Cheesy Cauliflower Tater Tots (Low Carb & Gluten Free)

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Welcome to IBIH to all of you newbies coming over from Pinterest!  Please check out the Recipe Index for more creative low carb and gluten free recipes, or head over to the Cookbook page to download The Gluten Free Low Carber!  There are lots of fun conversations going on over on the Forum and the IBIH Facebook Page, so I hope you’ll join us over there!  You can also follow on Twitter, Pinterest, and/or subscribe to IBIH by email or RSS so you don’t miss any of the new recipes being posted weekly!  I love hearing from all of you, so please do feel free to comment or leave feedback anytime!  Enjoy!

cheesy cauliflower tots ibreatheimhungryThis low carb recipe idea was born when I was eating a bowl of the Cheesy Cauliflower Puree from last week and I had some leftovers.  Since the cauliflower was so like potatoes in texture, I thought it might work the same way as potatoes in other low carb cauliflower recipes.  So I decided to try and make low carb & gluten free “tater” tots out of them.

Well my first attempt was a disaster!  I heated some oil in a pan and piped the cauliflower puree out of a pastry bag – but within a few seconds they disintegrated into the oil.  Right away it was clear that frying them this way wouldn’t work.

I mulled it over the rest of the day, and the next day I had a brainstorm.I cooked a new batch of cauliflower but for half as long as I do for the puree.  I then ran them through my magic bullet with some cream, butter and cheese but only on pulse until I had a partly chunky consistency.  Then I whipped a few egg whites and folded the cauliflower mixture into it to give it some body.  I put that mixture into a pastry bag and piped it into one inch lengths onto a greased cookie sheet.  This time I baked them for about 10 minutes to dry them out and firm them up -THEN I pan fried them!

It worked!  You can skip the frying because they are good right out of the oven, but the frying definitely adds a more authentic feel to them.

cauliflower tots low carb and gluten free

 
 
Now a brief disclaimer.  If you eat one of these low carb cauliflower tots, and then a real tater tot or hash brown, it’s going to be different.  You can’t get quite that same crunch as a potato out of it–though they are crunchy to a degree.  If you are someone who has decided to eliminate potatoes and other starches from your diet though and you miss eating french fries, tater tots, or anything with a crispy fried coating, then these cauliflower tots are going to taste like heaven to you!  They did to me and I’d only been eating low carb for a week!  Even my four year old ate some, and he’s very picky.

cheesy cauliflower tots recipe low carb and gluten free ibreatheimhungry

 
 
Great as a low carb side dish for dinner, they also work well with breakfast.  Try them alongside these other low carb favorites:  Cream Cheese Pancakes, Spinach, Goat Cheese & Chorizo Omelette,  or Eggs in a Cloud.

Cheesy Cauliflower Tater Tots

Yield: At least 50

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 Tbl heavy cream
  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 4 egg whites
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  • Clean and trim the cauliflower, adding the florets to a microwave safe bowl. Add the cream and butter to the bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cheese to a magic bullet or food processor and blend until still chunky – kind of like a cooked oatmeal consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for at least half an hour. Whip the egg whites to a stiff peak. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cauliflower mixture to lighten it up. Then fold the cauliflower mixture into the rest of the egg whites and gently mix until combined. For best results, chill for another half hour or they won’t hold their shape as well. Fit a pastry bag with a round or star tube with about a 3/4 inch opening. Spray the inside of the bag with nonstick spray. Gently squeeze out 1 inch sections onto a greased cookie sheet, cutting with a butter knife as you go. When finished, bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes (or longer if you’re skipping the frying) until puffed and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and serve – or heat 1/4 inch of oil in a saute pan and when it’s very hot add the tots. It doesn’t need long, a minute per side to turn them golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.

Notes

These are still tasty after they cool but they start to lose their crunch only minutes after they come out of the oil so if crunch is what you’re after, eat them right away!

Regarding nutrition info on these, I will give you the info per batch of tot mix but depending on how large you make them, etc, I have no idea what the breakdown would be per tot. Also, I don’t know how many calories would be added by frying them after baking since it’s hard to quantify how much oil would be absorbed. To lower the calories, use half and half instead of heavy cream, and substitute a lowfat cheddar.

Approx nutrition info per batch: 864 calories, 63g fat, 18g net carbs, 47g protein


 
Download your copy of The Gluten Free Low Carber Cookbook today, to get the recipe for version 2.0 of these cauliflower tots!  The flavor and texture are better, they are easier to make, and they are baked in the oven, no frying necessary to get this beautiful crispy exterior!  You guys are going to love these!

cauliflower tots 2.0 from The Gluten Free Low Carber ebook

 
 

In other news, for a limited time I’m bundling my Amazon best-selling e-book The Gluten Free Low Carber with my first two issues of the IBIH ezine for only $9.99 – that’s a discount of over 50%!

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Also, be sure to download your copy of the IBIH Ezine Spring Issue and get over 25 new low carb and gluten free recipes – including one of our favorites, the Green Chicken Enchiladas!
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  1. Heidi @ Food Doodles
    Heidi @ Food Doodles01-08-2012

    Awesome idea! I probably wouldn’t deep fry these, but the baked version sounds delicious. Even if they’re different than real potato tater tots I think they look great!

