Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots

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

Recipe for Zucchini Tater 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.

It’s amazing how closely the texture of these baked zucchini tots 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.

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.

The tots are surprisingly crispy and crunchy on the outside, while the zucchini inside softens but retains some texture. 

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!

Zucchini Tots Ingredients

To make the zucchini tater tots, you’ll need: 

  • Zucchini
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Jerk or Creole seasoning (optional)
  • Eggs
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese

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

How to Make Zucchini Tots

This cheesy zucchini tots recipe is easy to make, although coating the zucchini chunks in the breading mixture does require some patience. 

Here’s how the lower carb zucchini tots are made: 

  1. Slice the zucchini (I quarter it into long spears, then slice the spears into 1-inch long segments).
  2. Sprinkle the zucchini with flour, salt and pepper, any optional seasonings or spices, and toss to coat evenly; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.
  4. In a separate large bowl, add the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and stir to combine.
  5. Using your hands, add about half of the floured zucchini pieces to the eggs for a quick dunk.
  6. Remove zucchini from eggs and transfer to breadcrumb mixture. Toss with hands or a spoon to coat evenly.
  7. Place zucchini on parchment paper-lined baking tray, spaced evenly and without touching. 
  8. Repeat battering process with remaining zucchini and place on baking tray. 
  9. Bake until lightly golden brown.

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

What to Serve with Zucchini Tots

These cheesy zucchini tots pair well with lots of different dipping sauces, including: 

Can You Freeze Zucchini Tots? 

Yes, but I recommend baking the tots, letting them cool to room temp, and then freezing them. Don’t freeze them prior to baking as the zucchini will release moisture once frozen and change texture. 

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

Tips for Making Zucchini Tater Tots

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.

There are mild Parmesan undertones in these cheesy zucchini tots, and you could make Creamy Parmesan Dip to intensify the Parmesan flavor, but I love the tots with good old-fashioned ketchup.

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

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5 from 2 votes

Tater-Less Parmesan Zucchini Tots

By Averie Sunshine
You'll never miss the taters! Crispy, crunchy, and sooo good! You'll forget you're eating zucchini!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
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Ingredients  

  • 2 medium/large zucchini, sliced into tot-sized pieces, about 1/2-inch diameter and 1-inch long (I didn’t peel)
  • ½ 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
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, fresh or green can
  • ketchup, for serving (or Creamy Parmesan Dip, Creamy Wasabi Dip, Spiced Ranch Dip

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray.
  • 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.
  • Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper, any optional seasonings or spices, and toss to coat evenly; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the eggs; set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, add the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and stir to combine; set aside.
  • Using your hands or a slotted spoon, add about half of the floured zucchini pieces to the eggs for a quick dunk.
  • Remove zucchini from eggs and transfer to breadcrumb mixture. Toss with hands or a spoon to coat evenly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 755kcal, Carbohydrates: 91g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 227mg, Sodium: 1948mg, Fiber: 19g, Sugar: 12g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Zucchini Side Dishes: 

Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters — Lightly crisped on the outside, tender on the inside, and makes use of summer’s most abundant vegetable!

Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters - Lightly crisped on the outside, tender on the inside, and makes use of summer's most abundant vegetable! And air frying the zucchini fritters keeps them healthier than actual frying without sacrificing taste or texture! Perfect as an appetizer, side dish, or healthy main course. Oven baking instructions also provided.

Baked Zucchini Corn Poppers – Celebrating the flavors of summer in these EASY poppers that are slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside! Layered with flavor thanks to not only zucchini and corn, but also shredded cheese, fresh herbs and spices, and serrano chili for a kick making you want to pop just one more!

Baked Zucchini Corn Poppers - Celebrating the flavors of summer in these EASY poppers that are slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside! Layered with flavor thanks to not only zucchini and corn, but also shredded cheese, fresh herbs and spices, and serrano chili for a kick making you want to pop just one more! Air fryer instructions as well as vegan and gluten-free options provided. 

Mexican Zucchini, Corn, and Peppers (Calabacitas) — An EASY Mexican-inspired recipe ready in 15 minutes with zucchini, corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, and green chiles!! HEALTHY, vegan, and naturally gluten-free!

Creamy Mexican Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad — A healthy EASY salad that’s ready in 15 minutes and so flavorful!! Corn, zucchini, cilantro, queso fresco and more are tossed in a DELISH creamy lime sauce!!

Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salad — An EASY corn salad with black beans, zucchini, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, and more!! So much Mexican-inspired FLAVOR in every bite of this family favorite recipe that’s sure to be a hit!!

Grilled Vegetables with Basil Vinaigrette – Grilling gives these simply prepared vegetables the perfect amount of SMOKY flavor!! The basil vinaigrette is LOADED with layers of flavor and ready in 1 minute!

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These look delicious, and finally a healthy tater tot! I need to make these, sneak some good veggies into our diet.

  2. 5 stars
    These look delicious, and finally a healthy tater tot! I need to make these, sneak some good veggies into our diet.

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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! :)

    1. Hope your kids enjoy them and if they eat eggplant, I have a feeling these will be even easier for them to ‘tolerate’ :)

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

    1. I’ll trade you a few of these for those Beach House Cosmos! One of my fave posts of yours in awhile! :)

  9. 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! :)

  10. 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 :)

    1. Todd you have amazing recipes and please let me know if your friend makes a million bucks with some zucchini tots :)

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

  12. 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!

      1. If that’s true, then it makes sense we both love baking (and running) so much! ;)

  13. 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!

  14. 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 :)

    1. 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!

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

    1. I would HAPPILY trade you these for just one bite of that amazing cake you posted today. Holy incredible!!

    1. Thanks for the catch!!! WOW! That’s what I get for trying to type a little too fast – too many c’s! Fixed now :)

  16. 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 :)

  17. 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

  18. 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)!!!

