Air fryer tater tots are delicious and crispy potato bites. Using an air fryer to cook tater tots makes them nice and crunchy without unhealthy deep frying. This is an excellent side dish for a family dinner or a perfect appetizer when dipped into spicy chipotle ketchup.
Tater tots are a little bites of fried potato goodness. They are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. They make a fun appetizer or side dish by themselves, dipped into spicy chipotle ketchup or fry sauce, made into appetizers like these loaded tater tot skewers, or baked into a classic tater tot casserole.
Why Air Fry Tater Tots?
The best way to cook tater tots at home is in an air fryer. An air fryer cooks the tater tots fast with high heat which makes them extra crispy. It gives the tater tots deep fried taste without extra calories, mess or hassle of deep frying.
Additionally it is very fast to air fry tater tots. Frozen tater tots can be ready to go in about 15 minutes. This speed means you can use them as a side dish or as a game day snack.
Tater tots are a side dish where the high circulating heat of the air fryer makes a noticeable difference in the final result. Try it and you will never make tater tots in the oven again!
In fact tater tots are something I almost never made before I got an air fryer. I don’t ever deep fry food at home because it is too unhealthy. And to me baked tater tots are just “meh” and not worth the bother. But air fryer tater tots taste like they are deep fried without the extra calories!
The Secret to Perfect Air Fryer Tater Tots
The secret to perfect air fryer tater tots is keep the tater tots in a single layer in your air fryer! I know, it is tempting to dump the entire bag of frozen tots into the basket. And if you do that they will still cook, but they won’t taste as good.
An air fryer works by circulating air, so you have to leave space for the air to circulate. For truly delicious and crispy tater tots resist the urge to overfill the air fryer basket. Cook your tater tots in batches if you want more than one basket full.
How to Make Air Fryer Tater Tots
1. Preheat the air fryer
I don’t always preheat my air fryer before using it. But for tater tots I think it makes a difference. So set the air fryer at 400 F and let it preheat for 2 minutes.
2. Coat the tater tots
While the air fryer preheats put the frozen tater tots in a bowl and spray them with a little bit of cooking spray. I like olive oil spray, but use whatever you prefer. I like to sprinkle them with a bit of salt before cooking them too.
3. Cook the tater tots
After preheating is done set the air fryer for 400 F for 15 minutes. Add the frozen tater tots to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Half way through the cooking time take the air fryer basket out and shake it to ensure even cooking.
Once the 15 minutes is up check the tater tots. They should be crispy and golden brown. I always taste one to check for doneness! If they aren’t quite crispy enough put them back in for another 2 minutes.
What to Serve with Tater Tots
Tater tots are perfect for dipping! And since they are bite sized you don’t even have to worry about double dipping. I’ve included a quick and easy recipe for spicy chipotle ketchup.
This spicy ketchup is my favorite tater tot dipping sauce! It is made by combining ketchup with a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and some chili powder.
The mixture is processed in a blender for a super spicy tomato ketchup. It is easy to blend up this spicy sauce while the tater tots cook.
But there are lots of other delicious things to dip your tater tots in. Ketchup is always a favorite or use fry sauce, ranch dressing or guacamole. And if you really want to go all out make a fun appetizer like these loaded tater tot skewers.
Find More Air Fryer Finger Food
- 12 ounces of tater tots
- cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
Spicy Chipotle Ketchup
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- Preheat the air fryer at 400 F for 2 minutes.
- Put the tater tots in a bowl and spray them lightly with the cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt if desired.
- Put the tater tots in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook at 400 F for 15 minutes. For best results do not crowd the tater tots in the basket. Cook in batches if necessary.
- If the tater tots are not quite crispy enough continue to cook them for 2 minutes more.
- Serve with ketchup, ranch dressing, fry sauce or spicy chipolte ketchup.
Spicy Chipolte Ketchup
- Pour all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds until all ingredients are combined and the ketchup is smooth.
- Pour the ketchup into a bowl and serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 747mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g
Nutrition facts are estimates.