Level up your late night snack game with just a few simple ingredients. This savory and crunchy, veggie loaded Broccoli Tots Recipe may just be better than your traditional tater tots. Vegan or not, these vegetable tots will be a crowd pleaser!
You may think that making a vegetable tots recipe – when what you really crave are tater tots – is a bit of a stretch.
Well, it turns out, these crispy and savory 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!
Today I’m going to show you a recipe that will totally satisfy your craving for crunchy, fried potatoes – in a lighter and more wholesome broccoli based package.
Broccoli Tots Ingredients
- Broccoli: You will need about one small broccoli head to roughly equal 2 cups of chopped florets.
- Ground flaxseed: Ground flaxseed mixed with water creates a sticky texture similar to eggs, which is used as a binder for vegan dishes. But, as mentioned in the recipe card, you can use an egg if you are not looking for a plant based recipe.
- Sun dried tomatoes: I always prefer my sundried tomatoes to be in oil and patted dry, because they are easier to use and packed with flavor.
- Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is vegan and has a very similar flavor to parmesan cheese, as it is full of umami. But go ahead and used freshly grated parmesan if you are not cooking a plant based dish.
- Panko bread crumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are lighter than regular breadcrumbs and give the tots a crispy texture.
- Dried oregano and parsley: These herbs add a little spiciness, sweetness, and a peppery bite.
- Salt: I’m using kosher salt but feel free to use regular table salt or Hymalayan salt.
- Ground pepper: Fresh ground black pepper add some heat and a aromatics.
How to Make Broccoli Tots
Scroll all the way down to the recipe card for the full recipe.
- Gather all of your kitchen tools and ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF, or 190ºC.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water to a bowl and stir. Set aside.
- Fill a large pot with water and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil. Add the florets to the water and let it blanch for 3 minutes. Drain the broccoli well and dry each floret with a paper towel.
- Finely chop the florets, making sure that there are no chunks left. This is to help the broccoli easily blend with the rest of the mixture.
- Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well until all the ingredients are well combined.
- 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 prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all the mixture has been used.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Serve.
How to Prep Broccoli
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when prepping broccoli for this recipe:
- Once you have blanched and drained the florets, make sure to thoroughly pat them dry with a paper towel 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.
What is Blanching?
Since this recipe requires blanching broccoli, it’s important to know what blanching is. Blanching is a cooking process in which a food (such as fruit or vegetable) is steeped in boiling water, then removed and plunged into an ice bath or cold running water to stop the cooking process. You may be wondering, why would I want to do this? It’s because this process stops enzyme action that otherwise would ensure your food item lose some flavor and color as it would while cooking more thoroughly.
How Do I Blanch My Broccoli?
As mentioned in the recipe steps, start by chopping your broccoli head into florets and bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch or two of salt to the water and, once the water has come to a boil, add the broccoli florets and let them cook for a couple of minutes, no more than three minutes. Turn the heat off, drain the florets, and quickly run them under cold water, or shock them in an ice bath. Drain them well and pat them dry before using them or serving them.
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.
Are Broccoli Tots 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.
You know I wholeheartedly advocate indulging in everything from French fries to 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 – broccoli. 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 – but it is nice to be reminded that there are snacks that are both wholesome and indulgent at the same time!
What Do They Taste Like?
These oven baked broccoli tots were the perfect late night snack for my Netflix binge. The crunch and crispy texture 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 garden fresh aromatics. And, oh… that crunchy exterior!
Of course they were super delicious dipped in ketchup, but it must be said that they didn’t actually need it. However, feel free to try it with your favorite dipping sauce.
Dipping Sauce You Might Like For These Broccoli Tots
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!
I can’t wait to make these clean and delicious broccoli tots again for my next late-night TV watching binge.
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
- Air fryer green beans
- Spaghetti Squash and Mushroom Croquettes
- Roasted cauliflower head
Say goodbye to your classic tater tots and let me know what you think of 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.
- Serving Size: 2 broccoli tots
- Calories: 204
- Sugar: 3.3g
- Sodium: 838.6mg
- Fat: 4.7g
- Saturated Fat: 0.7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 31.7g
- Fiber: 7g
- Protein: 10.5g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: recipe, side, snack, vegetarian, plant based