutritional yeast just has this savory depth to it that plays really nicely with the lightness of the broccoli.
As we all know, broccoli is healthy!
Now, I’m not planning to drone on and on about the vast differences between the calories in broccoli vs the calories in tater tots. This just isn’t that site.
You know I wholeheartedly advocate indulging in everything from French fries to luxurious, chocolatey desserts from time to time – as long as it’s within reason. The main drawback when enjoying foods that aren’t so good for us usually comes down to serving size and portion control anyway.
That said, these baked broccoli tots do have a main ingredient that is packed with good stuff our bodies need. So it bears mentioning some of broccoli’s health benefits.
Broccoli is loaded with vitamin C – which is an antioxidant that also helps our bodies build collagen (that’s the stuff that keeps our skin glowing). It’s also high in vitamin K, and is a wonderful source of dietary fiber.
This cruciferous veggie also contains iron, calcium, selenium and magnesium – as well as a good array of B vitamins.
So not only are these broccoli tots a super easy baking recipe to make in a snack emergency, their main ingredient is a health food powerhouse.
Sure, it’s not surprising that a baked broccoli recipe is good for you (ha!) – but it is nice to be reminded that there are snacks that are both healthy and indulgent at the same time!
These oven baked broccoli tots soooo hit the spot!
They were the perfect late night snack for my Netflix binge. The crunch was there – and more surprisingly the flavor was much more bold than plain old tater tots.
There was a good presence of savory and tangy notes brought on by the chopped oil-cured sun dried tomatoes. Parsley and oregano delivered a garden fresh herbaceous element. And, oh… that crunchy exterior!
Of course they were super delicious dipped in ketchup. But it must be said that these tasty broccoli tots didn’t actually need it.
And after polishing off a plate on my own, I found myself extremely glad that I’d snacked on healthy baked broccoli instead of deep fried potatoes. It had been too late in the evening to be eating tater tots anyway!
No potatoes, no problem
I can’t wait to make these clean and delicious broccoli tots again for my next late-night TV watching binge. Now I just gotta find some new shows!
And even though it might be fun to experiment in the future with a baked broccoli tater tots recipe that features a mixture of spuds AND broccoli at the same time – I’m so glad I was out of potatoes that night 🙂
Sometimes it’s what you don’t have that spurs a bit of yummy creativity!
What about you? Is there something you’ve made because you had limited ingredients that you ended up liking more than the original recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Drop me a line in the comments section below!
Other simple, delicious plant based and veggie-centric snack recipes:
- Oven Baked Za’atar Fries
- Nasu Dengaku – Miso Glazed Eggplant
- California Veggie Sandwich
- Spaghetti Squash and Mushroom Croquettes With Lemon Sauce
- Kimchijeon – Kimchi Pancake
Did you like this Broccoli Tots Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
A delicious and healthy snacks you and your kids will love!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 14-16 tater tots 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 2 heaping cups bite size broccoli florets
- 1 1/4 tablespoon ground flaxseed (OR 1 large egg)
- 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes (in oil) (patted dry and finely chopped (optional))
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (or 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water and set aside.
- Fill a large pot with water and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil. Add broccoli florets to the water and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain well and dry broccoli with paper towel.
- Finely chop broccoli. Make sure the pieces are very finely chopped so they easily blend with the rest of the mixture. Alternatively, you can use a food processor and pulse the broccoli until it’s finely chopped.
- Add chopped broccoli and all remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Using a soup spoon, scoop about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the palm of your hand. Gently mold into a tater tot shape and place on the baking sheet. Repeat this step until all the mixture has been used.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until crispy and and golden brown. Serve.
These yummy broccoli tots will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Keywords: recipe, side, snack, vegetarian, plant based
Pickled Plum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.