Air Fryer Tater Tots

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These Air Fryer Tater Tots are a simple way to cook one of your favorite potato snacks and get a super crispy exterior and fluffy interior – just the way tater tots are supposed to be.

A bowl of tater tots

Potatoes are one of the best things to make in an air fryer. We make potato recipes all the time, like potato wedges, crispy cubed potatoes, even sweet potato fries. The circulating air in the air fryer helps crisp up the exterior of the tots, just like they’d be in a deep fryer, but without all the extra oil.

I used to make tater tots in the oven, but once I got my air fryer, I stopped doing that entirely. Why put them in the oven when the air fryer does such a better job and in half the time?

Why You’ll Love It

  • Simplicity: Take advantage of the ease and convenience of this recipe. Just dump and cook. Doesn’t get any easier than that!
  • Perfect Texture: Satisfyingly crunchy on the outside, yet tender on the inside, giving you the perfect textural contrast.
  • Versatile Side Dish: Crunchy tater tots pair well with all kinds of main dishes.

Todd Magnus says: 5 stars I can’t believe how easy and delicious these air fryer tater tots are.

Micki says: 5 stars The air fryer gave them the perfect crunch.

Ingredients You Need

This is a very simple recipe that only needs a few basic ingredients:

  • Frozen tater tots – Use any brand you like. We use Ore-Ida brand Golden Tater Tots. There is a list of other options that we’ve tried and liked below.
  • Salt – Tater tots definitely need salt once they are cooked. All potatoes need a good sprinkle of salt to bring out their flavor. To give them a little extra boost, use seasoned salt.
  • Dipping sauce – Optional.

Equipment Information

  • Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit a meal for 4-6. But some things need more space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
  • Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.
A bowl of tater tots

Helpful Tips

  • Prepared frozen tater tots do not need any oil added to them in the air fryer. They are pre-fried with oil that will make them crispy without adding any more.
  • You can make your own tater tots if you wish. Here is a recipe. They should still be cooked from frozen, even if homemade.

How to Make Tater Tots in the Air Fryer

Step One: Air fryer

Frozen tater tots in the air fryer basket

Cook the tater tots at  400°F (205°C) for 15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. I find that everyone likes their tater tots cooked to a different degree of crispiness. So you might need to cook them for a few more minutes until they reach the crispiness you like.

To check the interior, just grab one and taste it. If it needs more time, continue cooking. They’re done when they’re crispy and browned.

Don’t forget to give them a nice sprinkle of salt once they’re cooked. This will really make them tasty.

A bowl of tater tots

How To Make Tater Tots From Scratch

Making tater tots from scratch isn’t hard to do but definitely takes more time than just opening a bag! If you want to give it a try here are the steps:

Parboil 2-4 medium sized russet potatoes in a pot of water for 6-8 minutes. Drain them and allow them to cool. Grate the potatoes and use a clean dish towel to drain the shredded potatoes thoroughly, squeezing out as much water as possible.

In a bowl mix together the potatoes, 1 tablespoon of flour, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder and salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. The consistency should be workable but on the drier side. Form the potato mixture into tots, shaping them into small cylindrical shapes.

Preheat air fryer to 400° F for 5 minutes. Add the tater tots to the air fryer basket, spray with cooking spray, and cook for 15 minutes, flipping half way through cooking. Work in batches leaving enough room for the air to circulate.

What Brand of Tater Tots to Use

There are quite a few brands of tater tots you can purchase. Our favorite and the one we use most often is Ore-Ida. You might not know this bit of trivia, but Ore-Ida is the brand that not only coined the term “tater tots,” but invented them back in 1953.

In my opinion, the Ore-Ida brand Golden Tater Tots or Extra Crispy Easy Tater Tots are still the best on the market, and they’re certainly the easiest to find. We also like Alexia Organic Yukon Select Puffs, 365 Everyday Value Sweet Potato Puffs, and Cascadian Farm Spud Puppies. For something a little different – with less carbs – try Birds Eye Cauliflower & Potato Tots.

A bowl of tater tots

Seasonings For Air Fryer Tater Tots

Experiment with these seasonings to find your favorite combination.

  • Cajun seasoning – If you like a little heat, Cajun seasoning adds a spicy kick to tater tots.
  • Ranch Seasoning – A blend of herbs, spices, and buttermilk flavoring, ranch seasoning adds a tangy and herby taste to tater tots.
  • Italian Seasoning – This mix of dried herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary can add an Italian twist to your tots. It works particularly well if you’re serving them with marinara sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Sprinkling grated or shredded Parmesan cheese over tater tots gives them a rich, savory flavor. It also adds a slightly crispy texture when baked.

What Sauce to Serve Them With

Tater tots can go with so many different types of sauces, so use whatever you like most. My favorites are:

Questions About the Recipe

Can I Cook Tater Tots From Frozen?

If you are using tater tots you bought in a bag from the store, you should cook those in the air fryer from frozen. They don’t need any extra oil either. If for some reason your tater tots are no longer frozen, you’ll want to cut the cook time down by a few minutes.

How long does it take to cook tater tots in an air fryer?

Frozen store bought tater tots will cook at 400° F for 15 minutes shaking the basket half way through cooking. Check them for desired crispiness and cook for 2 minutes at a time until done to your liking.

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A bowl of tater tots

Air Fryer Tater Tots

These Air Fryer Tater Tots are a simple way to cook one of your favorite potato snacks and get a super crispy exterior and fluffy interior – just the way tater tots are supposed to be.
5 from 45 votes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 201 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 bag frozen tater tots
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
  • dipping sauce optional

Instructions
 

  • Add tater tots to the air fryer basket or tray (how many you can fit depends on the capacity of your air fryer). There is no need to spray the tots with oil.
  • Cook at 400° F (205°C) for 15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. Add additional time if you prefer your tater tots crispier.
  • Sprinkle with salt. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Notes

  • Prepared frozen tater tots do not need any oil added to them in the air fryer. They are pre-fried with oil that will make them crispy without adding any more.
  • You can make your own tater tots if you wish. Here is a recipe. They should still be cooked from frozen, even if homemade.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 485mgPotassium: 300mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Potatoes
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7 thoughts on “Air Fryer Tater Tots

  1. Tristan says:

    I’m new to using an air fryer, and I’m wondering if I need to preheat it before adding the tater tots? Or can I simply place them in the basket and start the cooking process right away?

    • Angela Morris says:

      Hi Tristan, we rarely preheat the air fryer before using. If you choose to preheat you might need to reduce the cooking time by a minute or two.

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