Broccoli Tots

April 4, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: My kids like broccoli, which is not to say they’re great eaters—they’re not and I’d never jinx myself anyway—but it’s one of the few vegetables they happen to like. But if you’re cooking for broccoli-phobes, give these tots a try. Though they’re baked in the oven, they taste strikingly similar to deep-fried tater tots, especially when dipped in ketchup.

I often make these for dinner when the kids’ friends are over, and I’m always surprised by how voraciously they devour them. Who knew kids could go so wild over broccoli?

Reprinted from Once Upon a Chef by Jennifer Segal with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018.
Jennifer Segal

Makes: about 25 tots; serves 4


  • 1/2 pound [230 g] broccoli, broken into florets, stems roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup [45 g] chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup [30 g] instant potato flakes
  • 2/3 cup [75 g] grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C] and set a rack in the middle position.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 in [2.5 cm] of water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cover with a lid; reduce the heat to low and steam for 5 minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Drain well.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place the cooked broccoli and onion. Process until very finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
  4. To the broccoli mixture, add the potato flakes, cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper. Stir until evenly combined.
  5. Spread the oil onto a 13-by-18‑in [33-by-46‑cm] baking sheet (do not line the pan with aluminum foil, as the tots will stick). Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the broccoli mixture; squeeze the mixture in your hand to compress it, then form into tot-shaped rectangles. Arrange the tots on the baking sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom and firm to the touch on top. Remove the pan from the oven, then carefully flip the tots over. Return to the oven and cook until uniformly golden, 13 to 15 minutes more. Serve with ketchup.

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Cheese|Broccoli|Sheet Pan|Bake|Super Bowl|Back to School|Poker/Game Night|Weeknight Cooking|Vegetarian|Kid-Friendly|Finger Food|Dinner

Reviews (9) Questions (0)

9 Reviews

P M. July 4, 2018
The photo shows the tots on parchment paper rather than on the baking pan. That would make clean up much easier.
siri April 10, 2018
These look awesome! I've never seen potato flakes in South African supermarkets (where I come from). Is there a good substitute that isn't wheat flour? Maybe chickpea flour or something to absorb liquid and bind?
siri April 10, 2018
Maybe even potato flour?
dpatterson April 6, 2018
Could these possibly be made in an air fryer? I bought one and am looking for different recipes to use in it. Thanks!
cpc April 4, 2018
I wonder if anyone has tried this with mashed potatoes or grated potatoes. I hate to buy an obscure ingredient like potato flakes, knowing it will never get used up. The recipe sounds good though.
hmcgivney April 6, 2018
I'm guessing that the potato flakes are there partly to soak up moisture, so subbing in a form of potatoes that still have their water might be problematic. You could look for potato flakes in the bulk section of your supermarket, then you'd only have to buy what you need.
JamieKins April 7, 2018
I haven't tried it, but thinking about doing panko instead.
Sialia April 8, 2018
I think if you buy a good brand of dehydrated potato flake (and though I don't like to use heavily processed foods) it will keep in your pantry for a long time. And you never know you may want to make this more then once. :) Or it's Thanksgiving and you just found out more people are coming for dinner and you can use them to stretch your mashed potatoes or thicken a soup, or take them backpacking & I think they are in every grocery store I've ever been in, so not so obscure. ;)
rurock June 28, 2018
I think the panko idea is great I am going to try it tonight