High Fiber Broccoli Tater Tots

by | Mar 14, 2024

Broccoli tater tots

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Ask me to choose between roasted broccoli or tater tots and I would probably say “both!”

It’s 100% okay to love and eat both broccoli and tater tots, but I thought I’d combine the two and give broccoli tater tots a try. While I still prefer regular tater tots, these broccoli tater tots help add variety.

There are many recipes for broccoli tater tots, but this one has an additional ingredient that adds more iron, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids; ground flaxseed!

If your kids aren’t broccoli fans (yet), but they love tater tots, give these broccoli tater tots a try.  Better yet, have them help you make them so even if they don’t like them on the first try, they still engaged with broccoli while making them!

Broccoli Nutrition

Broccoli is a green, cruciferous vegetable that’s also related to cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower.  It’s known for being a nutrient rockstar with its laundry list of nutrients including:

  • Vitamins C, K, and A
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Antioxidants (Vitamins C and E)
  • Dietary fiber

How to Talk to Kids About Broccoli

I’m not a fan of talking about what foods are “good” or “bad,” “healthy” or “unhealthy” because the reality is that most of us enjoy many different types of foods and these descriptions can lead us down the path of shame, guilt, and possibly disordered eating if we’re not careful.

Many foods that are deemed “good” or “healthy,” such as broccoli, can easily get a reputation for not tasting good.  The last thing we want is for our kids to write off a food before even trying it because it’s “healthy.”

Instead of discussing whether a food is good or bad for you, I recommend focusing on one of three things:

  1. The sensory characteristics of the food; color, texture, smell, shape, etc.
  2. How it makes your body feel.  Does it bring you joy, make you full, give you an upset stomach, or maybe you simply don’t enjoy the flavor, texture, or smell.
  3. How it helps your body.  How you approach this will depend on the age of your child.  You can do this by discussing something your child loves and how that food benefits them.  

Broccoli helps your eyes see better so you can see your favorite show better on the TV.

The calcium super heroes in broccoli help your muscles stay strong so you can play soccer with your friends.

These are examples of low pressure ways to help your child engage with foods instead of using words like “healthy” or “good” to pressure them into eating it. 

Ingredients for Broccoli Tots 

Broccoli – I used fresh broccoli for this recipe, but you can also use frozen broccoli too!  I also included the whole stem because that’s where so much of the fiber is!

Eggs – The eggs in this recipe are the “glue” that helps hold all the ingredients together plus add valuable protein.

Cheddar Cheese – Broccoli and cheese just make sense so naturally cheese goes well with this recipe and adds more flavor as well as something familiar many picky eaters enjoy.  

I’ve been using block cheese and shredding my own, but I’ve definitely used my fair share of pre shredded cheese.  Plus shredding your own cheese is a great activity for your kids to help with.

Italian Seasoning – When you’re introducing a food that your child doesn’t quite like (yet), seasoning and flavor can help!  Let your kids sprinkle in the seasoning to get them involved. 

Ground Flaxseed – I add ground flaxseed to recipes anywhere I can.  It adds more fiber, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.  Plus ground flaxseed doesn’t really have much flavor so it’s easy to add without jeopardizing the final product.

You can find ground flaxseed in the baking aisle. My favorite brand is Tinysprouts and you can find it on Amazon here. I love that it’s milled for optimal digestion and also has added probiotics and Vitamin D3.

If you don’t have ground flaxseed, you can certainly omit this ingredient and the broccoli tater tots will still provide valuable nutrients.

Panko – If you’re not sure what panko is, it’s really just dried bread crumbs. I used Italian seasoning panko for these broccoli tater tots, but regular panko works well too.  You can usually find panko in the baking aisle. 

Equipment for Broccoli Tots

Check out my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets here.

How to Make Broccoli Tater Tots

Preparation – First and foremost, always wash fresh produce prior to cutting. Washing produce is another great activity for kids. Ask them to give the broccoli a bath! 

I also like to gather all my ingredients so I’m more efficient in the kitchen, along with preheating my oven.  

Blanching – If you’re not familiar with blanching, it’s essentially boiling a fruit or vegetable, for a few minutes, followed by an ice bath to stop the cooking process. 

Blanching helps preserve color, texture, and flavor.  In this case, it also helps to form the broccoli tater tots.  You don’t want to form tater tots with fully cookie broccoli because they’ll be mush and you can’t use raw broccoli because the tater tots won’t stick together well. 