  2. Jay
    Jay01-09-2012

    Mmmm….lipsmacking goooooooooood…;P
    Tasty Appetite

  3. Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
    Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-09-2012

    Hey Heidi! I probably wouldn’t fry them next time either because they really were pretty good out of the oven. For those who are jonesing for something crispy though, the pan frying definitely delivers! Let me know if you try them!

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous05-29-2012

      What if I used Greek yogurt insteadof heavy cream will it still work?

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)06-03-2012

      I don’t see why not, but it would add a tangy flavor to them which might not be a bad thing. Let us know how they turn out if you try it!

  4. Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
    Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-09-2012

    Thanks Jay!

  5. Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen
    Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen01-09-2012

    These look so good to me! I’m thinking they’d be great with some type of condiment or dip. That might ruin the whole low carb idea but yum!!!

  6. Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
    Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-09-2012

    Valerie, you’re not kidding! These would be great with ketchup (no good for low carb unless sugar free) or even as a vehicle for spinach artichoke dip (low carb legal…yay!) Let me know if you experiment with them and how they come out!

  7. Balvinder Ubi
    Balvinder Ubi01-09-2012

    Wow! this is a great idea of eating your cauliflower.

  8. Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
    Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-09-2012

    Thanks Balvinder! They are fun for kids especially and passed my picky four year old’s taste test so I’ll be making these again!

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous01-10-2012

    Just made these. I used frozen cauliflower instead. So I cooked it in the micro without the cream and butter (it would make it too watery). After it was mostly cooked I drained it and then added the cream and butter. put back in micro for about a minute to let butter melt. Then I put in food processor with cheese, salt and pepper. THEY ARE YUMMY! I baked in oven and plan to crisp them up right before dinner.

    • Lillian (My Recipe Journey)
      Lillian (My Recipe Journey)05-14-2012

      Thanks Anonymous! I was wondering how these would work with frozen cauliflower! I’ll have to try it that way also!

  10. KeatingAround
    KeatingAround01-10-2012

    nice! checking back for the cauli-tots. how cute are they?! super glad i picked up some cauli at the store last night. can’t wait to get home and try! :)

  11. Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
    Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-10-2012

    Hey Anonymous (if that really IS your name – ha ha!), THANK you for that comment because I was wondering about frozen cauliflower and how it would work but worried it would be too soggy! Love your idea of drying it out first, then adding the butter and cream! Glad it worked for you and you saved me having to experiment myself! Of course then I would have gotten to eat them so it would have been ok! :)

  12. Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
    Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-10-2012

    KA – thanks for checking back! Hope you like them and as always please share with the rest of us if you find a way to improve on them!

  13. JavelinWarrior
    JavelinWarrior01-13-2012

    These tater tots are amazing and I’ve been inspired to feature them in my Friday Food Fetish roundup. And I’ll be sharing on Pinterest. Please let me know if you have any objections and KEEP IT COMING!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-13-2012

      JW – Thanks for the feature! It’s always an honor to get included in your FFFR! I appreciate it very much! :)

  14. Kim Bee
    Kim Bee01-13-2012

    Now this is inspired my dear. Such a cool idea. I love that when they didn’t work you went back and tried again. Wonderful!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-14-2012

      Thanks Kim! Try, try again, that’s my motto! Haha! So glad I did though because I love them now! I’ll be working on improvements for next time and posting any updates!

  15. Anonymous
    Anonymous01-15-2012

    WOW , finally …I get my men to eat Cauliflower and liken it . Thank you so much , just to add a little OOMPF use a bit of Cayenne and Nutmeg …YUMMOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  16. Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
    Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-16-2012

    What is it with men and kids hating cauliflower??? Yay for finally getting your to eat some AND actually like it! I’m flattered! Cayenne and Nutmeg?!?!? Totally stealing that! Sounds yummy!

  17. Jackie
    Jackie01-23-2012

    For calorie sake, would it work using fat-free Half and Half instead of cream?

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-23-2012

      It would definitely increase the carbs in it but if that’s not an issue for you then I don’t see why not. You could add a little ff cream cheese to the cauli before folding in the egg whites if they didn’t get thick enough with the ff half and half too. Hope it works for you!

  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous01-23-2012

    These look AMAZING! I’m trying to cut down on dairy though as well so I’ll have to sit the recipe out :(

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-23-2012

      It would be challenging to make them without dairy but not impossible I think! Use olive oil and chicken stock, maybe some garlic powder or onion, a little extra salt to replace the cheese flavor so they aren’t bland, you might need an extra egg white to help bind them but I would try it out and see. I may test this myself at some point…

    • JazV
      JazV05-01-2012

      I used almond milk (original flavor) and whole foods has cheddar flavored cheese made with palm oil :). Tastes the same to me :).

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)05-02-2012

      Great! I’m so glad you were able to make this work for you dairy free! I hope your comment will help others with the same issues! Thanks!

  19. Judith Frederick
    Judith Frederick01-25-2012

    Have you tried baking this recipe without microwaving the cauliflower. That might make them crisper like tater tots

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-25-2012

      If you mean puree the cauliflower while raw and then bake them, no I haven’t. It would be an interesting experiment though so if you do give it a try I’d love to hear how they come out! Let us know! Thanks!

