Loaded Tater Tots

This crispy loaded tater tots recipe is perfect for game day or a snack spread and will surely be a big hit! It’s full of textures and flavors that keep you busy munching away.

Loaded tater tots on a white plate.

The tater tots are dusted with ranch seasoning, topped with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon, and broiled until melty.

Top with sliced green onions and pickled jalapenos, and serve with ranch sour cream for dipping on the side. It’s loaded with savory flavors and various textures for an appetizer that’s sure to become a favorite.

Tater tots with sour cream dip.
Photo credit: My Everyday Table.

Why You’ll Love This Loaded Tater Tots Recipe

Variety of savory flavors: With ranch, sharp cheddar cheese, turkey bacon, green onions, and jalapenos, you know the flavors are oh-so-good! And put them together? Delicious!

Made with simple ingredients: This simple recipe doesn’t require any specialty ingredients; you should be able to get everything at your local grocery store. I’m sharing options for shortcuts to help make this recipe even easier; check the ingredient list below. 

Easy to make: Simply bake the tots, top the tots with cheese and bacon, and bake again until melty and your tots are ready to enjoy. 

Crowd pleaser: There’s a lot to love about this snack, and with bacon, ranch, and cheesy flavors, it’s always a crowd-pleaser.  

Ingredients 

Ingredients for loaded tater tots.
Photo credit: My Everyday Table.

Tater Tots: Look for frozen tater tots in the potato section of your frozen foods aisle. Since we’re seasoning them with ranch, buy the plain tots instead of seasoned tots. There are a variety of brands to choose from, or you could make your own if you prefer. 

Ranch Seasoning: This is the dry ranch powder. You can buy it in packets, or if you go through a lot of it, they sell it in bulk, too. 

Sour Cream: I use full-fat sour cream for the best flavor, but you can also use low-fat or fat-free if you prefer. 

Cheddar Cheese: For a quick shortcut, buy your cheddar cheese already shredded or shred your own if you prefer. I recommend sharp cheddar for the best flavor. 

Bacon: Use your favorite sausages, turkey bacon, salami, or pastrami. Chop them up into small pieces. 

Green Onions: Use fresh green onions without any browning. Thinly slice, and you can use the onion’s white and green parts. You can also use chives if you prefer. Both will impart a mild onion flavor. 

Pickled Jalapenos: If you like a little heat, you’ll want to include some pickled jalapenos, but I would let everyone add their own as heat tolerance varies a lot. They are pretty mild, but if you love spice, add fresh jalapenos for extra spice.  

Equipment

You don’t need any special equipment, just a rimmed sheet pan. Aluminum foil is also helpful for quick and easy cleanup. 

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place tater tots on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake tater tots according to package instructions until golden brown and crispy. 

Photo collage of how to make tater tots.
Photo credit: My Everyday Table.

While tater tots are baking, make ranch sour cream. Combine sour cream with two tablespoons of ranch seasoning in a small bowl. Refrigerate sour cream mixture until serving. 

When tater tots are done baking, sprinkle with one tablespoon of ranch seasoning.

Sprinkle shredded cheese over tots and chopped meat of your choice, and broil for 2 to 4 minutes until the cheese is melty. 

Top with sliced green onion and pickled jalapenos to taste, and serve with sour cream for dipping.

Substitutions 

Sweet Potato Tater Tots: Swap out the tater tots for sweet potato tater tots, sometimes called sweet potato puffs. You could also make your own sweet potato tater tots. The sweet and salty flavor combination is delicious and would work well. 

Greek Yogurt: Swap out the sour cream for full-fat plain Greek yogurt for a close alternative, or use low-fat or fat-free plain Greek yogurt if you prefer.  

Dairy-Free: Want to make this recipe dairy-free? Swap out the cheddar cheese for your favorite dairy-free alternative that melts well and the sour cream for your favorite dairy-free alternative. 

Vegetarian: To make these tots vegetarian, omit the meat or use your favorite meat alternative. 

Variations 

Taco Tots: Instead of ranch seasoning, use taco seasoning to season the tots and the sour cream. Add some chopped cilantro and swap out the bacon for taco meat. 

Loaded tater tots on a baking tray.
Photo credit: My Everyday Table.

