20 Ways You Never Thought To Use Frozen Tater Tots

Tater tots, those beloved golden nuggets of crispy goodness, hold a special place in the hearts of kids and adults alike. Their irresistible crunch and fluffy interior make them a timeless comfort food adored by all ages, especially when there is a side of ranch close by. But beyond being a simple side dish, tater tots are surprisingly versatile in the kitchen.


Whether you're cooking a hearty casserole, whipping up a crowd-pleasing breakfast, or putting a twist on a classic, tater tots are the perfect canvas for culinary experimentation. From tater tot nachos, or "totchos," to tater tot sushi, their potential seemingly knows no bounds. Whether you're seeking to spark your children's culinary creativity or whip up a comforting, nostalgic dish for friends, tater tots offer a surefire starting point. So, if you're eager to infuse your meals with a dash of fun and flavor, let your imagination run wild and prepare to embrace the endless possibilities of tater tots.

1. Transform them into bread for an epic grilled cheese

While we can all agree that the heavenly grilled cheese is pretty much the epitome of sandwich perfection, there's no harm in shaking things up now and then. Transforming tater tots into "bread" for a unique grilled cheese is a culinary adventure waiting to happen. Start by thawing frozen tater tots, then place them in a pan on the stove. Arrange six tater tots in two lines of three, and gently press down on them with a spatula until they flatten to about ½inch thick. You may need to press down a few times to encourage the tots to stick together and form a patty.


As each layer of tots starts to brown, add a layer of your favorite cheese on top of one of the layers, and cook until it melts perfectly. Once cooked and melted, remove from the pan and let it cool for a few seconds before pressing the other layer down on top of the cheesy one. The result? A one-of-a-kind grilled cheese sandwich with a deliciously crispy exterior and a nostalgic nod to everyone's favorite childhood potato snack.

2. Add them to a delicious breakfast bake

Incorporating frozen tater tots into a simple breakfast bake is a surefire way to elevate your morning meal with some minimal effort. Start it off by arranging a layer of frozen tater tots in the bottom of a baking dish.


Then, add your favorite breakfast ingredients such as cooked sausage, crispy bacon, diced vegetables, and shredded cheese on top of the tater tots. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper, then pour the mixture over the tater tot and ingredient layers. Add in additional roasted veggies and cooked meats, or whatever your morning heart desires. Bake the breakfast bake in the oven until the eggs are set and the tater tots are golden, crispy, and perfect.

3. Bring out the waffle maker

Using a waffle maker to prepare frozen tater tots is a playful hack that transforms this beloved side dish into a delightful breakfast treat. Simply preheat the waffle maker and lightly coat it with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Then, arrange a layer of frozen tater tots on the waffle maker's surface, close the lid, and cook until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy.


If you have a creatively shaped waffle maker (think something like Minnie Mouse ears), that adds a whole additional layer of fun. Serve these crispy tater tot waffles with your favorite breakfast accompaniments such as eggs, bacon, and cheese for a satisfying morning meal that is as fun to make as it is to eat.

4. Whip up a plate of nachos, or totchos

Transforming tater tots into nachos, also known as "totchos" is a creative and mouthwatering twist on a classic appetizer. It's so simple a teenager could make it, but tasty enough that you'll find yourself coming back to this delicious dish again.


Start by baking a batch of crispy tater tots according to the package instructions. Once golden and crispy, spread them out on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with shredded cheese, chopped jalapeños, diced tomatoes, black beans, and any other nacho toppings of your choice. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Once done, drizzle with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole for an extra burst of flavor. They're perfect for sharing with friends and family as a delicious appetizer or fun party snack.

5. Bake up perfect potato pizza bites

You're craving pizza, but you also can't resist the crispy, comforting goodness of tater tots. What do you do? You combine the two for an unexpected snack.

Here's how it works: Start with a base of frozen tater tots. Arrange them in a single layer to create your "crust," then get ready to pile on the toppings. Spread a generous layer of marinara sauce over the tots, followed by a hearty sprinkle of melty cheese. But don't stop there — this is where the fun really begins. Raid your fridge for all your favorite pizza toppings, whether it's pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, or even pineapple. Scatter them over the cheese-covered tots, then pop the whole thing in the oven until everything is hot, bubbly, and golden brown.


6. Use them as a delicious base for mini breakfast bites

These bites are incredibly simple to whip up in your own kitchen, and rival those pricey options you'll find in the drive-through. If you prepare a batch on Sunday, you'll be set for convenient mornings all week long.


After letting your tater tots thaw for a bit, smush them into the bottom of mini muffin cups to create a starchy base, then load them up with all your favorite breakfast toppings. Think cheesy goodness, crispy bacon or sausage, and of course, a cracked egg on top for that classic breakfast vibe. Slide them into the oven until the eggs are perfectly set, and boom — you have got yourself a batch of irresistible morning nourishment.

7. Add them to your weeknight taco topping round up

Introducing a tasty twist to Taco Tuesday: Tater Tot Taco Tuesday. Add a twist to the traditional taco topping line-up by adding some crunchy potato pillows.

