Crispy, cheesy and full of barbecue flavor — these BBQ Cauliflower Tots make the perfect addition to any summer meal! 

BBQ Cauliflower Tots | Zen & Spice

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables where you have to make sure you cook it right. Steamed cauliflower smells and tastes not good to many people (although I could eat a bowl of steam cauliflower with a little salt and pepper no problem…). To make cauliflower more delicious, you can actually rice it into tiny pieces to make a hash-brown/rice texture that can be used for many things. 

BBQ Cauliflower Tots | Zen & Spice

To make these cauli-tots, I combined riced cauliflower (made in my food processor) with Mexican-blend shredded cheese, corn meal, an egg for binder, and the star ingredient: barbecue sauce! 

This recipe is inspired by my sister, Leslie. A couple weeks ago while we were moving, she came over to help pack and brought her lunch knowing that I didn’t have any food in the kitchen. She unpacked this little box of cauli-tots and since I didn’t have any ketchup, she dipped them into some BBQ sauce. 

That got me thinking– why not add the BBQ sauce directly to the tot itself? 

BBQ Cauliflower Tots | Zen & Spice

End result: YUM! They’re crispy, cheesy, and the cauliflower tastes great in tot-form. 

Here’s the recipe for BBQ Cauliflower-Tots! 

BBQ Cauliflower
Yields 24
  1. 1/2 head cauliflower
  2. 1 cup Mexican cheese, shredded
  3. 1 egg
  4. ¼ cup cornmeal
  5. ½ tsp salt
  6. Fresh black pepper, to taste
  7. 2 Tbsp your favorite BBQ sauce
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. To shred the cauliflower: chop half a head of cauliflower into small pieces, place into a food processor. Pulse until riced. Place in a large bowl and squeeze out excess moisture carefully with a paper towel.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Scoop the mixture by spoonful into each tin and press down firmly.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with ketchup or BBQ sauce for dipping! Or, combine half ketchup half BBQ sauce for a delicious dip.
Zen & Spice


  1. Love these and can’t wait to make them over and over this summer!

    1. Thanks, Matt! Let me know if you like them once you try them!

    <3 <3 <3

    1. if you try them lmk how they turned out!

  3. I have been obsessed with cauliflower this past few weeks so this is another excuse for me to buy even more! YUM!

    1. Next on my list— cauliflower mash!

  4. Jennifer says:

    How many of these are in a serving?

    1. We ate about 6 per serving! So serves 4. You could eat more or less, but 4-6 would feel like a normal serving.

  5. ginger says:

    Just looking quickly at this recipe I see a problem. Is the cauliflower RAW? You don’t mention steaming it and I cannot imagine the texture without 1st steaming it. I will give it a try but will be partially cooking the cauliflower first.

    1. Hi Ginger, yes, the cauliflower is raw! It will roast in the oven as the tots cook. There is no need to steam the cauliflower first. :)

  6. Laura says:

    Hi! I buy pre-riced cauliflower from my grocery store. Could you give an approximation of about how many cups of riced cauliflower you used for this recipe?

    1. I think It’s about 3-4 cups! :)

  7. Cristina says:

    Hi! I’m mexican, and I have the doubt of what kind of mexican cheese are you referring to? Oaxaca cheese? Adobera cheese? Chihuahua cheese?

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