How to Make Air-Fryer Tater Tots

A bag of frozen Tater Tots is a great thing to have on hand. For crispy, tasty tots, learn how to make air-fryer Tater Tots. It takes only about 15 minutes!

A bag of frozen Tater Tots is a great thing to have on hand. You can pair ’em with hot dogs for a kid-friendly meal, serve them as a crowd-pleasing snack or whip up a batch of tot nachos. If made in the air fryer, Tater Tots are done in a flash.

Here’s what you need to know to make perfect air-fryer Tater Tots.

What Are Tater Tots, Anyway?

Tater Tots are crispy, golden potato bites, made by grating skin-on potatoes into tiny pieces and mixing them with flour, salt and seasonings. The mixture is put into a machine that extrudes it into mini barrel-shaped pieces, which are deep-fried, flash-frozen and ready to be crisped up in your oven—or air fryer!

How to Make Crispy Air-Fryer Tater Tots

The name “Tater Tots” is a registered trademark of Ore-Ida, the company that invented them. However, many brands make identical products, sold under names like Taters, Crispy Potato Puffs or Tater Bites. This method works for all tots.

You’ll Need

  • 1 package frozen Tater Tots
  • Cooking spray
  • Tongs

Editor’s Tip: Don’t miss our list of essential air-fryer accessories.

Directions

For oven-style air fryers:

tater tots in an air fryerTMB studio

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 1 minute.

Gently spray the air fryer racks with nonstick cooking spray. Place the frozen Tater Tots in a single layer, gently shaking the rack to help spread them out. You’ll want to make sure there’s enough room between the Tater Tots for air to flow through; since air fryers cook by rushing hot air down onto the food, leaving space allows the hot air to circulate. This means you won’t have to flip the tater tots while they’re air-frying.

Air-fry the Tater Tots for 13 minutes. Allow them to cool for about 2 minutes before serving.

For basket-model air fryers:

tater tots in an air fryerTMB studio

Preheat your air fryer to 400° for 1 minute. Then load the basket with frozen Tater Tots and cook for 7 minutes. Shake the basket well, then continue air-frying the Tater Tots for another 5-7 minutes until they’ve crisped up to your liking. Allow them to cool for about 2 minutes before serving.

Tips for Making Air-Fryer Tater Tots

What other seasonings can you add to air-fryer Tater Tots?

For Tater Tots with a little extra zhuzh, put the hot tots into a large bowl after air-frying, then sprinkle with your favorite spice blend. Toss well to coat. Taco seasoning or chili lime seasoning would be good choices, but you can experiment until you find your favorite.

How can you serve air-fryer Tater Tots?

To keep things simple, serve your air-fried Tater Tots with small bowls of ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce or other condiments for dipping. Served this way, they would go perfectly with a burger or any one of these fun hot dog recipes.

On the flip side, there are plenty of ways you can dress up your tots: Make loaded nacho tots with sour cream, green onions, cubed avocado and even chorizo for a Mexican-inspired dish. If you’re a casserole or hot dish lover, try your hand at a quick, cheesy air-fryer Tater Tots bake or a hearty air-fryer cowboy casserole with ground beef, corn and cream of chicken soup.

No matter the time of day, you could make your whole meal in the air fryer by making one of these air-fryer dinner recipes to go along with your air-fried Tater Tots, like chicken tenders or fish. Check our guide to air-fryer cooking times for a quick cheat sheet on how long to cook all of your favorite foods in the air fryer.

How should you store air-fryer Tater Tots?

Since air-fryer Tater Tots are so easy and quick to make, you can whip up a fresh, crispy batch every time you’re craving them. Trust us, it’s worth it!

If you have any leftovers, though, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Heat them back up in the air fryer when you’re ready for more.

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Matt Robicelli
Matt Robicelli is a recipe developer and professional air fryer tester. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute and former chef/owner of a renowned New York City bakery, Matt has coauthored several cookbooks, including The Back to the Future Cookbook. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, recipe developer and author Allison Robicelli.