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Loaded Tater Tots Recipe

Loaded tater tots are the ultimate comfort food, combining the crispy, golden goodness of tater tots with a melty, savory mix of toppings that will satisfy your cravings. Whether you want a tasty appetizer for a movie night, football Sunday, or simply a casual get-together, these cheesy tater tots will be a hit. Let’s dive into how you can make this delicious and easy recipe that’s perfect for any occasion.

Plate of tater tots covered with Ranch dressing, queso, bacon, and green onions.

Ingredients and Prep Time

Before you begin, gather your ingredients. You’ll need:

  • 1 package of frozen tater tots (about 32 oz)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup queso
  • ½ cup ranch dressing
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Frozen tater tots, green onions, raw bacon, seasoning, Ranch dressing, and queso.

This recipe serves 4-6 people and requires a total prep and cook time of about 35-40 minutes.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Preheat Oven
Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). If your tater tot package recommends a different temperature, adjust accordingly to accommodate the tater tots and bacon.

2. Prepare the Tater Tots and Bacon

  • For Tater Tots: Spread the tater tots in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake according to the package instructions, usually around 20-25 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  • For Bacon: Place a baking rack on a baking sheet and arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the rack. This setup allows the bacon to cook evenly.
Frozen tater tots on a parchment lined baking sheet.

3. Bake Tater Tots and Bacon 
Place both baking sheets in the oven. The bacon will likely need 15-20 minutes to become crisp, but start checking around 12 minutes to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Once it’s crispy, remove it and let it cool slightly before chopping it into pieces.

Chopped bacon on a wooden cutting board.

4. Prepare Toppings
While the tater tots and bacon are in the oven, slice the green onions and warm up the queso. You can heat the queso in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop until it’s heated through and pourable, about 2-3 minutes.

Freshly sliced green onions on a wooden cutting board.

5. Assemble the Loaded Tater Tots

  • Once the tater tots are baked, transfer them to a large serving dish. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Evenly drizzle the warm queso and Ranch dressing over the crispy tots.
  • Sprinkle the chopped bacon on top and garnish with green onions.
  • Serve immediately while everything is still warm and inviting.
Loaded tater tots on a piece of parchment paper.

Loaded Tater Tots

Loaded Tater Tots combine crispy, golden tater tots with warm queso, savory bacon, and zesty ranch dressing. This easy and delicious recipe is perfect for any occasion, from game day gatherings to casual get-togethers. Enjoy a fun and flavorful snack that's sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 601kcal

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces tater tots frozen
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 cup queso
  • ½ cup Ranch dressing
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). If your tater tot package recommends a different temperature, adjust accordingly to accommodate both the tater tots and bacon.

Prepare the Tater Tots and Bacon

  • Spread the tater tots in a single layer on a baking sheet. They will bake according to the package instructions, usually around 20-25 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  • Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the on a baking sheet.
  • Place both baking sheets in the oven. The bacon will likely need 15-20 minutes to become crisp but start checking around 12 minutes to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Remove the bacon once it’s crispy and let it cool slightly before chopping it into pieces.
  • While the tater tots and bacon are in the oven, warm up the queso in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop until it’s heated through and pourable, about 2-3 minutes.

Assemble the Loaded Tater Tots

  • Once the tater tots are baked, transfer them to a large serving dish. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Evenly drizzle the warm queso and Ranch dressing over the crispy tater tots.
  • Sprinkle the crispy bacon on top and garnish with green onions.

Nutrition

Calories: 601kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 1.703mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 1mg
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Alternative Cooking Methods

If you prefer using some of the gadgets you have hanging around, you can easily adapt this recipe to fit your preferences.

Air Fryer Tater Tots

For a quicker and potentially crispier result, try cooking your tater tots in an air fryer:

  • Preheat the air fryer according to the tater tots package directions. (This recipe was tested using Walmart’s Great Value brand and its instructions are to heat the airfryer to 360 degrees.)
  • Arrange the frozen tater tots in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  • Cook for 9-10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even cooking. The tater tots should be golden and crispy.

Instant Pot Bacon

For a convenient and mess-free way to cook bacon, use your Instant Pot:

  • Cut the bacon into pieces before placing it in the Instant Pot.
  • Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function.
  • Add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crispy. 
  • Once cooked, remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess grease.
Loaded tater tots with bacon, Ranch, queso, and green onions.

Tips for Perfect Loaded Tater Tots

  • Crispy Tater Tots: Ensure your tater tots are crispy by spreading them in a single layer on the baking sheet and following the package instructions for baking time and temperature. Do not overcrowd the tots on the pan.
  • Cooking Bacon: Use a baking rack to cook the bacon evenly and prevent it from sitting in its own grease. This also helps to achieve that perfect crispiness. [If you don’t want to cook bacon, feel free to use a package of real bacon bits instead. If serving to vegetarian friends, use artificial bacon bits.]
  • Toppings: Feel free to get creative with your toppings. Ground beef, shredded chicken, black beans, and shredded Cheddar cheese are all great additions that can take your loaded tater tots to the next level.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve your loaded tater tots with a side of sour cream or hot sauce for extra flavor. This dish pairs well with a crisp green salad or can be enjoyed as a hearty snack on its own.

Storage

I recommend that you store items separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. You can re-heat tater tots in the airfryer for a few minutes to crisp them.

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