Cheesy Zucchini Tots

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Cheesy zucchini tots are a fun twist on tater tots, and are loaded with my favorite vegetable. They’re super easy and quick to make.

Delicious zucchini along with some cheese and garlic make things extra yummy. The fab part is you can whip these up with just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand in your pantry! For more delish finger foods try Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos, Bacon Wrapped Smokies, and Parmesan Crusted Potato Skins.

Zucchini tots on a white plate with marinara sauce

Healthier Tater Tots

Who else loves zucchini? It’s one of my favorite vegetables! I like that it’s so mellow that it goes with pretty much anything, and it’s so easy to change it up with different flavor combinations. It’s great for baking, and I like to shred it and add it to ground meat for a little extra nutrition. It’s kind of amazing how many recipes you can use it in!

I like to serve my zucchini tater tots hot with my favorite marinara sauce for dipping. They’re a delicious appetizer or a great side dish for grilled chicken or fish. My kids (who don’t share my love of zucchini) absolutely love these and will eat them any time!

They’re one of our favorite side dishes, and I make them frequently during the summer while the zucchini is abundant. You definitely have to try these cheesy zucchini tots!Step by step photos of how to make zucchini tots

How to Make Zucchini Tots

DRAIN. You’ll start by grating your zucchini into a clean kitchen towel, then squeezing out all of the extra liquid. I’m always shocked by how much water I get out of my zucchini! You’ll want the zucchini to be as dry as possible, so the tots don’t get soggy.

MIX. Once your zucchini is drained, mix it with some eggs, bread crumbs, seasonings, and grated cheese. I used a white cheddar cheese, but I think it would also be delicious with mozzarella. You really can’t go wrong here!

BLEND. Mix all of that together until it’s all blended.

SCOOP. Next, scoop the zucchini mixture by rounded spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. I used a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to make things easier, but a teaspoon will work as well.

BAKE. Finally, bake them in the oven until they’re golden brown and cooked through.

Zucchini Tips

Picking zucchini: When picking or purchasing your zucchini look for ones that are 6-8 inches long and fairly thin. The skin should be smooth and green. The bigger the zucchini, the more water there is. The vitamin and flavor are also less per serving than their smaller counterparts. A medium zucchini is closer to 8 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter. A medium zucchini will yield 1 ¼-1 ½ cups in shredded form. 

Getting it as dry as possible: You can squeeze out the moisture by using a potato ricer, mesh sieve, or even a tea towel. 

Scooping zucchini tater tots onto a baking sheet

Variations, Dipping Sauces, and Storage

Variations: You can easily season these tot to taste. You can also use different cheeses to vary the flavor. We use cheddar , but you can use mozzarella, parmesan, Mexican blend. You can also add flavor by using herbs such as basil, parsley and chives. Some other variations to this recipe include:

  • Use a greased mini muffin tin to bake these. They help give the tots a uniform barrel shape. The tin also aids in forming a nice toasty coating. 
  • Low carb: Instead of using the panko and breadcrumbs you can use 2-4 tbsp of coconut flour to mix with the zucchini. I don’t recommend almond flour because you’ll need an ample amount which then alters the taste too much. After you form the tots coat them with unseasoned ground pork rind crumbs. You can make your own or buy them pre ground. 
  • Air fryer: The air fryer is another great way to cook these tots. Set the fryer to 400°F and cook in batches for 8-10 minutes. 

Dipping sauces

Storage: These tots are best when eaten right after baking, but you can store them to be eaten later. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 1 month. Reheat in the oven then crisp them up under the broiler. Watch carefully that they do not burn. 

You can also shape these then freeze them before baking. You’ll want to place the shaped tots in a baking pan. Freeze them until solid, then transfer them into a freezer safe container. Store in the freezer for 2-3 months. To bake line the zucchini on a prepared baking sheet. Allow them to thaw a bit before baking according to recipe directions. 

Cheesy Zucchini Tots on a white plate with marinara

For more zucchini recipes, try:

Zucchini Tots Recipe

4.77 from 21 votes

Cheesy zucchini tots are a fun twist on tater tots, and are loaded with my favorite vegetable. They're super easy and quick to make.

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 Dozen
Calories 394 kcal
Author on


  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup regular bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp salt optional
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • marinara


  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment or spray with cooking spray.

  2. Grate the zucchini into a clean dish towel. Wrap the towel up and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the zucchini, eggs, panko, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cheese.
  4. Scoop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.

