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Make these tasty homemade veggie tots in your air fryer for a crispy, veggie-packed side dish your kids will devour! They’re a cinch to make and will fill your kids’ tummies with lots of healthy veggies while still tasting absolutely delicious!

Homemade air fryer veggie tots on a plate next to a bowl of ketchup.

Healthy Air Fryer Veggie Tots for Kids

Veggies have never tasted better! Similar to premade tater tots from the grocery store, these homemade veggie tater tots are also crispy on the outside with a tender filling inside. However, these tots can be made with a variety of different vegetables, making them much more filling and nutritious.

Since they’re air fried instead of deep-fried, these vegetable tots have a delicious crispy texture without the extra oil!

They’re a great side dish or snack to serve with your kid’s favourite dipping sauce and can easily be adapted to suit your kids’ preferences!

An up close image of the crispy homemade air fryer veggie tots.

Air fryer veggie tots

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Why We Love These Homemade Veggie Tots

  • Kid-friendly: Even reluctant eaters will love this veggie tots recipe! Any veggie flavours are masked by the seasonings and cheese, making this an excellent healthy snack for your whole family.
  • Adaptable: Although this base recipe uses zucchini, carrot, potato, and broccoli, you can quickly adapt this vegetable mix to what you have on hand and your kid’s personal preference. Make cauliflower tater tots or add some sweet potatoes for extra sweetness.
  • So flavourful: Thanks to some classic seasonings and delicious cheeses, this twist to traditional tater tots is loaded with flavour!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients required for homemade veggie tots in air fryer.
  • Vegetables: Zucchini, carrot, potato, and broccoli add a great balance of colour and flavour to these healthy air fryer tater tots. Pulse them together in the food processor to chop them up quickly and get the perfect consistency.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: These will give the tots a great texture and absorb any excess moisture. No soggy tots here!
  • Eggs: Fresh eggs will help bring the veggie mixture together, preventing the tots from crumbling.
  • Cheese: Combine shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese to add a savoury flavour that enhances the veggie flavours.
  • Seasonings: Onion powder, garlic powder, and salt draw out lots of flavour without being too much for young palates.
  • Olive oil or cooking spray: To make crispy veggie tots, spray with cooking spray or dab with a bit of olive oil before air frying.

How to Make Veggie Tots in Air Fryer – Step-by-Step

  1. Place the zucchini, carrot, and broccoli into a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are finely ground and no large chunks remain.
  2. Use a kitchen towel or cheese cloth to squeeze out as much moisture from the vegetable mixture as possible. 
  3. Add the ground up zucchini, carrots, and broccoli to a large bowl along with the panko, eggs, shredded cheese, onion powder, garlic powder and salt, (if using). Mix well until combined.
  4. Scoop out heaping tablespoon-sized portions and shape them into small tots using your hands.
  5. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the tots in the air fryer basket, leaving space between each tot.
  6. Lightly coat the tots with oil spray. Cook in air fryer at 400°F for 10 minutes (or until golden brown). If after 10 minutes the tots aren’t as brown and crispy as you’d like, bake for another 1 to 2 minutes or until desired crispiness is achieved.
Keep scrolling to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe!

RECIPE TIPS

  • If you don’t own or want to use a food processor, you can also try grating the zucchini and carrot using the smallest sized holes on your box grater and cutting up the broccoli very finely with a large knife. It may have a more chunky texture than if you use a food processor, but it is an option.
  • Be sure to get out as much moisture as possible from the vegetables once they’ve been ground up. Typically using cheesecloth is the best method to achieve this, but you can use your hands or a kitchen towel as well. Oftentimes I’ll squeeze out even more liquid as I’m forming the tots. This will help ensure that the veggie bites are more crispy.
  • If serving these tots to babies, you may wish to leave out the salt to reduce sodium consumption. For the rest of the family, you can add extra salt for a little more flavour. They typically have the best flavour with about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Homemade veggie tater tots on a plate fresh out of the air fryer.

Recipe FAQs

Can you cook frozen veggie tots in air fryer?

Yes! The air fryer is a great way to cook frozen tots. As the hot air blows over the tots, it will crisp them up for a great texture. You can typically follow the exact cooking instructions outlined below.

How long to air fry veggie tots?

