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I’ve gotten you all addicted to (or at least intrigued by) cauliflower tots (tens of thousands of pins can’t be wrong), so you knew it was only a matter of time before I gave you some new varieties. Here, you’ve got the cheese, the oregano, a bit of garlic – dunk them in some tomato sauce and you can call them pizza tots, but I’ll call them Parmesan Mozzarella Baked Cauli-Tots.
Parmesan Mozzarella Baked Cauli-Tots (aka Pizza-Tots)
It was a momentous occasion a few weeks ago in our house – Baby Smiles had his first Cauli-Tot! Introducing new foods, teaching your kids to eat, and adjusting as their tastes evolve (or they just become stubborn 3 year olds) is such a fun, albeit sometimes frustrating, process. The Bug – the second a spoon came near his mouth, he was all over it. There was no turning back. I call him a human garbage disposal. The quantity of food he eats at 3 makes me very scared for when he is 16.
As a baby, he would pop broccoli and asparagus like it was candy. He is still pretty good about eating his veggies, but he has gotten a bit pickier, which is no surprise for any 3-year-old exerting their independence. He has never been a huge meat eater. He eats chicken and beef, but actually seems to prefer fish and shrimp and scallops. I think it is the effort of chewing, His goal is to get food into his mouth and down to his stomach as quickly as possible, but meat requires, you know, chewing. But he is a cheese- and carb-aholic. Given the choice, he would live on mac & cheese, grilled cheese and pizza. Oh, and chocolate and peanut butter. Clearly he is not given that choice 😉
Baby Smiles, on the other hand – total carnivore. Sure he’ll chew on some bread, he eats his fruit and yogurt for breakfast, but put a plate in front of him that contains meat, veggies, and a carb (rice, potatoes, noodles), and it is the meat that disappears first. And I have to tell you that until two weeks ago, the kid had NO TEETH. Now he has two, and they aren’t even in all the way. But he will totally pass on pasta or potatoes and totally put away steak or hamburger or chicken. Broccoli is totally not his favorite, but he will devour peas and carrots and cauliflower, and tonight he inhaled two plates of spaghetti squash with tomato sauce, ricotta, turkey sausage and mushrooms. The Bug wouldn’t touch it.
Baby Smiles was all over these Parmesan Mozzarella Cauli-Tots, though. The Bug, too, but he is yet to meet a tot he doesn’t like (oh wait, I lied, he said the Mexican ones I am working on were too spicy, but the phase he is in now, he thinks toothpaste is too spicy). Parmesan and mozzarella are never a bad combination, then with a little Italian seasoning and some onion and garlic powder, these are a perfect side for something like my Super Simple Slow Cooker Steak Pizzaiola or Slow Cooker Tomato Veggie Sauce with Sausages or Paul’s Make the Whole Crew Happy Meatballs, because then you can dunk them in the tomato sauce. See – PIZZA TOTS!
I also want to try dipping them in some Balsamic Ketchup! Yum!
One of the best things about Cauli-Tots, though, is, IF you have any left, they freeze and reheat well. They get a little a little crisper, and the cheese caramelizes a little more. I almost like them better when I make them early in the day and reheat them for dinner.
And if your kids are feeling all anti-cauliflower, remember – Pizza Tots. They’re Pizza Tots! What kid doesn’t eat something pizza-ish? (Argh, why did I think of that AFTER I finished editing my photos? I really don’t feel like changing the text!)
Are your kid carbaholics, fruit and veggie lovers, or total carnivores?
Parmesan Mozzarella Baked Cauli-Tots (aka Pizza-Tots)
- 3 cups about half of a head shredded cauliflower (see Note)
- 2 oz. about 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup cornmeal ground oats and breadcrumbs will also work
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- a few grinds black pepper
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning or a combination of oregano, parsley, and basil
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 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.
- 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.
Need something else to give your kids their tots and fries fix?
