Cheesy Loaded Tater Tots

These cheesy loaded tater tots are the definition of delicious. The tater tots are cooked until they are nice and crispy, then smothered in a blend of melted goodness – otherwise known as cheese, and topped with crumbled bacon and chives.

overhead shot of cheesy tater tots with text overlay for facebook


 

Gourmet tater tots is a new food trend gracing gastropub menus over the last few years.

While I do like trying out the fancy tots, like buffalo chicken or crab dip, my all-time favorite are simple loaded tater tots: cheesy loaded tater tots! Why complicate something that is already amazing?

Cheesy loaded tater tots are great as a side or appetizer. I prefer to pan fry or air fry my tater tots because they are so much crisper, but in the essence of saving hands-on time or calories, you can bake them. If you have any tater tots left, then these are also perfect for leftover tots from another meal!

Pro Tip

Don’t fool yourself, fried tater tots are SO much better than baked tater tots! But if you do bake them, do it in a single layer for maximum crunch.

close up of tater tots on a tray

This has become my go-to side dish to serve at parties and get togethers. I actually have started getting requests to make them now when we are having people over or going to someone’s house.

Cheddar cheese and bacon with chives or green onions. You can also choose your favorite dipping sauce (of none if you are like me). Good choices are sour cream, ranch dressing, blue cheese or even homemade buffalo sauce. 

Why You’ll Love These Loaded Tater Tots

Crunchy, crispy tots loaded with tons of gooey cheese and bacon- what’s not to love?

  • Simple ingredients – Only four to be exact! Of course, you can always add more toppings if you’d like to, but we like to keep it simple around here.
  • Loved by all – Even the pickiest of eaters will love to indulge in one of my favorite comfort foods. These cheesy tots are the best.
  • Easy to make – You can have these cheesy tater tots ready to go in only 35 minutes, making them perfect for last minute get togethers.
for digging into loaded tots

Ingredients for Loaded Tots

This simple recipe is made up of only a few basic ingredients. Check out the section below to see ways to make it your own.

  • Frozen tater tots – It doesn’t get easier than frozen tater tots. Ore-Ida tater tots have an extra crispy version, so that’s what I like to use. But you can use your favorite brand.
  • Mexican cheese blend – Shredding your own cheese is preferable, just because the pre-shredded version has an additive that prevents it from melting smoothly.
  • Bacon – The easiest way to make bacon bits is to make sure your bacon is extra crispy. It crumbles better that way. Feel free to use turkey bacon if you’d like to.
  • Chives or scallions – Also called green onions, these add just a little pop of color and also flavor to lots of easy appetizer recipes.
angled shot of loaded tater tots

How to Make Loaded Tater Tots

Making this tater tot appetizer is simple and easy!

  1. Prepare tater tots and oven. Cook tater tots according to package directions. You can choose to bake or to fry. Preheat broiler in oven.
  2. Spray a 9×13 metal or glass rectangular dish sprayed with cooking spray. Spread tots in an equal layer and season with salt and pepper. Cover with 2 cups of cheese- you can choose to do less, but hey, they are CHEESY tots. Top cheese with crumbled bacon
  3. Broil on high until all cheese has melted, approximately 3-4 minutes. Top with fresh chives or scallions and serve! Enjoy your Cheesy Bacon Tots!

Variations

There are endless ways to make a tater tot appetizer recipe- literally endless. Consider this a base recipe and then have fun playing with other tater tot toppings.

  • Toppings – I love the toppings listed above, but feel free to add your favorite toppings. Black beans, red onion, hot sauce or sour cream would all be great additions to this loaded tater tots recipe.
  • Loaded tater tot nachos – Turn this tasty appetizer into something different completely. Mix up the toppings by adding some fresh pico de gallo, a sprinkle of taco seasoning and some cheese sauce. You could even add a taco ground beef mixture.
  • Cauliflower tots – If you’re trying to stay low carb, you can swap out the regular tots for the veggie variety. I think they even make broccoli tots too.
  • Cheese – Instead of the Mexican cheese blend suggested, try using cheddar, monterey jack, creamy queso or american cheese. Any shredded cheese will work.
for full of cheesy loaded tater tots

What to Serve with Loaded Tater Tots

These crispy tater tots are perfect for most any occasion. Great for movie night, game days or just when you’re in the mood for a great snack. We like to serve them with other fun appetizers like nachos.

