March 31, 2015
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It’s probably safe to say that broccoli isn’t a kid favorite food…but tater tots are! This simple recipe is sure to become a regular in your meal rotation.
When it comes to getting kids to eat outside their comfort zone, putting the food in a fun familiar form can be the ticket to success. These beloved tater tots can mean the difference between a child getting vegetables that day, and them skipping yet another plate of the “green stuff”.
If you are struggling to find recipes for picky eaters, I have so many tasty (and healthy!) picky-eater approved recipes to share with you. And strategies I learned from going to therapy with one of my kids to work on picky eating – yes, it was that extreme at my house.
If you are struggling with picky eating at your house – check out the FREE 6-Video Mini Course from MOMables to help improve mealtimes. Mealtime can be fun again and there is an end to the dinner table battles over unfinished meals.
Homemade Veggie Tots
These Broccoli Tater Tots are a great way to serve up vegetables to kids and picky eaters. Russet potatoes, parmesan cheese and a small amount of Italian seasoning create familiar flavors in a bite size tot. Much less intimidating than an entire broccoli floret!
As always, these are not only a great meal for your family, but equally as good in the lunch box. You can make the mixture ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freeze individual tots prior to baking for up to a month. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Just like the recipes in our meal plans, these broccoli tater tots are very simple to make. Kid-friendly food doesn’t have to be complicated or made with processed ingredients!
Check out how easy they are to make in this quick video:
Whether you are packing these broccoli tots as a school lunch or serving them as a side with dinner, I hope your family loves them as much as mine does!
Broccoli Tater Tots
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 cups raw broccoli chopped
- 2 cups parmesan cheese divided
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 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.
- Boil, steam, or microwave the potatoes to the point where a fork punctures through but they are too tough to cook -about 10 minutes in boiling water, 5-6 in the microwave.
- Drain the potatoes and set them aside.
- In a food processor, pulse the broccoli florets until it resembles rice. Add the semi-cooked potatoes, 1 ½ cups of the parmesan cheese, and seasoning, pulse to combine, and break up the potatoes.
- With a spatula, fold the ingredients together to combine, making sure no large pieces of potatoes were left behind.
- With your hands, begin forming small balls -smaller than meatballs, larger than traditional tater tots.
- Roll each ball in parmesan cheese and place on the lined baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining mixture.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove from heat and serve.
- Do not use wax paper. The cheese will melt onto the wax and the recipe will not turn out.
- Pack at room temperature in a lunchbox.
- Freeze unbaked leftovers for up to 2 months.
Gillian P. Durham
How about air frying them?
Hi Gillian, I’ve never tried air-frying this recipe. If I had to guess, 15 minutes at 400F should do the trick.
I definitely did something wrong because these came out super mushy in the oven. I ended up pan frying them after the oven to get them crispy. That said, they were delicious and both kids (toddler and preschooler) loved them. I added spices also -paprika, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, in addition to the parsley. Also used half cheddar and half Parmesan. Came out delicious in the end.
Non dairy suggestions? I could use the Daiya cheese I guess or breadcrumbs with our egg replacer? Any suggestions welcomed. Thank you
Not sure about the breadcrumbs, but non-dairy cheese would definitely work. Let us know what you try!
Loved these! Made it with breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper. So easy to munch on and delicious!
They look tasty! Can we freeze them after they are baked?
I made these up today for lunches, but it put a twist on them and replaced some of the broccoli with grated carrot. Looks pretty and tastes great. Found them to be a bit salty though, I’m chalking it up to the Parmesan cheese. If you grate you carrot with your food processor and then pulse them with the broccoli they trn out just like they should. Plan on freezing them cooked so that they are easier to get ready for lunches. Thanks!
glad they worked out with carrots too! And yes, not all parmesan cheeses are the same, some are saltier because of their “age” and process. glad they were enjoyed.
Will these work with sweet taters? I try to make everything as nutrient dense as possible and really haven’t used white potatoes in a considerable amount of time.
Yes, you can use sweet potatoes. Enjoy!
So, I made these tonight, and while they were quite yummy, they seemed to spread out a lot while cooking, kind of like chocolate chip cookies so. I wonder if I perhaps pre-cooked the potatoes too long (I did 5 min in micro, then stirred, then 2 more minutes), or if I processed them too long. My husband also suggested different seasoning, so any suggestions that way would be great. My kids refused to try them. Oh well, we’ll try again!
the tots spreading is a sign of too much processing of the potatoes. they really should have those “chunks” like sweet potato tater tots. For us adults, I’d suggest adding more seasoning -they are pretty tater tot bland, you know? my kids refused to try them at first too. I just put them on their plate with ketchup and that’s what they were having! lol. thank you for trying the recipe. do not get discouraged.
Can these be made with red potatoes?
yes, but they don’t contain as much starch and therefore they might not hold as well. preferably yellow yukon potatoes.
I have to say that all 7 of my children absolutely love broccoli and always have. Maybe it’s genetic? LOL. I’m pretty sure they will love this version of a favorite, too! Thanks for sharing. I just came here for the first time after getting your cookbook. We are all pretty excited about it and look forward to making some great lunches. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!
thanks for visiting the site and supporting my work through the cookbook! Enjoy all the recipes. :)
Do you think these would work with a dairy free cheese like Daiya??
They will. Enjoy!
Thank you SO much for this! My son is allergic to eggs, and most recipes I’ve seen like this contain egg. He also refuses to eat broccoli, so I can’t wait to try this out!
I can’t wait to try these!