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Editor’s note: At the Table with the Gabels features tasty recipes and tips from Vanessa Gabel and her daughter, Kaitlyn, of Danville.


Kaitlyn: When I heard we were going to make these zucchini tots I didn’t think I would like them, considering I’m not a fan of zucchini, but they ended up tasting pretty good. 

If you’re a big fan of tater tots, but don’t like the calorie count and are looking for a healthier alternative, these are perfect for you. 

I’m big on textures, and I was a little skeptical about this recipe. The outside was crispy, but I could still tell by the texture on the inside that it was zucchini. 

Other than that, I thought the tots were good. Not only are they good plain, but you could also use sauces like Thousand Island Dressing or even ketchup to add more flavor to them. They were overall a hit in our house and are perfect for when we are looking for a healthier side.

Vanessa: We’ve got a garden growing in our backyard, which means there will be no shortage of zucchini for the foreseeable future at our home. I’m always looking for new, unique ways to enjoy them over and over, without my family getting bored, or thinking I’m torturing them.   

What better way to transform them, then into one of my favorite guilty pleasures — tater tots. 

I, too, am a texture snob, and I love the crispy outer shell of tots, the delicious seasoning and probably most of all, the dipping sauce. What I enjoyed most about this recipe was the healthier aspect.  

If you’d like to take this recipe a step further and become gluten free, you could use gluten free rice puffs. We did a little trial and error with the sizing of the scoop, and I believe that if you want a more consistent texture throughout, you’ll want to use a smaller scoop.  

However, I am thinking ahead to my next round of these ingredients mixed with crab meat and shredded carrots and made into bigger patties. 


Zucchini Tots

2 cups packed, shredded zucchini

2 large eggs

2/3 cups shredded Italian blend cheese

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Shred the zucchini to measure out 2 cups packed. Squeeze as dry as possible with a paper towel. Add zucchini to a large bowl. 

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well to combine.

Use a cookie scoop to spoon out tightly packed portions of the zucchini mixture and place on a parchment paper-line baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. 

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