Oven Baked Tater Tots

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Oven Baked Tater TotsWere you wondering what I did with the excess of potatoes I scooped from these Cheesy Bacon Potato Skins?  I wouldn’t blame you.  You can set your mind at ease knowing that I found use of the extra pulp and made these tater tots.  How could I throw out perfectly good potatoes when I knew there was some way to use it up?  These tots are perfect!  (Anyone thinking Napolean Dynamite yet?)

When I decided to make these, I thought using the method for the Buffalo Chicken Bites was the way to go.  Thank goodness I only tried it out on 2 tots to begin with, because the result what not the taste I was going for.  The crushed Corn Flakes breading somehow became stale in the baking process (maybe something to do with the potatoes affect on the cereal).

In my second attempt, I tried using regular store-bought bread crumbs.  But, while making these trial versions, it dawned on me.  I needed to use crushed potato chips!  I didn’t have regular potato chips on hand, but I did have these new Pop Chips in my pantry.  They were just what I needed to make these tater tots at their best!  Although regular potato chips would probably be just as good, I’ll always use the Pop Chips since they are not full of grease, making the tots a tiny bit healthier. (This is not a formal endorsement for Pop Chips, although I do highly recommend these tasty little treats!)

Even though these tater tots are baked in the oven and not dunked in the deep fryer, they are perfectly crispy.  It really felt good to not only use up the cooked potatoes, but to know I was eating healthier tots!  Win, win!

**Recipe updated 10/11/10

Oven Baked Tater Tots

Printable Recipe

6 Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
2-3 eggs, beaten
2 cups crushed Pop Chips

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Boil potatoes in a large pot until barely fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain and return to pot.

Gradually add the milk and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until mashed, but still lumpy.  You might not need to use up all the milk.  It is important to keep the potatoes lumpy and a little dry so it is not so messy to roll into balls.

Separate the eggs, flour and potato chips in three bowls; set aside.

Form the potato mixture into 1-inch balls and place on wax or parchment paper.  Roll each ball first into the bowl of flour, then the egg and finishing with the chips.  Once coated, form the balls into the tots formation.  Place on baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.

Source: Pennies Original

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  1. WOW! Those look great!

  2. muahaha, you said tots. I totally thought of Napolean as I put chapstick on my chapped lips.

    Mmm, I loved that you used crushed potato chips. Very cool, and if you want to spice it up a bit you can use those jalapeno baked chips, and the crazy assortment that Lays has. Mmmmmmmm, the possibilites.

  3. This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I need these!

  4. My husband LOVES tater tots – he’s a big kid ;). I can’t wait to make these for him. I think I’ll use Pop Chips for the crispy coating!

  5. Love this idea, and of course love Napoleon. I have to try these!

  6. I will make these and cover them with chili and cheese. Thanks for the recipe. Yummers

  7. Ha! Homemade tater tots! I never would have thought to make these with leftover potatoes, but they look delicious!

  8. I’ve never thought of making homemade tater tots but I’m fairly certain that I would earn major, major points with my husband if I made these! Looks awesome!

  9. I just made these tonight. They’re good in theory but a lot of work to actually do. And you use up potato chips way too fast! It’s not as healthy as originally thought…It took me about an hour and a half to roll out all the mashed potatoes into tedious balls. It was not worth the effort for the final product. Hope everyone else has better luck.

    • Sorry to hear that Catherine! I had no problem at all and it didn’t take me much time. Maybe you made a lot more of them than I did, although I made quite a few!


    • I tried this as well. I explained it to my husband and he was all for it. It took me so long to shape the balls. I ran out of eggs and chips and had so much flour leftover. I also had too many potatoes. I hope this works out for someone else.

  10. Just made them with jalepeno kettle chips…very good. I found they are very messy to make. Did I miss something along the way?

    • Hi Maria,

      When mashing the potatoes, make sure you mash them only until they are still lumpy. Also, you might not need to use all the milk since potatoes are different sizes. Gradually add the milk while mashing and don’t use all of it if it’s going to make it a mushy mess. I’ve found that this recipe works best when the mashed potatoes are so “mashy”. 🙂

      (I updated the recipe to include this information.)