Chili Tots: You can put your favorite chili or canned chili, top with cheese, and bake until melty. Finish with green onions and pickled jalapenos. 

Poutine Tots: Top your baked tater tots with cheese curds and a heavy drizzle of gravy before serving.

Buffalo Tots: Inspired by buffalo cauliflower bites, drizzle your cooked tots with buffalo sauce right before serving. You could also stir in some buffalo sauce to the sour cream dip if you want to add double the buffalo flavor. 

Kid-Friendly: The easiest way to make these kid-friendly is to let everyone make their own little tray of tater tots, just like I did here with these chicken nachos. Instead of cooking the tots on one large piece of aluminum foil, make little trays that will fit onto the rimmed sheet pan, and then everyone can make their own personalized tray of loaded tater tots. Plus, it’s a great way to get everyone involved in the cooking process. 

Storage 

To Store: Store any leftover tater tots or ranch sour cream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. 

To Reheat: For best results, reheat the tater tots in a 375°F oven until heated and the cheese melts. 

Serving Suggestions 

These loaded tots are a great part of an appetizer or game day spread, so serve it with other appetizers like chips and salsa, veggies and dip, and meatball sliders. 

You can also serve this as a fun movie night meal with fruit and veggies.

FAQ 

What do you put on tater tots?

There are so many fun ways to add flavor to tater tots. You can keep it as simple as dusting the cooked tater tots with seasoning like ranch, taco, lemon pepper, garlic salt, or truffle salt.

You can also turn these into loaded tater tots like we have here by topping the tots with cheddar cheese, green onions, and pickled jalapenos.

What is the secret to crispy tater tots?

No one likes soggy tater tots; crispy tots are a must! You can ensure they are crispy in a few different ways. Be sure to spread the tots in a single layer with plenty of room around each tater tot. You can also bump up the cooking temperature to 425°F like we have here. The cooking instructions will vary depending on what brand you use, but 425°F is typically safe enough, even if the package calls for a slightly lower temperature. You can also cook them in the air fryer for a quicker version that crisps them up well.

Are tater tots gluten-free?

Most tater tots are naturally gluten-free as they are made with a combination of potatoes and various oils and seasonings. Still, you’ll want to double-check to be sure. Many homemade tater tot recipes are made with flour as a binder, so they would not be gluten-free.

Related Recipes 

If you love this loaded tater tot recipe, you might also like some of these other tater tot recipes: 

I hope I’ve shown you how easy these delicious loaded tater tots are! Whether you’re making them for a satisfying snack or serving them as part of a game-day spread, I know they will surely be a hit with their savory and cheesy flavor. And be sure to try some of the other varieties and topping ideas next time.

This article originally appeared on Pink When.

Loaded tater tots on a white plate.
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Loaded Tater Tots

This loaded tater tots recipe is perfect for game day or a snack spread and will surely be a big hit! Crispy tater tots are dusted with ranch seasoning, topped with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon, and broiled until melty.
Author: Emily Dinngmann
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Breakfast & Brunch, Snacks & Starters
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 28 Ounces frozen tater tots
  • 1 Ounce ranch seasoning packet
  • 1/2 Cup sour cream
  • 8 Ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2.5 Ounces cooked crumbled bacon
  • 2 medium green onions
  • pickled jalapenos to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread out tater tots on an aluminum foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake tater tots according to package instructions until golden brown and crispy.
  • While tater tots are baking, make ranch sour cream. In a small bowl, combine sour cream with 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning. Refrigerate until serving.
  • When tater tots are done baking, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning. Sprinkle shredded cheese and crumbled bacon over tots and broil for 2-4 minutes until cheese is melty.
  • Top with sliced green onion and pickled jalapenos to taste and serve with sour cream for dipping.

Nutrition

Calories: 784kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 2106mg | Potassium: 764mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 763IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 472mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer

Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Emily Dingmann (My Everyday Table) 

Bio:

Emily Dingmann is the founder, recipe developer, content creator, and writer behind myeverydaytable.com. She creates easy recipes for busy families using her degree in Nutrition and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor backgrounds. Her work has been featured on the Today Show, Self Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Twin Cities Live, and more.

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