  20. Anonymous
    Anonymous01-27-2012

    I was curious if anybody had tried baking these and then after, cooling slightly, putting the pan in the freezer to freeze individual tots & frying at a later date? I love mashed cauliflower and this sounds so great! I was thinking that would be a great way to prep a bunch and have on hand for our late work nights. I am thinking about trying this today but wanted to see if anybody else had experimented with this idea first. Can’t wait to try these!!! :) Thanks for the creative recipe Mellissa!

    Hilary
    a.k.a Anonymous :)

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)01-27-2012

      Your welcome Hillary! let us know if the baking, freezing, then frying works out! That would definitely be convenient if it works so I may even try it myself!

  21. Anonymous
    Anonymous02-09-2012

    I decided to see what would happen if I didn’t microwave the cauliflower first.

    The first problem I ran into was that (and I should have thought about this before hand) was that the cream and butter didn’t incorporate into the cauliflower the same way. Raw cauliflower doesn’t absorb liquid. Maybe sour cream would work instead (2 carbs).

    The second problem was that I had trouble with the pastry tip. The mixture just wasn’t soft enough and the cream dripped out of the bag around the tots. I switched to a tiny scoop (think cauliflower cookies) and that worked out.

    They baked well (375 for 20 minutes) and I sprayed them with some cooking spray at the end to help them brown. (I didn’t fry them.) They were still yummy, but they still softened up fairly quickly.

    Oh, and I sprinkled in a little taco seasoning to one batch. YUMMY!

    Great recipe and I think I’m going back to the way it’s written next time. – Kim

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)02-11-2012

      Hey Kim thanks for reporting back on your experiment – sorry it didn’t work out the way you’d hoped! Sadly they do soften up fairly quickly out of the oven or even the oil. Best eaten right away which is ok since they are so good they don’t last long anyway! Taco seasoning sounds really good! I love mexican flavors so may try that myself! Thanks so much for sharing!

  22. Wolfdog
    Wolfdog03-12-2012

    I really like this idea, and will probably try it tomorrow. I’ve made pizza crust from cauliflower, and I think maybe adding a little bit more cheese would give it more crunch. That recipe called for a little bit of oil under the crust, and it really crisped up, so I wonder if you could do the same with these little guys? Either way, I love the idea!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)03-14-2012

      Thanks Wolfdog – more cheese is never a bad idea in my opinion! Hope they work for you, and please share your tweaks with us if they come out great!

  23. Moni
    Moni03-16-2012

    these came out soo delish! i did use goat milk since i’m lactose intolerant and use 2 eggs with the yoke, b/c i only had 2 eggs left in the house. so i did add some bread crumbs… my young boys and hubby ate them up fast!

  24. Anonymous
    Anonymous03-20-2012

    I just tried to make these and the taste is fabulous! But the texture was so watery I couldn’t even back them in the oven. Any ideas?? I am wondering if the egg yolk wasn’t
    t stiff enough or too much cream?

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)03-20-2012

      Sorry you had trouble with the recipe! The egg white has to be at stiff peak and the cauli can’t be too hot when you add it or the egg will break and it will get really watery. Since I have been experimenting with the cauli I’m going to reduce the amount of cream in the recipe because it just doesn’t need that much – but when I was making it that way it was never watery so it could have been the eggs – or maybe your cauli head was small so the ratios were off?? Hard to say but I would definitely try less cream next time, make sure the egg whites are stiff and had no yolk in them when you whipped or they’ll fall, and make sure your cauli is cool when you gently fold it in. Hope that helps!

  25. SusyCS
    SusyCS03-22-2012

    Hi Mellissa,
    Nice and very creative recipe! I was wondering if adding Panko breadcrumbs to the mix would make the “tots” a little bit crunchier . . . what do you think? Susy :)

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)03-22-2012

      Hey Susy! I think it would help, especially if you rolled the tots in the panko so the outside got nice and crisp. Of course it would add more carbs but probably minimal if just rolling on the outside. Sounds yummy though – go for it and let us know! :)

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous10-15-2012

      Instead of Panko use crushed pork rinds. I use them a lot for different things to keep it low carb.

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous03-28-2012

    What do you suggest if you don’t have the pastry bag to ‘pipe’ them on to the baking sheet? Could you make drops like a cookie dough?

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)03-28-2012

      Yes, you could drop. Or you can spoon it into a large ziploc bag and cut the tip off and squeeze out “tots” and use a knife to cut them to size.

    • sonja
      sonja04-11-2012

      OR you could take a large ziploc (or any brand) bag- cut off one corner to desired opening, fill bag about 1/2 way (this is why you need a large bag) then twist top and wrap in between fingers (so you can squeeze like a pastry bag). Hope this helps :0)

  27. Hutchinsons
    Hutchinsons03-28-2012

    Found you from the Ferry-Morse Seed Co on FB. This looks delicious. I have cauliflower in my fridge that I was about to roast up. Wonder if it would work with it roasted instead of just cooked?

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)03-28-2012

      It does! Has a slightly different flavor but I think it’s great – sweeter I think from the roasting. Hope you like it!