  19. So fun! I actually made meatballs with shredded zucchini tonight and my 4 year old was all “EWWW! I don’t like zucchini!” when he saw me making them but he gobbled them up! Gotta try these!

    1. Thanks for pinning these and I love that story about your 4 year old with the zucchini and then he proceeded to gobble them up :) Love it when that happens!

  20. YUMYUMYUMYUMYUM!!!!

    I love zucchini. Anything with it is so delicious. I fell in love last summer with vega Parma even though I never liked real parmesan. I stopped buying it because it isn’t cheap, but this recipe….damn you! ;)

    1. I actually think you could probably skip the parm (knowing you, you will) and sub with nooch, and you could probably replace the panko with rice krispies (to keep GF – I’ve read that online but haven’t tried). Honestly these were one of the best savory recipes I’ve made in a long time. LOVED these things!

  21. I love this idea! It is very creative and looks delicious too! Thanks for sharing!

  22. tater tots are the BOMB! I love them so much. I love the crispy texture on the outside but soft tenderness inside/ these look amazing

  23. As a fried potato addict who is trying to cut out carbs (ahem, wedding season I’m looking at you!) I love these! I’m definitely making them and then coating them (and my fingertips) in a ketchup + sriracha love child!

  24. These look yummy and they would be a great way to get my picky brothers to eat zucchini!

  25. These are so beautiful and such a freakin’ great idea!!! My kids would even eat these and that’s a lot to say!

    When we moved to the States and I was introduced to tater tots, I thought, Americans have the BEST FOOD!! Then I gained 20-pounds in a year and thought, their food makes you fat! haha True story. :)))

    1. That is such a telling tale on the commentary of food in this country! It tastes good but it will make you fat unless you’re careful :) I bet your kids would like these. My daughter inhales these things if I don’t inhale them faster! lol

  26. I think we are the only people in the world who struggle to get zucchini to grow in their garden–but if we get lucky this year and get an abundance of them, I’ll be sure to try this!

    1. I don’t have a garden and buy all my produce. No ‘abundance’ issues for me in my urban, garden-less condo :)

  27. Since Mel’s diet is anti-potato, these are perfect. And the idea to make them with broccoli? I bet Jordan would eat that. (Hallelujah) Pinned!

    1. Thanks for pinning and anything breaded and with Parmesan takes the edge off, you know :) I love that Mel is holding hardcore to his diet!

  28. These looks delicious! I just got a bunch of zucchini in my CSA and this recipe would be a perfect way to use them!

  29. I was just thinking the other day about how I wanted a tater tot recipe… this one looks awesome!

  30. Haha, what kid doesn’t love tots? What ADULT doesn’t love tots! :) These are the perfect use for summer zucchini. Thanks, Averie.

  31. What a great idea to use zucchini, Averie! I’m sure you have loads of it, too, since it’s summer. I’m loving all of your creative twists on fun foods. Pinned!

    1. Thanks for pinning! I don’t have a garden but wish I did – I have to settle for buying it!

  32. Ooooooh my gosh, Averie! You really knocked it out of the park with this one!!!! We are swamped with zucchini right now, so I KNOW we’ll be trying these out. LOVE!!!

  33. I cannot handle how yummy these look! What a great way to use that abundance of zucchini this time of year :)

  34. Hello! I tried making something similar to this not that long ago and I was a bit disappointed because I was so used to lovely moist fried versions. I do love the idea of a healthier ‘zucchini fry’, though, so I’d like to give these a whirl! Love the fact that yours have got parmesan in. Maybe the panko crumbs are the key to them not being dry! I’ll give them a go!

    1. I really find the Panko to be VERY key in this recipe as well as the other recipes I’ve done that are similar to this one with the breading/coating mixture. Baked and fried, apples and oranges in ANY recipe, but I do love these and prefer that they’re baked!

  35. I love tater tots mainly because they are a vessel for eating ketchup which I’ve adored since childhood. I have so much zucchini from my CSA I can’t wait to make these.

  36. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
    The time for zucchini galore. I love it. I have no shortage of recipes that I want to get through in the next few weeks. Just put 2 on the blog this week.
    I’m so glad my whole family enjoys it too. So we can harvest and eat all on the same day. :)
    These look perfect. Love Parmesan with zucchini.
    Pinning!
    Have a great day.

    1. Thanks for pinning and sounds like you’re up to your eyeballs in zuke and have lots of fun recipes too!

  37. I haven’t had tater tots in forever! I am all sorts of excited about this idea. Love the idea of adding a kick from the Jerk or Creole seasoning. That just sounds so good!

  38. I LOVE that you used zucchini for this! I have made taterless tots with cauliflower, but zucchini is my absolute vegetable love. And I eat it with parmesan almost everyday, so my name is all over this, and in capital letters! Pinned!

    1. Glad you’re a fan of this one and thanks for pinning, Taylor! Cauli tots are good too, love both cauli or zuke tots!

  39. These look great! What a fun spin on tator tots (my computer totally wants me to call them gator tots…) :)

  40. I remember you mentioning a zucchini recipe was coming–and these look so much like tater tots!! I have really been liking zucchini more over the past several years– it has a rather neutral flavor which makes it versatile in my mind. One of my neighbors said I could pick some of her zucchini. She told me they plant a garden every year but really only eat the strawberries (whaaaat?!?!). I’d be happy to take some off her hands and try this.

    1. Pick extra, I have another zuke recipe next week. LOL And yes, it’s very very neutral to me anyway. It takes on the flavor of whatever it’s mixed with, seasoned with, etc, and it’s nice and moist so perfect for baking!