Cauliflower Tots (Air Fryer)

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These cauliflower veggie tots have a slight crisp on the outside and are soft and fluffy-textured on the inside. They can be made in the air fryer or the oven, are freezer-friendly, and are great for a quick lunch or dinner!

Air fryer cauliflower tots served with broccoli and ketchup.

Cauliflower is definitely underrated. It’s usually pushed to the back behind its known counterpart, broccoli, but it is just as nutritious! These air fryer cauliflower tots are a great way to serve the veggie and the perfect food for baby-led weaning! These are so easy to make with prepackaged fresh or frozen cauliflower rice and cook quickly in the air fryer for a quick meal!

If you have any leftover cauliflower be sure to make this creamy cauliflower linguini! If you love these cauliflower tots, you’ll also love these broccoli tots and oven-baked zucchini carrot tots!

Watch Recipe Video

What You’ll Need

Here is what you’ll need to make these air fryer cauliflower veggie tots:

Ingredients to make cauliflower tots.
  • Riced Cauliflower: The base ingredient for these tots.
  • Egg: Used as a binder to help hold the tots together.
  • Breadcrumbs: Another binding agent to help hold the tots together.
  • Parmesan/Mozzarella Cheese: For added flavor and taste.
  • Onion Powder: For added texture and taste. You may also use finely chopped onions for more texture.
  • Salt: Optional Ingredient for added flavor. You can omit this for a younger baby.

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Ingredient Substitutions & additions

  • Eggs: For an egg-free version, substitute the egg with a flax egg by mixing one tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water and letting it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes to set and thicken.
  • Breadcrumbs: I use panko breadcrumbs in this recipe, but for a gluten-free version, replace the breadcrumbs with almond flour.
  • Cheese: For a dairy-free version, substitute the cheese for dairy-free shredded cheese.

Step By Step Instructions

STEP 1: Add the riced cauliflower to a bowl. If you are using frozen cauliflower, steam it in the microwave according to the package instructions, remove any excess liquid, and add it to the bowl. Let it cool before adding in the other ingredients so that it doesn’t scramble and cook the egg in the mixture.

STEP 2: Add the egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, mozzarella, onion powder, and salt to the bowl with the cauliflower (Image 1).

STEP 3: Mix all of the ingredients until combined. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so that the ingredients can come together (Image 2).

STEP 4: Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions and shape them into a tot shape. Place the tots in the air fryer basket with room between them so they are not touching. Spray the tots with a light layer of oil to help them obtain a golden brown color (Image 3).

STEP 5: Air fry the tots for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown, shaking the pan halfway through (Image 4).

Air fryer cauliflower tots served with broccoli and ketchup.

Storage Instructions

Once cooled, store tots in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You may also reheat the tots in the air fryer or oven for a few minutes. To freeze, place the cooled tots in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag in an even layer and freeze for up to 3 months.

Air fryer cauliflower tots served with broccoli and ketchup.

Tips For Success

  • If you are making your own riced cauliflower, cut off florets from a head of cauliflower and chop them into smaller pieces. Pulse the small pieces to form a smoother texture and measure out 1.5 cups of mixture. I love using this nutribullet blender to quickly pulse small amounts!
  • If you prefer a smoother texture, pulse the cauliflower rice in the blender until the mixture is smooth.
  • I scooped out tablespoon-sized portions to make my tots. If you would like smaller tots, scoop out ½ tablespoon-sized portions.
  • You may replace the parmesan cheese with more mozzarella cheese for a lower sodium option.
  • You may also cook these tots in the oven! Bake them at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until golden, flipping them halfway through.
Air fryer cauliflower tots served with broccoli and ketchup.
Can I make these cauliflower tots in the oven?

Yes! Bake the tots at 375 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until the edges begin to slightly brown. Shake the pan halfway through for even browning.

What is the texture of these tots?

These tots are slightly crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside!