Start by baking frozen tater tots until they're golden and crispy. While they're baking, prepare your favorite taco fillings such as seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese, and salsa. Once the tater tots are ready, crush them slightly to create crunchy toppings for your tacos. Then, assemble your tacos as usual, layering the crunchy tater tots on top of the traditional fillings. The crispy texture and savory flavor of the tater tots provide a satisfying contrast to the soft tortillas and flavorful taco ingredients, resulting in a taco experience that's crunchy and delicious.


8. Make a traditional Midwestern hotdish

Let us introduce you to the hotdish, Minnesota's most famous food. It is an emblem of midwestern culinary culture; a versatile dish characterized by its simplicity and flexibility, consisting of vegetables, starch, protein, canned soup, and a crispy topping like tater tots or breadcrumbs. It's a true Minnesota icon, cherished for its low-key vibe and status as a staple in many families' recipe collections.


To make a classic hotdish using tater tots, start by preheating your oven and greasing a baking dish. Then, layer cooked ground beef or turkey, mixed vegetables, and condensed soup of your choice (such as cream of mushroom or cream of chicken) in the baking dish. Top the mixture with a generous layer of frozen tater tots, arranging them in an even layer. Bake the hotdish in the oven until the tater tots are golden and crispy, and the filling is bubbly and heated through. Serve hot, and enjoy the comforting flavors of this quintessential Minnesotan dish.

9. Swap them with fries for a perfect poutine

Using tater tots to create a poutine dish offers a playful and delicious twist on the famous Canadian comfort food. Start by baking the tater tots until they're golden and crispy. While they're baking, prepare a rich gravy using beef or chicken broth, thickened with flour or cornstarch, and seasoned to taste.


Once the tater tots are ready, transfer them to a serving dish and generously top them with cheese curds. Finally, pour the hot gravy over the tater tots and cheese curds, allowing the heat to melt the cheese for the ultimate cheese pull, and create a luscious, savory coating. The result is sure to delight anyone craving a hearty and comforting meal, regardless of how you pronounce the word "about."

10. Wrap them into a breakfast burrito

The beloved breakfast burrito is a perfect place to incorporate the crispy crunchy tater tot. Begin by baking the tots until they're crispy and golden brown. While they're in the oven, scramble some eggs and cook your choice of breakfast meats such as bacon or sausage.


Once the tots are done, assemble your breakfast burrito by layering the scrambled eggs, cooked meats, seasoned tater tots, shredded cheese, and sliced avocado onto a warm tortilla. For extra indulgence, drizzle ranch sauce over the filling before wrapping up the burrito, adding a creamy kick that pairs perfectly with the crispy tater tots. Roll up the burrito, tuck in the sides, and enjoy a satisfying breakfast on the go with a delightful crunch and burst of flavor in every bite.

11. Sprinkle them atop a Shepherds Pie for a fresh take on a classic

Introducing tater tots into the top of a shepherd's pie brings an unexpected twist to this dish. It's a great option for when you want something comforting that feels homemade but can be prepared relatively easily.


Begin by crafting the traditional shepherd's pie filling, cooking a hearty blend of ground meat, onions, carrots, and peas in a flavorful gravy or sauce. Once the filling is seasoned and simmered to perfection, transfer it into a baking dish. Instead of the conventional mashed potato topping, make things easier by opting for an unexpected yet delicious alternative by arranging a generous layer of frozen tater tots on top of the filling. As the shepherd's pie bakes, the tots transform into golden and crispy morsels, providing a satisfying crunch that complements the creamy filling beneath.

12. Fill out your next casserole

Casserole dishes endure as a culinary staple due to their effortless assembly and convenient one-dish cooking, making them a timeless favorite for busy weeknights and special occasions alike. Adding tater tots to your favorite casserole dish is a brilliant way to elevate its flavor and texture.


Try incorporating them into a traditional green bean casserole by layering thawed tater tots on top of the creamy green bean and mushroom mixture before baking until golden and crispy. Alternatively, enhance a cheesy chicken casserole by scattering a layer of tater tots over the top, providing a satisfying crunch to complement the creamy cheese sauce. No matter the recipe, adding tater tots to your favorite casserole dish is a versatile way to reinvent classic comfort food with a deliciously crispy twist.

13. Fry them up for an easy breakfast hash

Picture this: crispy tater tots mingling with sautéed onions, bell peppers, and your choice of breakfast meats like bacon or sausage in a skillet. It's a symphony of delicious breakfast flavors and crunchy textures.


Simply toss in thawed tater tots to a hot skillet and let them get golden and crispy alongside your chosen skillet ingredients. Sprinkle in salt, pepper, and maybe a dash of paprika or garlic powder for extra oomph. Make sure you don't forget the cheese. A generous sprinkle of shredded cheese melting over the top takes this hash to the next level of indulgence. Serve it up hot with your favorite style of eggs on top or on the side, and voilà. You've got a hearty, mouthwatering breakfast that's sure to jumpstart your day with pure deliciousness.

