Make Ahead - Heat & Serve Recipes Side Dishes

Zucchini Tots

Shredded zucchini tots served with ketchup

Tater tots are a staple food for most kids (and let’s be honest you don’t really grow out of that as an adult.) Despite being delicious the potato bite sized nuggets aren’t all that healthy. This zucchini tot recipe keeps the best part about tater tots: crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, a little salty, bite sized, dippable… but adds some nutritional goodness. Zucchini tots, like their potato counterparts, are a huge favorite in our house. 

It’s only fair that I warn you right from the start that a single recipe will not be enough. You might as well double or triple it right off the bat. 

The good news is these little zucchini tots are not only yummy but easy to make too. Mix the raw ingredients, form the tots on a baking sheet and bake. That’s it! 

About The Ingredients

Zucchini – 1 large. Leave the skin on, cut off the stem, and shred the whole thing. I use this handheld grater from the Pampered Chef that is now discontinued but any grater will work. Also be sure to squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini after you shred it. Zucchini contain a lot of water and you don’t want your tots to be too wet because they will remain mushy even after baking them. 

Shredded Cheddar Cheese – 1/4 cup. You could switch this up and use mozzarella too.

Egg – 1 large. Sometimes I find the zucchini mixture needs a little extra binding to hold it together. Don’t be afraid to add a second egg if things are falling apart on you.

Breadcrumbs – 1/4 cup. I use seasoned Italian bread crumbs. If you use plain be sure to add a little extra salt and pepper to your tots. 

Dried Onion, Salt and Pepper – the seasonings are basic but this zucchini tot recipe has lots of flavor. 

Recipe Substitutions & Variations

They key to this zucchini tots recipe is to keep the moisture low enough that they won’t be soggy but wet enough to hold the shape of the tot. Aside from that though, you can mix up the ingredients. You could substitute mozzarella, pepper jack or feta for the cheddar.

If zucchini isn’t your favorite and you want to try a different vegetable I would suggest something of similar texture. A different type of squash, small Japanese eggplant or sweet potato could all be delicious. If you really love the idea of shredded sweet potato, have you tried this recipe for Sweet Potato Pancakes?

How To Make Zucchini Tots

Begin by shredding the zucchini onto a paper towel. You can use a box grater, hand grated or even the grater attachment to your food processor. Squeeze out as much excess water from the zucchini as you can. The more water you remove, the crispier your zucchini tots will get. 

Transfer the shredded zucchini to a mixing bowl. Add the rest of your ingredients and mix it well. 

Using a small cereal spoon, scoop the zucchini mixture and shape it into a log with your hands. Place it on a prepared baking sheet. Once all of your tots are shaped and place, bake for 20 minutes and serve hot.

Make Ahead Instructions

Great news – zucchini tots can be me made ahead of time. Don’t let the mixture or formed tots sit unbaked because water will continue to seep out of the zucchini and you will end up with mush. Instead, follow the recipe all the way through but after baking, cool the tots on a wire rack. This will allow them to keep their crispy texture. Once cool, store in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Reheat them in a single layer before serving.

FAQ’s & Recipe Tips

What is zucchini tots made of?

Shredded zucchini, egg (to hold everything together), shredded cheese, seasonings and bread crumbs.

How do I make gluten-free zucchini tots?

Substitute the bread crumbs with rice cereal.

Can you freeze large pieces of zucchini?

Yes you can freeze zucchini but don’t do it in large pieces. Instead shred the zucchini and place it in a freezer bag, then freeze it.

Can I store zucchini tots for snacking?

Yes these zucchini tots are great for toddlers. Even when my kids were very little, I would make them to keep in the refrigerator. You can put 3 or 4 of them on a plate, microwave and serve with ketchup for dipping. These little zucchini tots are a healthy snack to have on hand. Full disclosure – adults may be known to sneak them out of the refrigerator too.

The Recipe for Zucchini Tots

The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing.  If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought and if you had enough for leftovers. Enjoy!

Shredded zucchini tots served with ketchup

Zucchini Tots

Shredded zucchini baked as bite-sized tots. These little finger friendly cuties will be a family favorite among kids and adults. Serve them with a little ketchup or ranch dressing for dipping.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snack
Servings 2 people


  • 1 Grater A box grater, hand grater or grater attachment for a food processor all work well.


  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp dried onion
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Leaving the skin on, grate the zucchini onto a large paper towel. Gather the paper towel around the shredded zucchini and squeeze out excess water. Place grated zucchini in a medium sized mixing bowl.
    1 large zucchini
  • Add remaining ingredients to the zucchini and mix well.
    1 egg, ¼ cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tbsp dried onion, 1 pinch salt, 1 pinch pepper
  • Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Using a a small spoon scoop about 2 tablespoons of the zucchini mixture and form into a tot shape with your hands. Place the tots about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and the tops of the tots no longer look wet. Let cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to serving platter.


These zucchini tots reheat well. Store them in the refrigerator in an air tight container and reheat in the microwave or oven. 
Keyword tot, zucchini

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  1. I tend to buy pre-made, these look delish and love the minimal ingredients saving this recipe. thanks!

    1. Once you try them it’ll be hard going back to pre-made

  2. This sounds yummy! Could they be cooked in an air fryer instead?

    1. Definitely. I would start checking on them after about 12 minutes of cooking. Let them start to turn golden brown!

  3. Love zucchini! looks delicious! will try soon!

    1. Thank you! Hope you enjoy them as much as we do

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