If you haven’t eaten Tater Tots lately, let me refresh your memory: they are delicious. With deeply golden, crispy exteriors that give way to tender, creamy interiors, Tater Tots are not the sort of thing it’s possible to enjoy in moderation. Thanks to today’s lightened-up, homemade, baked Tater Tots recipe, now you can feel good piling them onto your plate!

Homemade Tater Tots with Cheese and Bacon

I also took the liberty of making the Tater Tots with cheese, bacon, and chives. They remind me of mini loaded baked potatoes in a most excellent way. (If you like this idea, you’ll love this Loaded Baked Potato Dip too.)

Unlike frozen tater tots out of a bag, these Tater Tots are made with simple, real ingredients. They’re both kid and adult friendly, and you can enjoy a generous serving and still feel healthy on a weeknight.

Baked homemade tater tots (especially ones with bacon) are also super fun to make! So fun, in fact, that I made a quick video showing these homemade cheesy tots in action. Be sure to watch it below.

How to Make Tater Tots at Home — The EASY Way!

Creating homemade versions of foods that are typically highly processed energizes and inspires me (these Jalapeno Poppers are one of my favorite adaptations). After being hooked on these crispy Baked Fries, I wanted to take my potato prowess to the next level with homemade Tater Tots.

Most of the homemade tater tot recipes I found called for cooking the potatoes into a mushy paste, stuffing the paste into a pastry bag, and then piping it onto a baking sheet or into a deep fryer.

NO, THANK YOU. All of the above is way more of a mess than I’m prepared to handle at home, especially for a side dish or appetizer.

Deep frying also defeated the purpose of making Tater Tots from scratch. I wanted my homemade Tater Tots to be good for you, to have the signature golden, crispy outsides, AND to be reasonably simple to cook at home.

The Easy Tater Tot Solution: Bake the Tater Tots in a mini muffin tin like this one (<—I love this brand). You do still need to fill the tins and flip the tots halfway through, but clean up is a breeze, especially compared to a messy deep fryer.

A bowl of potatoes, bacon, chives, and cheese for making the best homemade Tater Tots in the oven.

The Ingredients in Tater Tots are Simple

In addition to a simple cooking method, I also wanted simple ingredients. You’ll love knowing exactly what is in the Tater Tots: just potatoes, olive oil, a bit of flour, spices, and any optional additions, like bacon and cheese. Frozen tater tots contain stabilizers, preservatives, and undisclosed natural flavors. Not this homemade recipe! 

  • Russet Potatoes. While I am usually more of a fan of buttery Yukon gold potatoes, russet potatoes are what you want here. They hold up well during baking, so your beautiful Tater Tots won’t turn to mush.
  • Olive Oil. To help keep the Tater Tots’ interiors moist.
  • Flour. To bind the potatoes. If you’d like the Tater Tots gluten free, you can swap a 1:1 GF baking flour like this one.
  • Garlic Powder, Salt, and Black Pepper. Seasoning is key for the best Tater Tots taste.
  • Bacon. Part of what makes Tater Tots craveable—and probably why I saw them as the base for about 10 different foods at the State Fair last weekend—is that they feel over-the-top. The bacon gives the baked tots richness and keeps their indulgent appeal. Need the Tater Tots vegetarian or just not feeling the bacon? You can certainly leave the bacon out! Or, you could try adding a handful of extra cheese. Speaking of…
  • CHEESE. A fully flavored, melty cheese like sharp cheddar rules here.
  • Chives + Plain Greek Yogurt. To complete the loaded baked potato theme these Tater Tots have going on, I added chives to the batter, then served them dipped with non-fat plain Greek yogurt, which is tangy like sour cream, but high in protein and low in fat.

The fact that these Tater Tots are not deep fried at any point in the cooking process (unlike frozen tater tots, which are fried before they are frozen) makes these Tater Tots relatively good for you too.

These best-ever homemade Tater Tots cook in a mini muffin tin! They're easy and fun to make with the entire family!

