Vegetable Nuggets are a hand-held dippable side dish that kids are guaranteed to get your kids excited about eating their veggies! Filled with shredded zucchini, spinach, and cheese, these Spinach Nuggets are an easy, tasty way to eat vegetables.
As a parent of two picky eaters, I understand how overwhelming it can be to get your child to eat their share of vegetables.
Sometimes it takes creativity, sometimes it takes bribery, and sometimes you stumble upon a dish that kids actually enjoy that may shock you.
These Vegetable Nuggets hit a home run at my house, even though, truthfully I was worried my kids would not even attempt eating one.
But the crispy exterior, the addition of cheese, and a side of ketchup are all that it took for my kids to give these Spinach Tots a try. And then I watched my kids eat one after another, after another.
Served with homemade chicken strips, this meal earned praises from my kids.
Notes on Ingredients
- Panko bread crumbs: Panko bread crumbs keep the nuggets light instead of dense, yet act as a binder for the vegetables. Use whole wheat or regular panko bread crumbs.
- Cottage Cheese: Not only does the cottage cheese keep these baked vegetable tots fluffy and full of flavor, but it also adds protein and calcium as well.
- Mozzarella cheese: More cheese is never a bad thing! The mozzarella really helps to flavor the vegetable nuggets, making them enjoyable for the kids.
How to Make Homemade Vegetable Tots
- Shred fresh zucchini and then place the shredded zucchini in a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture over the sink.
- Place the defrosted spinach into the same cheesecloth/towel and repeat the process to remove the excess moisture.
- Place the spinach and zucchini into the food processor, along with salt, pepper, bread crumbs, egg, cheese, and cottage cheese.
- Puree or pulse a few times until the mixture just comes together.
- Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the mixture and shape into 1-inch ovals, mimicking a tater-tot shape.
- Bake the zucchini and spinach nuggets until brown and crispy.
More Kid-Friendly Vegetable Recipes
- Hidden Veggie Quesadillas
- Ranch Veggie Wraps
- Southwestern Veggie Tostadas
- Carrot and Raisin Salad
- Easy Bean Burritos with Veggies
- 1 ½ cups frozen chopped spinach defrosted, and squeezed dry
- ½ cup shredded zucchini well drained
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup Mozzarella Cheese
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- ½ cup panko breadcrumb
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet with a thin layer of oil or line with parchment paper.
- Be sure the shredded zucchini and spinach have been drained well. I do this by squeezing out liquid in an old kitchen towel or cheese cloth.
- In a food processor fitted with an s-blade, process the squeezed zucchini and spinach with the egg, salt, pepper, cottage cheese, mozzarella and breadcrumbs until the ingredeints are just combined.
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon of mix and gently press between your hands into a ball then shape into a tater-tot shape. Place on your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until golden brown and crispy, 18-24 minutes, turning half way.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
- Feel free to use cheddar cheese in place of mozzarella cheese.
- If you need these to be gluten-free, just use gluten-free bread crumbs and the nuggets will still turn out perfectly.