Broccoli Tots

Broccoli Tots are a fun and healthy play on tater tots made with finely chopped broccoli in place of potatoes.

Broccoli Tots | thetwobiteclub.com | #healthy #cleaneating

When I was pregnant with my second child, I had one major craving that far outshone any of the others.  I wanted broccoli.  Strangely, I was never a huge fan until then, but pregnancy can do some pretty wacky things to a woman.

And my pregnancy made me a broccoli loving fool.

Broccoli Tots are a fun play on tater tots made with broccoli instead of potatoes. | thetwobiteclub.com

I'm happy to say that my love for broccoli continued even after my son was born, which I couldn't be happier about.  There are SO many ways to enjoy it!  I love to roast it in the oven until it's all golden and crispy.  Drool.

Or how about Broccoli Cheese Soup!  Mmmmmm...doesn't everyone love creamy broccoli cheese soup?  I know I do.  I even like to eat broccoli stems raw, like in my Asian Broccoli Stalk Salad.  Yum, yum, and yum.

Broccoli Tots made with simple ingredients! | thetwobiteclub.com

I decided I'd give Broccoli Tots a go, seeing as Zucchini Tots are super popular on the blog and I thought they'd be great with broccoli instead of zucchini.  I was right!  I had to stop myself from eating the whole plate.

The process of making them is really simple.  Just a few simple ingredients, a few simple steps, and a quick cook in the oven.

Broccoli Tots | thetwobiteclub.com | A healthy side dish or appetizer!

I'd say that the most important part about making these is to make sure you get as much liquid out of the broccoli as possible before mixing it with the other ingredients.  If not, they'll just fall apart and turn out soggy.  Still tasty, but not as good as when they get that little bit of crisp on the outside.

Broccoli Tots | thetwobiteclub.com

These little bite-sized broccoli tots would be great served as a size dish alongside Homemade Crunchy Baked Fish Sticks or Oven Fried Panko Crusted Chicken Drumsticks.  It think they'd even be great as an appetizer!

If you're a broccoli lover like me, or if you've been looking for more ways to prepare this good for you cruciferous vegetable, you've got to try these!


Broccoli Tots

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Yield: 22-24 mini tots

Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into equal sized florets (around 3-4 cups)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Cabot Vermont Sharp White Cheddar)
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Pour 1 inch of water into a saucepan; bring to a boil.  Place the broccoli into the boiling water, cover, and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook the broccoli for 5-6 minutes, or until it can easily be pierced by a fork.  Drain the broccoli and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Lay the broccoli out onto paper towels and cover with more paper towels,  Press down firmly on the broccoli to absorb as much moisture as you can.  Another method is to put the broccoli in the center of a dish towel and ring out the water as seen here. Finely chop the broccoli.
  4. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.  Stir everything together until well mixed.  Fill each muffin cup in a mini muffin tin to the top, pushing down on the filling with your spoon so it's nice and compacted.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes in preheated oven. The top will be starting to golden. To easily remove from the pan (without scratching it to death), run a plastic knife around the edges of each tot and they should come out easier.

Notes
  • If they seem to be falling apart when you take them out of the pan you can (1) put them back into the oven to cook for a few minutes longer so they are a bit crisper or (2) let them sit in the pan for a few minutes to let the insides firm up a bit before removing them from the pan.  You have to be ginger with them if they're sticking a little to the pan!
  • The sharp cheddar can be substituted with whatever cheese you have on hand.

78 comments:

  1. OMG - SWOON!!! I was thinking of using a steamer basket to avoid the sogginess. What do you think? Making these this weekend for sure! Thanks!

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    1. Oh, for sure. The broccoli should be cooked until just tender and bright green. I would have used a steamer basket if I had one, so totally use it!

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    2. A salad spinner will work too

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  2. What temperature did you bake them at

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  3. Do you think a salad spinner would work to get most of the moisture out instead of laying it on paper towels?

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    1. Hmmmm, not sure. I've never done it that way. Let me know if you try it!

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  4. Any idea the calories in this wonderful looking snack

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    1. When I calculated it I got 232 calories for 6 mini tots.

