Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homemade Tater Tots

Until November, Frog Prince had never had tater tot hotdish.

Hey, cut him some slack.  He's not native to the land of the frozen tundra.

But, he did taste tater tot hotdish at a church potluck {where else, right?!} and ever since then, he's been asking me to make it.

But, with one caveat - it needed to have homemade tater tots.


It's a good thing I love the boy.

Today, I'll share with you the failure(s) and success of making homemade tater tots.  Come back tomorrow, and I'll share the coveted tater tot hotdish recipes, Finding Joy in My Kitchen style (that is, completely from scratch).

First - what not to do:

1) Do not deep fry tater tots.  They will dissolve.  And, send oil splattering.  And, make strange popping sounds.

2) Do not fry tater tots in the pan. It might look like a good idea to start... but it's not.  They will flatten to pancakes.

And, absorb all the oil.  Yuck.

3) Do not beer bater tater tots.  You don't want to go there.  Trust me.  They taste great, but not like tater tots.

What can you do?  You can bake them.  And, they are mighty tasty, mind you.

Here's your tater tots, Frog Prince.

Homemade Tater Tots - Finding Joy in My Kitchen

8 medium potatoes
2 tsp. salt
1 T flour
dash of pepper
1/2 C corn flakes, crushed.

Begin by peeling and slicing the potatoes into quarters.  Place potatoes in salted water and bring them to a boil.  Boil until tender.

Drain potatoes and allow them to cool a bit (so that you can handle them without a problem).  Don't let them get too cool; it's important they are still warm.

Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes!  {that was fun}

What, you don't have a potato ricer? Try your mom, grandma or neighbor -- they might have you one can use.  I found this old one in my mom's kitchen.  The goal of the ricer is to get the potatoes really fine (without adding milk).

Stir in the flour, 1-2 tsp. of salt (taste to make sure you've gotten them to the saltiness you like) and pepper.  Yes, you'll lose the pretty ricing, but that's okay.

Then, shape the taters into tots.  Even the kids will have fun with this step.

Set them on a cookie sheet as you go.

Next, roll them into the crushed corn flakes.  If they don't stick, you can use some milk or an egg white brushed on the potatoes.  Mine stuck just fine, but I did them while the potatoes were still warm and pliable.

Bake the tater tots at 400 for 15 minutes, until browned.

Then, remove and allow them to cool.  You can eat the right away, or freeze them.  I stuck ours in a ziplock bag and stuck them in our freezer until ready to use.



This post is linked to: Show and Tell, Look What I Made, Make it Yours DayWhatever Goes Wednesday, Recipe Swap, Cooking Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Strut Your Stuff, Show off Your Stuff and Family Friendly Fridays, URS


  1. Those look amazing and it doesn't sound as hard as I thought it would be!

  2. I saw these in a previous post and was curious about them. I've never heard of homemade ones before! They look SO much healthier and nummy! Thanks!

  3. Very interesting..I've made homemade tots before, but using shredded potatoes not mashed. I'll definitely have to try these...they look fantastic! (Thanks for the do's and dont's too!!)

  4. These look yummy!

    Would you believe I've never used my ricer for potatoes? I use it for spinach instead:

    Definitely worth investing in one!

  5. I am from the land of the frozen tundra and I've never had the privilege of eating a tater tot casserole either. In fact, my only experience with tater tots is from school lunches as a kid. Now, I'll have to introduce them to my kids, since they've never had them at all.

  6. Oh my gosh! I love tater tots and have never heard of anyone making them home made. I definitely have to try this. Lucky you with the ricer! I've been wanting to find one. Thanks for the great recipe!

  7. Why did he get the idea to have you make them homemade?

  8. Super cool, this is a great thing to know how to make for my little lady

  9. What do you usually bring to potlucks? Entree's, side dishes, desserts? If entree's, what kinds?

  10. this looks amazing.. thank you for sharing this.

  11. those do sound easy! another option is to use a old fashion food mill, that's what i plan to use when i attempt some gnocci! ill have to give this a try soon as well! i have 10 lbs of potatoes!

  12. AWESOME!!! THANK YOU for this recipe. My kids love tator tots but I'll feel much better serving them the healthier, homemade variety.
    And another THANKS for using the word "hotdish" instead of're a true Minnesotan! :-)

  13. Looks easy and the kids would LOVE to help. Would go perfect with our homemade chicken nuggets. Cannot wait to try!! Thanks!

  14. Hi Sno White,
    I have been waiting for the Homemade Tator Tot's and I am so excited that you brought them today. Did you see how many I have on my plate here at Full Plate Thursday...I can hardly wait to try them. Thank you so much for coming today and please come back!

  15. Always something new to learn in the kitchen, thanks.

  16. very clever. When I have some extra time I might have to try this.

  17. I love tater tots too, but will never buy them. Yay, I have a ricer too because we use it for lefse. I can't wait to make these!!!

  18. I've never thought of making my own tater tots. Thanks so much for sharing this. I can't wait to give it a try.

  19. I've never seen homemade tater tots before... What a great and innovative idea! I love your "what not to do"s too :)

    If you get a chance, I'd love for you to link up to my What's Cooking Wednesday!

  20. What a great and innovative idea! I've never heard of homemade tater tots before. And I love your "what not to do"s :)

    If you get a chance, I'd love for you to link up to my What's Cooking Wednesday!

  21. These look easy and tasty, thank you :)

  22. Thanks for sharing what doesn't work. I think I just might want to make some of these. They look simple enough.

  23. Ok, this is COOL. My family adores tater tots and I was just thinking I wanted to figure out a way to make them homemade. You beat me too it and did a fabulous job in the process!

    Thanks so much for linking up and have a wonderful weekend!

  24. I really like this post! I'm definitely keeping this recipe in mind and will try it sometime! Looks yummy!

  25. Congratulations Sno White, your Homemade Tater Tots are featured on Full Plate this week 1-20-2011.
    Thank you for coming!
    Miz Helen

  26. I can't begin to tell you how many tater tots we go through in our household. With a husband and two teenage get the idea. I can't wait to give these a try. I just happen to have a ricer on my antique shelf in my kitchen. It's always just been decor before. I'm going to use another posters suggestion and use if for spinach too! Thanks!!

  27. Yummy! I love creative ideas on making from scratch!

  28. Shoot! I'm from the Great White North and had never heard of tater tot casserole until I moved to the States... I like the idea of using cornflakes for "crunch."


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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