Tater Tots

in Appetizers, Sides, Snacks

A few Friday thoughts:

1. Why do high school reunions still exist?! This is why Facebook was invented. I already know that you married that dude. And had those kids. And live in that house. I see the pictures. EVERY. DAY…in my newsfeed.

2. Why don’t we embrace breakfast foods for dessert? Think warm chocolate waffles…topped with vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream. I experienced this Monday night with Nastassia. SO MAJOR!! We’re doing this soon. Promise.

2. I make plans for nicknames. This is normal, right? For instance, whenever I give birth to a small human, I’m probably going to call him “tater tot.” Maybe “tater” for the nickname to his nickname. Is there anything cuter than a tater tot? No. Also, when I finally get a corgi I’m totally naming him “Fredrique.” Such a proper prestigious name. Very appropriate.

3. Third and final, I successfully (!!) cooked up the nickname of my future son. This is HUGE for me. I’ve tried a few tater tot recipes over the years and have never been satistifed with the results…until yesterday. I was giddy for the rest of the day due to this fried achievement. Is it the easiest, fastest recipe on this blog? No. Definitely not. Is it worth the effort? YES!! And a bonus is that you can double this batch, freeze them, and fry them up, per your leisure.

Plus: I (sorta) have step-by-step pictures. LET’S START!!


The only two pieces of equipment that are needed: a candy thermometer and a potato ricer. Both pretty cheap. Both will come in handy for the next few months with all the holiday cooking we have in our futures.

Peel and dice a few russett potatoes. I used three smallish-medium ones.

Boil those diced potatoes for about 10-15 minutes. Drain them…

Scoop the diced potatoes into your potato ricer and then press it down.

Whaaaa?! Look at those little potato legs!!

Okay, this is the weirdest part of the recipe. We’re kinda sorta gonna make a pΓ’te Γ‘ choux? The same dough for things like churro tots..and profiteroles.

Yeah, it’s kinda strange. But this makes it so we can get that soft mushy center. And it allows us to pipe them out. And no…these tots taste nothing like cooked flour. Promise.

After you thoroughly combine the cooked flour/water mixture with two eggs, you’re going to combine it with the potato mixture.

I added grated gruyere…thinking I’d be real smart to make cheesy tater tots. But honestly, it didn’t really make that much of a difference.

I left out the cheese in the recipe below because they simply weren’t cheesy enough. Definitely not worth the $5 on cheese.

I feel like to make them super cheesy, we’d need more cheese; that might be expensive and expensive isn’t what tater tots are as a person, you know?

Mix the flour/water mixture with the potatoes until just combined. Make sure to not overmix. This will make them gummy.

Transfer the mixture to a ziploc, using it like a piping bag. Cut off the corner, giving you about a 1-inch hole and then pipe out the potato mixture onto two baking sheets.

Just like so:

Stick ’em in the freezer for about an hour. You want them firm, but not frozen.

This will allow you to cut them up into 1-inch tots.


Stick them back in the freezer until frozen. Mine froze with another hour in the freezer.

While your tots are freezing, make some dipping sauces. I combined a little mayonnaise with harissa

And then mayo with curry powder. If you don’t have those on hand and don’t feel like dealing, they taste delicious with plain ol’ ketchup!

After they’re done freezing, heat up some oil, fry them up…and then…


P.S. I bet these would be glorious using sweet potatoes.

Tater Tots

Print this recipe!

1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour plus additional for coating
2 large eggs
1 1/4 pounds Russett Potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Vegetable oil (for deep-frying)

1. In a medium saucepan, bring water butter and salt to a boil. Add 1 cup flour; stir over medium heat until mixture pulls away from edges of pan, about 1 minute. Transfer to medium bowl. Using a wooden spoon (or spatula), fold mixture for about 3 minutes. You’re doing this to cool the dough a bit before adding the eggs. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well between additions. The mixture will look wet and mushy, but keep folding the egg mixture into the dough–it’ll eventually combine. Measure 1 1/4 cups dough and reserve (discard any remaining dough).