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    2. Hi Becky...how many calories do you think would be if you made them in a regular muffin tin?

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  5. What happens if you use a regular muffin/cupcake pan?

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    1. That should work. You'd just have to up the cooking time to make sure they're cooked through.

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  6. can these be made ahead and reheated?

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    1. I don't see why not. I'd heat them in the oven at 325 until they're heated through.

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  7. Do you think frozen broccoli would work as well?

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    1. I haven't tried it. I would think that the moisture level of the frozen broccoli might make them too wet, but I'm really not sure. Let me know if you try it!

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    2. You can dry broccoli in the pan over low heat, on the stove

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  8. Raw broccoli works great! Also you don't have to spray if you use non stick mini pan...You can also flip after 10 min to brown both sides.Found they need some spice ...maybe cayenne pepper or horseradish etc Great recipe Becky.

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    1. I'll have to try it with raw broccoli. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    2. I am definitely going to make these but was thinking to chop some hot pepper into them to up the ante on them. I always like a little heat with my food. These just look too good to be true, and would also use them as an hors'durv at a party.

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  9. What do you think about cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs?

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    1. I think that it would work if you crush them up real good! Let me know how it works if you try it!

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  10. I had a big bag of frozen broccoli florets in my freezer, so I defrosted/steamed in the microwave, and followed your steps to squeeze out the liquid and it worked out great! I also didn't have bread crumbs, so I used 1/4 cup of oat flour & a sprinkle of baking powder. Also I don't have a mini muffin tin (I apologize for all these substitutions/deficiencies, clearly I am a student) so I used a regular tin, filled halfway, pressed down with a spoon and reduced the oven temp to 375. Awesome recipe!

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  11. Can you sub anything for the eggs?

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    1. My sister uses flax seed to substitute for eggs. I'm not sure of the technique but it involves soaking the seeds until they gel.

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    2. I've never tried them without eggs or using a substitute. The eggs work as a binder. I have heard of flax eggs, but I've never gone that route, so I'm not sure!

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  12. I am always on the lookout for new ways to cook broccoli and these look absolutely delish -- and so easy!! I definitely will be making these later this week.

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  13. This looks so yummy! I'm going to make it tonight but I'm going to use panko instead of regular breadcrumbs. I find that panko makes for more crunch! Hoping my 18 month old, who loathes broccoli, will give it a shot!

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  14. These were amazing!!! My husband can't have gluten so we used corn chex instead of bread crumbs. We doubled the recipe and used one cup white cheddar and one fresh parmesan (maybe a little extra!), then used the frozen broccoli and made sure the water was pressed out. WE LOVED them- will make these over and over. I was pregnant until 3 months ago, so this caught my eye :)

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    1. Awesome! Great to know the gluten-free route worked out for you.

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  15. Have you ever tried using hashbrowns with this?

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  16. im going to have to try these for sure . have you tried with cauliflower?

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    1. Not yet, but it's on my must try list!

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  17. My son and I can not have gluten or dairy. I can substitute crushed pork rinds for the breadcrumbs, but was wondering about the cheese. Do they still come out well without it, or do you know of a good dairy free alternative? The veggie cheese I've seen at our grocery store still contains whey (which seems to defeat the purpose of buying fake cheese), so I can't use that.

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    1. Hmmm, not sure about the cheese. I haven't tried and veggie cheese and I've never tried to substitute anything for the cheese for this recipe. I think the pork rinds would work though!

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  18. Can shredded russet potatoes be added without any other adjustments?

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    1. I've never tried this recipe with shredded potatoes, but I think it would work!

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  19. The bottoms stuck to the pan.

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  20. Could you add a little amount of breadcrumbs to the mix to soak up any untrained water? I love Broccoli and Danish Blue cheese soup. It's delicious. Broccoli tossed in olive like and Garlic with a squeeze of lemon...yummy.

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  21. You do not need to cook the broccoli first. Cooking while baking is enough; boiling/steaming before baking destroys lots of the nutrients in the broccoli. I did not cook them before baking the tots and they were fine. Could also use zucchini (shredded) and pat dry in a paper towel.

