Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots

I have fond childhood memories of tater tots. What kid doesn’t love tater tots.

Submerging and smothering them in oodles of ketchup is the best.

Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots - You'll never miss the taters! Crispy, crunchy, and sooo good! You'll forget you're eating zucchini!

It’s amazing how closely the texture resembles real tater tots, and after being dipped in ketchup, you’ll totally forget you’re eating zucchini.

I did as I proceeded to eat half the batch.

Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots - You'll never miss the taters! Crispy, crunchy, and sooo good! You'll forget you're eating zucchini!

MY OTHER RECIPES

Bite-for-bite zucchini has far less calories and carbs than potatoes so you can eat way more of it. Nevermind that it’s breaded in Parmesan, but at least it’s baked rather than fried.

Ever since I made Baked Parmesan Edamame Bites and then Crispy Roasted Parmesan Chickpeas with Spiced Ranch Dip, I’ve been looking for things to bread, bake, and dip.

Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots - You'll never miss the taters! Crispy, crunchy, and sooo good! You'll forget you're eating zucchini!

I had lots of zucchini on hand and it works very well with the basic battering, breading, and baking technique I’ve used previously. Also try asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower mushrooms, or most anything in your vegetable drawer.

I used and recommend Panko breadcrumbs. They’re Japanese-style breadcrumbs and are sold next to regular breadcrumbs, but they’re larger, coarser, and get crispier in the oven. You can spice up the breading mixture with jerk or Creole seasoning, or add chili powder or cayenne for extra oomph.

Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots - You'll never miss the taters! Crispy, crunchy, and sooo good! You'll forget you're eating zucchini!

The tots are surprisingly crispy and crunchy on the outside, while the zucchini inside softens but retains some texture. There are mild Parmesan undertones and you could make Creamy Parmesan Dip to intensify the Parmesan flavor, but I love the tots with good old-fashioned ketchup.

Best tots ever. You’ll never miss the taters.

Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots - You'll never miss the taters! Crispy, crunchy, and sooo good! You'll forget you're eating zucchini!

Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots

It’s amazing how closely the texture of the zucchini tots resembles real tater tots, and after being dipped in ketchup, you’ll totally forget you’re eating zucchini. The tots are surprisingly crispy and crunchy on the outside, while the zucchini inside softens but retains some texture. You can use the recipe with asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower mushrooms, or most anything in your vegetable drawer. I used and recommend Panko breadcrumbs. Optionally, spice things up with jerk or Creole seasoning, chili powder, or cayenne. The tots have mild Parmesan undertones and you could make Creamy Parmesan Dip to intensify the Parmesan flavor, but I love them with ketchup. You’ll never miss the taters.

Ingredients:

2 medium/large zucchini, sliced into tot-sized pieces, about 1/2-inch diameter and 1-inch long (I didn’t peel)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch Jerk or Creole seasoning, cayenne, chili powder, etc. optional and to taste
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh or green can)
ketchup, for serving (or Creamy Parmesan Dip, Creamy Wasabi Dip, Spiced Ranch Dip , etc.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Slice the zucchini (I quarter it into long spears, then slice the spears into 1-inch long segments) and transfer zucchini pieces to a large bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper, any optional seasonings or spices, and toss to coat evenly; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs; set aside.
  5. In a separate large bowl, add the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and stir to combine; set aside.
  6. Using your hands or a slotted spoon, add about half of the floured zucchini pieces to the eggs for a quick dunk.
  7. Remove zucchini from eggs and transfer to breadcrumb mixture. Toss with hands or a spoon to coat evenly.
  8. Place zucchini on prepared baking tray, spaced evenly and without touching. You want the oven air to circulate freely on all pieces so they get as crispy as possible.
  9. Repeat battering process with remaining zucchini and place on baking tray. The process is messy and not every piece will be evenly coated and breaded. Overall, if most pieces are coated, you’re fine.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Start watching closely and checking after 9 minutes. Watch so the undersides don’t become overly browned or burn. Because all ovens, size of the tots, thickness of coating mixture, and personal preferences vary, cooking times will vary. Tots are best warm and fresh. Serve with ketchup or your favorite dip.

