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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more zucchini recipes, try:
- Parmesan Crusted Zucchini
- Zucchini Boats
- Baked Zucchini Fries
- Zucchini Chicken Alfredo Roll Ups
- Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
Zucchini Tots Recipe
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment or spray with cooking spray.
- Grate the zucchini into a clean dish towel. Wrap the towel up and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- In a large bowl, stir together the zucchini, eggs, panko, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cheese.
- Scoop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.
Thanks for sharing this recipe, Alicia! I’m already drooling over these tots… For more amazing recipes, visit her over at The Baker Upstairs.