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  22. if u don't have a steamer basket I use my colander I put some water in a tall pot and put the broccoli in the colander and let the water come to a boil below the colander and put a lid on top of the colander its the same process as a steamer basket

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  23. A "head of broccoli" can vary in size..any idea in ounces or cups?

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    1. 3-4 cups, depending on the size of your head of broccoli.

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  24. I did not have a "head of broccoli:...in fact I do not think I even had half of a head. I just guessed at the amount of cheese, onions etc to use. I used my gluten free bread crumbs and one egg. It was enough for a small mini muffin tin (12). It turned out delicious inspite of the fact that I did not add enough salt.

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  25. Hi - these look AWESOME! have you tried baking and freezing them? I'm a fan of making A LOT and then having freezer meals (working mom). let me know - thanks!!

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    1. Hi, Mindy! I haven't tried freezing them yet. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

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    2. Yes they do freeze well. There's just my husband and I so I always freeze them to have ready for a quick snack. Great size for our little grandsons too.

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  26. This sounds fantastic! Any suggestions about a paleo version? Almond crumbs, haha?

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  27. do you think chopped spinach would work as well? If so, would the rest of the ingredients be the same???

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    1. I think that that would work. Let me know if you try it! :)

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  28. How do you prepare zucchini to use in this rather than broccoli? I clicked on zucchini tots and the broccoli came up again!!

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  29. How do you prepare zucchini to use in this rather than broccoli? I clicked on zucchini tots and the broccoli came up again!!

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    1. Hmmm...so strange. The link seems correct for me. Here is the Zucchini Tots link! :) http://www.thetwobiteclub.com/2012/04/zucchini-tots.html

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  30. You have to be ginger with them???? BE GINGER? You have to handle them gingerly......

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  31. Just had these for dinner with my grandkids--so far most are refusing to even try them--but my 3 yr grandson LOVES them!!!!!

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  32. Im adding some ricotta cheese to the mix

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  33. This recipe is wonderful! I've had the recipe for 8 days and I've eaten 3lbs of broccoli already! They're like mini-quiches. Quick to mix up, and quick to cook. I've mixed half broccoli and half carrots and it turned out delicious, too. These are now our favorite snack and I'm wanting to keep some of this mix in the fridge all the time. I'm going to try out other veggies, too. Zucchini definitely. Maybe okra. Thanks for sharing! Love them!

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  34. Chopped frozen spinach that has been thawed and completely drained will work, too!
    Keep the recipes and pics coming...delicious!

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  35. This look delicious! I'm going to make for Christmas. 😊

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  36. I actually cooked my broccoli with onions on the stove in a tiny bit of oil. This way you don't have to worry about the water and it gives the broccoli a little flavor.

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  37. These are delish. The second time I made them, I lightly sprayed the muffin pan with cooking spray. The tots came out easily by just running the knife around once and they were browner and crispier on the outside. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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  38. You can roast the broccoli and avoid the water. Roasting also works good for the cauliflower recipes

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  39. You can roast the broccoli and avoid the water. Roasting also works good for the cauliflower recipes

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  40. I used frozen broccoli and they came out great!

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  41. These came out really good. I sautéed the onions/ bell peppers. I made sure the broccoli was dried and then I put it in the blender because I don't like broccoli's texture. Thank you for sharing. I don't like broccoli but these are really good.

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  42. I love this recipe I make them in double batches and freeze them to give to my toddler son and he literally can't get enough of them. I've also switched it up a little by doing a combo of broccoli cauliflower, cauliflower shredded carrot, broccoli carrot,broccoli green bean, and cauliflower carrot and turnip. Love them and they go over great as an appetizer with dip at party's too

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  43. I was thinking grate a jalapeno pepper and add a little in recipe that would be really good n serve with a peppery goat cheese yogurt sauce

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  44. Think I'll add some bacon!

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  45. These are delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe :-) I also added some red and yellow capsicum an patted the moisture out of them and it turned out great! Very tasty.

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