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


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  1. Mia says

    oh. oh. ohhhhh my goodness, this is amazing!!!! thanks so much for the recipe! i had it with sriracha, mayo, mustard, and ketchup dips hehe.

  2. diane says

    Not sure what went wrong I deep fried them. The first batch was perfect. Five perfect tots. Every batch ther after fell to pieces. Still yummy but like hashbrowns.

    • Reeni says

      Hi Diane! That’s a bummer! Sorry! I’m not sure what could of went wrong. . . maybe they need to be chilled first. Baking them usually has good results and it’s easier too. Thanks for making them! I’m glad they were still edible.

  3. Steffi says

    I love this recipe! Only change I made is I used 1/4 cup of cheddar and 1/4 cup of pepperjack. Gives it a little spice along with the cheesy potatoey goodness! :)

  4. Gerry says

    What about freezing for later use? Freeze unbaked or baked. Some say better to freeze unbaked. What do you say. Thanks.

    • Reeni says

      Hi Gerry! Freeze unbaked! You don’t even have to cut them. Once they’re frozen in the pan lift it out and wrap it well. Set on the counter to defrost a little to make for easier cutting. Of course if you want to cut and bread them – then freeze them – you can do that too. So they won’t stick together – put them in the freezer spread out on a baking sheet – once they are completely frozen you can bag them. Thanks for reading! Have a good night!

  5. Jillian says

    These look fantastic and I plan on making myself. I saw on a different tater tot recipe that they put the mixture into a large bag, cut the corner off and piped the potatoes onto the baking sheet in 1″ segments (can use a knife to stop it from coming out of the bag) which would eliminate having to shape them.

    I will probably try that when I make it to speed up the process! I love that you could make and switch up the seasonings to go with your meal

    • Reeni says

      Thanks Jillian! Piping them is a great idea! I hope they hold together well enough that you can do that. Let me know how it goes!

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