These cauli-tots are cheesy and crunchy, the perfect appetizer or side dish! Make them with cauliflower and add in some yellow squash or zucchini if desired!
Before last month, I don’t think I have ever purchased a head of cauliflower in my life. I eat it, sure. It was a constant staple in the holiday vegetable tray throughout my childhood. If it’s on a salad bar, I’ll have some. If it’s in the mixed veggies of the day at a restaurant, same deal. But I don’t really buy it. Oh wait! I have purchased cauliflower once, to make fakeout alfredo sauce. Ben wasn’t fooled–this recipe is much better. But anyways, you get the gist. Cauliflower and I aren’t BFFs, not really. More like acquaintances of convenience or chance. Until NOW [mwahahaha, sorry Benjamin].
I’m not sure what convinced me to buy cauliflower this time, except that it was on sale. After much deliberation about what to make, I was in the kitchen whipping up these cute little tots. They are cheesy with the perfect crunchy shell. Since my initial foray into caul-tot making, I’ve messed around with the recipe a bit, adding some fresh herbs and even subbing out some of the cauliflower for yellow squash or zucchini. These little tots are addictive and are a great way to sneak in some extra veggies to a meal!
I can’t wait to experiment with more flavor combos with these tots… different cheeses, different herbs, different spices… I can’t wait! #sendhelptoBen Apparently, they freeze well too, but my batches haven’t lasted long enough to try that! My leftovers made an excellent lunch. Hope you enjoy!
Baked Cauli-Tots Two Ways
adapted from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- 3 cups packed shredded cauliflower, water squeezed out with a kitchen towel [I use the shredding blade on my food processor. You can use the stems as well as florets.] – this is about half a head of cauliflower
- If desired, you can make these squash-cauli tots by REDUCING the shredded cauliflower to 2 1/2 cups and ADDING 1 small shredded yellow squash or zucchini, water squeezed out with a kitchen towel [approximately 1 1/4 cups squash]
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- If squash or zucchini is added, increase the cornmeal to 1/3 cup
- generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, optional [I used Thai basil and oregano]
- dipping sauce, as desired – this homemade Chick-Fil-A sauce is great!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray two mini muffin pans with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together cauliflower, squash [if using], cheese, egg, cornmeal, pepper, mustard, and herbs [if using]. Spoon into prepared muffin tins, pressing mixture down firmly.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp along the edges and golden brown on top.
Serve with dipping sauces as desired. We like honey mustard or bbq sauce best.
Linked up with Weekend Potluck.