Fun to eat and easy to make – these loaded tater tot skewers are the ultimate game day appetizer! Crispy little tater tots are topped with gooey cheese and bacon and served on skewers to make for easy eating. Cooked in an air fryer this tater tot appetizer has only 3 ingredients and will be ready in about 30 minutes.
For many people one of the best things about game day is the food! If you are having a football or basketball party everyone expects lots and lots of tasty food, like cheese dip, toasted ravioli and chicken egg rolls.
These loaded tater tot skewers are the perfect addition to your game day spread. They have similar ingredients to twice baked potatoes but with a totally different taste and presentation.
Here is why your guests will love them!
- Tater tots – almost everyone loves these crispy little potato bites
- Kebobs – everything tastes better when you put it on a skewer
- Bacon & Cheese – these two ingredients are guaranteed to make anything even yummier
- Portable – using skewers to hold the tots makes these an easy to eat appetizer and a great alternative to a tater tot casserole
Quick and Inexpensive Appetizer
In addition to all those advantages for party guests this tater tot appetizer also has a lot of advantages for the party host. These skewers are simple to make, quick to cook and inexpensive.
There is no complicated meal prep or long list of ingredients for this appetizer. Three ingredients and package of skewers are all you need.
I cooked these in my air fryer, which is my favorite way to cook tater tots. It is also very fast and using an air fryer lets you get these tater tot skewers ready in about 30 minutes of mostly hands off time. So you won’t miss much of the game while these cook.
And this appetizer is inexpensive. Sure, my guests would love if I served shrimp skewers, but who can afford that? You can buy a bag of frozen tater tots very cheaply, making this a tasty appetizer that won’t break your party budget.
No Air Fryer?
But what if you don’t have an air fryer? It seems like half the people I know got an air fryer for Christmas this year! But if you don’t have one that is fine, I include oven directions in the printable recipe card below. Using an oven just takes a little longer.
And if you are looking for an air fryer here are some that might be a good fit, whether you are looking for budget options or one for a big family.
How to Make Loaded Tater Tot Skewers
1. Air Fry the Tater Tots
Preheat the air fryer at 400 F for 3 minutes. This will make the tater tots cook more crisply and evenly.
Put the frozen tater tots in the basket of your air fryer. The amount you can fit in the basket will vary based on the type of air fryer you have.
For best results don’t overfill the basket. If you completely cover the bottom of the basket and then add a bit more tater tots on top it should be fine. But don’t fill the basket to the brim with tater tots!
The air fryer works by circulating hot air around the food that is cooking. If the basket is too full the air will not be able to circulate and cook the food.
Set the air fryer for 400 F and cook the tater tots for 15 minutes. Shake the basket once or twice during cooking to ensure the tater tots cook evenly. Once the tater tots are done cooking let them rest for 5 minutes so you don’t burn your fingers during the next step.
2. Put the Tater Tots on Skewers
I used bamboo flat party picks for my tater tot appetizer. These are about 5 inches long, so they fit well in my air fryer basket.
A standard bamboo skewer would be a bit too long for many air fryer baskets. You can fit 5 or 6 tater tots on each party pick, which is plenty for an appetizer.
So make sure what you are using to hold the tater tots fits into your air fryer basket. Then thread 5 or 6 tater tots onto each skewer and place them in the air fryer basket.
3. Top the Tater Tots
Once the tater tots are on skewers sprinkle shredded cheese and cooked bacon over the top of them. I used bacon I had cooked earlier and saved. You could also use bacon bits.
4. Cook the Tater Tot Skewers
Put the skewers back in the air fryer and cook at 400 F for another 5 minutes. The cheese will melt to a nice gooey layer while the bacon crisps up a bit during cooking.
After 5 minutes your tater tot appetizer is ready to serve!
How to Serve Tater Tot Skewers
I put the skewers on a serving platter and topped them with green onions. I also drizzled some ranch dressing over the top, which I thought make them even more delicious.
Using bamboo picks makes these very easy to eat. The picks have a nice flat end, which makes them comfortable to hold. There is no fooling around with bowls, you can just pick one up and walk away.
And the combination of tastes is amazing. The cheesy tater tots have a crispy outside with a soft inside. The warm gooey cheese goes perfectly with the potato flavor and the bacon!
And of course you don’t have to serve these at a party. These cheesy tater tots are a fun side dish to serve with dinner and are sure to be a hit with kids.
- 36 frozen tater tots
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 slices bacon, crumbled
- Preheat the Air Fryer at 400 F for 3 minutes.
- Put the tater tots in the basket of the air fryer. Don't overfill the basket. The tater tots should cover the bottom with a few on top, but don't fill the basket to the top.
- Air fry the tater tots for 15 minutes, shaking the basket once or twice during cooking to ensure even cooking.
- Let the tater tots cool for 5 minutes so you don't burn your fingers.
- Thread the tater tots onto skewers or bamboo picks, putting 5 or 6 on each. Put the skewers in the air fryer basket.
- Sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the tater tots.
- Put the basket back in the air fryer and cook at 400 F for 5 minutes.
- Serve sprinkled with green onions or chives. Drizzle with ranch dressing if desired.
If using the oven cook the tater tots as directed on the package, usually 25-30 minutes at 400 F. Then cook the loaded skewers for 8-10 minutes at 400 F.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 361mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g
Nutrition facts are estimates.