Adapted from Baked Parmesan Edamame Bites with Creamy Wasabi Dip and Crispy Roasted Parmesan Chickpeas with Spiced Ranch Dip 

Only Eats

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76 comments on “Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots”

  1. Oh YUM – love zucchini season & neighbors who share! Can’t wait to take some extra zucchini from her (and then return with these to share with her kiddos)!!!

  2. Alright are you ready? I couldn’t even read the whole thing because my dad RUINED tater tots for me as a kid. He ruined chicken cutlets too. He’s a doctor so you trust him when it comes to biology, right? He told me tater tots were turtle testicles and chicken cutlets were alligator tails. I believed him. After all, he’s a doctor. GREG

  3. Winner! Hands down my favorite post recipe of the week! brilliant!

  4. My friend just brought over a ton of zucchini… I was going to go the boring route and make some zucchini bread, but now I know what I’m going to make for all my little cousins running around the house :)

  5. These look delicious. And you have three C’s in zucchini. :D

  6. Oh my gosh!!! These are brilliant. I LOVE breaded zucchini! One of my favorite things ever.

  7. I just about died when I saw these on Instagram! Fried zucchini is one of my VERY favorite foods, and I just knew these would be incredible!! SO trying these STAT! Pinned :)

    • This is one of the best things I’ve made (savory) in awhile. I loved these, Ashton! Also the edamame that I made with the similar technique were great (but the zucchini is easier because they’re bigger). Thanks for pinning!

  8. Zucchini is a glorious thing. We recently discovered baked zucchini chips. Well, let’s just say that we have a new addiction. Love this crunchy recipe!

  9. I actually didn’t have tater tots very often as a kid… My mom was more fond of making us fish sticks instead, so I didn’t really have very many tater tots until middle and high school when my friends’ parents made them at our sleepovers. It was really tempting to skip the popcorn and ice cream while we were watching movies and just eat tater tots instead! But since I don’t exactly have the same metabolism anymore, I’d much rather eat your zucchini tots. Yum!

  10. Love this idea..it might cause me to eat more zucchini! Plus it’s breaded in parmesan? Count me in, this looks awesome!

  11. I don’t know how you do it, Averie. So freakin creative!! My friend just started a food truck serving sliders and tots. I’m sharing this with him immediately :)

  12. Panko breads are fantastic! I love that you are on a breading, baking, dipping roll … sounds like my kind of eating style! I actually have only had tater tots a couple times (ikr?) but I’m loving this zucchini version! If I’m going to be dipping, it better have some nutrition, because I’m going to dipping a lot! :)

  13. What a great, creative idea for a recipe!

  14. Wow – these look so awesome! Such a yummy (and healthy!) snack for the summer. Definitely going to be trying these. Pinned!

  15. Hi Averie! This looks so good, and perfect for my kiddos… I’m always trying to substitute more veggies for them. I’ve made something really similar to this, only with eggplant! What is really fun is to try a bunch of different sauces (I’ve tried truffle ketchup, garlic aioli, and jalapeno aioli so far!)

    I’m definitely going to try the zucchini though… any excuse to use Panko (ha!) and get my kids to eat their veggies. Seriously, it’s the bane of my existence right now.

    Thanks for sharing this! :)

  16. I wasn’t introduced to tater tots until I was about 14 years old (tragic!!). I’ve made up for lost time. :D *Love* your lightened-up version.

  17. These look great! I have more squash in my CSA box this week (again), so I will be making these. I made totally different tots the other day (grated squash + cheese + breadcrumbs, yum!), but these look even easier.

  18. LOVE your blog. I just stumbled upon it and I couldn’t be more excited to start making some of these recipes, this one included!

  19. I’d eat a bowl of these with that Spicy Ranch Dip. YUM!

  20. Wow. These look absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to give them a try.

  21. Sounds like a great recipe! Easy to follow and a new and fresh idea of how to fix zucchini. Thanks for sharing!
    julieblanner.com

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