2. Place potatoes in medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Boil until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Press potatoes through ricer or food mill into large bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups reserved dough, salt, and white pepper. Fold dough into potatoes until completely combined, being sure to not overly mix which will make the potatoes gummy.

3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer dough to ziploc bag, working the dough fitted with 3/4-inch-diameter plain tip. Pipe dough in logs onto prepared sheet. Freeze until firm but not frozen, about 1 hour. Cut logs into 1 inch-long pieces. Toss in flour, return to sheet, cover, and freeze completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container; keep frozen.

4. Pour enough oil into large saucepan to measure depth of 2 inches. Heat oil to 350Β°F. Working in batches, cook frozen potato pieces until cooked through and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Natashia@foodonpaper November 4, 2011 at 7:55 am

YUM! I think I would still add cheese tho, I love cheesy potatoes..


Jessica @ How Sweet November 4, 2011 at 8:35 am

i’ve been adamant about #1 for years. NO NEED!!!


Stacey! November 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm



Janis November 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

I was just thinking about ‘tater tots’ last night, although i dont think we get them over here. I will be making these, mabe with a strong chedder. Awesome recipe.


Becki's Whole Life November 4, 2011 at 11:22 am

Disney channel had a show called Jo-Jo’s Circus and one of the character families were the Couch Potatoes and they were super lazy, but cute, and their youngest was called Tater Tot and they called him Tater for short…this just made me think of that show. Very cute – He could drop the r as he got older and be Tate.

These are amazing and I grew up loving tater tots from school and now I love them as an adult. I even love that Tater Tot Casserole very much. I love your suggestion to freeze a bunch because that does make the work and steps very much worth it. I might even go out and get a ricer just for this!


Adrianna November 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm

WHAT? They’re stealing my ideas!! And OMG, a tater tot casseroles with these would be incredible.


Brittney November 8, 2011 at 1:59 am

Have you seen the stand up comedian Ron White?….His nickname is Tater Salad (you will have to watch the clip to understand why) but he mentions naming his son Tater Tot also… pretty funny!


Sue/the view from great island November 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I’m amazed to see what goes into the making of a humble tater tot. But your results look soooo crunchy and good that I have to try this.


Katrina November 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm

This is soooo cool!! Thanks!


Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray November 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Can we start a petition for #1?! I just went to my high school reunion last week…yeah. No. Plus I don’t think there is a length of time that can pass after which girls will not be cliquey and catty. Y’know? C’mon. We’re old and mature and stuff now. Right? Psh. We should all just eat tater tots and love each other.

(P.S. I’m totally nicknaming my future child “Peanut.” Glad I’m not alone in planning ahead, and in using food names.)


Adrianna November 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Peanut is super cute. I dig that. P.S. Rachel Zoe calls her little dude “Peanut.” I’m mad I know this.


Stacey! November 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Every time I find myself saying “I die!” or “That’s major.” I feel like a baby angel loses its wings. Why do I love this show so much?!


Style4Curves November 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm

NUMBER ONE YESSSSSSSSS!! Then my classmates wrote me on facebook like why aren’t you coming to the class reunion?? Ummm hello I see YOU and YOUR THOUGHTS everyday…….seriously. No seriously lollllllllll



Adrienne November 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm

These look fantastic. I am a total tater tot addict. Plus whenever you get your corgi PLEASE share pictures! I want one so bad, but alas my apartment only allows cats. I’m a corgi addict as well. Good things to be addicted to, right?


Adrianna November 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Oh trust me, when I finally do you guys will be subjected to a ridiculous amount of gratiutous shots.


Ashleigh @ ashleighskitchen November 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Wow these look great! What a good idea! Thanks for the recipe!


Cassie @ bake your day November 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Delicious. I love tater tots! And #1 – I agree. No need for reunions anymore! I’ll for sure sign that petition!


Bev Weidner November 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I am a new woman.


Heather (Heather's Dish) November 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

these are kind of dangerously simple…my waistline is in BIG trouble!


brandi November 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm

these are ridiculous. i need them!

and for #1, our high school reunion was planned for this year but it got cancelled because they didn’t have enough people sign up – i think it’s heading that way!


