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Dressed Up Tater Tots

The much-loved food, tater tots, is often considered a staple of American comfort food. They offer the best of both worlds with a creamy center and a crispy, deep-fried exterior. The tater tot has not always been as popular as it is today. Recent food trends have made this salty morsel a must-have item for restaurants all across the country.

In the 1950s, Ore-Ida came up with the tater tot to limit food waste during French fry production. The moment these little morsels hit the shelf, tater tots were a hit. They elevated the growing frozen food market and opened the door to knockoffs attempting to recreate the wildly popular item.

The tater tot was not always used the way they are today. Starting as a perfect side item, it now gets to shine on its own. Recent food trends have elevated the potato staple from the kid’s menu to a hot menu item as restaurants rush to create new tater tot dishes. The popularity of tater tots has increased by 3.27% in restaurants, causing cooks to put a unique spin on the deep-fried morsel to draw in consumers.

Now that we have learned a little about the popularity of tater tots, did you buy a large bag but are tired of having them plain as a side? Below are a few uses to spice up your tater game!

1. Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole

You could always eat a cheeseburger with tater tots on the side, but why not try piling everything on a plate instead? You may be skeptical now, but once you try it, you will not regret it!

2. Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tot Bombs

Say HELLO to your new favorite appetizer! These tater bombs are stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, and baked with brown sugar. Sounds like the perfect sweet and salty snack to me.

3. Big Mac Tater Tot Nachos

Nachos with chips? No thanks. Try a delicious bed of tater tots topped with all the fixings from your favorite fast food burger… including the “special sauce.”

4. Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Nachos

Who doesn’t love buffalo chicken on game day? So pile the chicken on tater tots along with blue cheese and scallions.

5. Cheesy Tater Tot Breakfast Bake

If you think about it, tater tots are pretty much tiny hashbrowns. They will make an unforgettable breakfast or brunch casserole. Why not layer them with cheese, eggs, sausage, and other breakfast toppings you may like?

6. Tater Tot Waffles

Pull out and dust off your waffle maker and prepare to be amazed. Load it up with tater tots, close the lid, wait for them to become crispy, and top with an egg.

7. Smoked Gouda and Bacon Loaded Tater Tots

It is very important to incorporate gourmet ingredients when using simple store-bought ingredients. Use smoked gouda to make your cheese sauce, and then top it with your favorite crisp bacon.

8. Loaded Tater Tot Skewers

Tater tot skewers are perfect for tailgating or watching football at home. Accent with your favorite toppings, but bacon and cheese are always necessary. Serve them with a side of sour cream or ranch dressing for dipping.

9. Tater Tot Breakfast Pizza

If you were ever looking for an excuse to eat pizza for breakfast, here it is! Tater tots are totally acceptable for breakfast, especially in the form of a pizza crust. For this recipe, try using potato rounds for a more flat crust.

10. Tater Tot Pizza Casserole

Pizza night will never be the same after you try this easy casserole. For maximum crunch factor, use a cast iron skillet and bake the tots before topping them with cheese and your favorite ingredients.

11. Taco Tater Casserole

No taco shells? No problem! Go for a Mexican-style casserole with taco meat, beans, and cheese.

12. Waffled Tater Tot Grilled Cheese

Once you have mastered the art of tater tot waffles, the natural progression is a tater tot grilled cheese waffle. Be sure to serve alongside a steaming bowl of tomato soup for dipping.

Are you hungry yet? Tots are a perfect blank canvas for tot cuisine! Get a head start on a meal with a bag of frozen tater tots.


Written by Vicki Hayman, MS, University of Wyoming Extension Community Vitality and Health Educator



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Extension Educator:
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

University of Wyoming Extension

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Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

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