You can easily turn this tater tot appetizer into a main meal. Top them with my favorite pulled pork recipe, or even some shredded chicken or grilled chicken strips.

Storage and Freezing

Storage: You can store leftover loaded tater tots in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just keep in mind, the tater tots will lose their crispness and it just won’t taste the same upon reheating.

Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this easy recipe. All of the toppings will cause the tater tots to become soggy and they will not thaw or reheat well.

collage of cheesy loaded tater tots for pinterest

More Easy Appetizers

I admit that sometimes I just eat apps for dinner and I am okay with that. Here are some other favorites.

overhead shot of tray of Cajun fries with ketchup

Cajun Fries Recipe

4.20 from 20 votes
A batch of homemade Cajun Fries are just the ticket to satisfy that crispy, potato craving. Steps for both traditional fried and baked fries included!
See The Recipe!
plate of sausage balls with dipping sauce

Easy Sausage Balls

4.84 from 49 votes
If you're looking for the best sausage ball recipe, look no further than these Easy Sausage Balls! You won't be able to have just one!
See The Recipe!
cream cheese shrimp spread

Mexican Cream Cheese Shrimp Dip

5 from 8 votes
Take your usual cocktail sauce shrimp dip up a notch with this Mexican Cream Cheese Shrimp Dip recipe. It's perfect for any get together or party!
See The Recipe!

After you’re done with your delicious appetizers, do you ever think “what should I make for dinner tonight?” Click the link for some ideas!

overhead shot of plate of cheesy loaded tater tots with text overlay for pinterest

More Favorites from Savory Experiments

angled shot of loaded tater tots

Cheesy Loaded Tater Tot Recipe

4.29 from 160 votes
Cheesy Loaded Tater Tots are an easy side dish recipe or appetizer. Loaded tater tots are the best since they are loaded with cheese and bacon! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 28 ounce bag of frozen tater tots
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese blend , shredded
  • 1/2 cup bacon ,cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chives or scallions , chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking Spray

Instructions

  • Cook tater tots according to package directions. You can choose to bake or to fry.
  • Preheat broiler in oven. Spray a 9×13 metal or glass rectangular dish sprayed with cooking spray. Spread tots in an equal layer and season with salt and pepper. Cover with 2 cups of cheese- you can choose to do less, but hey, they are CHEESY tots. Top cheese with crumbled bacon
  • Broil on high until all cheese has melted, approximately 3-4 minutes. Top with fresh chives or scallions and serve! Enjoy your Cheesy Bacon Tots!
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, make sure to come back and let us know how it was! 

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 377 kcal, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 22 g, Saturated Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 37 mg, Sodium: 841 mg, Potassium: 382 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Vitamin A: 245 IU, Vitamin C: 9.9 mg, Calcium: 263 mg, Iron: 0.9 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 377
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: loaded tater tots
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    These are the best tots ever! I think you could have gone all the way and named them fully loaded because they are. They’re a new favorite around here.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this at the weekend and it was absolutely delicious! Will definitely be making this again. Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

    1. Generally speaking “crumbled” bacon is cooked- you can’t crumble raw bacon, but I’ve added “cooked” just in case.

  3. Why cant you just print the recipe instead of writing page after page of nothing and a zillion ads. Just not worth the search for serious busy cooks.

    1. There is a “jump to recipe” button right at the top that skips all the ads. Nearly every site has one if you can’t be bothered to support small businesses.

    1. Hi Cora, not sure- there is a print button right on the recipe card. I just checked on my end and everything seems to be running fine.

    1. Hi Donna, they lose their crunch 🙁 I would recommend making and enjoying this one hot right out of the oven.

  4. 5 stars
    These seriously have all of my favorite things on them! They look amazing and I am going to make a huge batch!