Tips for the Best From-Scratch Tater Tots

  • Don’t boil your potatoes all the way. You want them par cooked, (meaning partially cooked). This will ensure that your tots are creamy, not mushy, on the inside.
  • Coat the muffin tin generously with nonstick spray. It will keep the Tater Tots from sticking and give them a golden exterior. I like to use an olive-oil type nonstick spray for this recipe.
  • You can make these Tater Tots ahead! Scoop the potato mixture into the muffin tins, press it down, then cover the pan with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator up to one day in advance. Let come to room temperature, then bake as directed.

Tater Tot Recipe Twists and Serving Ideas

Feel free to use this Tater Tots recipe as a base for a variety of flavors!

  • Cajun Tater Tots. Spice up your Tater Tots! Swap in one teaspoon of Cajun seasoning and either reduce or omit the added salt from the recipe. These would be delicious dipped in my Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip.
  • Garlic Black Pepper Tater Tots. A favorite in our household! Double the amount of pepper to one teaspoon and use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
  • Hashbrown Tots. Serve these at brunch in place of hashbrowns. Instead of ketchup, include a side of my delicious Homemade BBQ Sauce. (You can also try my Sweet Potato Hash Browns.)
  • Tater Tots and Eggs. Top your Tater Tots with Eggs (poached or fried) and serve them for a rib-sticking breakfast.
  • Tater Tot Casserole (or if you are from Minnesota or North Dakota Tater Tot Hotdish). For the ultimate from-scratch Tater Tot hotdish, use these homemade Tater Tots in your favorite hot dish recipe. (My friend Brenda lives in the land of hot dish; this is her recipe for it.)

Muffin tins filled with homemade baked Tater Tots with cheese, bacon, and chives.

Whether you need a surprising, gobble-it-up appetizer or a painless way to convince your picky eaters to eat their veggies, these better-for-you Tater Tots will hit the spot. (These Zucchini Fries are another delicious option.)

You’ll feel great knowing you are making a better-for-you batch of Tater Tots that far surpasses anything from a frozen bag!

Recommended Tools to Make Homemade Tater Tots

Baked, not fried homemade tater tots a mini muffin pan. GENIUS recipe with cheese and bacon. Say goodbye to those frozen bags of tater tots. This homemade version is so easy and way better than store-bought! @wellplated

Tater Tots

4.77 from 13 votes
Homemade tater tots from scratch, baked the easy way in a mini muffin tin! Crispy outside, creamy inside, with cheese and bacon to make them irresistible!

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 1 hr

Servings: 48 tots


  • 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 chives or green onion
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt for serving (optional)


  • If necessary, cook the bacon according to one of my easy methods listed below. 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 chives, 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.


  • *Easy bacon cooking methods: Oven Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon.
  • This recipe can easily be halved or doubled.
  • Make it ahead: Scoop the potato mixture into the muffin tins, press it down, then cover the pan with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 day in advance. Let come to room temperature, then bake as directed.
  • To Reheat: Leftover tater tots can be stored in the refrigerator, then gently reheated in a 350 degree F oven until warm and crispy.
  • To Freeze: Fully baked tater tots can be frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze, arrange the baked tater tots on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer until they harden, then transfer to a ziptop bag. To reheat, bake directly from frozen.


Serving: 6tots (without sour cream)Calories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 32gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 44mgFiber: 3g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Love that these are baked and not fried! Plus, cheese ans bacon definitely makes EVERYTHING better. Is it Sunday brunch time yet? 

  2. Wow these lithe guys must be delicious especially with the cheese and the bacon!

  3. So yum! I love  tater tots and I love how easy these are to make :) Pinning!

  4. How cute are these?! I think it’s so simple and easy, we can make it for snack or appetizer too! I’ll try it out! So yummy! – Love, Anna

  5. Wow, really, I can’t get over that delicious taste! So simple and yet – sooo great. Thank you for this recipe – it’s a real keeper5 stars

    1. Amelie, I am so excited to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks so much for trying it and taking time to let me know how it turned out.