14. Press them in a panini maker

Using a panini maker to create perfectly crispy tater tots is a clever and convenient method that promises delightful results. Begin by preheating the panini maker and lightly greasing the surface to prevent sticking. Arrange the thawed tater tots in a single layer on the hot panini press, ensuring they're evenly spaced for uniform cooking. Close the lid and allow the tater tots to cook until they're golden brown and crispy on the outside, with a fluffy interior.


The panini maker's even heat distribution ensures that each tot achieves a satisfying crunch without the need for excessive oil. Once cooked to perfection, serve the crispy tater tots alongside your favorite dipping sauces for a delicious snack, or elevate them to gourmet status by topping with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of caviar for an indulgent appetizer that's sure to impress.

15. Add them to a cheesy dip

To elevate a spinach or artichoke dip to the next level of indulgence, incorporate tater tots for an added fluffy crunch. Begin by preparing your favorite spinach dip mixture, combining ingredients like spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, and shredded cheese in a baking dish. Then, arrange a layer of thawed tater tots on top of the spinach dip mixture, pressing them gently into the mixture to ensure they stay in place.


Bake the casserole in the oven until the tater tots are golden and crispy, and the dip is hot and bubbly. The tater tots add a delightful crunch and texture to the creamy spinach dip, transforming it into a decadent and irresistible dish. Serve the casserole hot, garnished with fresh herbs or additional cheese, for a crowd-pleasing appetizer or side dish perfect for any gathering or party.

16. Create an epic quiche crust

Looking to add a creative flair to this breakfast classic? Consider this unique spin on the classic quiche: a tater tot crust. While this twist may not boast authentic French origins, its deliciousness and simplicity are undeniable.


Begin by preheating your oven and lightly greasing a pie dish. Arrange thawed tater tots evenly along the bottom and sides of the dish, pressing them down firmly to create a sturdy crust. Bake until the crust is golden and crispy. Meanwhile, prepare your quiche filling with eggs, milk, cheese, and your choice of vegetables or meats. Once the tater tot crust is ready, pour in the filling and return the dish to the oven to bake until the filling is set. The result is a delightful quiche, perfect for a memorable breakfast.

17. Add to mac and cheese for a surprisingly perfect pairing

Nothing pairs quite as perfectly as potatoes and cheese, and when you combine them in a dish like mac and cheese with tater tots, it's pure comfort food. Start by crafting your favorite mac and cheese recipe. Once your mac and cheese base is prepared, spread it evenly into a baking dish.


Now, here's where the magic truly happens: Arrange a generous layer of golden tater tots atop the velvety mac and cheese, ensuring each corner is adorned with this delightful potato pillow. As the dish bakes, the tater tots undergo a transformation, crisping to perfection while maintaining their fluffy interior. The crispy exterior of the tater tots provides a satisfying crunch, harmonizing flawlessly with the creamy, cheesy decadence of the mac and cheese. It's perfection in every bite.

18. Toss them into your next salad

For a playful and flavorful addition to your next salad, try out making tater tot croutons to elevate your greens with a satisfying crunch. Begin by preheating your oven and lining a lightly oiled baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, bake frozen tater tots according to package instructions until they are crispy and golden brown.


Once cooled slightly, cut the tater tots into bite-sized pieces to create your crunchy croutons. At this point, you can bake them again if you fancy an extra crunch, or if they didn't come out as initially crispy as you thought they would. These crispy tater tot croutons offer a delightful contrast to the fresh greens and vegetables in your salad, adding a burst of potato flavor and texture.

19. Tater tot sushi bites

Whipping up tater tot sushi bites is an unexpectedly easy endeavor that yields delightful results reminiscent of sushi rolls. The process begins with the simple task of preparing the tots to crispy perfection, ensuring each one has a perfect golden exterior that ensures a satisfying crunch with every bite. Once slightly cooled, the tots are ready to undergo their transformation into a sushi-inspired delight. Layering slices of creamy avocado atop each tot provides a smooth base while adding tender pieces of sashimi-grade tuna brings a burst of rich flavor.


For an extra touch of sophistication, drizzle each bite with zesty yuzu vinaigrette to enhance the savory elements with a refreshing citrus tang. The end result is a delectable blend of flavors and textures that are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

20. Add them to your grilling rotation

If you're craving that crispy, golden goodness of tater tots, grilling them might not be your first thought. However, it's surprisingly easy to achieve that barbecue magic with frozen tater tots.

Begin by prepping a foil surface, such as a plate or pan, with a generous coating of cooking oil. Once your grill is preheated, place the prepared surface on the grates to warm up. Then, carefully arrange your frozen tater tots on the oiled surface, ensuring they have enough space to cook evenly. Keep them moving throughout the grilling process to prevent sticking and ensure a uniform crispness. With a bit of patience and attention, you'll soon be rewarded with perfectly toasty and sizzling tater tots, hot off the grill and ready to be paired with your favorite dipping sauces. Whether you're hosting a backyard barbecue or simply craving a unique twist on a classic snack, grilling tater tots is sure to impress your taste buds and your guests alike.