  28. Natalie
    Natalie04-05-2012

    Hmm…cauliflower isn’t “low carb” at all. It’s 64% carb! http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2391/2 That said, these look delicious.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)04-06-2012

      Hi Natalie, thanks for the comment. I noticed the chart you linked to on self says that 64% of the calories in cauliflower come from carbs – which is to be expected considering there is no fat and almost no protein content which make up the other 36%. But if you notice on that same chart you reference it says that it rates a 1 on the glycemic index which is obviously extremely low. Net carbs is calculated by deducting the fiber which has no impact on blood sugar from the total carbs. So at less than 3g of net carbs in a one cup serving, cauliflower is considered a very low carb vegetable. By comparison using the same website you are, the equivalent amount of chopped, raw onions has 12 grams of net carbs, 90% on the chart, and a glycemic index of 5. And potatoes, which is what I used cauliflower to substitute for a lot of the time have 22grams of net carbs, also a glycemic load of 5 and are 92% carbohydrate calories. This makes cauliflower an excellent “low carb” alternative.

  29. Blue Star Vermont
    Blue Star Vermont04-11-2012

    Thank you, thank you for for adding a wonderful much needed new recipe to my list of low glycemic foods!

  30. Anonymous
    Anonymous04-19-2012

    I am making these now and I made them in a mini cupcake pan and it worked really well!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)04-23-2012

      Great idea! Totally trying that next time!!!

    • Algebrina
      Algebrina06-23-2012

      I took the mini cupcake pan approach as well. I tried to pipe them first, but I accidentally added too much cream and there was too much liquid for them to hold their shape. They turned into little pancakes…so the mini cupcake pan worked much better! For a bit of crunchiness, I sprinkled Panko on top and skipped the frying. Delicious!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)06-26-2012

      Sounds great!

  31. Laughing Larry
    Laughing Larry04-23-2012

    WOW. Looks really good. I plan on giving this a try. I have some really picky eaters at home and getting the kids to eat vegetables can really be a nightmare. This looks like something that might just slip past the visible recognition as being a vegetable, and at least they may try it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)04-23-2012

      Hope they pass the kid test Larry! My son eats them and he’s pretty picky, they taste good dipped in ketchup too!

  32. Riza
    Riza04-26-2012

    This looks great! May I ask the nutritional facts per tot?

    • Megan C.
      Megan C.04-27-2012

      I wanted to know too!

    • Riza
      Riza04-27-2012

      Did I miss something…? I count my calories, I just wanted to know.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)04-27-2012

      Sorry ladies, I have no idea what the nutrition facts per tot are. I have calculated the batch nutrition data as the recipe is written and added it to the post, you’ll have to break it down yourselves based on how many tots you get out of the batch. If you are watching calories, you may want to sub in some lower fat ingredients. Hope that helps!

  33. Samuel H. Nathans
    Samuel H. Nathans04-28-2012

    I realize you are attempting to avoid carbohydrates and starches in your diet and this recipe but one way of getting that nice exterior crunch on these would be to dust them in either potato or corn starch before frying or (after spraying with oil and dusting) baking.

    Frying potatoes only affects a very thin layer of the exterior starches to produce crunch, so simply adding only the exterior amount of starch needed you wouldn’t have to sacrifice texture to low carbohydrate intake.

    I would also be careful about the “Drying them out in the oven” step as what keeps fried foods crispy and prevents them from absorbing excess oil is the steam released from the surface of the food. By attempting to dry them out in the oven you are reducing the amount of moisture only from the surface rather than the interior moisture which is the root cause of each “tot” falling apart on you. Instead I would chill them briefly to firm them up and then cook them in the oil or oven to make up for the lower starting temperature and lessened pre-cooking.

    Both of these tips will help improve texture in the finished “tot.” Just be reminded that a “Tot” is traditionally diced or coarse chopped potatoes (or other desired vegetable substitution) rather than a puree and interior texture is just as important as exterior. 60% Mash (or puree) and 40% roughly chopped would be the ideal ratio in my humble opinion. Maybe add some onion or garlic for flavour too.

    Thanks for reading these suggestions whether you try them or not I still wish for you nothing but further enjoyment in your culinary endeavors.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)04-28-2012

      Thanks for the detailed feedback on the recipe, though I am unsure if you actually tried making it or not based on your comment. In my experimenting I did try to chill them and fry them but they still fell apart on me – baking them first firmed up the egg white in the (partially chunky per the instructions) mix which kept them together for the frying portion. I was happy with them but I appreciate your suggestions – I am intrigued by the dusting them with corn starch pre frying – or maybe coconut flour which I’ve only started using recently – that probably would give a nice crunchy exterior – I’ll give it a try next time I make these. Thanks!

