I read on this little website called Wikipedia that Americans consume 70 million pounds of tater tots per year. I was like, whoa, that's not nearly enough! What's up, America? Did you forget how scrumptious these little cylindrical nuggets are? Well then, allow me to stroke your nostalgia.
I found 14 recipes that use tater tots in all kinds of unique ways, like as a hot dog bun or pizza crust. That's right, tots aren't only crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and divine in every way -- they're crazy versatile, too.
Thrillist's Best (and the Rest): The Truth Behind the Saddest Cookbook Ever Drew Swantak/Thrillist
The waffles get irresistibly crisp on the outside yet stay fluffy on the inside -- ideal for the ultimate grilled cheese. Recipe
Key ingredients: Tater tots Bacon Jalapeño Sharp cheddar cheese Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Don't you like the idea of topping your burger with tater tots
and nachos? Of course you do. Get the recipe here.
Key ingredients: Ground beef Ground chorizo Cheddar cheese Bacon Tater tots Guacamole Courtesy of The Cooking Jar
It’s even sloppier than the original, but it’s OK because you can eat it with a fork. Fancy! Recipe
Key ingredients: Ground beef Sloppy Joe sauce Cream cheese Cheddar cheese Tater tots Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Taters just showed breadcrumbs who’s boss. Recipe
Key ingredients: Tater tots Parmesan Mozzarella string cheese Flour Eggs Courtesy of Buns in my Oven
Surely you already know about the nachos-made-with-tots craze. It’s still going strong, and for a good reason. Get the fully loaded recipe
Key ingredients: Tater tots Shredded meat Cheese Guacamole Sour cream Tomatoes Courtesy of Shared Appetite
The totcho trend goes Korean, with sweet-and-spicy flavors. Recipe
Key ingredients: Sweet potato tater tots Ground pork Kimchi Cotija cheese Poached eggs Gochujang chile sauce Courtesy of I Will Not Eat Oysters
With dulce de leche. Sweeeeeeet! Recipe right
Key ingredients: Sweetened condensed milk Sugar Cinnamon Tater tots Sea salt Courtesy of Oh Sweet Basil
Is there anything tater tots can't do? Here they take the place of pizza dough, holding up sauce, meats, and cheeses like nobody’s business. You'll still need a fork, though. Recipe
Key ingredients: Tater tots Italian sausage Pepperoni Tomato sauce Shredded mozzarella Laura Murray/Thrillist
This recipe shows you how to make your own tater tots, and then mix them with beef jerky. Meat and potatoes anyone? Recipe
Key ingredients: Russet potatoes Hamburger jerky Cornstarch Salt Drew Swantak/Thrillist
Each crispy tater tot "potato skin" is brushed with garlic oil for an extra kick of flavor, then loaded with cheese, bacon, and sour cream. Get the recipe
Key ingredients: Tater tots Parmesan cheese Bacon Shredded cheddar cheese Sour cream Courtesy of Damn Delicious
The tots are obviously wrapped in bacon, which is fantastic, but there’s also gooey cheese tucked inside. Yeah, this
recipe is the bomb.
Key ingredients: Tater tots Sharp cheddar cheese Bacon Brown sugar Courtesy of Oh Bite It
Who needs buns when tater tots exist? You still need the ketchup and mustard, though, so don’t forget those. Get the recipe
Key ingredients: Hot dogs Tater tots Flour Egg Courtesy of Gimme Delicious
It’s funny how simply swapping tortillas for tater tots can alter your life. Find the new you
Key ingredients: Ground beef Taco seasoning Tater tots Enchilada sauce Mexican-blend cheeses Courtesy of The Chic Site
Breakfast pizza doesn’t have to be cold leftovers. It can be bubbling hot and topped with bacon, eggs, cheese, and tots. Recipe
Key ingredients: Pizza dough Provolone cheese Tater tots Applewood-smoked bacon Eggs
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Perry Santanachote is Thrillist's recipes editor and tater tots were her first love. Follow her at @perrysant.