One bite of Baked Zucchini Carrot Tots, and you’ll forget all about traditional tater tots! These bites are loaded with veggies, plus a little cheese, for a wonderfully savory side or snack that your kids will love as well. And yes they are baked, not fried, so you can eat them without the guilt
This post and recipe card were updated March 10, 2019
It’s no secret that I had a love/hate relationship with vegetables as a kid. When I liked a vegetable, I would eat it nonstop. If I didn’t like a vegetable, no matter the reason, you couldn’t pay me to touch it.
Zucchini was on the “no” list until about 10 years ago, because it was always too soft. Then about 8 years ago my dad made a stir-fry with zucchini, and I really liked the tender-crisp texture. So I got adventurous and made zucchini fries. Big mistake. I cut them too thick and baked them in the oven, so they were really soft. I finally tried again with Panko Parmesan Zucchini Chips, and they quickly became one of my favorite snacks. Another favorite is Corn, Zucchini and Red Pepper Cakes, a recipe I make every chance I get when sweet corn is plentiful.
I’m also a carb fiend, especially when it comes to potatoes. I love all kinds of fries, but rarely have them at home so I don’t have the temptation. A few weeks ago I discovered really delicious frozen corn tots, and it hit me that I could make my own veggie tots. And that is how Baked Zucchini Carrot Tots was born
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- This is a great recipe to get your kids into the kitchen
- They are so delicious, full of vegetables, and a perfect lower carb alternative to traditional tater tots
- They’re baked, so you can eat a bunch of them and not feel guilty!
PREPPING THE VEGETABLES FOR BAKED ZUCCHINI CARROT TOTS
- Buy whole vegetables and shred them yourself! Yes, you can find both pre-shredded zucchini and carrots at the grocery, but they’re more expensive. Besides, it takes about 2 minutes with a Box Grater, or about 30 seconds with a Mini Food Processor to get the same results
- Zucchini has a lot of water. Put the shredded zucchini in paper towels or Cheesecloth to squeeze out as much water as possible
- Finely diced red onion adds a very nice mild sweetness and another layer of flavor
EASY STEPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKED ZUCCHINI CARROT TOTS
- Combine shredded zucchini and carrots, plus diced onion in a large bowl
- Panko Bread Crumbs and an egg act as a binder to keep the tots together
- Cheddar and freshly grated Parmesan cheese add a little bit of creaminess, plus another layer of flavor. I use Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, but you could also use a bolder flavor to add a little kick.
- Seasonings are critical since the vegetables are pretty bland on their own. I use Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Dried Oregano, and Dried Basil.
FORMING BAKED ZUCCHINI CARROT TOTS
This is a great way to get your kids involved! Measure 1 1/2 Tablespoons for each Baked Zucchini Carrot Tot, transfer the mixture into your hands, and lightly squeeze together to form the shape. The full recipe will yield 18-20 tots.
Don’t get hung up on the perfect size or shape! If you want to make them a little smaller, use a 1 Tablespoon measure. A little bigger? Use 2 Tablespoons instead. The shape doesn’t look exactly like a tater tot? Who cares! It’s all about the taste, and that’s the only thing that matters here.
COOKING TIPS FOR THE PERFECT TOTS
Skip the fryer for this recipe! With some of my recipes, I’ve found that they turn out better pan fried, especially when it comes to getting that beautiful golden color. I baked these the first time, and they were so good I never even tried frying them.
Use Parchment Paper to line the baking sheet, and spray the tots lightly with Cooking Spray right before putting them in the oven. The tots stick to aluminum foil, even with the cooking spray, and you lose some of that beautiful crunch.
Turn the Baked Zucchini Carrot Tots at 10 minutes so both sides get golden brown.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. The time will depend on your oven and the size of the tots.
Baked Zucchini Carrot Tots are perfect for kids and adults alike. Yes, they’re all veggies, but your kids will love them! I eat these as a light lunch, but they would also work well as a side dish or snack.
MORE DELICIOUS VEGETARIAN RECIPES
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? COMMENT AND RATE BELOW, THEN TAKE A PICTURE AND TAG ME ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM: @KARYLSKULINARYKRUSADE
Baked Zucchini Carrot Tots
- 2 cups zucchini, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 3 Tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 Tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet
- Place shredded zucchini in a couple of paper towels or a piece of cheesecloth, and squeeze out as much water as possible
- Add zucchini, carrots, red onion, Panko, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses to a large bowl and toss together. Add oregano, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, and toss together. Stir in egg, and combine fully
- I use 1 1/2 Tablespoon of the mixture for each tot. Scoop into hands, and press mixture together to help them hold together. Don't worry about getting the perfect shape!
- Spray parchment paper lightly with cooking spray. Place tots on top, and spray very lightly again.
- Bake tots for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Flip tots after 10 minutes, so both sides get golden brown.
- Serve immediately. YIELD: 18-20 TOTS