10 Delicious Tater Tot Recipes

Tater tots, those crispy-outside, pillowy-on-the-inside puffs of deliciousness, are absolutely wonderful just the way they are. Everyone loves them, including the folks who insist you can make them out of cauliflower or broccoli. Those are not bad, but they ain't tots.

Aside from being tasty, tots also lend themselves to be dressed up, wrapped in meat, drenched with sauce, and piled high with your other favorite ingredients. Here are 10 delicious ideas to try. (See also: 25 Exciting New Potato Recipes You Must Try)

1. Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots

Easily coming in at number one are these obscenely delicious little bites. Preheat your oven to 425º F. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut strips of bacon into thirds and wrap the tots. Place seam-side down on the parchment and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the whole tot is crispy. I found I needed to taste-test several of them to ensure perfect bacon-potato cohesiveness. The only problem with this tot treatment is that, after eating a tater tot wrapped in bacon, a plain one is a little sad and disappointing.

2. Totchos

Move over, nacho bar — we've got Totchos. Dust your tater tots with a little Mexican-style seasoning before baking. When crispy, layer with shredded Pepper Jack cheese, chopped tomatoes, browned ground beef, a can of drained chiles, salsa, and sour cream. The main difference between Totchos and Nachos is that Totchos are more efficiently eaten with a fork. Tots are not engineered to serve as a scooping vessel.

3. Tot Waffles

A fun fad lately is to see just what sorts of food you can put into a waffle iron. Not surprisingly, tater tots are among the best. The secret here is patience. I cheated and opened the lid too soon. This causes the potatoes to fall apart and lack the necessary crispiness. Also, either thaw your tater tots or microwave them a little to soften up, as they need to be pliable.

To make a tot-waffle, preheat your waffle iron and spray with nonstick olive oil spray. Add a generous layer of tots. Close the lid and cook until crispy. My iron took about 10 minutes. Remove and add toppings — fried egg, bacon, and ketchup are good. You can cook two of them and make a sandwich, too.

4. Comfort Casserole

For those of you prone to stress eating — or relaxed eating — this casserole is for you. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick spray. Combine a 32-oz bag of tater tots, a can of creamed soup (mushroom, chicken, shrimp), eight oz of sour cream, and half the soup can of milk. Pour into the casserole dish and top with two cups of shredded cheese. Bake at 350º F for 30 minutes; remove and top with half a can of French's crispy fried onions. Bake for another 10 minutes. I promise you will feel better.

5. Skewered Tots

Isn't food on a skewer more fun to eat? I'm guessing that the novelty of skewers makes us think of parties, or of exotic places. Whatever the reason, tots on a stick are a winner. Start by baking tots according to package directions. Cool enough so that you can touch them, and then thread onto bamboo skewers. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar and bacon bits; drizzle with Sriracha. Return to oven until cheese melts.

6. Tater Tacos

I like my fish tacos to have a lot of crunch to them, with very crispy breaded fish and fresh cabbage. Next time you make fish tacos, bake some tater tots, cut them in half, and toss into the tacos. Add a lime-cilantro crema, chopped tomatoes, and avocado, and chow down.

7. Chili Tots

I've tried chili with rice, pumpkin, cornbread, tortilla chips — you name it, and I've had it. And they're all great, but wait until you try it with crispy tater tots. Bake as directed and put a handful into a soup bowl. Ladle chili over the tots and top with shredded cheese. Yum.

8. Breakfast Omelet Cups

This ingenious recipe combines tater tots, plus other delicious breakfast ingredients, into portable omelet cups. Tuck a couple into your lunch bag and heat at the office.

9. Baby Buffalo Taters

Crazy about that buffalo spicy flavor? Combine one tub of sour cream with a ½ cup of bleu cheese. Drizzle with Frank's RedHot Sauce. Heat tater tots and dip away. This is good with beer and the traditional celery sticks.

10. Spice 'Em Up

A tater tot is pretty much a blank canvas that can fit the flavor profile of your meal. Try garam masala for Indian flavors, chili powder for Mexican zest, or even a Japanese furikake sprinkle. Pair with a yogurt tip, queso, or gyoza sauce.

Have you tried any of these tater treatments? What is your favorite?

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Tater Tots are a delicious and crunchy snack! Aside from being tasty, tots can be dressed up, wrapped in meat, drenched with sauce, and piled high with your other favorite ingredients. Here are 10 delicious recipe ideas to try. | #tatertos #frugalfood #cheaprecipes

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