Broccoli Tots

April  4, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes about 25 tots; serves 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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  • Deb Howe Allen
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Jenn Segal is the founder of Once Upon a Chef, the popular blog showcasing easy, family-friendly recipes from a chef's point of view. Her recipes have been featured on numerous websites, magazines, and television programs, including The Huffington Post, WJLA's Good Morning Washington, and Before starting her blog, Jenn cooked at the acclaimed L'Auberge Chez Francois and was director of marketing for a prominent restaurant group, both in the Washington D.C. metro area. She now lives in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband and two children.

14 Reviews

Molly February 27, 2022
Could these be made ahead of time and frozen, maybe just adding a couple of minutes to the baking time?
Gayle November 26, 2021
I made these for Thanksgiving appetizers and they were a hit. So easy!!! I found a single packet of Idaho brand potato flakes, as someone else suggested. I used my small cookie scoop to dollop out 45 small mounds which I pressed down slightly to form into a coin shape. And then I baked 12-13 minutes on one side and 10 on the other. I used parchment paper which made clean up a snap. To stretch the recipe and add a bit of protein, I add 1/2 cup of frozen peas to the food processor and pulsed a few times. I also made a honey mustard dipping sauce though an asian dipping sauce would also work. Next time, I think I will add a bit more onion and maybe even some hot sauce for some zing. These would also be great at room temp so could be put into lunch boxes.
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
Susan B. September 29, 2019
Potato flakes (aka instant mashed potatoes) can also be used to thicken stews for those who may be gluten intolerant. They also make a good coating on fish before shallow frying. Quite useful and they last in the pantry.
Deb H. September 11, 2020
Idahoan brand potato flakes are pretty good--they are just dehydrated potatoes (you can get ones with flavors added, but they also make just a plain variety). They'll last in your cupboard for a long time, and you can buy a pouch that isn't a huge quantity.
Deb H. September 11, 2020
Bob's Red Mill makes potato flakes, as does Idahoan--the latter comes in small packets (that would make enough for one dinner for four, approximately), so you can buy a fairly small amount. They keep for quite some time, too.