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Air-Fried Cauliflower Tots

Air-Fryer Cauliflower Tots
Kevin Curry
Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

These tots are great because they're a perfect munchie snack without the bloat. They have all the crispness and flavor of potato-based tots but with less carbs and calories.

Technique tip: Lightly steam the cauliflower before putting into food processor.


  • 1 pound cauliflower florets
  • cups grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded cheddar (optional)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • avocado or olive oil spray



Set oven to 400 F.


Place florets in a microwaveable bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of water to it. Cover and microwave the florets for no more than 3 minutes. Alternatively, bring some water to a boil in a large pot, add the florets to a steamer basket, then cover and steam for 6-8 minutes. You do not want the florets to be very tender.


Place the florets in a food processor and pulse blend to create "rice." Don't overdo it and make it too fine like couscous; it should look like grains of rice.


Dump the riced cauliflower onto a cheesecloth or heavy-duty paper towel. Fold up the ends and squeeze out as much water as possible. This is hugely important — do not skip this step.


Empty the squeezed cauliflower into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients and stir it up. If the mixture seems too dry after mixing, test out making a tot — once you squeeze the ingredients together, the moisture and the egg should be enough to hold it together. If it is still too dry, then simply add another lightly beaten egg.


Form tots and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment or in your air-fryer basket.


Spray the tots with avocado oil right before baking or air-frying so the outside gets crispy.


Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the tots are golden-brown. If you need to cook in batches, then do that. Don't rush it.


Enjoy with your favorite condiment, such as barbecue sauce or ketchup.