Evelyn November 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Tater tots are the shit!


Paula @ Dishing the Divine November 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I am so excited to try these! They look delicious! :)


Lindsay @ Schnoodle Soup November 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm

OMG – this is the best recipe you’ve ever put on here…mostly because I could live on potatoes and ketchup for the rest of my life.

I have to disagree with # 1. No way we’re all friends with EVERYONE from hs on FB and although I’ll give you that I dislike 98% of the people I graduated with, I’m still morbidly curious to see what they’ve been up to. Some sick validatation of my own life. I’m totally going with my best friend and plan to not go sober. Sounds like fun, no?


Adrianna November 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm



Kelsey G November 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Oh my goodness – I am going to the store on Monday – getting a potato ricer – and MAKING THESE TOTS! Yum!


Lauren @ FoodIsTherapy November 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

These look absolutely incredible…I may have just found plans for for Friday night!


Rocio November 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm

1. Agreed.
2. Yes! Breakfast for dessert is officially on my to-do list.
2b.I have names picked out for all of my future pets.
3. Mmmmm, tater tots


nicole {sweet peony} November 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm

totally agree with #1 & i totally do #2. hmmm… you know what i mean.

yay for the ziploc-baggie trick… so glad it worked out for this recipe :) i cannot wait to make these. i was always so jealous in school when my friends would get school lunches, but purely of the fact that they got tater tots & i got fruit.

happy friday girl! :)


Sarah November 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm

love that the child gets called “Tater Tot” and the dog gets called “Fredrique”… haha!

i really want to make these– i think my husband’s head would EXPLODE!


Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen November 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

These look super yummy. I always make dipping sauces out of purees chipotles in adobo + mayo, but I’m totally trying harissa next time! That sounds amazing.

I have to agree with you on hs reunions…my 10 year one is next year and I am 99% sure that I won’t be going. If I do go, I’ll be drunk.


Jessica November 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Holy crap you made your own Tater Tots. I love you. <3


Jess November 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I mildly disagree about #1 only because my ex-boyfriend is NOT on FB and really, what’s the point of FB if you can’t stalk ex boyfriends? So my high school reunion still serves a purpose for me, however, I’m still not going since it’s 4,000 miles away and 2 days after Thanksgiving and I’d rather pass around a big ole yummy turkey with my friends than fly 5 hours to see my ex boyfriend…with my husband. This is all getting weird.

On another note, these tater tots look FABULOUS! I can’t wait to try them.


Lindsay November 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! So excited to make these. I noticed in your step-by-step guide the you suggest using Russett potatoes but in your recipe you call for Yukon Gold. Do you have a preference?


Adrianna November 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Ah! Good catch! I haven’t tried them with Yukon Gold, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t work out. I’ll switch it to mention Russetts, too!


carly {carlyklock} November 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Who knew tater tots had some French in them?!?!?


Sharon November 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I’m a big fan of desserts for breakfast (had a big fat cookie this morning thank you!), so why not the other way around. Also thinking I could have these tater tots for breakfast. Where do you live again?


Jono November 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I like your style a lot! Awesome food style, awesome writing style. There aren’t too many food bloggers like us.




Teri Lyn Fister November 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm

GIMME YOUR TOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kim November 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

If i were to bake instead of fry – what temperature would you suggest?


tina November 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm

OMG you’re totally killing me with this! this is why i come to your site!! freakin’ brilliant and i like how your brain thinks, pretty lady. Happy weekend A! :)


Dana B November 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Wonderful! Now I can make homemade fishsticks and homemade tater tots; never seemed right having store-bought ones. Only prob is I don’t have a ricer :( Recommendations on brand? Oxo?


Adrianna November 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I bought the OXO potato ricer…only because it was the cheapest. :) Worked just fine.


cindy November 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I love tater tots! yes! I definitely think a sweet potato version would be amazing. This is a genius recipe!

I, too, make plans for nicknames…like, if I ever have a boy-dog I will call him Hermes, nicknamed Dirty Herm and his theme song will be Ridin’ Dirty. Yeah, it’s elaborate. Also, if I have a boy-child I’ll call him Baby Bear and then Teddy Bear and then Teddy…I don’t know what his real name will be though. Ha!


