Homemade Cheddar Tater Tots

Golden brown and crispy oven-fried tater tots with cheddar cheese. You can make them with all white potatoes or swap out some of the white for a sweet potato twist.

My Mom asked me why would anybody want to make their own tater tots? Hmmmm because it’s. . . fun? And because I can. It certainly is not a fast process as forming the tots themselves can take 20 – 25 minutes unless you have an extra set or two of hands to help you.

I tried both baking and deep frying these and preferred the baked ones. The fried ones got mushy in the oil and didn’t hold their shape.

The baked version, shown in these pictures, gets a little crunchy on the outside with creamy, cheesy middles. Completely addictive.

Better make a double batch.

Homemade Cheddar Tater Tots

Rating: 51

Yield: 4 servings

Homemade Cheddar Tater Tots

Golden brown and crispy oven-fried tater tots with cheddar cheese. You can swap out some of the white potatoes for a sweet potato twist.


2 pounds yukon gold or russett potatoes (swap out 3/4 pound for sweet potatoes, if desired)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon potato or corn starch
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
corn, peanut, vegetable or canola oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes clean and roast until until a fork goes easily into them when poked. Fill two big bowls with ice water and put the potatoes in them to cool.
  2. Change the water as needed until the potatoes are cold. (Alternately you can cook them ahead of time and refrigerate until cold.)
  3. Peel the potatoes then shred on the large holes of a box grater. Add to a large bowl and use a fork to combine with the cheese, potato starch, salt and pepper.
  4. If baking: grease a large baking sheet generously with oil from edge to edge. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  5. Scoop up little pieces of the potato mixture and form into cylinders about 1 inch long. Place on baking sheet and repeat until all the tots are made.
  6. Bake about 25 minutes, turning once about 15 minutes into the cooking time.
  7. To fry:
  8. Heat an inch of oil in a large Dutch oven to 350 degress F. Cook the tots in batches until lightly golden all over about 5 minutes - if they start to fall apart or get smooshy then reduce the cooking time. Drain on paper-towel lined plates before serving.
  9. Serve with ketchup for dipping.


Adapted from Serious Eats

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


Subscribe Here

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner



  1. says

    Oh my goodness! Those look incredible, Reeni. I can definitely imagine that they are quite a bit of work, but it looks like they’d be worth it.

  2. says

    You just reminded me I am out of cornstarch because I want to make these tonight for dinner:-). It sounds like it turned out better baking them which is good because I get nervous frying – although it is always yummy. I bet they hold together better baked, too? Tater tots are one of my favorite foods going way back to Elementary School lunch. I buy TJ’s, but I would totally make these on a Saturday or Sunday night when I have some worker bees to do the rolling for me!

    • says

      They did turn out better baked Becki which is weird because usually it’s the other way around! It does help to have more than one set of hands! Happy Sunday!

  3. Rachel says

    Thank you for commenting about GMO corn. I have changed my lifestyle to avoid GM foods and am struggling to find new recipes and ideas to keep cooking fun! These look great! Thanks!

    • says

      Thanks Rachel! Me too! At least I try to limit them – they’re hard to avoid altogether sometimes! Oil is such a highly concentrated form of GMO’s not something I want to eat all the time.

  4. says

    I love the cheddar twist on these! Tater tots are one of my favorite things in this world and I’ve always wanted to do a homemade version…these are definitely going to have to be IT when I do!

  5. says

    Your tater tots look so golden! I have not made these before and they looks really delicious! We have a local verson here which is fried too! Hope you have a good weekend:)

  6. says

    As a big tater tot fan, I am very, very excited about this. The cheese addition makes it all the more intriguing, and your photos are beautiful! It has never occurred to me to make my own tots. I thought they were only something you bought frozen. When I exclaimed, “Make your own tater tots?!” when I read this, my husband said, “You can make your own? I thought that was like making your own salt.” You have really opened our eyes, and I’m going to try this very soon.

    • says

      You’re so funny! “Making your own salt.” Bahahaha. I found an easier version! It is pressed into a pan and then scored into tots rather than forming them all individually. If I had seen this I would of made it instead. Seems a lot easier and quicker. I guess I know what I’ll be doing this week!

  7. says

    I applaud your efforts to make tater-tots. In fact, I think it is really cool. I agree with you about corn oil. If Mazzola actually put labeling on their oil about not using GMO’s, I bet more folks would purchase corn oil.

    I enjoyed this post.


    • says

      Thanks Velva! I appreciate your comment! I struggled writing this post and it probably shows. I hate writing about products I don’t believe in. Happy Sunday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *