Make your own homemade tater tots and bake them crispy in the oven or the air fryer!

Forget the frozen variety, from scratch tater tots are a favorite and taste so much better. Make a double or triple batch of these little nuggets and freeze some for another day!

Homemade Tater Tots dipped in ketchup

Our Fave Tater Tots

We love to make our own homemade tater tots!

  • Uses real ingredients (things you likely have on hand and can pronounce).
  • Easy to make, these come together in about 45 minutes.
  • Can be baked in the oven or cooked in the air fryer (or even deep fried if you like)
  • Can be made ahead of time, they freeze and reheat well.

Serve in place of french fries with juicy turkey burgers or homemade chicken nuggets for a fun meal.

ingredients to make from scratch Tater Tots on a baking sheet

Ingredients and Variations

POTATOES We use russets in this recipe because they are extra starchy and produce a fluffy interior. The potatoes are cooked and then grated (a little bit is mashed, this helps hold them together).

SEASONINGS Just a few seasonings like garlic powder and salt and pepper are mixed with potatoes, onions, and parmesan cheese, along with a parsley garnish make unforgettably savory tots!

ADDITIONS Add bacon bits, shredded cheddar, even our famous taco seasoning recipe can be added for a Tex-Mex tot.

Got Frozen Tots?

The recipe below is for homemade tater tots but if you’ve got frozen on hand, they can be cooked in the air fryer too.

Cook frozen tater tots in the air fryer at 400°F for 11-14 minutes shaking them after 6 minutes. Be sure not to overcrowd the air fryer or the tots won’t crisp up.

shredded potatoes to make homemade Tater Tots

How to Make Tater Tots

Homemade tater tots are super easy to make.

  1. Boil quartered potatoes until they are tender, drain & cool.
  2. Mash half of one potato (two of the quarters) and shred the rest with a box grater.

top view of ingredients in a bowl to make Air Fryer Tater Tots

  1. Combine mashed & shredded potatoes with remaining ingredients per recipe below & shape them into tater tots using a measuring spoon. Gently roll them in your hands to shape them.

Homemade Tater tots on a baking sheet

  1. Place tots in the oven or preheated air fryer basket, cook according to the recipe until they’re browned.

Homemade Tater Tots on a baking sheet before cooking

Top Tips

  • Spray with a little bit of oil or cooking spray before baking/air frying.
  • Place tots evenly spaced in the air fryer so the air can circulate around them and crisp them properly.
  • Keep cooked batches of tater tots warm in an oven at 250°F. Make them extra crunchy by putting them under the broiler for about 4 minutes.
  • Save leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days and reheat in the microwave, toaster oven, or under the broiler.
  • Freeze cooked tater tots in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 1 month.

Delish Dips

Did your family love these Homemade Tater Tots? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

plated Air Fryer Tater Tots with ketchup
4.97 from 26 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Tater Tots

Crispy & flavorful, these homemade Tater Tots are the perfect side dish or snack for a crowd!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 3 medium russet potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon onion grated
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook potatoes 10-12 minutes or until fork-tender.
  • Drain well and cool slightly.
  • Mash ½ of one potato (two of the quarters), using a box grater shred the remaining potatoes.
  • Combine shredded and mashed potatoes with remaining ingredients.
  • Using a tablespoon, measure heaping tablespoons and form into tots. Spray with cooking spray or brush with oil if desired.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  • Place tots in a single layer in the air fryer and cook 7-9 minutes or until golden.
  • Repeat with remaining tots if needed. Serve warm with ketchup.


To Bake Tater Tots in the oven, preheat oven to 425°F. Bake 20-25 minutes or until browned.
To deep fry, preheat oil to 375°F. Cook tots 3-5 minutes or until golden.
4.97 from 26 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 171 | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Homemade Tater Tots with dip and a title
Homemade Tater Tots with a title
Homemade Tater Tots with writing
ingredients to make Homemade Tater Tots with finished dish and a title


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. My husband asked for tater tots (first time in 34 years!) and I shudder to think about buying them from the frozen food section! If i need to leave out the cheese (need dairy free), do I need to add more of anything else to get the right texture? Thanks!

    1. I have only tried this recipe as written Karen so I can’t say for sure, but I think it should be fine without (it will just change the flavor slightly). I hope he loves them!!

  2. Really tasty, but turned out flat as tiny pancakes. Not sure what I did wrong but I liked them enough that I’lol try again.4 stars

    1. I haven’t had this issue so I can’t say for sure what happened JP. Did you make sure to mash some of the potatoes? I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor!

  3. I have one family member who is never pleased with my cooking, and this got a “Good” which never happens. thank you!5 stars

  4. My husband wants a tater tot that has peppers and onions too. Any suggestions for how much green or red peppers I can add?

    1. That sounds delish Tracy! I haven’t tried it but I’d think about 1/4 cup (diced small) would work, you could add a little bit more as long as the mixture holds together. I’d suggest pre-cooking the peppers a bit so they’re tender. Let us know how it goes!

  5. I have a major weakness for tater tots, and it’s great to see that I have a chance to make it with a few less calories. I’m also going to try it with cauliflower. Thanks.