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Air Fryer Frozen Tater Tots

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, perfect for dipping. Cooking tater tots has never been easier. Using the air fryer produces a perfect tot every time.

Tater tots in a bowl with salt and pepper on the side and an air fryer in the background.
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I have always been a huge fan of tater tots. I love the blend of the crispy outside and soft middle.

I didn’t really think I’d ever find an easier way of cooking frozen tater tots than tearing open the bag, dumping them on a baking sheet and tossing them in the oven, but here we are.

When done in the air fryer these tater tots are ready in less time and they are even better than when they are cooked in the oven.

If you forget to stir them when they are in the oven you sometimes get one side that is much crispier than the rest. When done in the air fryer, they are perfectly crispy all the way around.

They also cook faster and free up space in the oven for other things.

Tater tots in a bowl with spicy mayo dip.

Why this recipe works

  • You only need the one ingredient, tater tots.
  • They make a delicious side dish to almost any meal.
  • They take less than 20 minutes from start to finish.
  • Kids love the crispy potatoes, especially with dip.
  • There is zero work involved other than opening a bag and dumping them in the basket.

Ingredients

The only ingredients you need to make a big basket of air fried tater tots is frozen tater tots.

You will also want some sort of seasoning such as salt, pepper, or seasoning salt.

How to air fry frozen tater tots

There really isn’t much to making perfectly crispy tater tots using the air fryer. And for this “recipe” you don’t need to add any oil to the fryer or spray the tots, they will get deliciously crispy without the need to add any additional fats.

One – Preheat your air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.

Two – Pour tater tots into the air fryer in a single layer and sprinkle with salt, pepper or seasoning salt.

Three – place the basket in the air fryer and set to 380 degrees for 16 minutes. Half way through the cook time shake the basket.

Four – When the timer completes, remove the basket from the air fryer, dump the tater tots into a bowl and season as desired.

Tater tots in an air fryer basket.

Pro Tip – Cooking the tots in an even layer will give the best results and shortest cook time. Should you decide to pile them in there just be sure to shake the basket a few times during the cook and add a few extra minutes.

How to serve tater tots

While tater tots are perfectly delicious with just a bit of salt, there are many ways to dress them up.

You can serve them just as you would French fries, or get fancy with sauces and toppings.

I always like to serve mine with a dip of some sort, like spicy sriracha mayo, or homemade ranch dip. While my husband likes to top his with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

They are a great side dish to almost any meal, such as beef dip sandwiches, instant pot rotisserie chicken, or flank steak.

They also make a great game-day snack.

Tater tot being dipped in spicy mayo.

FAQS

Do I need to add oil to tater tots before air frying?

No, you don’t. The tater tots already contain oil. You can simply dump them in the basket, season as desired and cook.

Do I need to thaw tater tots before air frying?

Nope, they can go straight from the freezer to the air fryer.

How long to cook tater tots in the air fryer?

It will vary a bit depending on your fryer and your desired crispness, but I have found that 380 degrees for 16 minutes is perfect if they are in a single layer. If you like them extra crispy, or if you have over filled the basket you will want to add a few extra minutes.

More Air Fryer Recipes

Recipe

Tater tots in a bowl with spicy mayo dip.

Air Fryer Tater Tots

Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, air fryer frozen tater tots turn out perfect everytime. They are a quick and easy side.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 201kcal
Author: Deanna

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Frozen tater tots
  • Salt, pepper or seasoning to taste

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes
  • Pour the tater tots in an even layer in the air fryer basket and season as desired.
  • Place the basket in the fryer and set to 380 degrees for 16 mintues. Shake the basket half way through the cook time.
  • When timer is complete, remove the tater tots from the air fryer and serve as desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 485mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
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