    • Samuel H. Nathans
      Samuel H. Nathans04-29-2012

      No indeed I have not cooked from your recipe, but I have experimented with cauliflower, Celeriac, and Misc Winter Squash “Tots” thus my suggestions. By “chilling” I meant to nearly frozen (Approx. 33-34 Degrees Fahrenheit) although perhaps you already tried it even at that cold temperature. I understand your point around the egg whites, just be careful as cooking egg whites at elevated temperatures (required for frying, roasting, and baking) for extended or multiple periods of time can cause it to turn rubbery; and from what I understand half the point of folding them whipped into the mixture wasn’t just for binding but also to make the texture more light and airy, thus my point about avoiding as much extra exposure to heat after they have “firmed” up. I have never heard of Coconut Flour, that is indeed interesting, however (and a conclusion due to my lack of knowledge on the ingredient) would I be permitted to conclude that Coconut Flour has a certain sweetness about it, similar to Almond Flour? Perhaps using a powder fine Chickpea Flour (Mostly protein and fiber) would offer a similar effect if fried at a high temperature (to produce the Mailard Reaction that would result in crisping and browning).

      Anyways, just an afterthought. Thanks for your response and my apologies if either of my posts were uppity, snobbish, smart alec-y, know-it-all-ish, contained a lack of self deprecation (which this should remedy), or overly formally worded. It was only my intention to share some ideas and not give the appearance or implicit intent of me telling you how to cook your own food from your own recipe.

      Postscript: By reading through some of your comments on this page I have noticed your dedication to nutritional research, for which I commend you. This is the first post I have read on your site but I hope to enjoy browsing through the archives of your posts.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)05-02-2012

      Thanks Samuel and your comments did not offend me. It’s clear that you take a more scientific approach than I do and your knowledge is definitely obvious, so I appreciate you taking the time to make suggestions on how to improve the recipe. Coconut flour does have a slight sweetness but the flavor works well with the cauliflower I have found. I have some garbanzo bean flour and may try that as an alternative as well. I’m going to be publishing an ebook soon and this recipe will be included in it along with some improvements. I’m going to try freezing the tots raw first and see if that helps in the frying process – I chilled them but not to the point of freezing when I tested it so maybe that will make all the difference! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  34. Anonymous
    Anonymous05-07-2012

    So, i saw this recipe last week and tried it over the weekend – really good! I didn’t get the fluffy consistency though, my egg whites never made it to the “stiff peaks” consistency :/ so i ended up putting them into muffin cups. for additional flavor i also added some garlic and onion powder. i didn’t fry them either, and reheated some the next day in my toaster over on 400 for about 10 minutes – delicious again! :) Thanks for sharing!

  35. Catherine Lewis
    Catherine Lewis05-10-2012

    These look wonderful, I will try them next week, would you mind if I post your image and a link back to your blog with recipe etc. on my website http://www.portlandsprouts.com
    I think these would be great to list in out toddler food section. Anything to get these little ones to eat veggies!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)05-17-2012

      Sure Catherine, you can use the photo with a link back as long as you don’t post the recipe itself on your site! Thanks!

  36. Alli
    Alli05-10-2012

    These look delicious, and a great way to disguise vegetables for kids. Great recipe and presentation. Thanks for sharing.

  37. HRHNeenerita
    HRHNeenerita05-17-2012

    what would it be like to cook them in a waffle iron? I do hash browns and love the crispy bits by doing this.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)05-17-2012

      I don’t know but I wish I had a waffle iron so I could try it out! Sounds like a great idea, if you do try it and it works I hope you’ll let us know!

  38. Gina
    Gina05-30-2012

    You know, I can’t wait to try this, as I love all things cauliflower. But it just occurred to me that they are almost like gnocchi too. Might be great with some spaghetti sauce on them. :)

  39. Unknown
    Unknown06-02-2012

    I just tried these, and I wish I would have read all the comments first. I didn’t cool the cauliflower before putting them in the food processor, and continuing with the instructions. Even though it had cooled some before mixing in the egg whites, the whites did not hold. I made a good effort of piping them onto Silpat sheets and baking, but they fell/flattened. In the end they tasted pretty good, but they looked nothing like the picture. I served with a chipotle/adobo mayonnaise, which I recommend.

    So, in conclusion, cooling the cauliflower is a MUST. Next time I will cook several hours before, process them with the cheese, then cool them in the refrigerator for w few hours before moving on to the next step.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)06-03-2012

      Thanks for the feedback! I checked the recipe and I’m going to add cooling time to it – I assumed it was in there but it really doesn’t say so I’ll fix that. Chipotle/adobo mayo sounds awesome! I love that stuff and I stick it in everything lately but I never tried mixing it with mayo! I’ll be doing that soon though, maybe even today! Thanks!

  40. Anonymous
    Anonymous06-07-2012

    My boyfriend loves “tots”, but since we are eating keto (low carb, high fat), they are off the grocery list. I was really excited to find your recipe, and plan to try it out this weekend. I’ll definitely be adding the cayenne, as he loves that too. I’m looking forward to reporting back with our results!

  41. Saglet
    Saglet06-07-2012

    So I made these tonight and while they definitely had potential, I created an epic fail. I wish I could post a picture of the moosh mosh I made to this comment. All went well until it was time to put them from the pastry bag to the sheet and then on. Chunks of cauliflower kept getting stuck in my star nozzle. That was not a huge deal… I just used a chop stick to unlodge it every now and then. But when I transferred them from the baking sheet to the oil, they broke and never got to be pretty like the ones in this picture. I don’t know much about frying things though, I’ll admit. They were good, but really oily tasting. Next time I wouldn’t fry them; I’d just leave them in the oven longer.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)06-08-2012

      SO sorry these didn’t work out for you! I’m VASTLY improving this recipe in the ebook to make it easier to work with and hopefully even tastier. But meanwhile, if they broke in the oil after you baked them then something is definitely wrong. The egg should have cooked in the oven and bound it all together so I’m not sure what went wrong for you – it’s possible that they needed to bake longer, and if they were really oily tasting then they absorbed too much during frying which might suggest your oil wasn’t hot enough. Again, sorry it was a pain but glad they weren’t a total loss!

