These lightly seasoned pan-fried butternut tots will satisfy all your tot cravings, with a bonus velvety sweetness you get only from fall butternut squash.
Looking at my post lineup for the coming weeks, it appears I’ve gotten a bit excited about fall. I’m sure by January I’ll be sick as heck of winter squash and root veggies, but for now I’m all about it.
Butternut squash is something I’d gladly eat all year, and I totally could. If you’ve been reading for a while, you might remember I went a little crazy with the butternut squash recipes last fall, blaming a coworker of my husband’s who repeatedly offloaded his home-grown butternut squash on us. When that happened I decided growing butternut squash was just about the coolest thing a person could do, so I saved the seeds from a couple of last year’s harvest…and they’re still sitting in an envelope in my kitchen drawer. It’s okay. I turned out to be a really bad vegetable gardener, so my home grown butternut squash probably wouldn’t have been that great anyway.
Fortunately, butternut is everywhere. And it’s cheap. And the squashes are often huge. And I live in a two-person household. All this means that every time I purchase one, you get a bunch of recipes out of it, and believe me, I’ll be loading up on butternut squash.
It seems like everyone’s getting down with tots lately. I’ve seen recipes for tots floating all over the web, and have been slobbering over these in particular for a few weeks now. If summer squash makes a good tot, I had to imagine butternut would as well.
Eat these and you get the satisfaction of classic tots, with that wonderful butternut sweetness. I flavored my tots up with some smoked paprika, but was tempted to try a half-dozen other things, curry powder, cinnamon, and hot chili powder among them. I’m sure they’d all be good, and feel free to try whatever you’re feeling. The spicy maple mustard is a must if you go with my smoked paprika tots.
- 1 lb. butternut squash (about ½ of a medium squash), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- ½ medium onion, quartered
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
- ½ tbsp. smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp. salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ cup yellow mustard
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2-3 tsp. sriracha (or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss butternut squash cubes with ½ tablespoon of olive oil and arrange in an even layer on baking sheet.
- Bake until piercable with a fork, but still pretty firm, 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Place butternut squash into food processor bowl with onion, garlic, panko, chickpea flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Pulse until ingredients are well blended, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Roll into tot-shaped cylinders.
- Coat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place over medium heat. Working in batches if needed, arrange tots in an even layer in skillet. Cook until browned on bottoms, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on opposite sides, about 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt, if desired.
- Stir all ingredients together in small bowl.