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How To Make Frozen Tater Tots

Crunchy, crispy and with a golden tasty edge and soft potato center. Isn’t that how you LOVE your tater tots? Me too! Today we will cover all the ways for how to cook frozen tater tots for perfect results!

 

White plate with black rim on cutting board with tots

White plate of tater tots

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

  • It uses only a little oil
  • Adds the perfect seasoning to the tater tots
  • Puts a perfect crunch on the edge of the tots!

HERE’S HOW IT’S DONE…

STEP 1.

Place a few tablespoons of oil on a baking sheet.

Spread the amount of tater tots you want to cook onto the baking sheet.

Frozen Tater Tots being poured out of a bag onto a baking sheet.

put the amount of tater tots you want on the baking sheet.

STEP 2

Add the oil to the pan. 

hand pouring vegetable oil on the baking sheet for cooking

Adding oil to the pan

STEP 3.  

Add Seasonings to the pan.

Hand adding a small bowl of seasonings for how to make frozen tater tots

Add the seasonings to the pan

STEP 4. 

Using your hands toss the vegetable oil and seasonings well. 

two hands tossing in oil and seasonings.

making sure that oil and seasonings coat the frozen tater tots

 

STEP 5. 

Spread the tater tots out as much as possible so that air can circulate in the oven and cook them well. 

MANY WAYS TO COOK FROZEN TATER TOTS

I fully recommend cooking tater tots…

  • In the oven
  • Using a frying pan on the stove top
  • In an air fryer
  • You can cook tater tots in a deep fryer.

But I DO NOT recommend trying to cook frozen tots in the microwave.  

They turn out mushy every single time (unless you have the ones that come in a special package and are specifically formulated for cooking in the microwave.

TO COOK FROZEN TATER TOTS IN A SKILLET

  • First heat oil at a depth of ¼ inch in the bottom of your skillet over medium high heat.
  • When the oil is glistening hot and when a drop of water spatters loudly
  • Add a large handful of frozen tater tots to the oil
  • Cook until the amount of crispness that you prefer – turning frequently.
  • Dip from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and drain on a paper towel
  • Apply salt and pepper while draining.

If you prefer less oil, you may wish to follow the instructions in the recipe card below.

TO COOK FROZEN TATER TOTS IN AN AIR FRYER

  • Spray the basket of the air fryer with cooking spray
  • Put the amount of tater tots in the basket that your fryer will allow (handful)
  • Cook at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
  • Shake well during cooking at least once.

TO COOK TATER TOTS IN A HOME DEEP FRYER.

  • Preheat the oil.
  • Raise the basket out of the oil and place the amount of tater tots you want to prepare into the basket.
  • Lower the basket into the hot oil.
  • Cook until browned and starting to float.
  • Deep fry for about 5 minutes.
  • Pull the basket from the hot oil, pour the tater tots out onto a paper towel set upon a plate to drain.
  • Serve hot.

HOW TO COOK TATER TOTS IN A CONVECTION OVEN.

If you have a convection oven, it is likely that you are able to turn the convection function off to start.

  • For this recipe, leave the convection setting off, follow the directions in the recipe card below.
  • Turn the convection function ON for the last 5 minutes of baking. This will brown your tater tots nicely. Check them every 2 minutes to make sure they don’t over brown.
Pan lined with aluminum foil and tater tots spaced out as far as possible

Ready for the oven

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s)

CAN I COOK MY TATER TOTS ON ALUMINUM FOIL?

Yes, I recommend lining your baking sheet with aluminum foil (shiny side up) to help with browning and for easy clean up!

CAN I COOK MY TATER TOTS WITHOUT ANY OIL AT ALL?

  • Yes, actually you CAN cook your TATER TOTS without any oil at all, however, the crunchy exterior will not be as pleasing to your taste buds.
  • You can give your TOTS a burst of flavor by spraying them with cooking spray.
  • If oil is not your thing, you might try an airfryer!

DO I NEED TO DEFROST THE TATER TOTS FIRST?

Nope!  Just put the frozen tots right on the pan in the recipe stated below (in the recipe box).

DO FROZEN TATER TOTS EXPIRE?

Yes, they do. Check the label on your package to find the expiration date for your tater tots.

HOW LONG ARE MY TOTS GOOD FOR?

Once you cook a frozen tot, it will be good for about 5 days if you cover and put in the fridge. That said, it will only taste good for a few hours. Follow the steps for reheating.

HOW TO REHEAT TOTS.

To reheat your TOTS,

  • use 2 Tbs vegetable oil.
  • Toss the TOTS to coat in oil.
  • Bake in the oven at 400 for about 5-8 minutes till heated through.