  42. Anonymous
    Anonymous06-29-2012

    I made this last night with a little modifications that may make it easier, although not as pretty. Instead of putting the cauliflower, cream & butter in the food processor I mashed it all up with a potato masher. I also did not pipe it from a bag, just made round mounds of it with my hands. I did everything else the same as your recipe. So delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  43. Unknown
    Unknown06-29-2012

    My son is a dialysis patient and can’t have many potatoes if at all. So happy to find this recipe! I’ll def have to give it a try. Probably won’t do the frying step though. He will be ecstatic!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-02-2012

      I hope your son enjoys these! My e-recipe book which will be out soon has a much improved version of this recipe that gets them super crispy without frying so stay tuned for that!

  44. Anonymous
    Anonymous07-01-2012

    I wonder if you can put them under the broiler to crisp them up instead of frying them?

  45. Olivia Miller
    Olivia Miller07-01-2012

    Yummy just ate them! Frying is a must. Lot of work, but if you have the time well worth it. I for one dislike vegitables, but I could eat these all day. After frying and draining put on a pan a sprinkle Parmesan cheese over then bake till cheese is good. This is a good idea that we did.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-02-2012

      I like your parmesan/baking tip – great idea! Glad you enjoyed them!

    • Lisa Huffman
      Lisa Huffman07-03-2012

      Looks yummy, but totally not worth the effort. I followed the recipe to the T, and they turned out flat like a pancake. They tasted okay.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-09-2012

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy these Lisa, my improved recipe coming out in the ebook is much easier to follow and they puff and crisp up nicely in the oven. Hope you’ll give them another try!

  46. Anonymous
    Anonymous07-04-2012

    Tried this great stuff then took it farther with other veggies just to see. So zucchini worked great as did half sweet potato and spinach! Yum. Used a very small trat pan and they were just perfect! Thx

  47. Culinary Adventures
    Culinary Adventures07-29-2012

    I made these for the family tonight and they were a hit. I used mozzarella cheese and had to add a small amount of bread crumbs before I baked them ( we didn’t fry them). Thanks for the delicious recipe!!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)07-30-2012

      So glad you liked them! The version in my new e-book is much improved and gets nice and crisp when baked and you don’t even need bread crumbs!

  48. Katie
    Katie08-17-2012

    This. Is. GENIUS! I love tater tots, and these look so tasty. I can’t wait to try them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  49. Suzan Wood-Young
    Suzan Wood-Young08-23-2012

    Sure they’re low carb, so no insulin spike that causes you to store fat, and no gluten, but with all due respect, though they do sound wonderful they’re pretty high on the fat scale. Not exactly a healthy low carb recipe.

  50. amruta
    amruta08-24-2012

    These loos so good. I like the cauliflower tots crispy exterior. Thanks a lot for the delicious recipe.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny08-24-2012

      Thanks Amruta, they don’t stay crispy very long though so you have to eat them quick! The new recipe that’s in the book actually has a much better texture and you don’t even have to fry them!

  51. Anonymous
    Anonymous08-28-2012

    My daughter is on a high protein low carb diet for seizure control. No potatos allowed! I made these tonight but I added some cream cheese and chickpea flour to the recipe. Then I drizzled some olive oil on the tops and cranked up the oven for a few minutes at the end to skip the frying phase. They turned out well- she actually ate them which means they’re a hit!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny09-01-2012

      So glad your daughter liked them! Thanks for sharing your tweaks with us!

  52. Jen
    Jen09-09-2012

    they look good.. but i dont have a microwave.. might give it a shot using the stove anyway.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny09-18-2012

      I’m sure it will work on the stove, just make sure to drain as much liquid out of the cauli as you can!

  53. Amanda Perez
    Amanda Perez09-14-2012

    I just got a big bag of green cauliflour given to me… do you think it would work for these? i found this post on pinterest while searching for something to do with it

  54. The MiMi
    The MiMi10-01-2012

    Had you thought to coat in a flour/cornmeal mixture with a dash of white pepper before frying. Just might give you the crunch you are looking fo.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny10-09-2012

      For people who aren’t concerned about gluten it would probably work great, thanks for sharing!

  55. Russell at Chasing Delicious
    Russell at Chasing Delicious10-09-2012

    This has got to be the best idea I’ve ever seen! I love it!

  56. Fi
    Fi11-14-2012

    These sound great, however I don’t understand the choice of low but high fats?

  57. Val
    Val01-05-2013

    I’m afraid I have to report an epic fail with this recipe. After 25 minutes in the oven, my tots were BARELY starting to brown, and they fell apart when I tried to remove them from the cookie sheet.