      Thanks! What a fun idea to use jalapeño kettle chips!


  11. Oh my word! These sound fantastic! I absolutely love tater tots! I am definitely going to have to try these! What a fabulous idea!

  12. Love it! I’ve never made my own tater tots. These look absolutely perfect. I included a link to your site in my kid’s classic food roundup today on my blog (ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com). Hope that’s OK!

  13. I wonder if panko breadcrumbs would work just as well. Did you ever try those? They stay really crispy and nice in comparison to potato chips (I used the potato chip method once for onion rings with disasterous results). I also wonder if you could take a day to make them and freeze them after cooking. That way you’d always have them on hand for any tater tot craving.

    • Hi Kristin,
      No, I haven’t tried the panko bread crumbs for these tater tots, but I have used them for other recipes. I like the taste of the potato chips with these. Maybe using the Pop Chips kept them more crispy rather than regular potato chips. If you use panko and enjoy it, let me know! I’m wondering if it would be too bland.


  14. This recipe sounds great! Do you think sweet potatoes could be used instead of the Russet? I figured it would be like substituting mashed sweet potatoes…and provide a nice variation!

  15. I made these last night. I added a little garlic powder to the potatoes while mashing. The crunch was great with the potato chips, however they didn’t have any real interior flavor. I still have half the potato mixture left, so I’m going to experiment with adding a little sour cream and chive, then rolling them in the mixtures or even putting a small cube of cheddar cheese in the middle for some gooey goodness.

  16. we’re going to try these tomorrow and use a can of french fried onions instead of potato chips, creamy photato-y goodness with ONIONS!

  17. Just made these last night with some leftover baked potatoes..they were fabulous! I used parmesan and garlic popchips and they had the perfect amount of flavor and crunch. Thanks!

  18. Hi! Lovely recipe! I was thinking of making these for a party- I wanted to know whether I could make these ahead and keep them in the fridge and bake them only when they were ready to eat, would that be ok?

  19. I love tots and homemade tots sound wonderful. We make super tots. Top tots with crumbled bacon, sour cream mixed with Franks red hot sauce, shredded cheese and green onions. So bad for you, so delicious.

  20. Oh my gosh, they look amazing! I got to thinking about tater tots today, after not having had them for years, but tater tots don’t exist where I live. So I’m making these on the weekend. I’ll let you know how they turn out! We don’t have Pop Chips either so hopefully normal wavy Lay’s will do.

  21. wow those look yummy. thanks for sharing

  22. I made them for dinner and they were great! I used ruffled Lay’s chips. Mine didn’t come out as brown as yours but they tasted good so I was happy. 🙂

  23. Look forward to making these! We always have Pop Chips in our pantry so this will be easy to recreate! Wonder if pretzels would be good?!

  24. Sweet! Too bad the kids have devoured all the chips from their Christmas stockings. I wonder if my picky eater will be fooled by this? I’ll totally be giving these a whirl- once I buy more chips 🙂

  25. I had to giv up tator tots because they are made with flour and or cornstarch. I have celiac so gluten is out and corn allergies. I am going to try and convert your idea gluten free. Thanks for the idea

  26. I am going to try these. I imagine if you use a melon ball scoop or something similar, it would cut down on the mess quite a bit.

  27. It looks like my comment did not sow but my suggestion would be to use a melon ball scoop or even cookie dough scoop to cut back on the mess. I can’t wait to try these!

  28. Just wondering if anyone has tried making these and freezing or prepping and then freezing. Thanks.

  29. On abc the Chew (Chef Michael Symon) made homemade tatortots and he would add different things to the potatoes say like cheese or hot peppers, onions and so on. But he would roll his blob…lol..sorry..of potatoes in panko crumbs. I haven’t made them yet but I think I will now. Thanks.

  30. Just thought you might like to know someone is using your picture for a different recipe. I recognized yours from pinterest and knew it was not theirs.

  31. Hi! Just a question….has anyone attempted to freeze these yet? My thought is, I would make a large batch, and then lay the unbaked tots on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer until they are frozen and then throw them in a freezer bag…what do you all think?

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