Homemade Tater Tots with Cheese and Bacon
Tuesdays are moody. We’re still at the beginning of the week, so I feel like I should be conducting myself with restraint, but a kale pineapple smoothie feels too Monday. The weekend is still far away, so I could use a morale boost, but I’m not prepared to stay out late sipping Skinny Margaritas (that’s for Thursday). My solution: Homemade Tater Tots Tuesday!
These Homemade Tater Tots are baked in a mini muffin tin and filled with cheese, chives, and bacon. They taste just like mini loaded baked potatoes that are crispy on the outside, soft and steaming on the inside, and are generally not the sort of thing it’s possible to enjoy in small quantities. Plus, since these homemade tater tots are baked, not fried, and are made with simple, real ingredients, you can still pile a generous serving on your plate and make good on a Tuesday.
Baked homemade tater tots (especially ones with bacon) are also fun to make! So fun, in fact, that I made a quick video showing these Homemade Cheesy Tater Tots in action. Check it out at the top of this post, if you haven’t already.
More about Homemade Tater Tots with Cheese and Bacon
Creating homemade versions of foods that are typically highly processed energizes and inspires me, and I’d wanted try making tater tots from scratch for a while. Most of the recipes I found, however, called for cooking a mushy potato paste, stuffing it into a pastry bag, then piping it onto a baking sheet or even deep frying it, which is way more of a mess than I’m prepared to handle at home.
Frying also defeated the purpose of making tater tots from scratch. I wanted my homemade tater tots to have the signature golden, crispy that makes tater tots so gloriously addictive in the first place, but I wanted to bake them in the oven. Oh, and I wanted to stuff my homemade tater tots with cheese and bacon.
The solution to my baked homemade cheesy tater tot quest: Bake the tots in a mini muffin pan. Although my homemade baked tater tots don’t have the oval shape of the boxed tater tots you’ll find in the grocery store freezer section, their perfect golden crust and fluffy, cheesy interior is worth the mismatch.
Feel free to use this baked homemade tater tot recipe as a base for a variety of flavors. I went classic with the traditional baked potato fixin’s (cheese, green onions, and bacon), but I think these homemade tater tots be great with Cajun spices or simply black pepper and garlic. Use them as a sneaky way to painlessly convince your picky eaters to eat their veggies (or have your kids help make them!). I can even see these homemade cheesy tater tots in place of hashbrowns at brunch.
Happy Homemade Tater Tots Tuesday!
Recommended Tools to Make Homemade Tater Tots
Homemade Tater Tots with Cheese and Bacon
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 6 strips bacon — cooked
- 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese — about 2 ounces—OK to swap reduced fat, but do not use fat free
- 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
- Reduced-fat sour cream — or plain nonfat Greek yogurt for dipping
- If necessary, cook the bacon according to these easy steps. Once cool, dice into small pieces.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Scrub and peel the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 6 minutes (the potatoes should be about halfway cooked). Drain and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Once cooled, grate the potatoes into a large bowl. Add the olive oil, flour, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Gently combine by hand so that the ingredients are as evenly distributed as possible. Add the bacon, cheese, and green onion, then combine again.
- Generously coat two 24-cup mini muffin tins with nonstick spray, or make the tots in two batches. With a small cookie scoop or spoon, scoop about one heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture into each muffin cavity, then with your fingers, press each scoop flat. Bake until the potatoes are brown at the edges, about 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and coat the tops with cooking spray. With a small offset spatula or table knife, flip each tot. Coat tops with nonstick spray once more, then return the pan to the oven and bake until browned, 12 to 15 additional minutes until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then serve with sour cream.
- This recipe can easily be halved or doubled.
- Make it ahead: Scoop the potato mixture into the muffin tins, press down, then cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 day in advance. Let come to room temperature, then bake as directed.
- Leftover tater tots can be stored in the refrigerator, then gently reheated in a 350 degree F oven until warm and crispy.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (6 tots (without sour cream)) — Calories: 190, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 372mg, Carbohydrates: 32g, Fiber: 3g
Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!
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