The most perfect Crispy Baked Parmesan Tater Tots. Made simply with shredded frozen potatoes, parmesan cheese, olive oil, herbs, garlic, and plenty of flaky sea salt. Each homemade, oven-baked tater tot is delicious…and even a little healthier too since these are not fried. The secret? Rolling each tot in a little olive oil before baking for a crispy on the outside, soft on the inside tater tot. Once the tots are out of the oven, sprinkle with garlicky parmesan cheese. SO GOOD. Serve these crispy tater tots with plenty of ketchup for dipping. The best appetizer, side dish, or game-day snack!
I’m not sure there’s a recipe that so many of my family members love more than these tots. At least not for most of my brothers. They pretty much lost it when they had heard what I made. Tater tots are everyone’s favorite, and while I’m never big on frozen, pre-packaged food, I can’t argue that a crispy tater is pretty darn delicious.
The story on these tots is pretty simple. My oldest brother, Creighton loves a tater tot more than any other human out there. They probably rank somewhere near the top of his all-time favorites. He’s been suggesting I make homemade tots for the longest time.
I had every intention to make these back in the fall but somehow managed not to get them tested before all the holiday craziness started. And then? I just completely forgot about taters tots…until a few days ago. I was looking at a note on my computer that I literally look at every single day. It has a mini to-do list that I make to remind myself of things. I was reading down my list when my eyes came upon the tots. Suddenly I knew exactly what I was making that day.
It was perfect because I was really looking for a healthier game-day style recipe to share. And suddenly, there were the tots.
With most of my brothers here in Colorado and the Super Bowl in just a couple of weeks, I knew it was the perfect time to finally figure out how to make homemade tater tots.
The one thing that was a must for me? Baking them instead of frying…ok, and making sure to make the recipe is as easy as can be. Because life is busy and no one has time to mess around with overly long, overly complicated recipes.
Let’s make some crispy baked parmesan tater tots!
As I mentioned, these tots are baked, not fried. And for the most part, they are pretty darn easy to make. They took some trial and error, but guys, this recipe is as close to perfect as it gets.
Start with frozen shredded potatoes or hash browns. I love the 365 brand. They come in one-pound bags and cook up so nicely. You’ll want to lightly thaw the potatoes before getting starting. Thawing the potatoes, releases some of the water and makes rolling the potatoes into tots much easier.
Now, this next step is totally optional but will give you a more authentic tater tot. I pulsed my potatoes in the food processor to chop the shreds up even more to replicate a real deal tater tot. If you don’t own a food processor, you can skip this step, but if you do own a food processor I think it’s a step worth taking.
Next, add pretty much everything to a big ole’ bowl and toss it all together. I wanted my tots to be flavorful, but still simple. So I added in parmesan cheese, which not only flavors the tots, but also helps bind them together in the oven and gives them a pretty golden color once baked.
For rolling, I love to use my cookie scoop to easily scoop the potatoes out of the bowl. I pack the potatoes into the scoop, then release the mix into my hand and pack it into a ball. It’s important to pack the potatoes into a ball before shaping them into a cylinder. If you try to make the cylinder right away, the mix will just crumble on you. When you have all the tots formed, generously brush them with olive oil. Using olive oil is key to the crispy exterior of these tots, so I recommend it over a spray.
Alright, and the last thing, bake um up! To get these guys crispy all around I flipped them three times throughout cooking. Two would be enough for sure, and if you’re feeling lazy, just go for two, but if you want a more classic tater tot look, flip three times. Works perfectly.
As soon as the tots come out of the oven, toss them with additional parmesan. Then serve them up with sea salt and lots of ketchup on the side for dipping. I feel like you can’t really do tater tots up without ketchup.
And that’s it. The rolling process takes a little time, but it’s easy, and trust me, the extra effort is worth it. These tots are GOOD. Like really friggin’ good, as my oldest brother would say.
Pretty excited to have this recipe for Sunday night dinners and game day snacks. You can’t beat them and I’m just going to warn you now, these tots are addicting. You’re going to eat the first batch faster than you ever thought possible. Sounds dramatic, but I’m serious.
I’m excited to now have this recipe in my back pocket for upcoming Sunday game days, and holiday parties. They’re a hit with everyone, even the kids!
Looking for other fun snacks/appetizers? Here are a few to try:
Lastly, if you make these easy Crispy Baked Parmesan Tater Tots, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Crispy Baked Parmesan Tater Tots
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- 2 (16 ounce) bags frozen potatoes, thawed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 large pinch kosher salt
- 1/2 a clove garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or oregano leaves
- 1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. 2. In a food processor, pulse the potatoes together until finely chopped. If you don't have a food processor, you can skip this step. 3. Add the potatoes to a large bowl. Add the olive oil, 1 cup parmesan, flour, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and a large pinch of salt. Mix until combined and the mixture is moistened. 4. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the potatoes out of the bowl, pack it together with your hands until it holds a ball, then form into a cylinder and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mix. Don't stress about the shape, they don't need to be perfect. Brush/mist each tot with olive oil, be generous. Transfer to the oven and bake 10-12 minutes, slide a spatula underneath the tots, then flip and bake 10 more minutes. Flip once to the uncooked side, bake 10-12 minutes, until golden and crisp. 5. In a small bowl, combine 1-2 tablespoons parmesan, the garlic, and thyme/oregano. Sprinkle the warm tots with the parmesan. Serve tots with lots of ketchup for dipping. ENJOY.
To Make Ahead: the tots can be made up to 4 days ahead of time. To warm, just place the tots on a baking sheet and warm in a 400° oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve as directed. To Freeze: bake the tots as directed through step 4. Allow to cool, then freeze on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours, until frozen. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 4 months. To warm, bake the frozen tots at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until warmed throughout. You can drizzle the tots in herb butter before or after freezing, it doesn't matter.