Air Fryer Cauliflower Tater Tots

4.99 from 89 votes

Simple and easy to make, these cauliflower tater tots are a great low carb alternative. Crispy, cheesy and so easy to cook in the air fryer.

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Time to grab your air fryer to make these delicious cauliflower tater tots. These vegetable based tater tots are made with cauliflower rice and then cooked in the air fryer for a lighter appetizer that the whole family will love.

Cauliflower tater tots made in air fryer and served with a ranch dip
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Ingredients & substitutions

  • Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a great low carb and vegetable alternative to potatoes. The cauliflower is boiled before being riced and formed into the tater tots. Check out this post to cut the cauliflower into florets quickly and easily.
  • Parmesan: To make these tater tots extra cheesy and delicious, add some parmesan cheese. Use freshly grated parmesan if you can, since pre-grated can be a bit dry and lacking in flavor.
  • Egg: To bind the ingredients together. You can also use a flax egg to make these.
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs are used to absorb excess moisture and help to firm up the cauliflower mixture so that they keep their shape. Use fine breadcrumbs rather than panko, as these do not absorb as much moisture.
  • Seasonings: Salt and garlic powder, but feel free to also add other seasoning like paprika or oregano.

How to make cauliflower tater tots

  • Steam the cauliflower florets in a large pot with a little water.
  • Cook until fork tender without becoming too soft.
  • Drain and add to a food processor.
  • Pulse until the cauliflower is riced.
4 image collage to show cauliflower in pot, then getting cooked, then in food processor, then after pulsing in food processor
  • Place the riced cauliflower in a kitchen towel and squeeze out any moisture.
Cauliflower in cheese cloth bag getting squeezed out to remove moisture
  • Add the cauliflower to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir well to combine.
  • Shape into tater tots and place in the air fryer basket
  • Cook until golden brown and crispy.
4 image collage to show bowl of ingredients before mixing, after mixing, tater tots formed and placed in air fryer before and after cooking

Tips for making the recipe

  1. Make sure to remove as much moisture as possible. That is key to making these cauliflower tater tots get crisp in the air fryer. You should remove about one cup of liquid from a medium sized cauliflower head.
  2. Steam rather than boil the cauliflower. Only add about and inch of water to the bottom and place the lid on. This will help the cauliflower to cook through but absorb less water.
  3. Spray the air fryer basket with oil before adding the cauliflower tater tots. If you don’t, they are likely to stick to the basket.
  4. Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. The tots should be in an even layer and not overlapping. If they are touching, they won’t get crispy all over. Cook in a couple of batches if needed.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make this with frozen cauliflower?

Yes, you can make this with frozen or fresh cauliflower. The recipe remains the same, though it may take a minute or two longer to get fork tender. If using frozen florets, you will need just under 2 pounds.

Can I bake it instead?

Yes, if you prefer to bake the tater tots, place them on a baking dish lined with parchment paper and bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

What do you serve them with?

These cauliflower tater tots are a great appetizer to serve with your favorite dips. They’re great with ranch, BBQ and ketchup, or anything else you have to hand in your fridge!

Cauliflower tater tot dipped into ranch dressing

These air fryer cauliflower tater tots are such an easy and fun appetizer to serve. They are a great way of getting some extra veggies into your kids’ diets, and they come out so cheesy and crispy!

More low carb cauliflower recipes :

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Air Fryer Cauliflower Tater Tots

Simple and easy to make, these cauliflower tater tots are a great low carb alternative. Crispy, cheesy and so easy to cook in the air fryer.
5 from 89 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Appetizer
Calories 196
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
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  • Place the cauliflower in a large pot with about 1” of water in the bottom. Add a lid and place the pan over medium heat. Allow the cauliflower to cook for 15-18 minutes, or until it is fork tender.
  • Drain the water and transfer the cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse the cauliflower until it is riced.
  • Transfer the riced cauliflower to a clean kitchen towel, allow it to cool enough to handle and squeeze out any liquid.
  • Transfer the drained cauliflower to a large bowl and add the parmesan cheese, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
  • Once the mixture is uniform and starting to clump together, scoop out 1 tablespoon at a time and form it into a tight ball. Then, pinch the sides of the ball to create a long, oval shape. Repeat with the remaining tots.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray. Add the cauliflower tots to the basket, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, or until the cauliflower tots are golden brown and crispy.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.


Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days and can be reheated in the air fryer.
Oven Instructions: Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through


Calories: 196kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 1088mg, Potassium: 498mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 276IU, Vitamin C: 69mg, Calcium: 332mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Appetizer
4.99 from 89 votes (87 ratings without comment)

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  1. Alexa says:

    Hi! Can these be frozen? Thanks! Love all your recipes!!!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      I have yet to try that! But leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days and can be reheated in the air fryer.

  2. Sage says:

    I used frozen riced cauliflower and jt didn’t come together as well for me like the picture. However, the dish was delicious!! Definitely will make again. Thanks Yumna.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Glad you enjoyed! Was it not holding together well?

    2. Christine says:

      I used frozen riced cauliflower too…. I rinsed it in cold water to get the excess ice chunks off and then strained well and squeezed the excess liquid out with paper towel (a clean dish towel would work too). It held up really well on the air fryer so you might have had too much liquid?

  3. Sam says:

    Would love to try this with some broccoli and sharp cheddar!

  4. Justine Marshall says:

    these look so tasty. Such a good alternative to having carbs too! I’m definitely going to try these. I have an actifry, so it turns to cook them. I might be better putting mine in the oven.