Tater tots have a bad rap as a soggy cafeteria staple, but bake them at home and they crisp up nicely in the oven. Drain any unwanted oil from them on paper towels and they become perfectly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
They're also highly underrated as an ingredient in other dishes. Cooking with these bite-sized morsels is a cinch since they are pre-seasoned. Almost all versions of frozen tater tots contain potatoes, vegetable oil, onions, and salt, so it seriously cuts down on your ingredient list when you're cooking with them.
You can go with the original Ore-Ida brand or any other brands you like. The ones I used for this guide were Trader Potato Tots from Trader Joe's.
To make quick and easy "latkes," or potato pancakes, mash up some defrosted tater tots with beaten egg (1 egg per 1½ cup of tots). Add cream cheese (1 Tbsp per cup of tots) and scallions, if desired. Pan fry in vegetable oil. Serve with applesauce and/or sour cream.
- Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 375°F.
- Smash the tater tots in a large bowl.
- Cream the scallions and cream cheese together. (You can also just use store-bought scallion cream cheese.)
- Mix the smashed tots with the scallion cream cheese.
- Fill your sweet peppers with the filling.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are nicely browned.
This creation has to win some sort of veggie burger award. The patty is made with smashed tater tots and the sauce is made from Sriracha sour cream. It's spicy, cheesey, and delicious. Get the full instructions here.
If you've ever thought to yourself, "how can I make regular nachos more decadent?" then this one's for you. Replace your tortilla chips with tater tots for a seriously indulgent, party-happy snack. You can also make this poutine-inspired version, which adds gravy on top of everything.
Instant mashed potatoes actually have multiple uses when it comes to making good food. Frozen waffles can be culinary standouts, too, if you know what to do with them. And for the ultimate in easy, at-home cooking, try this two-ingredient pizza dough.