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Air Fryer Tater Tots

Crispy tater tots are quick and easy using your air fryer. Whether you serve them as-is or add some seasonings for a flavor boost, these air fryer tater tots are always delicious!

Tater tots are one of those kid-friendly frozen foods that appeal to just about everyone, even adults! They’re popular for good reason: they’re easy to make, versatile, and make a quick side to burgers, sandwiches, or even steak. Tater tots are delicious wrapped in bacon, used to top casseroles, or as a more hearty, standalone appetizer like Blue Cheeseburger Totchos.

crispy air fryer tater tots on a wooden board

How to cook tater tots in the air fryer

My air fryer recipe is not only the quickest way I’ve found to make tater tots but it also gets them the crispiest. Starting from frozen, whether they’re store-bought or homemade tater tots, is perfect since they’re easy to keep on hand and there’s almost zero prep. Follow these easy step-by-step directions for the best air fryer tater tots:

  1. First you’ll preheat your air fryer to 400° F/205° C. This is important for crispy tater tots.
  2. Place the frozen tater tots into the air fryer basket. Spray them lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle evenly with some coarse salt and toss them gently to coat. You can also add more seasonings if you like. See below for some suggestions.
  3. “Fry” the tater tots for 5 minutes, then shake the basket and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Don’t skip shaking the basket as this will help prevent each frozen tater tot from sticking together and ensure that all sides have air exposure so they’re crispy all over.
  4. Check to see if the tater tots are as crispy as you like them. If needed, cook for another minute at a time until they’re perfect!
  5. Serve the tater tots on their own or with your favorite dipping sauce. We love all the usual dipping sauces, such as ketchup, ranch, barbecue sauce, or even blue cheese dressing. They have a fairly neutral flavor so they’ll go with just about any sauce you like. Try some sriracha if you like spice!
air fryer tater tots on a wooden board with some ketchup

How long to air fry tater tots

Tater tots take just 10 minutes in the air fryer to get them crispy (be sure to shake them halfway through). Check them after 10 minutes and, if you prefer them even crispier, continue cooking them for a minute at a time until they’re as crispy as you like. Although they don’t need additional oil before cooking, spraying them lightly with cooking spray will give them more of a deep-fried texture.

a closeup of a tater tot just out of the air fryer

Seasonings for tater tots

Crispy air fryer tater tots are great on their own but it’s nice to switch things up! Here are some delicious seasoning suggestions for your air fryer tater tots. The amounts are merely suggestions; add more or less seasoning according to your tastes. Check to see if the seasoning you’re using has salt so you can adjust or omit the salt called for in the recipe.

  • Old Bay Seasoning – 1 1/2 tsp (perfect when serving with seafood)
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning – 1 – 1 1/2 tsp (great with steaks or burgers)
  • Smoked Paprika – 1 tsp
  • Jerk Seasoning – 1 tsp
  • Taco Seasoning – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Aleppo Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Italian Seasoning – 1-2 tsp (dip in marinara)
  • Seasoned Salt – 1 tsp
  • If you’re a garlic lover, add a little garlic powder to any of these seasonings for an extra flavor boost
a pan of air fryer tater tots

What to serve with tater tots

  • Air fried tater tots make a great side dish with burgers, sandwiches, or even steak.
  • Season them with some taco seasoning before cooking and serve them alongside tacos.
  • Skip the hash browns and serve them at with a breakfast casserole or bacon and eggs.
  • Try them with a bowl of beanless chili – so good!!
  • Of course, they’re great as a snack all on their own.
  • No matter how or what you serve your potato tots with, try adding a little shredded cheese, turn off the air fryer, then allow the tots to sit for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts. They’re just like cheesy french fries! (After it’s plated, you can add crumbled cooked bacon, sour cream, chives or green onions, or even a little chili for loaded tots.)

What brand to buy?

We love the Alexia brand when we can find it but Ore-Ida is what we use most often. They even have an extra-crispy version! Both brands are good so use whichever you prefer. And just a note for you while shopping: Ore-Ida trademarked the term “tater tots” so you’ll find them marketed as “potato puffs” by most other brands. This recipe was tested using the Ore-Ida brand.

a closeup of tater tots made in the air fryer
a pan of air fryer tater tots

Air Fryer Tater Tots

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb frozen tater tots
  • cooking spray
  • coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400° F/205° C.
  2. Place the frozen tater tots into the air fryer basket. Spray them lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle evenly with some coarse salt (or other seasonings, if using), and toss them gently to coat.
  3. "Fry" the tater tots for 5 minutes, then shake the basket and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  4. Check to see if the tater tots are as crispy as you like them. If needed, cook for another minute at a time until they're just how you prefer!
  5. Serve the tater tots on their own or with your favorite dipping sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 670mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
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