Give 'Em Something to Tot About with 6 Crazy Tater Tot Recipes

Time travel isn't a thing yet, but you can transport yourself back to childhood with a big bowl of Tater Tots. There's something special about the potato nuggets that makes them crispier and more nostalgic than simple french fries or even the fun-shaped curly fries, and the best part is that as an adult, you can dress them up however you want.

Check out six ways to tater your tots to the next level, from smothering them like a loaded baked potato to topping a casserole with tots and so much more.

1. DIY Them from Start to Finish

Justine Simmons makes her own homemade potato tots and buttermilk ranch dressing, which is a great foundation for any toppings coming its way.

2 . Cover Them with Melted Cheese and Bacon

Everything's better with bacon, and Tater Tots are no exception. The Doghouse Truck in Portland, Ore. mixes sweet and hot with pineapple and a Tobasco-spiked sauce on top of melted pepper Jack cheese for their decadent Trouble in Paradise dish.

3. Top a Casserole with Tots of Love

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

The popular Minnesota casserole hotdish is a mix of ground beef, vegetables and cream of mushroom soup topped with crispy Tater Tots. You can mix up the inside ingredients, but don't skimp on the potato topping. Trust us — they're much better than boring breadcrumbs.

4. Try a New Vegetable Inside

For those days when you don't want to eat a bowl of potatoes, try making baked cauliflower tots that are filled with cheddar cheese. They're slightly healthier, so it's acceptable to eat the entire pan.

5. Treat 'Em Like Asian Nachos

If you have time to slow-roast some short ribs, save a pile of  Korean Kalbi for your Tater Tots. A homemade cheese sauce is spiked with spicy Korean red pepper paste for Miami food truck Dim Ssam a Go Go's recipe; this is a fusion dish you'll never forget.

6. Make Mind-Blowing Poutine 
chuck-hughes-chucks-awesome-poutine-recipe_s4x3

chuck-hughes-chucks-awesome-poutine-recipe_s4x3

CC RECIPE Chuck Hughes Chucks Awesome Poutine

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

It's hard to improve on poutine — the gravy-and-cheese-curd-topped Canadian french fries that we'd eat by the gallon — but if you substituted Tater Tots underneath it all, it would definitely be a home run.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Give 'Em Pumpkin to Talk About with 4 Instagram-Ready Desserts

Get gorgeous pumpkin dessert recipes and ideas, including pumpkin cheesecake, pie on a stick and more on Cooking Channel.

Give Thanks for Cheese

Get Thanksgiving cheese platter ideas from Cooking Channel, including the best cheeses to serve on Turkey Day and how to present them.

Fall Fest: Apples Give Salad Crunch

You could spend hours browsing the in season apple selections at the famers' market but I'm happy to head right to the Honey Crisp variety. Some might call these the "fancy" variety because they can be a bit more expensive. But one bite of this super sweet and crunchy gift from the orchard and I promise, you'll be sold. So I'm happy to eat these as soon as I can get my hands on them, but their super-sweet quality and zero chance for mealy texture, makes them the perfect candidate for a salad mix-in.

On TV

Donut Showdown

7:30am | 6:30c

Donut Showdown

8:30am | 7:30c

Sugar Showdown

9:30am | 8:30c

Sugar Showdown

10:30am | 9:30c

Unique Sweets

11am | 10c

Unique Sweets

11:30am | 10:30c

Unique Sweets

12pm | 11c

Unique Sweets

12:30pm | 11:30c

Unique Sweets

1pm | 12c

Unique Sweets

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Unwrapped

3pm | 2c

Cake Wars

5pm | 4c

Cake Wars

6pm | 5c

Cake Wars

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Cake Wars

8pm | 7c

Cake Wars

9pm | 8c

Cake Wars

10pm | 9c

Extreme Cake Makers

11:30pm | 10:30c

Cake Wars

12am | 11c

Cake Wars

1am | 12c

Cake Wars

2am | 1c

Extreme Cake Makers

3:30am | 2:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

New Episodes Mondays 8|7c

Home for the Holidays

So Much Pretty Food Here