Tater Tots! Just the name itself sounds kid-friendly. I'd bet that in 1953 when Ore-Ida came up with how to make use of the leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes and created these little bites, they realized the name alone would be a huge selling point. Especially for kids. Accorfing to the company, Americans eat approximately 70 million pound of Tots each year and based on how often I ate them in my youth, I can only imagine that kids comprise a big part of that figure. Whether you remember them from the frozen food aisle at the grocery or your own school cafeteria, I'm sure you consumed at least a few of these crispy, deep fried potato nuggets in your day.

I've got nothing against the frozen potato tots that I grew up on, but this homemade recipe is really easy to make and so much more healthy and delicious then the frozen kind (no frying for starters -- these are baked). But if you're still nostalgic for frozen tots, just grab some more potatoes, double the recipe, and you'll have plenty extra to freeze and enjoy at a later date. No more heading out to buy fried potatoes in a bag. Now your kids can discover all the joy of tots without you having to worry about all the fillers and additives of store bought brands. It'll be like reliving your own youth -- only healthier!

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Potato Tots (Serves 4)

Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 15 mins

nut free

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes, about 1 pound, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Cooking Oil Spray

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
2. Boil the potatoes in salted water in a pot for 12-15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain off all the water and cool the potatoes.
3. Using the side of a box grater, grate all of the potatoes into a bowl.
4. Place the flour, whisked egg and breadcrumbs in THREE separate bowls.
5. Take about 1 tbsp of the potato mixture and shape into “tater tots”.
6. Roll the tots into the flour, followed by the egg, then the panko bread crumbs, coating lightly.
7. Place onto a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet and coat evenly with cooking spray.
8. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

To Freeze: Shape them into tots and freeze before you bake them – After freezing, just pop them in the oven from the freezer adding at least another 3-5 minutes baking time.
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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33 comments

  • Lauren

    I assume you peel the potatoes first.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes you do thanks! :)

      leave a comment

  • Kristi

    I had a problem with the potato being extremely sticky. Don't know if its just cause I didn't let them cool a long time or not.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      It also depends upon what kind of potatoes you used. Some potatoes have too much starch in them which causes that to happen. Did you use plain Russet potatoes? Try making them again and rinsing them after they cook then allowing them to cool and let me know how it works.

      leave a comment

  • Joann

    I cannot wait to make these!! My daughter looooves store bought Tater tots..But these look more tasty !! I will let you know how mines turn out :)I am also so happy to have found out about you... You have great recipe ideas

    leave a comment

  • Tasty THURSDAY: Potato Tots Momsense In NJ's Blog

    [...] Taken from, where else?, Weelicious.com [...]

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  • Blanca

    My husband LOVES tater tots, but I don't buy pre-made frozen fries or tots so he usually has them when he goes out for a bar burger, lol. Can't wait to make them!

    leave a comment

  • Jojo

    Any seasonings suggestions? I was thinking chili powder or italian seasonings. My versions of your recipes never look as good as yours. :(

    leave a comment

  • Jen

    I have been looking for a homemade tater tot recipe so I can get away from the store bought ones and use organic potatoes! Thanks, we can't wait to try these!

    leave a comment

  • Christy

    Freezer question: do you bake them first, then let them cool and freeze them?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can make them ahead of time and freeze but do not bake them before you freeze.

      leave a comment

  • Lori

    I tried these last night and they were a huge success. My 3 year old couldn't stop talking about how much he loved them- and he really doesn't usually enjoy eating anything ever! But I found it super time consuming and messy! Maybe I need more practice.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes it is time consuming, thats why I make a big batch and freeze half so I have some for later. I'm so happy he loved them!

      leave a comment

  • Christy

    Could you use whole wheat flour instead of white to make these?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I have never used whole wheat for coating but I don't see why it wouldn't work! Let me know how they turn out!

      leave a comment

  • June

    Could you explain how to freeze the left overs more in detail? do you put the batch in the tub or do you shape them into tater tots first? and how do you defrost them? do you just put them in the oven straight from the freezer?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Sure! Shape them into tots and Freeze before you bake them - After freezing them just pop them in the oven from the freezer!

      leave a comment

  • Amy

    Yum! I made them without egg (son has an allergy), and added some chopped, steamed broccoli in the tots. They were a hit!

    leave a comment

  • Threya

    Mine ended up being sort of like mashed potatoes on the inside. Is that right?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes you did them right :) You could mash them or grate them and roll them up in the bread crumbs, as long as you have the \"tater tots\" look and they are cooked.

      leave a comment

  • Rachel

    I made these yesterday and they looked GREAT, however they were tasteless and dry! To remedy the tasteless, I was thinking of adding some grated Parmesan, and/or garlic powder. Any other suggestions for taste enhancers?

    As to the dry, I might have over baked them. Would adding sour cream or yogurt to the grated potato work on making these a little less dry?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Thats a great idea! maybe add a little more salt or some cheese. In regular tater tots, there are no cheese or salt - we were just aiming for a healthier version. We dipped them in ketchup and they were really yummy!

      leave a comment

  • Rachel

    Love your blog BTW! Voted for you everyday! Hope you win!

    leave a comment

  • Briana

    My 18 month old daughter loves these!! I finely chop spinach and add it to my bread crumbs to sneak some veggies in as well, works everytime. I'm so thankful for your website, thank you!!!

    leave a comment

  • PattiR

    How did you get yours to look so toasted? I made some this weekend and while they were a hit, they were whiter than white. I tried turning the temp up towards the end and baking them for longer, but it didn't help.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I used whole wheat panko for mine, which would be the reason why they look so toasty. But as long as they are crispy on the outside, you didn't do anything wrong :)

      leave a comment

  • Jen

    Can anyone tell me what Panko Bread Crumbs are? Are those in a red box with a chicken or something on it? Just not sure where to look for these, but have seen them in many of the weelicious recipes. Please help. Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can find them at Trader Joe's. They are also often in the \"Asian\" section of grocery stores. This is the most common brand that I see in stores: <a href=\"http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0016HH1W6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=weelicious-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0016HH1W6\" rel=\"nofollow\">Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs, 8-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)</a>

      leave a comment

  • Brandy Alley

    I just found weelicious thanks to babycenter and LOVE what you do! I've been trying to change the way I cook and feed my family and I see your recipes as the doorway into a healthier fed family! You are my hero!

    leave a comment

  • Lilrom

    How long can these stay in the freezer?

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    • Catherine

      3-5 months!

      leave a comment

  • Aimee Gordon

    My daughter is allergic to eggs and gluten. Have you ever found anything that makes veggie burgers, potato pancakes, etc. stick together, OTHER THAN EGGS??

    leave a comment

  • Jen

    Would this work with sweet potatoes?

    leave a comment