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A little spicy kick is added to my favorite healthier version of tater tots, just in time for easy, gluten-free Cinco de Mayo food. It’s fiesta time with Mexican Pepper Jack Baked Cauli-Tots. Disclaimer: As a member of the Cabot Cheese Board, Cabot Creamery Cooperative provided me with samples of their cheese. I was under no obligation to write this post, and, as always, all opinions are my own.
The Bug loves Mexican food. Well he used to. With the recent tomato sauce aversion, I’m not sure how much he digs it anymore. But boy oh boy, he use to shovel refried beans and guacamole in his mouth. So for his second birthday, we decided to go out for Mexican food. Bad idea. His birthday is May 4th – quatro de mayo. As in, the day before Cinco de Mayo. His birthday was on Friday, but the family wasn’t going to be here till Saturday.
The first restaurant that we really wanted to goto did not take reservations and there was an hour and a half long wait. Standing in a bar. With a hungry two-year old. And lots of Cinco de Mayo partiers who were enjoying their Coronas and Margaritas.
Next restaurant, slightly shorter wait, slightly fewer fiesta folks, still cranky two-year old. The girl with the avocados couldn’t gert to our table fast enough.
Hehe! Seriously, one of my all time favorite pictures. Let’s just say that I am glad that he can now tell us what he wants to eat for his birthday, and this year he requested eggs, English muffins, and fruit salad. I can do that.
Nothing surprising here. You know I loves me some Cauli-Tots. I love them so much I had to make a pizza-inspired version. And now, of course with Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, it was time to go Mexican. Hmm, so Chipotle Cheddar (like in this grilled cheese) or Pepper Jack? I decided to go with the Cabot Pepper Jack, since I wanted more spice. Though honestly, it isn’t too much spice as it is smokiness.
And pepper jack baked cauli-tots are such a fun twist on my original version. Check out the video and just swap the cheese and seasonings according to the recipe below…
Make a couple pans, set them out with some salsa and guacamole, and you have a totally fun party appetizer, or side dish for you favorite Mexican meal.
What is your favorite birthday meal?
Please let me know what you think of the pepper jack baked cauli-tots recipe!
Mexican Pepper Jack Baked Cauli-Tots
- 3 cups about half of a head shredded cauliflower (see Note)
- 4 oz. about 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (I used Cabot Pepper Jack)
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Salsa or guacamole for dipping
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Spray a mini muffin tin with oil or coking spray.
- Place the shredded cauliflower in a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix together thoroughly. I like to use a fork.
- Using a spoon or scoop, divide the mixture between the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cups.
- Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve with salsa or guacamole for dipping.
Need more Cinco de Mayo Snacks?
Plus a few from my friends…
- Avocado Lime Goat Cheese Dip from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Grilled Guacamole from Kiss My Smoke
- Stuffed Jalapeño Phyllo Bites from Food Done Light
Could you use Cauliflower Rice instead of shredding a cauliflower?
I have not tried this. I would think it would work with fresh cauliflower rice, but frozen will have too much moisture.
These are absolutely amazing! The previous poster was correct.. they won’t make it to the dinner table. My teen and 20 something kids hovered by the stove. Cannot rave enough. And they’re so dang easy to make.
I’m so happy to hear that everyone at your house loves them, Judy! Maybe a double batch is in order next time. 😉
Can these be frozen?
Hi Mary! YES, after they have been baked, the cauli-tots can be frozen. I actually freeze mine, because I think they’re crispier after they’ve been reheated in the oven.
I just made these and was able to get one out of the pan without totally tearing it up. Wondering if I should allow them to cool completely first? It tastes phenomenal!
I spray the pans really well and let them cool just slightly. Then I use the tip of a putter knife to loosen and pop them out. Honestly, I do have one pan where they always seem to stick, but I don’t know why.
do you cook the cauliflower first?
Nope, just shred it raw!
Brianne, These are a must try. My family would love them!! Thanks for linking up to BOTW party. I’m featuring this post this week. Thanks, Nichi http://www.mandatorymooch.com/2014/05/best-of-weekend-week-53.html
All my versions of Cauli-tots are family favorites!
Oh my gosh. these look so good, I can’t wait to make them!
I am not big on cauliflower but this recipe just might make me change my mind. I like the spiciness and easy prep. Thanks for sharing on Showcase Your Talent Thursday.
These are absolutely brilliant! I seriously can’t wait to try these out on my family. Featuring these on my Facebook page today.
Oh wow, thanks!
I cannot wait to try these! They look and sound so good! I love that these are perfect little bite sized foods. Awesome recipe Brianne!
WOW, these are so good! We will definitely be making this on Monday! Thanks for this amazing recipe!
I absolutely LOVE this idea, Brianne! What a great way to love cauliflower! 🙂
I was just talking to my coworker about making homemade tater tots, and now you go and post cauliflower tots. I’m predicting tots in my future real soon 😉
I make different version of these ALL THE TIME! Love them!
I’m with The Bug. I love Mexican food. And these Cauli-Tots for Cinco de Mayo look ¡fantastico!
These look delicious! I love cauliflower, and this might actually be a way to get the kids to enjoy it more. 🙂
Oh, my boys love all my versions of cauli-tots. Hope your kids do!
Yum this looks amazing!! I think my husband would love these, and it’s such a fun way to get in some veggies!
It definitely is!
I love pepperjack cheese and these look absolutely delicious. I need to make some mexican food and fast! Cinco de Mayo is too close!
I know! I am trying to decide what to make on Monday!
I love the regular Cauli-Tots, so I am sure I will love these!
Love the sound of the mexican version. Still need to try your original! Soon! I do have cauli in the fridge, although it’s some broccoli-cauli hybrid, so everything will just be green. 🙂
Oooh, I’d actually be curious to try the tots with that!
Do you steam the cauliflower first? Or shred it raw?
I shred it raw.