Oh man, oh man.
I have been dying to tell you guys about these for days. Daaayyyyzzz. Just oh my gosh.
It’s like a tater tot, but instead of the tater, there’s pumpkin, and um – lots of cheese! Oh yes.
The inspiration for these came from these sweet potato parmesan tater tots. Basically, I just wanted another excuse to make some darn tots! But then I started thinking, ok well not really. I just spotted the cute “sugar pie” pumpkin sitting on my kitchen table and was like, “oh I can roast that. I should totally roast that. Oh and I can add cheese and chipotle and…. YUM.”
Then the best part hit me.
Holy moly, I can totally turn the pumpkin into tater tots! Yes, yes, yes!!
But they’re not tater tots, because a pumpkin is a squash so they are more like squash tots, but that just sounded super weird. So plain old tots it is.
I love this combo of chipotle cheddar mixed with pumpkin. It’s a little different than the traditional sage or cinnamon that you get when roasting pumpkin. Not that I don’t love those flavors, because I definitely do, but this combo is really different and works great.
Actually, our house has been smelling a lot like Thanksgiving this week.
It’s kind of awesome.
Except for the part where I honestly almost caught the whole oven on fire.
Long story short I needed some toasted coconut, but I needed it like right that second. So genius me thought to use the broiler…….
and then forget about it for five minutes.
FYI – it was four minutes and 30 seconds too long. It ended in me pulling out a flaming pan of flambe coconut. Sounds cool right, coconut flames? Yeah, well trust me it was SO not cool. They were some BIG flames.
Honestly, sometimes I should not be allowed in the kitchen.
The other day I caught a towel on fire. Most day’s I burn the heck out of my skin and yesterday the milk boiled over. Yeah, that was really not fun to clean up.
But hey, at least I got the pumpkin tots out of the oven before they burned!
These are really pretty simple to make. Just roast a pumpkin like you would a sweet potato, mash it up, add some seasonings and cheese and then coat them in crushed up sweet potato chips. Yeah, that right there tells you these things are going to be amazing!
Then you bake them to crispy perfection. And while they bake to said perfection you should probably start making the avocado blue cheese ranch. That stuff is good just on its own, but pair it with these tots…
UNREAl. You have to make these. Hey, and they are perfect for Thursday night football too.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. Place all the seeds into a bowl (you can roast them later). Place pumpkin on a baking sheet (face up or face down) and roast for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender. They should be nice and light golden brown when done. Allow to cool 10 minutes and then peel off the skin from the pumpkin and place the pumpkin flesh in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter to the bowl with the pumpkin and mash the pumpkin well with a fork or use your mixer to mash the pumpkin. Add the chipotle chile pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well and then stir in the flour and egg. Mix well, until combined. Fold in the cheddar cheese.
- Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and place the sweet potato chip crumbs in a shallow bowl (I recommend pulsing the chips in your food processor if you want very fine crumbs - like bread crumbs, but you can also just stomp on the chip bag with your feet, the turn the bag over and repeat). Scoop about 1 heaping teaspoon of the pumpkin mixture onto a spoon and then use your finger to push the mixture of the spoon into the chip crumbs. The pumpkin mixture will be wet, but this is fine. Roll the pumpkin mixture in the chips and coat well. Shape into a small ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all of the pumpkin mixture is gone. Spray the tots with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes and carefully flip the the tots over and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- To make the avocado blue cheese ranch, combine all ingredients except the blue cheese in a food processor and blend until creamy, scraping down the sides occasionally when needed. Taste and season additionally if desired. Then fold in the blue cheese. The avocado ranch can be stored in a seal-tight container for 1-2 days.
Pumpkin tot stacks!