Mixing – Once your broccoli is blanched and cooled, you can chop it up into tiny pieces.  I tried using a food processor at first, but this started to turn my broccoli into mush, so I stopped.  Your best bet is to get a good workout mincing your broccoli into tiny pieces.  

You want to avoid large pieces that may make it hard for the broccoli tater tots to stick together.  

Once your broccoli is finely minced, you can add all your ingredients to a bowl and mix until it’s well combined.  

Forming Tater Tots – Here you’ll take roughly one tablespoon of your broccoli mixture to form a tater tot and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I like to use a scooper to make broccoli tater tots that are consistent in size.  

Baking – After all your tots are formed and on your baking sheet, you’ll bake your broccoli tater tots at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes.  At this point I flipped the broccoli tater tots and baked for another 5 to 10 minutes so the other side could get a nice golden brown crips to them.  

Variations

If you’re a fan of these broccoli tater tots, you can keep exploring with other vegetables such as cauliflower and sweet potato. Find other variations here.

Can You Use Frozen Broccoli?

You can certainly use frozen broccoli and this may actually make it easier!

If you’re using a frozen steamer broccoli product, you can microwave for half the time it says to soften your broccoli a bit. You’ll also want to pat it down with a dish towel to remove some of the extra moisture.

If you’re using straight up frozen broccoli that’s not a steamer product, simply add your broccoli to boiling water for 1-2 minutes, add to an ice bath to stop the cooking process, dry with a clean towel, and begin chopping.

Can You Freeze Broccoli Tater Tots

freezing broccoli tater tots

I made these broccoli tater tots with the intention of freezing them, so yes, you can freeze broccoli tater tots.  

Whenever I spend the extra time making something from scratch, I try to make extra so I can freeze it.

Take whatever broccoli tater tots you didn’t eat and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put in the freezer overnight or until frozen.  Once they’re frozen, you can add them all to a Ziploc bag, date, and label to pull out as needed. 

How to Store and Reheat Broccoli Tater Tots

These broccoli tater tots are best when fresh, but you can certainly save the leftovers. I recommend freezing whatever leftovers you have on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and once frozen, combine in a Ziploc bag to use for future meals.

When broccoli tater tots show up on your menu again, simply pull out as many as you’d like and bake them 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 10 minutes or until they reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can store broccoli tater tots in the freezer for roughly three months.

Premade Broccoli Tater Tots

I’m not going to lie, these certainly are more work than simply buying a premade frozen product.

I have no shame in utilizing convenient products that make eating more fruits and vegetables easier, make clean up easier, or give you more time back with your family.

If you find that you don’t have the time to make these, but you still want to give broccoli tater tots a try, here’s a few brands I love including Target’s Good & Gather broccoli and cheese veggie tots, Dr. Praeger’s broccoli littles, and Green Giant dino veggie tots.

What to Serve With Broccoli Tater Tots

broccoli tater tots

To be quite honest, I’m a huge ketchup fan.  So you’ll never find me bashing ketchup or telling you to only buy the low sugar option – if that’s what you enjoy, then by all means, go for it!

But if good old Heinz Ketchup is what helps you or your kids enjoy more veggies, then use it!

I’m a firm believer that a veggie with dip is better than no veggie at all – no matter the dip!

Broccoli tots go great with anything you’d pair with regular tater tots:

  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Chicken tenders

Other Recipes You’ll Love

Spinach Banana Pancakes

Sheet Pan Pancakes

Hidden Veggie Mac N Cheese

Refried Bean Quesadillas

Chicken Gumbo Sloppy Joes

Peanut Butter Ramen Noodles

Rainbow Egg Muffins for Baby

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

Broccoli tater tots

High Fiber Broccoli Tater tots

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large pot
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Bowl
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Scooper optional
  • Cheese grater optional

Ingredients
  

  • 2 crowns Broccoli or 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2/3 cups Panko Italian seasoned optional
  • 2 tbsp Flaxseed ground or milled
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Fill a large pot with water 3/4 full and bring to a boil. While you're waiting for the water to boil, wash broccoli crowns. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Boil broccoli for 3 to 5 minutes removing broccoli and adding it to ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Mince broccoli into fine pieces, avoiding large pieces that will make the tots difficult to stick together. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Using your hands, or a scooper, form tater tots and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Flip broccoli tots and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to give the other side a crisp brown crust.
Hi! I'm Alex Turnbull. I'm a registered dietitian specializing in introducing solids and picky eating. Most importantly, I'm a mom of two so I get how stressful feeding kids can be.

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