SEASONING FOR TATER TOTS

Seasoning is the way to REALLY capture the essence of tater tots!

Start by just following the instructions in the recipe card below! That recipe makes delicious and tasty tater tots!

Then try…

  • Altering the amount of salt and pepper.
  • Substitute garlic or onion powder for the season all salt.
  • Try parmesan cheese!
  • Brewers Yeast for a cheesy flavor anyone?
  • A sprinkle of truffle oil and parmesan cheese is a yummy taste!
Overhead view of a plate of tater tots

Yummy crispy tater tots

HOW TO MAKE CHEESY TATER TOTS.

For delicious cheesy tater tots,

  • Melt 4 oz of velveeta cheese with ¼ cup of milk on the stove top or in the microwave. Drizzle over your tater tots.
  • Secondly, you can sprinkle the hot tater tots with shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Finally, for a little zip, mix a can of Rotel tomatoes and chilis with 8 oz of velveeta cheese and gently melt on the stove top or in the microwave, use this as a dip or to top off your tater tots! YUM!

TIPS & TRICKS for PERFECT TATER TOTS…

  • Make certain to refer to your own package of frozen tater tots for time and temperature settings, this will differ with brands.
  • If you like your tater tots more crispy, allow to cook a little longer, if you prefer less crispy, take them out sooner.
  • It is important to mix the tots with the oil by hand as this helps coat everything evenly. Be ready to wash your hands immediately afterward.
  • PRO TIP:  For slightly different flavor, exchange the season all salt for garlic powder, onion powder or parmesan cheese!

MAKE THESE FROZEN TATER TOTS AS…

OTHER FROZEN FOOD THAT MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE THE STAR!

Frozen Fries

Frozen Onion Rings

How To Cook Frozen Lobster

Frozen Shrimp!

How To Cook Frozen Onion Rings

OR TRY ANY OF OUR Delicious Side Dishes!

YA’LL HELP ME OUT, OK?

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How To Make Frozen Tater Tots

Golden Crunchy Perfect Restaurant Quality Tater Tots Made Right at your OWN HOME in the oven using less oil and MORE flavor!  You CAN'T go WRONG! 
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook tater tots, how to make tater tots
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 636kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 1 lb frozen tater tots
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp season all salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil ( this is at your discretion, but it does make clean up easy). 
  • Spread the tater tots out across the baking sheet
  • Pour the oil and seasoning salt onto the rings and baking sheet
  • Using your hands, mix the oil and the seasoning and tots well
  • Spread the tots out as much as possible so that the hot oven air will circulate around them well.  
  • Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes (refer to your packaging for your particular brand)

Notes

  • Make certain to refer to your own package of frozen tater tots for time and temperature settings, this will differ with brands.
  • If you like your tater tots more crispy, allow to cook a little longer, if you prefer less crispy, take them out sooner.
  • It is important to mix the tots with the oil by hand as this helps coat everything evenly.  Be ready to wash your hands immediately afterward.
PRO TIP:  For slightly different flavor, exchange the season all salt for garlic powder, onion powder or parmesan cheese!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How To Make Frozen Tater Tots
Amount Per Serving
Calories 636 Calories from Fat 414
% Daily Value*
Fat 46g71%
Saturated Fat 25g125%
Sodium 3296mg137%
Potassium 601mg17%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 4g16%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Recipe Rating




Ric Evans

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Just purchased a cuisinart (TOB-260N1) and tried tater tots last night, They were better than the regular oven tots but this advice should make the next effort even better.

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 24th of May 2020

Hi Ric! I just purchased a cuisinart too!! I'm not sure of the number, it isn't here yet. That's pretty adventurous to make your own tater tots! Wow! I hope these tips help!

Veronica Hernandez

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Thank you for the advice on how to cook tator tots.

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Veronica, you are welcome! Thanks for leaving a comment!

Debbie

Thursday 19th of December 2019

Very thorough! I was quite impressed. And learned all about frozen tater tot’s and how to make them even better

Wendi Spraker

Friday 20th of December 2019

Thanks so much Debbie! I hope you really enjoyed them!

Mary

Saturday 2nd of November 2019

Thank you for sharing your recipe. Gone are the days of soggy, mushy tater tots! My kids (and I) give this method 5 stars!

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 2nd of November 2019

Hi Mary! I'm so tickled that this was just the right recipe for you and your kids! Thanks for leaving a comment and come look around some more for other recipes!

Wendi Spraker

Monday 13th of May 2019

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