Kitchen Vocabulary: 'Grating' Zucchini Tots

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Tired of plain tater tots? Try something new and healthy with these zucchini tots! This week's Kitchen Vocabulary Word of the Week is 'Grating.' Making these tots will help your kid chef learn how to use a grater. Grating is the process of changing solid foods into small thin pieces by rubbing them into a grating tool like a box grater

Zucchini is a healthy alternative to potatoes and just as yummy. This recipe will take about an hour to make but the final result is worth the wait and the perfect side option for any meal. Munching on these tots won't leave you feeling guilty!


Zucchini Tots

Makes 60 Tots

Prep Time: 30 Minutes / Bake Time: 20-25 Minutes / Total Time: 50-55 Minutes

Inspired by: Tasty

Kitchen Vocabulary Word: Grating


  • 4 medium zucchini (about 7 cups grated)

  • ¾ cup whole wheat bread crumbs (we like these!)

  • ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil



  • 1 large mixing bowl

  • 1 box or hand grater 

  • 1 kid chef knife (buy here on amazon!) or use a butter knife

  • 1 small cutting board

  • 1 plastic spatula

  • 1 clean dish towel

  • 1 large baking sheet

  • Measuring cups

  • Measuring spoons

  • 1 pastry brush (optional)

  • 1 small bowl

  • 1 metal fork

Recipe Steps

  • Wash your hands and wash all four zucchini to get all of the germs off!

  • Using a kid chef knife, cut about a ½ inch to an inch off of both ends of the zucchini.

  • Turn your grater to the side with the large shred holes. Begin grating your zucchini by using an up and down motion. (back and forth motion if using a hand grater)



  • **Grown-up** Once your kid chef gets to about ¼ left of the zucchini, it's time for the grown-up to take over! Continue grating until you have barely any zucchini left.

  • When all four of your zucchini are grated, place all of the grated zucchini into a large mixing bowl.

  • Mix together with about a teaspoon of salt. The salt helps extra water and moisture drip from the zucchini. Let sit for 20 minutes in the large mixing bowl.

  • **Grown-up** While the zucchini is sitting to the side, pre-heat your oven to 400° F.

  • Take out a large baking sheet and paint about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on the pan using a pastry brush to fully cover the pan. If you don't have a pastry brush you can use a paper towel for full coverage.

  • After you have let the zucchini sit for 20 minutes, pour it out onto a clean dish towel and squeeze out the excess water over the sink.

  • Pour the zucchini back into the bowl.

  • Measure out ¾ cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs using a ½ cup measuring cup and a ¼ cup measuring cup. Add to the large mixing bowl.

  • Measure out ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese with a ½ cup measuring cup. Add to the large mixing bowl.

  • Crack two eggs into a small bowl separate from the large mixing bowl. Be sure to pick out any stray pieces of egg shell before beating the eggs with a fork and adding them to the large mixing bowl.

  • Measure out 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder. Add to the large mixing bowl.

  • Measure 1 teaspoon of pepper. Add to the large mixing bowl.

  • Mix all of the ingredients together until mixed evenly.

  • Take about a Tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a tot-like shape. (rolling them into small balls works as well)

  • Place the small tots onto the greased baking sheet.

  • Continue to roll into small tots until you have used all of your tot mix.

  • **Grown-up** Place in the oven and have the kid chef set a timer for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, grown-up take the tots out of the oven. If they are brown and crunchy, they are ready to be taken out!

  • Serve the tots warm and nom with friends!


**Grown-up Tips**

  • If you want to save a bit of time grating the zucchini, use a food processor with a grater attachment to quickly grate the veggies. You can also purchase about 7 cups of zucchini zoodles at your grocery store as a substitute.

  • Be sure to dump the wet zucchini onto a clean dish towel over the sink to avoid it dripping onto the counter or floor. 

  • Whole wheat bread crumbs add a bit more nutrition but they can be hard to find. Substitute with regular bread crumbs if you have a hard time finding them. 

For more on our Kitchen Vocabulary Series:

'Dicing' Mango Salsa

'Whisking' Whipped Cream

'Measuring' Triple Berry Muffins

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About the Author and Photographer

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Preston is a rising Junior Television-Radio major with minors in Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communications at Ithaca College. She has previously interned with Radius Books and the Syracuse Chiefs.