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Air fryer cauliflower tots served with broccoli and ketchup.
5 from 11 votes

Air Fryer Cauliflower Tots

These cauliflower veggie tots have a slight crisp on the outside and are soft and fluffy-textured on the inside. They can be made in the air fryer or the oven, are freezer-friendly, and are great for a quick lunch or dinner!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 24 tots

Ingredients 

  • 12 oz package of riced cauliflower, fresh or frozen
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt, optional
  • oil spray, ex: avocado oil spray

Instructions 

  • Add the riced cauliflower to a bowl. If you are using frozen cauliflower, steam it in the microwave according to the package instructions, remove any excess liquid and add it to the bowl. Let it cool before adding in the other ingredients so that it doesn't scramble and cook the egg in the mixture.
  • Add the egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, mozzarella, onion powder, and salt to the bowl with the cauliflower.
  • Mix all of the ingredients until combined. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so that the ingredients can come together.
  • Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions and shape them into a tot shape. Place the tots in the air fryer basket with room between them so that they are not touching.
  • Spray the tots with a light layer of oil to help them obtain a golden brown color. 
  • Air fry the tots at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, shaking the pan halfway through.

Notes

  • If you are making your own riced cauliflower, cut off florets from a head of cauliflower and chop them into smaller pieces. Pulse the small pieces to form a smoother texture and measure out 1.5 cups of mixture. I love using this nutribullet blender to quickly pulse small amounts!
  • If you prefer a smoother texture, pulse the cauliflower rice in the blender until the mixture is smooth.
  • I scooped out tablespoon-sized portions to make my tots. If you would like smaller tots, scoop out ½ tablespoon-sized portions.
  • You may replace the parmesan cheese with more mozzarella cheese for a lower sodium option.
  • You may also cook these tots in the oven! Bake them at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until golden, flipping them halfway through.

Nutrition

Calories: 16.59kcal, Carbohydrates: 1.34g, Protein: 1.16g, Fat: 0.8g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.07g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.22g, Trans Fat: 0.001g, Cholesterol: 8.65mg, Sodium: 85.44mg, Potassium: 49.16mg, Fiber: 0.32g, Sugar: 0.33g, Vitamin A: 26.8IU, Vitamin C: 6.84mg, Calcium: 20.5mg, Iron: 0.13mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Until next time, Lily!

About Lily Payen

Hi, I’m Lily! The mama behind Feeding Tiny Bellies. I’m here to help you take some of the stress out of meal times for your little ones. My goal is to create simple recipes with baby in mind that can easily be adapted for the entire family.

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17 Comments

    1. Hi Laurel! If you are using fresh cauliflower, I would recommend adding the florets to a food processor or blender to pulse them into a rice consistency and then steaming it after that step😊

  1. 5 stars
    The only other way of eating cauliflower that my toddler loves! I’ve made these so many times and we all love it. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Hey! I followed this to a t and they tasted great nut ended up falling apart and not looking like yours at all. Then for the next batch I added oil (bad choice!) and they fell apart even more. Do you have any suggestions? Do I need more egg?

    1. Hi Vanessa! I’m so sorry that happened and would love to help troubleshoot! Did you use cauliflower rice and drain out all of the liquid once it was steamed? When you tried shaping them into tots before placing them in the air fryer, did they hold their shape at that point, or were they falling apart then as well?

  3. 5 stars
    So good, quick and easy! I add help seeds, flax and chia seeds for nutrition. For substitute of dairy and more nutrition I added nutritional yeast and dairy free shredded cheese.

    1. Thank you for sharing those tips about the add-ins and swaps, I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed these tots!😊

    1. Hi Wendy! This recipe makes 24 tots and the nutrition facts listed are for one individual tot. Hope that helps!

  4. 5 stars
    SO GOOD!! Thank you for sharing this. This is the second recipe I have tried from your website and I am blown away! So happy to have stumbled across your recipes 🙂

    1. Hi Sheena! Yes, you can use frozen riced cauliflower! Just steam it according to package instructions and drain out any liquid before mixing with the other ingredients.

    1. Hi Danielle! Here is the storage info for these tots: “Once cooled, store tots in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, microwave for 15-20 seconds or until warmed through. You may also reheat the tots in the oven or an air fryer for a few minutes. To freeze, place the cooled tots in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag in an even layer and freeze for up to 3 months.”