    I think the problems I had may have had to do with the following issues:

    1. the ratio of cauliflower to egg depends on the word “medium”
    2. microwaves can cook very differently
    3. what exactly qualifies as “cooked oatmeal consistency”

    I suspect my cauliflower might have been too big, which may have meant I didn’t have enough egg in my mix. I’m thinking a weight of florets, maybe? My microwave is probably smaller/older than most, which might mean my cauliflower wasn’t sufficiently cooked before pureeing — maybe if I knew what I was looking for. Like, should a fork go in easily, or what? Because after five minutes my cauliflower was really only slightly softened. Maybe my florets were too big, too — I just cut off the big florets, didn’t cut them into smaller pieces. And cooked oatmeal — maybe if we could see a photo of what you mean? Mine looked sort of like cooked oatmeal, but it was very wet — I had puddles in the bottom of the food processor. I’d really like to try this recipe again, as the photos of the finished product look fantastic and clearly numerous people have had success with it! But I just feel like I was SO far off that I’m not sure how to fix whatever I did wrong.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny01-05-2013

      So sorry that they didn’t work for you Val! It really is a pain to make them with this method which is why I love version 2 from the e-coobook – it’s easier and so much tastier! I’m going to email you that recipe so you can try them again if you want to – they are crispy and delicious, I promise! :)

  58. Lisa
    Lisa01-08-2013

    I wish you had pictures from the instructions. :\ I am from Germany and sometimes the instructions given are a little hard to understand. But I think I got it all figured out now and I will try them soon :) Look delishes!!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny01-09-2013

      Sorry about that Lisa – I hope it works for you and if you have any questions about the instructions you can leave them here or on the facebook page which I check into a few times a day! Enjoy! :)

  59. Jenny
    Jenny01-14-2013

    I’m going to try these for a dinner party on Wednesday. my husband doesn’t eat cauliflower so i won’t tell him whats in it. I always keep instant potato flakes on hand in case recipes are too watery, it works well for absorbing liquid.

  60. Heidi
    Heidi01-21-2013

    These tots look yummy!! Why so high in carbs? 18 carbs?

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny01-21-2013

      Well that was for the entire batch which has an entire head of cauliflower in it which does contain some carbs. If you’re serving it as a side dish you can easily get 4 generous servings out of one batch which would be about 4.5g net carbs per serving.

  61. Terry
    Terry03-10-2013

    Instead of making this into individual pieces I put it into ramekins, it was mmmmmmm good!

  62. Lisa
    Lisa03-11-2013

    Do these taste ‘eggy’ at all?

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny03-11-2013

      I don’t find the flavor eggy at all personally, mostly you taste the cheese and the cauliflower is slightly sweet to me. Hope you like them!!!

  63. Carolyn
    Carolyn03-16-2013

    I pinned these so long ago, but I think I really need to try them soon. I think this week maybe!

  64. janet fouts
    janet fouts03-18-2013

    I’ve been substituting Cauliflower mash for mashed potatoes for months and no one in the family is the wiser. Adding egg whites was a stroke of genius! I’ll try these soon. Thanks!

  65. Bonnie
    Bonnie03-23-2013

    how you figure these are low carb is beyond me. Cauliflower alone is 85% carbs.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny03-25-2013

      Cauliflower is low in net carbs because of the fiber it contains, that’s why you’ll see it featured in many different recipes on pretty much all of the low carb blogs out there. I hope you try it – enjoy!

  66. Jeanee
    Jeanee04-07-2013

    I love this recipe! I included it on my blog:
    http://blog.shopdirtylaundry.com/posts/2013/4/5/61-the-dirty.html

    ENJOY!

  67. Deb
    Deb06-13-2013

    gonna try this soon!

  68. Crystal
    Crystal06-14-2013

    Dipped these in chimichurri and it was the perfect condiment!

  69. Silvi
    Silvi06-27-2013

    Well. This recipe was a mess….like some of the ones above my first batch was more like a watery pancake….so I decided to just throw it in a deep baking dish and just see what came out of it…..after 20 minutes (or so) I checked up on it and realized it had dried up; so I took it out of the oven scooped them into the baking sheet with an ice cream scooper and they held their shape. Then baked them another 10-15mins and they came out great!!! Delish

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny06-28-2013

      Thanks for the comment Silvi – this recipe is definitely a pain to make, but the flavors are great! Glad it all worked out!

  70. ghazi
    ghazi07-02-2013

    yumm! its awesome.

  71. Missy
    Missy07-05-2013

    Ok, so before I try this recipe, how do we get access to the easier e-book version? Also, I’m wanting to use unsweetened soy milk since I don’t do dairy AND my suggestion would be some nutritional yeast and smoked salt to replace the cheese (I don’t do the non-dairy cheeses either).

    Lastly, more clear directions on softness after microwaving would be nice. I don’t have a microwave, so I’d have to bake or steam the cauliflower.

    Thanks!
    -Missy

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny07-05-2013

      Hi Missy,

      The 2.0 version of the tots is available in my e-book, The Gluten Free Low Carber, which you can download using the link in the post, or find in the sidebar. If using the web recipe, just cook the cauliflower until tender, and drain it really well. The e-book version uses riced cauliflower and I would recommend baking it to soften, rather than steaming. Interested to hear how the soy milk and nutritional yeast work out – enjoy!

