Homemade tater tots with bacon are golden and crispy on the outside, yet soft and tender inside. They're loaded with bacon, cheese and seasoning and packed with flavour. These delicious tater tots are a total family favourite and one that the kids love. They are baked to perfection, but you can easily deep fry them or make them in the air fryer.
Plus, these are so much better for you than the frozen tater tots that you buy at the store since we are making everything fresh and know exactly what is going in there. Plus, you have the option to bake these or air fry them. When you use store bought tater tots, note that they are already deep fried before they are frozen.
Ingredients in Homemade Tater Tots
- russet potatoes - 1 lb. of potatoes (or 2 large potatoes).
- They hold up well during baking, so your beautiful Tater Tots won’t turn to mush.
- bacon - adds incredible flavour but can be left out if you prefer.
- all purpose flour - helps bind the tater tots so that they don't fall apart.
- mozzarella cheese - you can substitute with any melty cheese like sharp cheddar cheese.
- garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- fresh parsley - for garnish.
How to Make the Best Homemade Tater Tots with Bacon
- Boil the potatoes. Place potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes until softened but not completely cooked. Drain well and let cool.
- Cook the bacon. Meanwhile, sauté bacon (no cooking oil needed) in a large cooking pot or 4 qt. Dutch oven over medium high heat until crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Save bacon fat in a bowl and chop bacon into small bits
- Shred the potatoes. Shred potatoes into thin strips with a box grater. Wash off excess potato starch under cold water and drain well. Squeeze out excess water with a cheesecloth or dish towel and place shredded potato into a large mixing bowl.
- Combine ingredients. Add bacon bits, flour, mozzarella, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
- Shape the tater tots. Shape the mixture into 1.5-inch tater tots, and place on a large half sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper.
How to Cook Homemade Tater Tots
You can cook homemade tater tots in one of three ways: baked in the oven, deep fried, or in the air fryer.
- How to bake in the oven: Spray some cooking oil spray over the tater tots and bake in a 400F preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden brown, turning the tater tots halfway through baking. Turn the broiler on high for an additional 4-5 minutes to achieve extra crispy browned tater tots, if desired. Keep a close eye on the broiler as things can burn quickly.
- How to deep fry: Fill oil about 1-inch high in a shallow saucepan or cooking pot. Heat on medium heat until sizzling hot, about 3-4 minutes. Add tater tots and cook until golden brown and crispy on all sides, about 3-4 minutes.
- How to air fry: Add tots in a single layer in the air fryer basket (you may have to cook in multiple batches). Cook for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Serve immediately with ketchup or your favourite dipping sauce.
Tips for Storing Tater Tots
- How to store: Store cooked tater tots in an air tight container (once cooled to room temperature), and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- How to reheat: Reheat in a 350 F preheated oven or air fryer for 5-10 minutes until warmed through and crispy.
- Make ahead instructions: Shape the tots and line them on your baking pan. Then cover with plastic cling wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to one day in advance. When ready to make them, set the tray out on the counter for about 20 minutes to bring the tots to room temperature. Then cook as per recipe instructions.
More Handheld Appetizer Recipes
- Fried Mac and Cheese Balls
- Baked BBQ Chicken Wings
- Fried Vegetarian Spring Rolls
- Shrimp Tacos with Lime Crema Slaw
- Baked Mozzarella Sticks
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.