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Air Fryer Tater Tots | The Recipe Critic


Air Fryer Tater Tots are just about the greatest thing to happen to potatoes ever! Crispy golden on the outside and tender on the inside, these are insanely delicious!

Tater tots are the perfect side dish to these air fryer Chicken, Shrimp and Salmon recipes. Air frying is insanely delicious with so many recipes to try!

Perfect air fryer tater tots on a plate with ketchup.

The Best Air Fryer Tater Tots

Tater tots from a fast food restaurant are simply the best. And I have never been able to replicate that incredible crunch and hot delicate insides at home until now. These air fryer tater tots are just as good if not better than your favorite place to get them. Air fryer tots taste like they have been fried, but the beauty is they haven’t. They are golden, super crispy and perfectly tender on the inside. It is amazing! I could never get this result from baking and frying left them greasy and heavy.

Air Fryer tots are the perfect side to your favorite sandwich, burger or even this to die for egg salad. The air fryer keeps the mess contained. No hot oil to clean up or splatters all over your kitchen. It’s completely hands off too. With this air fryer recipe you can set it and walk away to finish whatever it is that needs to be done. Just a shake half way through is all you need to do. These air fryer tots are going to become a new family favorite guaranteed.

Where did Tater Tots Come From?

So where did these amazing little tots come from anyway? In 1953 the two founders of the Ore-Ida company wanted to come up with a solution for the bits of potato that were left over after making their frozen fries. According to history they chopped up the slivers, added flour and seasoning, then pushed the mash through holes and sliced off pieces of the extruded mixture.  And the infamous tater tot was born. They took to the grocery store shelves by 1956 and have become a staple in American cuisine. From school lunches, fast food restaurants and now to your very own kitchen, the world loves tater tots. Restaurants and chefs have been creative in coming up with all sorts of things to use tater tots for. From tater tot breakfasts, casseroles and even tater tot nachos, they have definitely become a favorite.

Air Fryer Tater Tot Ingredients

These couldn’t be more simple. Grab your favorite brand of frozen tater tots and some seasoning and your good to go! Make sure you buy several bags however, you’ll be making these air fryer tots a lot!

  • Tater Tots: 16 oz bag is all you need
  • Seasoned Salt: This is optional but we love it!
  • Oil Spray: I use olive oil, but avocado oil will work too.

Spraying olive oil on frozen tater tots in the air fryer.

Let’s Make Air Fryer Tots in the Air Fryer

Your biggest hurdle here will be NOT over filling your air fryer. It’ll be tempting because you’ll want to do as many as possible. Resist though. Cooking them in the air fryer makes it quick, so you can do multiple batches.

  1. Prepare: Place frozen tater tots in the basket of your air fryer. Sprinkle with seasoning salt. Spray with olive oil.
  2. Air Fry: Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then open the basket and shake the tots. Continue to cook for 5-8 minutes or until crisp.

Seasoning frozen tater tots in the air fryer.

Tips For Tots

Air fryer tater tots are so customizable and easy to do. You can have a side dish in no time and since everyone loves tater tots, you’ll have a happy family too!

  • Preheat: For the crispiest tater tots, preheat your air fryer. If you want even crispier tots, add a minute or two to your cooking time.
  • Toss:  Be sure to gently toss or flip your tater tots half way through for even cooking. Move the inside to outside and vice versa.
  • Sizes: In the world of tater tots, they do come in different sizes. You’ll want to check your tots half way through and adjust the time as needed.
  • Salt: Adding salt or seasoned salt greatly enhances the flavor of the air fryer tots, so I recommend not skipping this step, if you can.
  • Serve Immediately: Air Fryer tots are best served as soon as they are done. Just like at a restaurant, they are best fresh.
  • Storing: If you do have leftovers, keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.  I do not recommend a bag, it will make them even soggier.
  • Reheat: To reheat your tots, place them in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 2-3 minutes.
  • Seasonings: Add different spices and seasonings for different flavors. Try chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder or cajun spice. Toss in a bit of ranch dressing mix for a bit of a tang. Or taco seasoning for a bit of spice.

Crispy golden air fried tater tots.

Sauces for your Air Fryer Tots

Air Fryer tater tots are so good, you can probably just pop them in your mouth as about as fast as you can cook therm. But if you like to dunk your heavenly air fryer tots, try these sauces for a nice a kick. And of course there is always the standard ketchup you can use.

  • Fry Sauce: This amazing sauce was solely invented to go with french fries. It’s a grown up version of ketchup and it is divine. In my home it has replaced ketchup and mayo on hamburgers even. It’s so good!
  • Yum Yum Sauce: This popular sauce is light, sweet and tangy! An excellent choice.
  • Cheese Sauce: Cover the golden fries in a rich thick cheesy sauce that’s going to knock your socks off.
  • Ranch Dressing:  As my kids would say, everything’s better with ranch dressing!
  • Make your Own Sauce: Mix your favorite spices with a bit of mayo and ketchup to create a unique sauce of your own. Add chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder with mayo and ketchup for a spicy western sauce that’s awesome. There are lots of possibilities.

Golden and crispy tater tots in the air fryer with a side of ketchup.

More Amazing Air Fryer Recipes

Air frying works similarly to a convection oven. It uses circulating hot air to create unbelievable crusts and perfectly tender cooked insides. It’s so easy to use and if you think you could cook it in the air fryer, chances are you probably can. It uses little to no oil creating healthier versions of your favorites. It’s usually cooks your food faster and easier, with little to no mess. It frees up your oven for other dishes and it’s hands off so it you are free to get done what needs to be done. Try these delish air fryer recipes and be prepared to be impressed.

Air Fryer Tater Tots

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Author Alyssa Rivers

Servings 4 People

Air Fryer Tater Tots are just about the greatest thing to happen to potatoes ever! Crispy golden on the outside and tender on the inside, these are insanely delicious!

  • 16
    frozen tater tots
  • 1
    seasoning salt
  • olive oil spray

Serves: 4

Calories201kcal (10%)Carbohydrates29g (10%)Protein2g (4%)Fat9g (14%)Saturated Fat2g (10%)Sodium1067mg (44%)Potassium301mg (9%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar1g (1%)Vitamin A5IUVitamin C9mg (11%)Calcium15mg (2%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.



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