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



  1. Jan Gabbert says

    I was confused when I read your copyright. Am I allowed to pin this on my Pinterest board?
    I do not have a blog/website. I just want to save this recipe for myself and my friends.

  2. Mel Nof says

    I made these last night and I baked them they were absolutely delicious but they turned into a giant “potato cake” instead of individual tots…and they baked much faster on the bottom. Not sure what I did wrong.

    • Reeni says

      Hi Mel! The bottoms will brown faster – that’s why you flip them around the 15-minute mark. As for your giant potato cake – not sure what happened. . . the same thing happened to mine when I fried them – they kind of melted and lost their shape. They probably needed a little more potato starch to hold them together? Anywhoo thanks for trying them! I will have to make them a few more times and see how the recipe holds up. Have a good weekend!

  3. John says

    The only problem with these was, I didn’t make enough!
    I just made them, except without the cheese… I’ll never buy Tater Tots from the store again, these were GREAT!!!
    Do you think it would be okay to make them in advance and freeze them?

    Thanks very much for sharing

    • Reeni says

      Thanks John! That makes me really happy!! I don’t see why not – I think freezing them would work out fine! If you get a chance please stop back and let me know how it works out.

    • Virginia Bell says

      When I’ve frozen potatoes, they had a tendency to get watery. Maybe if you put the grated potatoes through a ricer to get all the extra water out before you freeze them?

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