Recipe Video

Thanks for sharing this recipe, Alicia! I’m already drooling over these tots… For more amazing recipes, visit her over at The Baker Upstairs.



Alicia Skousen

Hi! I’m Alicia and I blog at The Baker Upstairs. I am in love with all things food! I love to bake bread, cupcakes, cookies… you name it! When I’m not baking, I am running after my two adorable little girls, working as an RN, knitting, reading, and trying to squeeze in time with my husband every day.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These are baking in the oven now and smell amazing! Great way to use up my zucchini from the garden. We were getting tired of zucchini bread/muffins around here. 🙂

    1. You could use half or double the recipe & use the whole one. I can’t remember how many cups it was, but the amount doesn’t have to be exact. If you have more or less, it’s ok. I’m sorry, hope that helps! Let me know what you think 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      I know this is old, but gonna give my PSA.
      Bigger is not better. After a certain point, the plant only adds water to the fruit. It just waters down the flavor, not to mention less nutrients per serving. 5-8 inch zuchs are great. I wouldn’t go over 8, but try to stick to 5-6 inches. Try it for yourself. Steam a monster as well as a 5 inch one. The little guy will be more tender, consistent without those cucumber like seeds, and bursting with flavor(as well as nutrients).
      And if you are squeezing out the liquid from the little guys, save it for a nice stock. No sense in dumping those vitamins down the drain.
      The more you know!

  2. Have u tried replacing the bread crumbs with something like almond flour or coconut flour. Something lower carb is what I am looking for but that maybe my son will eat. Haha

  3. 5 stars
    Just made these and I had to leave a comment about how delicious they were! I used mozzarella and they came out excellent. Also ate it with pizza sauce because that’s what I had open. Excellent recipe and I will definitely make again and share with family and friends.

  4. 4 stars
    I thought these were too salty so I made them a second time without adding salt, traded out the cheddar for parmesan, yummy!

    My husband likes them very much which is a blessing considering the amount of zucchini I have been harvesting from the garden. Thanks for this great new way to use up the zucchini!!

  5. I made this and I thought they were delicious. It was hard not to eat them all and don’t leave any for my toddler ????. I just have a question: Do you have any suggestions on how to reheat this nuggets? They were awesome right out of the oven for dinner, but they felt tough the next day.

    1. Hmm, that’s a hard one. I would either stick them in a low oven or possibly a microwave. What did you do the first time? I haven’t personally re-heated them, next day. I know they won’t be as good as fresh.

  6. Can you substitute pork rinds for the bread crumbs to make it low carb? I’m starting a low carb way of eating.

  7. 5 stars
    I made them for dinner last night and they taste great. So easy to make too! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  8. I’ve made these several times and love them. Today I made then with mozzarella cheese and they were great. I used half the salt though. Thanks

  9. 4 stars
    While I must leave out the garlic, pepper, and marinara sauce, they are tasty. I used only panko bread crumbs.
    I AM thinking about trying to make zucchini patties with these basic INGREDIENTS.

  10. 5 stars
    Thankyou for this recipe the family loved them so much i’ve been asked to make 3 times as much for christmas. where a great hit

  11. 5 stars
    These tater tots are delicious! I made mine a little too big but they were still a hit. Im going to make these with mozarella next time. Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    I was making these for my toddler and my husband and I ended up eating them all, they are so good! And it’s insanely easy to make them! I’ve made them three times now!

  13. 5 stars
    Removing excess water is definitely key. Such a yummy treat.
    Next time I make these I think I’ll try replacing the bread crumbs with course almond flour to reduce the carbs a bit.

  14. 5 stars
    WHat a wonderful & tasty way to use zucchini!! My kids loved them! Cheesy & crisp on the outside & soft on the inside!

  15. 5 stars
    Wow! These were amazing!! I took everyone’s advice and omitted the salt. We also used pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar. Such a simple recipe and absolutely a keeper!

  16. 5 stars
    I used pale green Italian(?) small zucchini and some marinara lurking in the freezer. SUPER Super accompaniment to very boring fish filets. I probably didn’t squeeze as much water out as I should have but it still worked. Maybe I need to get a potati ricer or somethiing?! Thank you for this veggie side!

  17. 4 stars
    I wish i had read the reviews. I’ll omit the salt next time, otherwise, they’re good. I used only bread crumbs (no pankO) and tex mex cheese blend. I’ll defi make them again.

  18. I would love to try these. How many are in a serving? Nutrition information states calories per serving but there is no mention of how many in a serving. please advise.