  72. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth07-09-2013

    I was super inspired by these!! I am dairy free so I had to modify these a bit but they turned out great!!

  73. Regina Partain
    Regina Partain08-11-2013

    These look incredibly delicious. We have often made cauliflower like mashed potatoes. And, of course, we love Cheese Cauliflower. My mother-in-law had a fantastic recipe for it that we continue to use.

    Thanks for sharing.

  74. Sarah
    Sarah08-15-2013

    I made these today, and while they are SOOOO tasty, I was racing against the clock and my 4-year old’s need for food. I should have waited until I had taken more time to let the cauliflower cool properly in between steps. BUT I must say that I see great potential for these as a staple on our lowcarb menu. I didn’t fry them today, but I’m thinking of frying them the next time in bacon fat. Oh yeah…

  75. Katie
    Katie09-01-2013

    I made these with a few modifications, given that you had mentioned your trouble when frying them. I actually followed the recipe exactly and piped them onto a cookie sheet. I then put them in the freezer for at least an hour. Next, I took them out, brushed them with coconut oil and dipped them in coconut flour, kind of like you would do for fried chicken or something like that. I then refroze them for until I was ready to fry them. When I fried them, I dipped them in egg and then put them directly into hot coconut oil and butter. They stayed together and you could actually eat them with your hands. Delish! Next time I would add some garlic and more salt and pepper, but for my first attempt, they were pretty good! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Regina Partain
      Regina Partain09-02-2013

      Wow. That sounds like an interesting addition to the recipe. I was just showing the recipe to my husband last night. I will add this modification to it and check it out. We love cauliflower in just about any form. Thanks for sharing.

  76. Jennifer Bruer
    Jennifer Bruer09-14-2013

    I made these last week and froze a batch (so I wouldn’t eat em!). Today I took them out of the freezer and warmed them in the oven for 10 minutes, I have to tell you, they were as good as the day I made them. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny09-14-2013

      Good to know that they freeze well, I’ve always wondered! Thanks and glad you enjoyed them!

  77. Maria Kollision
    Maria Kollision10-14-2013

    What an awesome idea. I love cauliflower, but I do crave fried foods in all their delicious glory… :)

  78. Mani
    Mani10-16-2013

    I’m so bummed, because I had the same experience as Val – EPIC FAIL!

    I definitely followed the instructions about cooling … in fact I tried cooling for even longer than required. But I just ended up with a liquidy mess (the cauliflower wasn’t over processed, but the liquids would just sort of ooze out of it).

    It didn’t hold it’s shape while piping, so I put it back in the fridge for another hour+ and then just tried dollops with a spoon. After 14 minutes in the oven there was a watery mess all over the pan and surrounding the flattened lumps. I turned the oven up and cooked it for longer but it wasn’t browning. Then when I tried to lift one with a spatula it completely fell apart. Then I tasted it and it was really gross!

    I love cauliflower and cheese. What am I doing wrong?? I’m a fairly experienced cook. :(

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny10-16-2013

      Sorry you had a bad experience with it Mani! The only thing I can think that might have gone wrong is the cauliflower was too wet. Did you microwave it or boil it? I ask because it should dry out in the microwave – if you boil it you’ll never get the right consistency to the mix. Thanks for the feedback!

  79. Patti
    Patti11-23-2013

    I am going to try this with bbroccoli

  80. autumn
    autumn12-12-2013

    carbs are key to being healthy people!! these look great. but please don’t try to restrict yourself to a low carb diet. just switch up your unhealthy carbs like fried French fries for healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and cauliflower and milk.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny12-12-2013

      I disagree that carbs are the key to being healthy – that being said, sweet potatoes and cauliflower are certainly good for you!

  81. Kristin
    Kristin01-18-2014

    OMG! So yummy! Thanks for a great recipe.

  82. Cheryl Mckinney
    Cheryl Mckinney02-28-2014

    I’m really dying to try this recipe. I have Lupus and having that means no Nightshade veggies. What a bummer for me, I’m not a fan of meat or dairy. lol…So I have been looking for different recipes with other veggies. Primarily cauliflower, squashes and greens. I have to say I loved potatoes, but they were easy to give up. Its the tomatoes that are killing me lol, they are in everything! I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe.

    Thank You,

    Cheryl

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny03-01-2014

      It would be hard for me to give up tomatoes too Cheryl – I love Italian food especially! But these are super yummy too – hope you like them!!!!

  83. SteveDenver
    SteveDenver03-26-2014

    WONDERFUL recipe. I have discovered cauliflower is a great substitute for potatoes when steamed or microwaved — boiling makes it bitter.

    I use cauliflower instead of potatoes in potato salad, and friends of mine who cannot eat potatoes love it!

    May I recommend for those who eat meat, crush Pork Rinds and roll these tots in them like bread crumbs for added crunch. Do not add salt to the Tot recipe and use unsalted butter.

  84. Kaeley
    Kaeley07-19-2014

    Can you use soy or almond milk and dairy free cheese to make this vegan friendly? My sister in-law is allergic to milk.

  85. ebomb
    ebomb07-23-2014

    Not sure what went wrong…wasted an hour waiting for dinner…this came out like soup

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