Cauliflower and Broccoli Tots – Italian Style

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This recipe is adapted from my book, The Low Cholesterol Cookbook and Action Plan. If you are cooking for picky eaters or kids, give the original recipe in the book a try.  For more flavor, try either this version, which is amped up with Italian-style spices, or my Cauliflower and Broccoli Tots – with Indian Style Spices version.

Whichever spice profile fits you, these ‘tots’ are a great way to feel like you’re eating a starch but really, you’re snacking or side-dishing on heart-healthy veggies.

Two notes:

  • Unseasoned, Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs can be hard to find, but I finally located some at Whole Foods. (Or you can follow Jennifer Koslo’s original recipe and soak then squeeze dry 2 slices of whole wheat bread.  Or try unseasoned whole wheat panko!)
  • You can try any combination of spices that appeals!
"Italian" Spiced Cauliflower and Broccoli Tots
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

The base of this recipe is from The Low Cholesterol Cookbook & Action Plan (page 152). I've modified to use whole wheat bread crumbs to make it easier, and provided 2 flavor profiles: one using popular Italian spices, one using popular Indian spices.

Servings: 4 people
Calories: 132 kcal
Author: Karen Swanson, adapted
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs Unseasoned
  • 2 cups Small Cauliflower Florets, washed include chopped stems if desired
  • 1 cup Small Broccoli Florets, washed include chopped stems if desired
  • 1 large Egg large
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F

  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper

  3. Bring a medium pot filled two-thirds with water to a boil over high heat.

  4. Add the cauliflower and broccoli florets and return the water to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Immediately drain and cool the vegetables under cold running water. Drain well.  Wrap the vegetables in clean dishtowel or paper towel to remove as much water as possible and set aside.

  5. In a food processor, combine the cooked vegetables, egg, paprika, salt, pepper and spices

  6. Add the bread crumbs to the food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are chopped and well mixed (but not pureed!) Scoop the vegetable mixture by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared backing sheet and form into bite-sized cylinders. (Dampen fingers to prevent from sticking, if necessary.)

  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned and firm.  Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Makes 30 tots.

Jennifer Koslo, the recipe originator, suggests "you might try using a mix of almond flour ... to boost the cholesterol lowering power."  My suggestion would be to modify by using 3/4 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs and 1/4 cup almond flour (you want the dry ingredients to be about 1 cup or they are too dry!) 

You could also try this recipe using unseasoned, whole wheat panko rather than whole wheat bread crumbs. 

Try Whole Foods if you are having trouble finding whole wheat bread crumbs. 

Nutrition Facts
"Italian" Spiced Cauliflower and Broccoli Tots
Amount Per Serving (7 tots)
Calories 132 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Cholesterol 47mg16%
Sodium 50mg2%
Potassium 177mg5%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 250IU5%
Vitamin C 38mg46%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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