Homemade Tater Tots!

homemade tater tots Yesterday was such a nice lazy Sunday afternoon. After all the craziness of the last couple of months…it sure was nice for a change. I didn’t want to spoil it by making a “fancy” meal for dinner, so I decided it was a great “breakfast for dinner” night.

Now I guess “tater tots” aren’t typically thought of as a “breakfast food”…but they seemed like a good idea to me! Especially paired with sausage and eggs (which is what we did.) Besides, I have been meaning to try these for the longest time! The time had come.

This was one of those recipes that was fairly involved, but really easy. Does that makes sense? Each step was very simple…there just happened to be a number of steps to get from potato to tot. Luckily Krissy at Dainty Chef had easy-to-follow instructions.

I did have to make some changes, however, to accomodate the “gluten-free thing” AND because I don’t have a ricer. (Whenever I see someone using a ricer on Food Network I think to myself…I really need to get one of those! You can pick one up for around $10, so I don’t know what I’m waiting for! I must rectify this situation.) But no need to panic if you don’t have a potato ricer and want to makes your own tots. An old fashioned grater works just as well.

So here is how you make your own homemade “tater tots” even Napoleon Dynamite would approve of. :-)

Homemade Tater Tots

Adapted from Dainty Chef


6 medium starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons finely grated onion
4 tablespoons flour (I used Pamela’s gluten-free baking mix)
1 egg
Salt and finely ground black pepper
Oil, for frying

Peel, cube, and boil the potatoes until tender. Drain, let cool slightly. Pass the potatoes through a ricer or use the small holes on your box grater. Put potato into a mixing bowl and add the grated onion, flour (or gf flour mix), egg and season with salt and pepper. On a floured surface, roll into 1-inch-thick logs and cut into tots.

homemade tater tots

Heat a few inches of oil in a large Dutch oven or a cast iron skillet (I just LOVE my new cast iron skillet! Find out why here!). Fry the tots in small batches, do not overcrowd them. Season the cooked tots with a little extra kosher salt as soon as they come out of the pan.

homemade tater tots

I have to say….when I tasted the first tot I’d made…I was a little concerned the hubster and the boys weren’t going to like them. The flavor was wonderful, but the consistency was different from the kind you find in the frozen food section.  *I* personally liked the consistency much better. They were very soft and pillowy inside. And much to my happy surprise the hubster LOVED them! He too was a fan of the tender potato inside and the crisp outside. He compared them to bite-sized potato pancakes…and I guess that’s pretty much what they are. :-)  Anyway, he said to tell all of you he gave them “two thumbs up” and would have given more if he had more thumbs. lol.

homemade tater tots

Next time you get the hankering for some tots…consider making your own! (You might want to whip up some Fry Sauce to go with them too! We can’t resist fry sauce with fried potatoes of any sort!)

They really can’t even be compared to the ones that come all frozen together in bags in the frozen food section. As a matter of fact…they are really too good to be saddled with such a sad moniker as “tots”. I think they should now be called “frites de pommes de terre bouffées”! Doesn’t that sound much more sophisticated? :-)


homemade tater tots


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  1. Megan says

    I’m going to need a lot more detail about how you took tender, just out of the water, slightly cooled, very small potato pieces and used a grater on them. I can imagine a) burning my hands, b) dropping them by the handful, and c) slicing off pieces of my fingers in the grater.

    • says

      Well….it wasn’t all that complicated. :-)

      I waited until they were cool enough to handle (obviously)
      I did a couple at a time (but next time I don’t think I will cube them….maybe quarter them.)
      I used the SMALL holes on the grater and pressed the potatoes against the grated holes with the palm of my hand, not my fingertips, as I grated. Does that make sense?

      • Deborah Eubanks says

        Why not just rough mash them with a potato masher? Would get about the same end result… The thing I can’t imagine is grating ONIONS! Oh, the tears!!

        They do look and sound delicious!!

        • Jennifer says

          If you use the large holes you will get more of the frozen type texture tot. If you cut the potato long & use the large holes on the grater you can make hash browns.

          Onion grating with no tears freeze it first.

  2. Mandy says

    I usually bake my tater tots, has anybody tried this? I was planning on making tater tot casserole for supper and need to go to the store to buy tater tots, so I might have to try this tonight :)

  3. elizabeth says

    That’s the first thing i think of when i see tater tots is Napoleon’s bully going: ‘give me your tots’ and then smashing them ugh Poor Napoleon!!! I don’t cook much from scratch, but i think i can do this. The pictures with the steps will really help me, as i will know if i am doing everything right.

  4. Jennifer says

    Tried this. They were a disaster.

    First batch fell apart in the oil and I had a pan full of oil and mashed potato soup.

    Second batch, I added more flour (since the first half disintegrated in the oil….)and used a little less oil and they were chewy and gross.

    I wish I know why this happened….

  5. says

    I just made these last night and OMGoodness they were AWESOME!!! I didn’t have any floury potatoes, only red ones but I used them anyway. I peeled them, halved them and boiled them. Then I “dry mashed” them. (I don’t have a ricer and was pushed for time so didn’t grate them either. Just mashed them very thoroughly.) I chopped the onion real small and used a veggie pepper blend for seasoning. I think the idea of using the GF flour was the best cos its mostly rice flour and cornstarch, both which are excellent for adding crispness to fried foods.
    Oh, I love the idea of using long grated potatos, I may just try that next time!!
    Thanks for the great recipe, I found it on Pinterest. :)

  6. mamalv says

    From what I’ve learned from other recipes is ….
    Although you can grate them warm…. just like hash browns they will grate better if cooled then put in the fridge until completely cooled.

    A “Ricer” makes all the difference to end up with the same inside texture as store bought tots.

    The main reason they can fall apart is the use of real onion, as cooking releases onion juice into the tot…… Its best to use onion powder

    These can also be baked in the oven. Although I don’t have that recipe now (on old compute that crashed)

  7. Tanya says

    I made these the other night and they were a HUGE hit!! I actually preferred the texture of these to store bought tots and I felt a ton better about serving them. Thanks for giving me a go to alternative!!

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