These homemade veggie tots take approximately 10-12 minutes to cook in a preheated air fryer set to 400 degrees F. If the tots aren’t as crispy as you’d like at 10 minutes, continue cooking for 2 minutes at a time until you reach your desired crispiness.

Are veggie tots healthy?

Homemade veggie tots are a great alternative to regular tater tots. Even the different brands of frozen veggie tots from the grocery store are more nutritious and lower in carbohydrates and fat than regular potato-based tots. Potatoes are high in starch (which is why they have that wonderful fluffy texture), but tend to be lower in nutrients since they often don’t contain the extra veggies.

I like to balance that potato with lower carbohydrate vegetable starches, like zucchini and broccoli. These add more nutrients and fibre, making these tots both yummy and healthy. Plus, since the tots are air fried, they have much less fat than deep fried tots, making this a delicious side dish to enjoy with a quick meal.

Veggie Tots Nutrition

These air fryer tots are made with simple ingredients that are both tasty and nourishing. For complete nutritional information, view the recipe card below.

One veggie tot has approximately:

  • 42 kcal
  • 4g of carbohydrates (3g of net carbs)
  • 2g of fat
  • 1g of fiber

They’re also high in vitamin A and potassium, and have some vitamin C and calcium as well.

Storage Guidelines

  • Store leftover tots in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For best results, reheat tots in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 4-6 minutes or until fully warmed.
  • You can also freeze the remaining tots in a freezer-safe container for 1-2 months.
A small bowl of air fryer tater tots ready to be eaten.

Serving Suggestions

These air fryer veggie tots make a great snack or side dish to enjoy with a source of protein! They’re an excellent alternative to French fries, and your kids will devour them right away!

Recipe Variations

  • Veggie burgers: Make a larger patty to serve as a veggie burger instead of forming tots! Increase the cooking time to 20-24 minutes and serve on a bun with toppings.
  • Broccoli cheese tots: Replace the carrot and zucchini with broccoli florets and replace the Parmesan with more cheddar.
  • Veggie hash browns: Cook your tater tot patties on a well-oiled griddle or skillet for crispy, healthy hash browns for breakfast.

More Veggie-Packed Recipes

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Air fryer veggie tots on a polka dot plate next to ketchup.
Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Homemade Veggie Tots in Air Fryer

Created by Elysia Cartlidge
Servings: 20 – 25 Veggie Tots
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Make these delicious homemade veggie tots in your air fryer for a crispy, veggie-packed side dish your kids will devour! They're a cinch to make and will fill your kids' tummies with lots of healthy veggies while still tasting absolutely scrumptious!

Ingredients
 

  • 1 medium zucchini cut into chunks
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 a head of broccoli roughly chopped into large florets
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Place the zucchini, carrot, and broccoli into a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are finely ground and no large chunks remain.
  • Use a kitchen towel or cheese cloth to squeeze out as much moisture from the vegetable mixture as possible.
  • Add the ground up zucchini, carrots, and broccoli to a large bowl along with the panko, eggs, shredded cheese, onion powder, garlic powder and salt, (if using). Mix well until combined.
  • Scoop out heaping tablespoon-sized portions and shape them into small tots using your hands.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the tots in the air fryer basket, leaving space between each tot.
  • Lightly coat the tots with oil spray. Cook in air fryer at 400°F for 10 minutes (or until golden brown). If after 10 minutes the tots aren't as brown and crispy as you'd like, bake for another 1 to 2 minutes or until desired crispiness is achieved.

Notes

  • If you don’t own or want to use a food processor, you can also try grating the zucchini and carrot using the smallest sized holes on your box grater and cutting up the broccoli very finely with a large knife. It may have a more chunky texture than if you use a food processor, but it is an option.
  • Be sure to get out as much moisture as possible from the vegetables once they’ve been ground up. Typically using cheesecloth is the best method to achieve this, but you can use your hands or a kitchen towel as well. Oftentimes I’ll squeeze out even more liquid as I’m forming the tots. This will help ensure that the veggie bites are more crispy.
  • If serving these tots to babies, you may wish to leave out the salt to reduce sodium consumption. For the rest of the family, you can add extra salt for a little more flavour. They typically have the best flavour with about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Nutrition

Calories: 36kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 687IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Air fryer veggie tots on a polka dot plate next to ketchup.

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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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