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Cheesy Zucchini Tots are a deliciously cheesy way to sneak extra veggies into a childhood favorite side dish. The kids will devour these healthy baked tater tots made with potato, cheddar cheese, and a hidden vegetable secret! Plus they are naturally gluten free.
Originally published February 26, 2013. Updated with new photos including process shots and more useful information.
I think it is SUPER important to continually introduce and reintroduce a wide variety of healthy foods to our kids. Oftentimes they don’t like things at first, but if you try over and over again in different ways, it starts to become familiar and maybe even it eventually becomes delicious to them.
With my oldest, one of my biggest struggles was zucchini. Sure, he would devour them in the form of Carrot Zucchini Muffins. And to this day he will still eat those and even the Gluten Free Veggie Muffins.
But add zucchini to a Sauteed Summer Vegetable Medley or Balsamic Roasted Vegetables, and he was not having it. So when my friend shared her recipe for Healthy Tater Tots that use potatoes and cheese to disguise some zucchini, I knew I’d have a hit.
What kid doesn’t love tater tots? And mine even love Cauliflower Tots.
With a few quick updated to her recipe and I ended up with a kid-friendly side that gets devoured every time!
Everyone’s favorite finger food side dish gets an extra dose of vegetables in this healthier recipe makeover. Plus it has cheddar cheese to help make them extra crisp and delicious. And all of the ingredients are gluten free!
- Potatoes: You are going to shred these with a box grater. You can peel the potatoes or leave the peel on. The peel does add additional fiber, but it is really your preference.
- Zucchini: This also gets shredded. If you are worried about your kids seeing the flecks of green, peel the zucchini too!
- Egg: Just one to help bind the tots.
- Cornmeal: This also helps bind them and gives them a bit of texture.
- Cheddar Cheese: You can use mild or shard, depending on what your kids prefer.
- Onion Powder: Just adds a bit of flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: Gotta season those veggies and taters.
How to Make Tater Zucchini Tots
Preheat your oven to 400°F and spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray or olive oil.
Shred the zucchini and potato and place both in an old kitchen towel or double layer of heavy-duty paper towels over a bowl. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Place the potatoes and zucchini in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix everything together thoroughly. Scoop the mixture into the prepared muffin pan and press them down a bit.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan. If they don’t slide right out, then just run the tip of a butter knife around the edge to pop them out.
Tips for Success
Unless you work crazy fast, the potato shreds will brown slightly. This is nothing to be concerned about.
You can use paper towels to squeeze the liquid out of the veggies, but they can tear once they absorb some of the moisture. So a kitchen towel is the safest bet. They may discolor the towels a little, so be sure to at least rinse or wash them right away to prevent staining.
You can use a fork or spoon to mix everything together, or get right in there with your hands.
Because this recipe uses cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs, it is naturally gluten free, However, ONE WORD OF CAUTION, some brands of cornmeal have a cross-contamination risk, so be sure to read the labels!
Avoiding grains? I would expect you could replace the cornmeal with 2 Tablespoons of almond meal and 1 Tablespoon of coconut flour. If you try this before I do, let me know!
What is Good With Tater Tots?
Zucchini tater tots are always more fun and tasty when dunk them in your favorite dip. And they go well with so many family-friendly dinners!
Things You’ll Need
- You’ll need a box grater to shred all of the ingredients.
- Flour sack towels are great for squeezing the liquid out of the veggies.
- I like to use a small cookie scoop to portion out the tot mixture.
- And, of course, you’ll be baking them in a mini muffin pan.
Zucchini Tater Tots
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Shred potatoes and zucchini using a box grater.
- Gather the shredded potatoes and zucchini into a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Place the potatoes and zucchini in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Your hands are probably the best tool for the job.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared muffin pan (I used a small cookie scoop), and press them down a bit. You should get about 20 tots.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.