This old but gold recipe is the perfect way to serve more nutrients and vitamins on the dinner table. And it’s also made from scratch! While I do enjoy a good pack of tots from the frozen section in the store, they are filled with preservatives and sugar so making my own is always a better idea.
These veggie tots in the air fryer are easy, quick, and fun to make so feel free to involve the kids. Everyone will enjoy them for dinner or lunch. I like to add them to my meal prep or freeze the leftovers for another day.
Ingredients You Will Need
There are not as many ingredients as one might think for this recipe. It is basically a bunch of veggies held together by an egg and breadcrumbs. There are some vegan and gluten-free options below. Here is everything you need to make these delicious veggie tots in the air fryer.
- Broccoli, grated
- Zucchini, grated
- Sweet Potato, grated
- Carrot, grated
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Seasoned salt – such as Lawry’s or Greek Seasoning.
- Black Pepper
- Fresh Parsley, minced
- Parmesan cheese
The recipe initially seems pretty involved, but it is straightforward and not as tedious as one might think. It comes together rather quickly.
STEP 1: Remove The Excess Water From The Grated Vegetables.
Start by grating all the vegetables. Mix them in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine until everything is incorporated. The mix should become sticky and tough to stir.
STEP 2: Form The Veggie Tots.
Using your hands, form a small ball with part of the mixture. Then, using your fingers, form a small tot. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
This step is the most involved but fun, so bring the kids to help with it. The tots should have a solid and firm shape. Return to the mix and re-shape if the tots are falling apart on the sheet.
STEP 3: Cook The Veggie Tots.
Grease the bottom of the air fryer with non-stick spray. Add the tots on top with enough space between each other so they don’t stick together during cooking. Depending on the container size you may have to work in batches.
Note: Depending on how big the air fryer is, you can fit up to 10 tots in the container. My air fryer is fairly small so I was able to fit only 8 at a time.
Cook until they are golden brown and crispy flipping halfway through. This step is important to ensure even cooking.
Remove the tots from the air fryer and place them on a plate. Serve immediately while hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
If you want gluten-free veggie tots make sure to use gluten-free breadcrumbs. You can find them at the store or make your own.
To make gluten-free breadcrumbs use a few days old gluten-free bread. Let it dry on the counter for a day or two and then add it to a food processor. Pulse until the bread is crumbled to breadcrumbs. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Use just as you would regular breadcrumbs.
Other Options/Versions of This Recipe?
If you are looking for a vegan version of this recipe you will have to make a few substitutions that might alter the flavor. The egg and the parmesan cheese are not vegan so they have to be replaced by vegan ingredients.
The egg serves as a binder that holds all ingredients together. Your substitution should be for another binder such as coconut oil. Keep in mind that the oil is not as strong of a binder and the tots might not stay firm and in perfect shape after cooking.
A non-popular substitution for an egg in binding foods together is aquafaba. Aquafaba is the water from canned chickpeas. It is thick and starchy so it will serve as a good binder when used properly.
The parmesan cheese is there more for flavor than function so feel free to skip or substitute it for a vegan option. Just make sure it is grated so it doesn’t melt during the cooking process.
Cooking Times By Air Fryer Model
Every air fryer is different so make sure to read the instructions before cooking with it. I like to use the same temperature I would use in an oven and cut the time in half. Some air fryers are stronger than others so if the middle of your veggie tot is still raw but the outside is burning make sure to lower the heat.
|Ninja Foodi||8 min||400F|
|Philips Airfryer XXL (HD9630)||10 min||400F|
|Nuwave Bravo XL Grill||8 min||400F|
|Power XL 2&3 Qt Vortex||10 min||400F|
|Breville Smart Oven||10 min||425F|
Can You Prepare This Recipe Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! I love making veggie tots in the air fryer for lunch boxes, meal prep, or just to have in the fridge or freezer for a snack when needed. Keep them in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge and up to several months in the freezer.
To reheat the veggie tots, use the air fryer again. Fried foods don’t do well in the microwave. Add the frozen tots to the air fryer and air fry for several minutes. They come together in several minutes.
If you prefer to use the microwave for reheating, sprinkle the veggie tots with a little water and heat in the microwave for a few minutes.
Let them cool slightly and serve immediately. The tots will start to harden and get cold the longer they are out of the microwave.
What Can You Serve With Veggie Tots?
Veggie tots are best on their own (in my humble opinion), but they do pair well with any protein or on the side with some bread. They go well with any dipping sauce.
Serve them with a homemade ranch or spicy bbq sauce. Sprinkle with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro and serve when hot. I serve them with ketchup and honey mustard and everyone loves them.
- 1/2 Head Broccoli
- 1 Zucchini, peeled and trimmed
- 1 Sweet Potato, peeled
- 1 Carrot, peeled
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 Tbsp Seasoned Salt, such as Lawry's
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Parsley, minced
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
- 1 Egg
- On a cutting board, grate the broccoli, zucchini, sweet potato, and carrot using a coarse cheese grater. Transfer the mix to a bowl and set aside for 20 minutes to release the juices.
- Wrap the grated vegetables in a clean dish towel and squeeze the excess juices. Place the mix in a dry bowl and add the garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, black pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and the egg.
- Stir to combine all ingredients until well incorporated and the mixture becomes sticky. Form into small tots and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Grease the bottom of the air fryer container with non-stick spray and place the tots next to each other without touching. You might have to work in batches depending on the container size.
- Air fry for 10 minutes at 400F flipping halfway through.
- Take out the tots when they are done and transfer them to a plate. Serve immediately with your favorite sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 164Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 596mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g
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