  6. I’m finally getting the nerve to make these and I’ve been dying to try them. But whenever I cook potatoes and try to grate them, they turn out mushy. Am I cooking them too long probably? AND can frozen shredded potatoes be used in place? And also, thank you Erin, for always taking the time to answer my questions. I love trying your recipes, and my family loves the outcome (except when I make a total mess, hence my questions)!

    1. Hi Donna! I’m always happy to do what I can to help :) It sounds like the potatoes are cooked for too long—I’d stop cooking them a few minutes early next time so that they are still somewhat firm. As far as the frozen potatoes, I’m afraid I can’t answer that since I’ve never tried the recipe that way (and I don’t cooked with frozen potatoes often either!). I’d suggest doing an online search for homemade tater tots using frozen potatoes and see what you find. Sorry I can’t give you clearer direction!

  7. Like everyone, the pictures looked delicious! I thought I would comment after I made the tots! I had to omit a lot of the ingredients due to food intolerances, but it still tasted fantastic. I went a little lighter on the potatoes with a thin layer to decrease the cooking time and make it crispy. You definitely need non-sticking spray to keep these from sticking. My generous amount of olive oil wasn’t enough. To expedite the cooking process i used an aluminum baking sheet and layered with a thin layer of potatoes and cooked for 12minutes. I then flipped it and added another heaping of filling on top. These tasted wonderful! Thank you for sharing this delightful recipe. Will have for breakfast tomorrow with my avocado toast!5 stars

  8. Delicious! I made some in a mini muffin pan and some in larger tart pans so I could poach eggs on top of them. Had to adjust the cook time a little for the larger ones but turned out perfect as well. Loved that the recipe makes a large enough batch to freeze the extras for another day. I used my Cuisinart to grate the potatoes and it was much quicker. Loved this one!5 stars

    1. Thank you for sharing this kind review, Beverly! Great idea to do a poached egg on top of the larger ones! I’m so happy this recipe was a success for you!

  9. I made these today!  Had bacon already cooked so I chopped it and put it back in the fridge while prepping the rest. Then, I forgot to add it to the recipe. They still turned out yummy. I put them in the freezer for later. What temp should I bake them at and for how long when baking from frozen?5 stars

    1. Hi Jill! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe! When reheating, let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then bake at 350 degrees F until warmed through. Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

    1. Adele, I’d heat this right from frozen on a baking sheet lightly coated with baking spray. I’d try 375 degrees F then see how it goes. I hope you enjoy them!

  10. These turned out well! The kids liked them too! Bacon and cheese embedded is what did it for me! Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be back! 4 stars

  11. These were very good and easy to make. Before I made these I was looking in the comments to see if you could use frozen shredded potatoes as a time saver but I couldn’t find an answer. So to anyone looking for the same answer, yes you can use frozen shredded potatoes. Mine came out great! Nice and crispy and delicious! 5 stars

  12. This is an excellent recipe. Did not have a mini muffin pan so used full size and on my second batch swapped chopped onion and garlic cooked in bacon fat for the powdered. LOVE this recipe, thank you so much, Erin!5 stars

  13. I made it with gluten free flour and dropped small cookie scoops on a sprayed cookie sheet because I don’t have any small muffin tins. The family loved them!5 stars

  14. I love this recipe! I tried it and had to substitute with whatever I had at home. I ran out of bacon, so I used ham. And I tried a mix of different kinds of cheese. Everything else, I followed your recipe, and it’s sooo good!5 stars

  15. If I were to use these for tater tot casserole, would I make them as directed, freeze them and then top the casserole with them? I know that with store bought tater tots, it takes my casserole about 40-45 minutes to cook. Would the cooking time be similar?

    1. Hi Jessica! I haven’t tested the recipe this way, so you’d be experimenting. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  16. Yaaaas! Perfect concept for an amazing and healthier choice for tots. Made this once following the recipe and the product was delicious. Made this several more times with minor changes to the fillings and now it is a regular on my family menu. Wonderful thing is that it is so versatile. Hash browns for breakfast? Check. “Chips” for fish and chips? Check. Frites for steak frites? Check. Serve with favorite chip dip? Check.
    I love it when a recipe turns into a technique!5 stars