- Zucchini Tater Tots
- Italian Herb Oven Fries
- Herbes de Provence Sweet Potato Fries
And here are some from my friends…
- Sour Cream & Onion Oven Fries from How Sweet It Is
- Coconut Oil Tostones from Find Your Balance
- Cauliflower Potato Blue Cheese Tots from Food Done Light
I so have to try these. I am a super taster/smeller, so there are veggies I don’t like, this being one of them. However, I love, love, love, all the stuff you put in here to disguise the cauliflower. I am going to try this one and see how it goes. I wish I wasn’t a super taster/smeller but hey, God made me that way. If I eat these, I’ll get one more veggie in me and that’s a good thing, right? I might even add more cheese because whoever said that is to much cheese, said nobody ever. Will let you know how I like them. I know everyone in my family will for sure.
I made these tonight and oh my gosh, I couldn’t tell there was cauliflower in there! I ate 3 of them along with a hot dog and ATK 10 Min. Pasta Sauce. They were so good! My mom liked them too. I added a little more cheese because you can never have to much cheese and I was all about disguising the cauliflower. Besides, I love cheese. Our store had the cauliflower already done so I didn’t have to shred it. Love this recipe!
I’m SO happy to hear that you loved them, Gail… I had a feeling that you would!!
Gail, I can’t wait to hear what you think of the cauli-tots! I know that cauliflower is one of those love it or hate veggies, but you won’t believe how amazing these taste. The cauliflower picks up the pizza flavors and they are delicious!
Thanks for the recipe! I love how it seems that cauliflower is making a “comeback” – or maybe it was always popular and I am just now figuring it out! Any recipe that holds well in the freezer is a winner by me, too.
Yup! my 39 year old ate them up! I doubled them accidently and so glad I did.
I am not sure if I have to boil/steam the cauliflower? Or is it just cut up in the food processor?
Nope, don’t precook the cauliflower. Just shred it up!
I like cauliflower fries I’m sure these would be even yummier!
Cauliflower fries?! Now this I must try!
If you don’t have a food processor, try chunking the cauliflower into 1″ or so pieces and throwing them in the blender w/ a couple of cups of water. Chop and then drain the water.
Good tip! Thanks!
These looks so good, Brianne! I’d love for you to come share at Simple Supper Tuesday.
Ahhh the joys of figuring what they are going to eat each night! I know my daughter would gobble these up!
I know, figuring out these kids gets tiring 🙂
Your cauli-tots look delicious, we are big tater tot fans here, I bet the kids would love these! I just started a new link-up, Meal Planning Monday Recipe Link-Up and would love to invite you to share your recipe at my linky party. 🙂 http://www.aprilshomemaking.com/2014/03/meal-planning-monday-recipe-link-up.html
We loved this recipe! This is going to become one of my favorite recipes.
A couple notes:
1. I used sea salt and found the 1/4 tsp made the tots too salty.
2. Make sure you spray muffin tins, even if they are super non-stick.
I agree about the muffin tins. I have a few and one of them, they always stick. And yes, everyone likes different salt levels. I think I tend to like thins a little salty.
I love these, Brianne! I am a huge fan of cauliflower anyway but these crispy cheesy bites sound like perfection. Pinned twice! Once on Sides with Sass and then on my own Recipes to Try board.
Thanks so much Stacy! Yes, I love cauliflower on its own, but in tot form, it’s so much more fun!
These are so cute! I love them. I’d eat them all!
It is easy to eat a lot of them!
I really like this recipe! My grandson is a total carnivore – he eats at least 5 meals per day and at 23 months old still only weighs 22 pounds. He does not like bread or vegetables unless they are tots or fries. I’m going to make these and put some ketchup with him – I think he will love it!
Ketchup gets kids to eat ANYTHING 🙂
These look awesome! Betting that my kids would love em and devour em.
Thanks! My kids love them!
Can’t wait to try these for the kiddo’s! Though I can’t get my 3 yo to even eat the ones made with shredded potatoes but my 8 mth old eats them up!
So funny how different kids can be, and stuff you’d think they would like they don’t.