Homemade Tater Tots

by Andie Mitchell on May 12, 2011

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This week, I’ve made you feel something, sad or happy, not once, not twice, but three times.

All I’ll say is that I am-

I’m sorry I just need to grab my megaphone. Can you pass it to me? Thanks K, [tap tap]. Is this thing on? Testing..tes-tes-testing. Ahem.

I am






in love with you.

Yep, you.

For all of the fire you’ve set to my heart, you deserve two things. Several moments of my silence being one.

Tater tots being the other.

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Golden and fried and doughy in their dimples.

Heavily salted.

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Taters, totted. Tots made of taters.

*I’m stopping now.

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*We both know that never works out like I promise.

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Tater Tots

serves 5, as a side dish

3 medium potatoes, finely grated and dried well

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt, plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup canola oil


Mix the potatoes with the flour, salt, and pepper. Form into 1” logs.

Heat oil in a large pot until it is so hot that dripping a drop of water on the surface immediately sizzles and spatters. Add tots and fry until all sides are golden brown.

Serve hot with extra salt and an endless supply of ketchup.


Nutrition info per serving (1/5th of entire recipe): Calories: 201.6, Fat: 11g, Carb: 24g, Fiber: 1.5g, Protein: 2.4g

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Johnny May 13, 2011 at 2:24 am

Wow, first to comment, must be up extra special early. Your tater totted tater tots look so good I want some for breakfast!

Love you for this journey! This is by far the best book I’ve ever gotten lost in! :)


Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 13, 2011 at 3:24 am

I’m pretty sure if I made these my husband really would love me forever (you can never have too much insurance;-))!


Di May 13, 2011 at 3:48 am

I need these. I love you for posting the recipe.


Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 13, 2011 at 3:55 am

Wow.. homemade tator tots… totted tators.. very cool. Never even thought of doing something like this!


Amy B @ Second City Randomness May 13, 2011 at 4:01 am

totted tators! I love that! :)

Looks good, Andie!


Melissa May 13, 2011 at 4:22 am

I love the way you say thank you. :)


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 13, 2011 at 4:28 am

These look incredible. I’m kind of (okay, totally) in love with you too. And I love tater tots. They make me feel like I’m buying hot lunch in the 4th grade.


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 13, 2011 at 5:05 am

Oh my goodness, these look so cute and perfect!! My mum and dad used to feed my sister and I tater tots when we were kids.. but not this kind. They were the frozen McCain kind which only tasted good because of the endless amounts of ketchup I put on them. (“Want some tater tots with that ketchup??”) But now, every time I see tater tots I think of the scenes in Napoleon Dynamite!!


Elisa May 13, 2011 at 5:36 am

Oh man, the fiance is going to FLIP when he sees this recipe! Supex excited to try this one out… thank you!


Kerry May 13, 2011 at 6:12 am

Delectable… and surprisingly easy to make. Maybe I will make these with the oven fries I’m attempting next week? A lot of starch…. but totally worth the splurge?


Sarah May 13, 2011 at 6:34 am

Well we ADORE you…so the feeling is mutual! :)

Those tots look amazing! I do love me some mini puffs of potato goodness but I always wonder what exactly comes in those big plastic bags in the freezer at the market. I mean besides the potato innards there HAS to be all sorts of yucky preservatives and other yuck stuff. SO…I am thrilled to have found this recipe on your blog. A new version of tots…au naturale!


hollie May 13, 2011 at 6:39 am

Hey Napolean, give me your tots!! Haha… These look great. I’ve often wondered how to make them. My son says he hates potatoes, but ironically LOVES tator tots. Maybe we’ll have to make these together!


Krystina (Organically Me) May 13, 2011 at 6:55 am

Can I just say that I adore you? I love the way you eat (tater tots make me happy) and that you drink soda. I’ve been craving soda so ridiculously bad lately.


Beth @ Beth's Journey May 13, 2011 at 7:07 am

Wow I never even thought to make these at home! So delicious looking… yuuuum!


Nicole, RD May 13, 2011 at 7:45 am

New to your blog – love it! :)

These tater tots look better than any that a cafeteria served up! Mmm!


Stacy May 13, 2011 at 7:48 am

I didn’t know Tots were that easy to make! We had fish and tots just this week – we’ll have to do it again but with yummier tots!


