Des

Hey! I'm Des!

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Homemade Tater Tots

Skip the frozen aisle and make Homemade Tater Tots. It’s easy! No fancy equipment needed, just potatoes, cornstarch and seasonings of your choice.

When it comes to potatoes, I will eat them any which way I can get them. I love potato chips, french fries, baked potatoes, twice baked potatoes, creamy homemade mashed potatoes and oven roasted red potatoes.

Tater tots on a white plate on a wooden cutting board with striped towel.

But when I am out at a restaurant and see the words “Tater tots” on the menu, I cannot help myself. An up-charge for substituting tater tots for french fries? TAKE ALL MY MONEY.

I love them. My kids love them. My friends love them. Their kids love them. Basically, the bitesized pieces of fried potato goodness are a favorite for everyone. And yes, you can buy frozen tater tots at the grocery store and I often do. But those are usually lacking flavor, can sometimes be too small and are just not nearly as fun to make!

What ingredients do you need?

Before we get to just how easy tater tots are to make homemade, let’s talk about ingredients you’ll need. It’s literally 6 if you count salt and pepper. 

Homemade Tater Tots on a cooling rack.

To make them you’ll need: 

Russet Potatoes: Just classic ol’ russet potatoes work best for this recipe. You’ll want to peel them too. 

Cornstarch: Other tater tot recipes call for flour to hold everything together. I personally love that cornstarch makes fried food a bit crispier so I use that instead. It works just like flour and it makes these tater tots gluten free. 

Seasonings: This recipe calls for granulated (or powdered) garlic, salt, pepper and paprika for a hint of smokiness and color. 

DES’ TIP: The seasonings is where you get to be the most creative with this recipe. Use this recipe as a base but add whatever seasonings you like best. You could add dill, or rosemary or thyme. You could also do a spicy cajun version like my favorite restaurant tots ever, the McMenamins Cajun Tots. If you use a seasoning blend that has salt, omit the additional salt in this recipe. 

Dipping a tater tot in ketchup.

How do you make Tater Tots from scratch?

Not only are tater tots fun to make at home, they are also SUPER easy to make. These step by step photos and instructions will show you just how easy!

Step by Step Photos for tater tot recipe.

STEP 1: Peel the potatoes and place them in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and boil just until par-boiled. 6.- 7 minutes.

DES’ TIP: Be careful not to overcook the potatoes. They still need to be firm to grate. 

STEP 2: Remove potatoes and place on a paper-towel lined surface. Pat them dry and allow them to cool to the touch. 

STEP 3: Once potatoes are cool, grate the potatoes. Use the larger side of the grater. 

STEP 4: Combine the potatoes with cornstarch, paprika, granulated garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well until combined. 

Collage of 2 photos. Tater tots on baking sheet and tater tots frying in a pot.

STEP 5: Using about 1 tablespoon of the mixture, form into “tot” shape. 

STEP 6: Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pot to 400 degrees. Fry the tater tots in batches until golden brown, 2 – 3 minutes. Transferring the cooked tots to a cooling rack in a warmed oven to keep warm. 

DES’ TIP: Like any fried food, it is important to avoid overcrowding the pan. Putting too many tots in at one time will result in them steaming more than frying and they won’t get nearly as crispy. 

Traditionally, Tater Tots are deep fried. However, you can also make this recipe in the air fryer. Simply spray them lightly with non-stick spray and cook them at 390 degrees for about 15 minutes, shaking every 5.

I can’t talk these babies up enough. I served them with burgers and my kiddos devoured them. But don’t just take my word for it! Try them yourself, you’ll be glad you did.

Looking for something other than ketchup to dip these Homemade Tater Tots in? I’ve got you covered!

Homemade Ranch Dip 

Garlic Aioli

Horseradish Cream Sauce

Homemade Tarter Sauce Recipe

Like this potato recipe? Be sure to check these out! 

Roasted Red Potatoes

Jo Jo Potato Wedges

Pressure Cooker Potatoes

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Homemade Tater Tots Recipe

Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:
5 based on 6 reviews

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • oil for frying

Instructions

1

Peel the potatoes and place them in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and boil just until par-boiled. 6.- 7 minutes.

2

Remove potatoes and place on a paper-towel lined surface. Pat them dry and allow them to cool to the touch. 

3

Once potatoes are cool, grate the potatoes. Use the larger side of the grater. 

4

Combine the potatoes with cornstarch, paprika, granulated garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well until combined. 

5

Using about 1 tablespoon of the mixture, form into "tot" shape. 

6

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large heavy bottomed pot to 400 degrees. Fry the tater tots in batches, if needed, until golden brown, 2 - 3 minutes. If cooking in batches, set your oven to warm (or it's lowest setting) place tater tots on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack on top to keep warm.

Notes

Nutrition facts are for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 650 , Total Fat: 54.8g , Saturated Fat: 10.8g , Cholesterol: 0mg , Sodium: 305mg , Carbohydrates: 38.4g , Fiber: 5.8g , Sugar: 2.8g , Protein: 4g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Cathy
    April 22, 2020 at 10:31 am

    We’re never going store bought again!!!

  • Reply
    Vikki
    April 21, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    These tater tots are so crispy and delicious! Definitely making them again

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    April 21, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    Oh wow, those look so perfectly crispy, I’ve got to try these!

  • Reply
    Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    April 21, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    These Homemade Tater Tots sound delicious! Dangerously good…

  • Reply
    Dorothy Reinhold
    April 21, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    My kids love tater tots. Never thought to make them myslef. This will be a fun project!

  • Reply
    Suzy
    April 21, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Never knew how easy it would be to make these homemade! Love it!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.