Adrianna November 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

You have no idea how much I love these nicknames. AMAZE.


Rachel November 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm

You read my mind. I was just thinking about an hour ago that I wanted tater tots but didn’t want the heavily processed store-bought ones, got to my email, and here it is! These will totally be made soon. Thanks!


Cindy November 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I love welsh corgis!!! If I ever get one, I plan on naming him Babar! Fredrique sounds so sophistocated!


Ruby Alexandra November 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Omgggg food names. I desperately want a bunny and to call it muffin.


Sabrina@LouLouSucre November 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I think that highschool reunions are the best!!! I wish that we could have one every year. I can never get enough of my old friend’s 12-month old in a beauty pageant pictures!!! Also, my sister’s yorkie is named “Marvin” and tater tots definitely rule!! Great recipe.


Joanna @ Southern Daisy November 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm

These look so good….if only I had a potato ricer! And a candy thermometer! I agree with you whole-heartedly on the reunion issue. In fact, we were actually discussing this at our Bible Study the other night about how we don’t really need reunions now that we see everyone’s lives through facebook. I know, not really appropriate Bible Study discussion, but oh well.


Joanna @ Southern Daisy November 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Oh and another thing. I totally get you on the whole future name thing. When I was in college, my roommate announced one day that she wanted to get a turtle and name him Maurice. So that night we went to the store and each got a turtle. :-)


Kiran @ KiranTarun.com November 5, 2011 at 12:32 am

Wow! Those tater tots looks so delicious. Better than any I’ve ever seen πŸ˜€ Anything made at home is always better in my opinion.


Sally November 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Those tater tots look so yummy and crispy! A corgi by any name is perfect. They’re such cuties!


Kelly November 5, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Love the nickname Tater Tot! We call my precious baby nephew Nater Tot… his name is Nathaniel, or Nathan, or Nate, or Natey. Great kid, great name. Do you know of any un-hot Nates? No, they don’t exist.


Betty @ scrambled hen fruit November 6, 2011 at 1:37 am

My kids are all coming home Thanksgiving week, and they’ll love these! I may even make some with sweet potatoes as you suggested. :)


Nastassia November 6, 2011 at 2:23 am

those chocolate waffles were INSANE! i’m still dreaming of them!


yummy supper November 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Adrianna, You rock! Tater tots (when done right) are a perfect food. Hungry now….


Lisa @ The Cooking Bride November 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

It’s funny you see yourself calling a little human being “tater tot.” My husband’s name is Nathan, and when I was pregnant our son, we called him “Nater Tot.”


Lora @ theamericaine.blogspot.com November 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Thank you for doing all the work and discovering this incredible recipe. I find tater tots to be one of those guilty pleasures that I just cannot resist!


Michelle @ Taste As You Go November 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I have been wondering for years whether it were possible to make tater tots at home. Thank you for providing the answer! Can’t wait to try these out. NOMS!


Claire November 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Those are the most delicious looking tater tots I have ever seen!


Nealey @ Dixie Caviar November 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm

These look EPIC! Well done!


Abbie July 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Adrianna! Help! Mine completely fell apart in the oil! What did I do wrong?? :(


Adrianna July 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Abbie! What a bummer. I’m not sure. You did the freezing step, right?


Abbie July 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Yup, froze before and after cutting. I did some googling and some people specified that you need to squeeze all the moisture out of the potatoes before ricing, which I definitely didn’t do. BUT – I tried baking them since the frying was a bust and they actually turned out really good that way too. So I accidentally made a health-ish version of the recipe :)


Adrianna August 1, 2012 at 12:39 am

Ohhh yes! I did this. Let me add that to the recipe instructions because I do remember pressing them a little to release the water, AND then pressing completely the ricer completely down. I’m glad the baked version turned out! :)


Linda A March 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Can these be made with Sweet potatoes? sorry- I didn’t have to read through all the messages…..


Adrianna March 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Sweet potatoes have less starch so I actually don’t think they’ll work. You really do need a starchy potato. :(


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