Erin May 13, 2011 at 8:04 am

I cannot help but think you are evil and lovely at the same time for sharing this


Leah @ Why Deprive? May 13, 2011 at 8:22 am

Ok – how awesome are you for making these? I never would have thought it was possible.
I LOVE tater tots!


Ashley May 13, 2011 at 8:37 am

These look soo good!! Im glad im not the only one who likes to cover my food in ketchup :)


Dana May 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

Well, if this is how you say thank you, I’m going to post more lovely things as we go on… :) Honestly, those 3 pieces were so well done, I actually went back and reread them after I posted. And homemade tater tots?! My kids love you too!


Samantha @ Bikini Birthday May 13, 2011 at 10:13 am

I’d love to make these but I usually avoid making fried food because it seems like a waste of oil. You only used 1/4 cup, were they shallow fried?


Megly May 13, 2011 at 10:23 am

OMG yum!! I saw something like this on The Kitchn a while back, only made with (leftover) mashed potatoes…do you think that would work, too?? These look fantastic, my boyfriend would go berserk.


Marcella May 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

I am smitten.


Sarah@The Flying ONION May 13, 2011 at 10:46 am

Just when I think you can’t “one up” every single recipe that you’ve ever made.

I am speechless.

And in need of a bag of potatoes so that I can get cookin’ as soon as possible. :D


Kathleen May 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

Oh WOW! I love this post! Tater tots are one of my favorite guilty pleasures!


Gina May 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

Not sure if I could keep to 1/5 the recipe for my serving of these!!! Yum!


Elena @ GagaForGrapefruit May 13, 2011 at 11:49 am

i’m glad you know how much we love you :) because we DO! (i may love you a litte TOO much!)(in the least creepy way possible)(i promise) but anyway, about the tots. i saw it on your twitter and couldn’t wait to see. and of course, you never disappoint. i’m currently trying to reach through my macbook to eat the tots. it isn’t working. looks like i know what i’ll be doing tonight… :)


Sophiegoose May 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I had tator tots for the first time in years a couple of weeks ago. It reminded me of my high school cafeteria. Wonderfully bad! Homemade ones would be special for a summer bbq get together.


Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever had a tater tot, but I’ll eat anything with potatoes in it :)


Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) May 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Mmm this takes me back to my childhood, I am in love :)


Rachel @ Rachel's Recipe Reviews May 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

We are in love with you too! And those taters look AMAZING!


iscribbler May 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I think you’re just spiffy! :)

Love this! I didn’t know you could make them at home so easily – thought you needed a special press thingy. I’m just going to have to try it and freeze a bunch of them for later. :) Did you just grate them with a cheese grater? Or did you use a special tool? Cold or cooked?


Nicole May 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I LOVE Tator Tots, but my desire to eat more natural foods have kept them away. I cannot wait to make these!! :)


Bee May 14, 2011 at 11:46 am

Oh wow, these look PERFECT! They’re gorgeous little tots, and absolutely positively tot-shaped! Any secrets for getting perfect little potato-mallows like these?


Lisa May 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Those look SO yummy!


Melissa May 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Serves five?

I find that highly doubtful.


Rachel May 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I love, love, love your site! I have made numerous recipes you’ve generously posted, and they are WONDERFUL! My family is nuts about the Petite Lasagnas. Keep going strong!


Tina @ My Life as a Mrs May 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

You make your own tater tots too? What are you, super woman?! ;) These look SOOO delicous.


Jess-The SemiAbnormal Gal May 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I love you, too. Will you marry me? We have can a cheese fountain, to go with the tots at the reception.


Jen @ keepitsimplefoods May 16, 2011 at 6:17 am

Simply brilliant.


Caitlin May 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm

So…you know Pittsburgh is home to Heinz ketchup right? And what goes better with tots? You can fly to Texas, we can go to Pittsburgh, visit Jessica and eat cupcakes until they have to roll us back to the airport. Sound like a plan?


Jenn July 7, 2011 at 11:27 am

Just found you today – EmilyBites.com mentioned you, and I hopped over… love your story. Incredibly inspirational.. I love that you quit running – I run b/c I have to for work (military) so I’ve tried to turn it into a hobby that I enjoy and still struggle most of the time. Anyways – I’ll be stopping by on a regular time.. and trying a couple of your recipes tonight!! BTW – where are those pics of you and Leo?


