Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these broccoli tots are sure to be enjoyed by all ages.
Reasons to Love these Broccoli Tots
- BROCCOLI EXPOSURE: Broccoli isn't always the most accepted vegetable and repeated exposure is important for acceptance. These tots may be a good stepping stone for your child to accept broccoli on its own. The cheese adds fat and salt to help mask/reduce the bitter taste that many kids find off putting. Adding a tasty dip also helps with this.
- ADDED PROTEIN: Not only is almond meal a great gluten free substitute for breadcrumbs, it also provides extra fat and protein to keep little tummies fuller for longer.
- FINGER FOOD: Because most kids love finger foods!
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Ingredient Information and Alternatives
You only need five ingredients to make these tasty broccoli tots. (Measurements given in the recipe card at bottom of the page.)
- BROCCOLI: The bulk of the tots.
- EGGS: Used to bind the tots together. No egg alternatives have been tested. I'd suggest trying a flax or chia egg but cannot guarantee results.
- ALMOND MEAL: I am often asked for alternatives to breadcrumbs as a gluten free option. Almond meal works great in these tots but if you prefer you can replace with the same weight of breadcrumbs (which works out as 1 cup).
- CHEESE: Added for flavour. I haven't tested these without the cheese. If you are looking for a dairy free option you may wish to try adding some nutritional yeast, lemon zest or some freshly chopped herbs for flavour. (Suggestions only, not tested)
- GARLIC: For flavour, can be skipped if preferred.
Process Shots and Cooking Tips
- PREPARE BROCCOLI: Cut the florets off the broccoli and break them up into medium pieces. Don't throw away the stem, you can add it too. Remove the tough outer skin and then cut the stem into pieces around 1-2 cm / ½-¾ inch in size. Keep it small so it softens enough to chop easily with the florets.
- COOK BROCCOLI: Steam the stems for 1 minute and then add the florets and steam for a further 3-4 minutes, or until soft. If you don't have a steamer you can boil. Just make sure to really drain well, after cooking, or the tots will be too wet and soft.
- CHOP: Chop the cooked broccoli up finely. You want nice small pieces or it will be difficult to form the tots. You will be able to chop it up a little more when mixing with the other ingredients so you don't have to be too pedantic here.
- MIX: Add the cheese, egg, almond meal and garlic and mix well to combine. Mash any bigger pieces of broccoli you find as you mix.
- FORM TOTS: Scoop a heaped tablespoon of the broccoli mixture and form it into a tot. Place on prepared tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture (It should make around 23 -25 tots depending on how generous you are with your scoops).
- BAKE: Bake for 20 mins (190c/375F), or until crisp on the outside and piping hot throughout.
- REFRIGERATE: Allow to cool and refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to two days.
- FREEZE: Once cool, place in the freezer, on a baking tray, until solid. Transfer to a zip lock bag, or freezable container, and store for up to 2 months.
- REHEAT: Thaw broccoli tots in refrigerator overnight and reheat at 180C/350F for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated throughout. Also delicious served cold.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can chop the broccoli in the food processor, just be careful not to over process as the tots can then become too soft. Pulse the broccoli in short bursts.
These tots are suitable from 6 months. However, just be mindful that they do contain egg, nuts and dairy, three of the common allergens. You should introduce these foods separately first. You may wish to add a little less cheese to reduce sodium levels.
I personally haven't tried this but think it is a great idea. Just make sure to grease your muffin tray well and you may find that it needs an extra 5 mins in the oven.
Alternatively, you can form balls, although this isn't that much quicker.
I've serve with a lemon yogurt dip (mix ½ cup full-fat natural yogurt with 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ garlic clove (minced) and salt & pepper. Stir to combine and adjust to suit taste).
You can serve with a selection of dips (which kids love) or your child's favourite dip.
Remember exposure is key, here are some other broccoli recipes for your little foodie to try...
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- 550g (around 2 medium) Broccoli
- 2 Eggs
- 60g (¾ Cup) Almond Meal
- 75g (¾ Cup) Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese
- 2 Garlic Cloves ,minced
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Line a baking tray with baking/parchment paper.
- Cut the florets off the broccoli and break them up into medium pieces. Remove the tough outer skin of the stem and then cut the stem into pieces around 1-2 cm / ½-¾ inch in size.
- Steam (or boil) the stems for 1 minute and then add the florets and steam for a further 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Drain well
- Chop the cooked broccoli up and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the cheese, egg, almond meal and garlic and mix well to combine. Mash any bigger pieces of broccoli up as you mix.
- Scoop a heaped tablespoon of the mixture and form it into a tot. Place on prepared tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture (It should make around 23 -25 tots).
- Spray with oil (optional) then bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
- Serve with a dip of choice.
- You can replace the almond meal with bread crumbs if you prefer. Replace with 60g/ 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs.
- Extra mature cheddar gives great flavour and I find you need to add less. You can use any good melting cheese (Tasty, Colby etc) or a mix (e.g parmesan and tasty)