Quinoa Tater Tots

BY : PUBLISHED : November 2nd, 2021 UPDATED: December 9th, 2021

These Quinoa Tater Tots taste like the classic finger food we all love but are healthier and use way better ingredients! They are crunchy on the outside, with tender bits of quinoa, mushrooms, and chives on the inside. Packed with fiber, proteins, antioxidants, and complete with essential amino acids, these golden nuggets can be eaten any time of the day without the usual guilt and worry! This dairy-free and egg-less recipe can also be made gluten-free and oil-free too.

completed Quinoa Tater Tots on a white surface with a fork and sauce on the side

Quinoa Tater Tots for The Win!

If you love tater tots and stand by them, then you have no quarrel with me! I love those mini potato hashbrowns as much as the next person. However, these quinoa-based croquettes are something else to behold! Unlike the classic tater tots, this recipe uses quinoa and mushroom bits as the primary sources of proteins. Together with onion, chives, and red pepper flakes, they create a blockbuster of flavors and textures that are simply irresistible! These wonderful little packets of nutrition are a fun way to get your kids to eat healthier. They won’t miss the ‘tatoes and eggs at all. If they did, they would be too engrossed with munching on these goodies to mind.

Ingredients Used

There are only a few ingredients required to make these:

  • Cooked quinoa – If this is your first time using this superfood, don’t fret!  I wrote a Complete Guide to Quinoa that will make you a pro in no time.
  • Vegetables –  This recipe features a combination of yellow onion, fresh button mushrooms, and chives.  Feel free to use other veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, parsley, and cilantro.
  • Plant-based milk –  will help bind all the ingredients together.
  • All-purpose flour – is used to help create the structure of our tater tots.
  • Red pepper flakes –  give the tots a mildly spicy kick that makes it even more delicious. Add, reduce or omit to your liking.
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – Choose the neutral-flavored one with a high-smoke point for frying.

Quinoa Tater Tots Ingredients on a white surface

How to Make Quinoa Tater Tots

  1. Combine quinoa, onion, mushrooms, chives, flour, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large bowl.  Make sure all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Add lemon juice and non-dairy milk and mix thoroughly.
  3. Scoop some of the mixture and roll into 1 inch balls.  Slightly flatten the tots with your palm and arrange them on a plate.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. In a medium pan, heat the oil and cook the tots until golden brown.  Around 5 minutes on each side should do the trick.

cut up onion on a brown cutting boardcut up chives on a brown cutting boardfinely diced mushrooms on a brown cutting board with whole mushrooms on the side

Recipe Top Tips

  • Chop the veggies into tiny pieces to make sure that you can make them compact so they do not break apart easily when fried.
  • Use a cookie or ice cream scooper to make uniformly sized tots. Just roll or flatten them into your desired shape. This will ensure that they all cook evenly.
  • To keep tots from sticking to your palm while rolling, spray or rub them with a bit of water or oil.
  • Chilling them before frying is important so that they set and bind properly before frying. If you are in a hurry, place them in the freezer for 8 minutes instead.
  • Do not overcrowd your pan when frying. If you place too many tots on the pan, it will create and trap steam. This will make your tots soggy instead of crunchy.

Possible Variations and Add-ons

  • Skip the usual shape and make these quinoa tater tots into small patties to use for sliders or sandwiches.
  • Make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour brand.
  • Make it oil-free by using a non-stick pan to fry them.  You can also bake, or air fry them at 400 degrees F until they turn golden brown. Place the tots evenly spaced in the pan or basket so that the air can circulate around them and crisp them up nicely.
  • To add more savory goodness, add vegan cheese or nutritional yeast to the mix before chilling them.

completed Quinoa Tater Tots on a white surface

What Dips to Serve them With?

You can stick with the classics like ketchup, vegan mayonnaise, vegan sour cream, or BBQ sauce. Or you can break away from the norm and serve them with a Chunky Ranch-inspired dip, French Onion dip, or a Chipotle White Bean dip. If you are serving this as party food, surprise your guests with several dip options to choose from. I’m sure it’ll be a hit!

Frequently Asked Questions for Quinoa Tater Tots

  1. Why do my quinoa tater tots fall apart in the pan?  Moisture and food particles are released into the oil when frying, causing it to break down. Make sure that your oil is hot enough and prevent from moving the tots around until they are browned.
  2. Can I deep-fry them? Sure! Fill your deep fryer with oil about halfway. Once the oil is hot, submerge a few pieces into the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Can I use a food processor to chop the veggies? Absolutely! This is a great way to save time. Just place the mushroom and chives in there and pulse a few times until you reach the right texture.

completed Quinoa Tater Tots on a white surface

Storing Tips

  • Fridge.  To store leftovers, place the cooked quinoa tots in an airtight container and keep them chilled for three to five days.
  • Freezer.  To prolong the storage time, place in freezer-safe containers and keep them there for a month.
  • For uncooked or make-ahead tots, arrange the quinoa tater tots in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze them for 30 to 45 minutes. After that, you may put them in a Ziploc freezer or Stasher bag and store them for later use. Store them for up to three months.
  • Reheat. Cook for 15 minutes in a 400°F oven or toaster oven until brown and warmed through. Alternatively, cook for 8-12 minutes at 375°F in an air fryer.

If you love these, you should also try these tater tots variations!

  1. Tachos – What if I told you that we could make nachos out of tater tots? You won’t believe how this may be a great addition or alternative while still keeping the same flavors and textures.  To be honest, this masterpiece is truly astonishing!
  2. Sesame Potato Puffs – These bites resemble tater tots and are perfect for a midweek snack or appetizer. Rolling them in sesame seeds adds a new level of flavor and texture.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Quinoa Tater Tots on a white surface with a fork and sauce on the side

Quinoa Tater Tots

These Quinoa Tater Tots taste like the classic finger food we all love but are healthier and use way better ingredients! They are crunchy on the outside, with tender bits of quinoa, mushrooms, and chives on the inside.
4.95 from 17 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 288 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan


  • 2 cups quinoa cooked
  • 1 small yellow onion finely diced
  • 5 pieces button mushrooms finely diced
  • ¼ cup chives minced
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons plant-based milk unsweetened, plain milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Oil for cooking


  • In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, onion, mushrooms, chives, flour, red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix until well-combined and thick.
  • Add the lemon juice and non-dairy milk and mix thoroughly.
  • Roll into small 1-inch balls, slightly flatten, and put on a plate put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat and cook the tots until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes a side


Calories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 12gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 399mgPotassium: 558mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 135IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 4mg
Keyword almond milk, BBQ, bites, catsup, chives, forks over knives, hashbrowns, ketchup, onion, plant-based, quinoa, soy milk, tater, tots, vegan, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

About Jake

Jake switched to a plant based diet in 1996 and quickly realized he had no idea how to cook. All these years later and he's still trying to figure it out...

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