14 Tater Tot Recipes That Prove Tots Are Better Than Fries

Tater tot grilled cheese -- Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

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.

Tater tot waffle grilled cheese
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

The waffles get irresistibly crisp on the outside yet stay fluffy on the inside -- ideal for the ultimate grilled cheese. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Tater tots
  • Bacon
  • Jalapeño
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
Totchos supreme burger
<a href="http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/totchos-supreme-burgers/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest</a>

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
Tater tot sloppy joe
<a href="http://www.thecookingjar.com/sloppy-joe-tater-tot-casserole/" target="_blank">Courtesy of The Cooking Jar</a>

It’s even sloppier than the original, but it’s OK because you can eat it with a fork. Fancy! Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Sloppy Joe sauce
  • Cream cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Tater tots
Tater tot crusted mozzarella sticks
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Taters just showed breadcrumbs who’s boss. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Tater tots
  • Parmesan
  • Mozzarella string cheese
  • Flour
  • Eggs
Totchos
<a href="http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/08/04/totchos-tater-tot-nachos/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Buns in my Oven</a>

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 here.

Key ingredients:

  • Tater tots
  • Shredded meat
  • Cheese
  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Tomatoes
Korean totchos
<a href="http://sharedappetite.com/recipes/korean-pork-sweet-potato-totchos/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Shared Appetite</a>

The totcho trend goes Korean, with sweet-and-spicy flavors. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Sweet potato tater tots
  • Ground pork
  • Kimchi
  • Cotija cheese
  • Poached eggs
  • Gochujang chile sauce
Churro tater tots
<a href="http://iwillnoteatoysters.com/churro-tater-tots/" target="_blank">Courtesy of I Will Not Eat Oysters</a>

With dulce de leche. Sweeeeeeet! Recipe right here.

Key ingredients:

  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Tater tots
  • Sea salt
Tater tot pizza
<a href="http://www.ohsweetbasil.com/tater-tot-pizza-casserole-recipe.html" target="_blank">Courtesy of Oh Sweet Basil</a>

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 here.

Key ingredients:

  • Tater tots
  • Italian sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Tomato sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella
Jerky tots
<a href="https://www.thrillist.com/recipe/nation/tater-tots-made-with-beef-jerky-thrillist-recipes" target="_blank">Laura Murray/Thrillist</a>

This recipe shows you how to make your own tater tots, and then mix them with beef jerky. Meat and potatoes anyone? Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Russet potatoes
  • Hamburger jerky
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
Tater tot potato skins
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 here.

Key ingredients:

  • Tater tots
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Bacon
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
Bacon wrapped bombs
<a href="http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/26/bacon-wrapped-tater-tot-bombs/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Damn Delicious</a>

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
Tater tot hot dogs
<a href="http://www.ohbiteit.com/2015/09/tater-tot-hot-dogs.html" target="_blank">Courtesy of Oh Bite It</a>

Who needs buns when tater tots exist? You still need the ketchup and mustard, though, so don’t forget those. Get the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Hot dogs
  • Tater tots
  • Flour
  • Egg
Tater tot enchiladas
<a href="http://gimmedelicious.com/2014/05/14/tater-tot-enchilada-bake/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Gimme Delicious</a>

It’s funny how simply swapping tortillas for tater tots can alter your life. Find the new you here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Taco seasoning
  • Tater tots
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Mexican-blend cheeses
Breakfast pizza
<a href="http://thechicsite.com/2013/08/21/breakfast-pizza/" target="_blank">Courtesy of The Chic Site</a>

Breakfast pizza doesn’t have to be cold leftovers. It can be bubbling hot and topped with bacon, eggs, cheese, and tots. Recipe here.

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.