KJ August 17, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I’m curious about the tuna rangoon….but the link takes me here! help!


ami September 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I made these today and they were so good. They were crispy and salty and way better than the kind you get in school cafeterias. If anyone is concerned about the amount of oil, it works perfectly. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


Carla peters November 13, 2011 at 9:06 am

wow these look amazing!!!! I haven’t made them yet but am wondering how they would work baked rather than fried anyone tried that yet?


colette November 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Cannot wait to try these! I have been searching for ages for an easy tatertot recipe. I’m quickly becoming obsessed with your blog!


ruth January 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

So i just made these but they turned out a bit gooey on the inside. Tips?? I didnt think they cooked too fast but maybe I’m wrong.


CherylK February 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm

This is brilliant! Good old homemade comfort food.


Teresa Lidell February 5, 2012 at 11:47 am

My boyfriend loves tater tots. Can’t wait to make these!! Thank you for the recipe.


Linda Clark February 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I had this different type of ice tray and made these for yrs. My kids loved them. Just use the same recipie and stuff them in a old ice tray. Back then the ice trays froze larger pieces of ice. It worked for me.And I could freeze them after workds.


Dan April 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Yeah! Where’s the Tuna Rangoon??


Cara May 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I made these tonight and it was all I could do not to eat every last one before putting them into my tater tot casserole. (It gave me a sweet little thrill to know that every last morsel was homemade.) A couple notes for people who like extra detailed recipes: 1) Be careful to keep the tots separate from each other in the pan so they won’t stick to each other. 2) Tongs work well for nudging and turning. 3) These cook up fast – only 1-2 minutes a side. Maybe even less depending on how dark and crisp you want them to be. 4) I thought the teaspoon of salt added to the mixture was sufficient, so I recommend tasting before adding additional salt post-frying. 5) I only had a small pan to work with, so I did these in two batches. I only used 1/4 cup of oil total for both batches, just took the first batch out and added the second. Thank you, thank you, for this simple, tasty recipe!


Jenna May 24, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I really like the photos you posted for this, especially the second one with the diet Pepsi. I don’t really drink pop, but that photo makes me want to sit down, eat those tater tots, drink that diet Pepsi, and look out the window.


reco5256 August 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

thank u so much for this recipe. we love tater tots bu have always settled for the frozen kind (there was no other) and drowned them in catsup and mustard. but now we will enjoy the flavor of the TOT.
:):) connie


susie August 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

AMAZING!!! Seriously, who knew tator tots could be home made? I never knew. I know I know, silly me. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to use this recipe!!


Amanda September 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Such a simple recipe!!! I didn’t know it was so easy :). Thanks for posting! Can these be baked also???


motherlovin3 September 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm

We made these tonight. We did not think the 1/4 cup of oil would be enough so we added more. Our oil was too hot. Some were really borwn, but they turned out good. Next time we will add cheese, bacon and chives.


Teresa S. January 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Made the mistake of grating my potato too fine and ended up with very chewy gelatinous tots. :( They weren’t horrible, but the texture would be greatly improved if I had gone with a courser grate. Live and learn!


jesuslovesus March 31, 2013 at 12:28 am

Try it with 1/4 box of Velveeta. Cut into cubes. Melt in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each. After it is sufficiently melted add 1 or 2 very finely diced jalapenos peppers. Leave the seeds in them if you can stand the heat. Also add one small jar of drained pimentos. Wear gloves when cutting peppers or grease hands with Crisco before handling the jalapeños. Yummmmmmm!!!


Megan April 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm

These look amazing, can you freeze these? Would you freeze before or after cooking? Thanks!


Andie April 13, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Thanks Megan! I’d say cook them first; let them cool completely; freeze them; then reheat them straight from their frozen state at 400 degrees F until they’re crispy–maybe about 15 minutes?



Tasha May 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Wow these look delicious. Any suggestions to make them any healthier?


lj August 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I love tater tots and can’t wait to make these (tho I will be using GF flour).
They look delish!
I plan on cooking the tots in a rosemary infused oil and then serving them with a homemade ketchup (found the recipe on “pickyourown.org”)…I just can’t wait to taste these!!!!
Thank you so much Andie for sharing this recipe with us!


Jane Doe @ Weight Loss: The Bloody Truth October 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I love tater tots, however I cannot eat much of anything fried. Do you know if this will work if they are baked? They look SO delicious!


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