Air Fryer Frozen Tater Tots make a crispy and delicious side dish or snack. This easy recipe takes less than 15 minutes and can be paired with your favorite dipping sauce!
If you're feeling nostalgic for these crispy staples of the lunchroom, but you don't want to deep fry them, then look no further than your handy air fryer.
Not only is Air Frying Tater Tots both quicker and lower in fat and calories than deep frying, but it's also superior to cooking them in the oven (which takes longer and can lead to soggy bottoms).
I love that I can cook tater tots in the air fryer in less than fifteen minutes. They're kid-friendly, vegan, and perfect as a side, snack, or even a party appetizer.
Here's what you need for this recipe (hint--it's just one ingredient!).
- Frozen Tater Tots (like Ore-Ida or a similar brand)
See recipe card for quantities.
Here are step-by-step instructions with photos.
Place the frozen tater tots directly in the air fryer basket. Set the cooking temperature to 400F or 200C and air fryer for 10 to 15 minutes. (No need to preheat!)
About halfway through the cooking, stop the air fryer and shake the basket. Cook until they are golden brown and crispy!
Hint: Sometimes the frozen tater tots will stick together. When you shake the basket halfway, be sure to break apart any pairs. That way every single tot will be crispy all around!
For this recipe you just need an air fryer and any kind will do. I love my Ninja Foodi Grill & Air Fryer because it has a bigger capacity.
All of my favorite products and kitchen tools can be found in my Amazon shop
How to serve
We all know that tater tots make an excellent side dish, but they're also perfect for topping a casserole--you can even substitute them for the mashed potatoes in a Lentil Shepherd's Pie.
If you're craving tater tots in the morning, why not add them to a breakfast hash or a Vegan Breakfast Burrito?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To reheat, simply warm in the air fryer again until cooked through (2 to 3 minutes).
Tater tots are best when crispy and crunchy. When in doubt cook them for another minute or two!
Choose the air fryer that best meets your needs. Consider things like price, size, and functionality. I personally love my Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Grill and Air Fryer, because it has a bigger capacity, which better suits my family of four.
For more info, see my post What Air Fryer Should I Buy? or check out Good Housekeeping's review of the Best Air Fryers of 2023.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Air Fryer Tater Tots
- 16 oz frozen tater tots (rough estimation)
- Set the air fryer to 400F or 200C. Add the tots directly to the basket (no need to preheat!). Cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
- About halfway through the cooking, stop the air fryer to give the basket a shake or move the tater tots around. Sometimes they stick together when they're frozen, so be sure to break up any pairs for maximum crispiness!
- When the tater tots are crispy and nicely browned carefully remove them from the air fryer and serve right away!
- Nutritional info can vary depending on the brand of tater tots you buy.
- I usually buy a 500g bag of tater tots and cook the whole thing. Leftovers make a great addition to a breakfast scramble.
Air Fryer and food safety tips
Here are a few safety tips for cooking with an air fryer.
- Cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always use oven mitts or some protective hand covering when shaking the basket or removing food from the air fryer.
- Hot air comes out the back of the air fryer. Try to keep the back of the air fryer at least a hands length away from the wall, other ingredients, or anything else that could be damaged by heat.