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Oven Baked Tater Tots

Oven Baked Tater TotsWere you wondering what I did with the excess of potatoes I scooped from these Cheesy Bacon Potato Skins?  I wouldn’t blame you.  You can set your mind at ease knowing that I found use of the extra pulp and made these tater tots.  How could I throw out perfectly good potatoes when I knew there was some way to use it up?  These tots are perfect!  (Anyone thinking Napolean Dynamite yet?)

When I decided to make these, I thought using the method for the Buffalo Chicken Bites was the way to go.  Thank goodness I only tried it out on 2 tots to begin with, because the result what not the taste I was going for.  The crushed Corn Flakes breading somehow became stale in the baking process (maybe something to do with the potatoes affect on the cereal).

In my second attempt, I tried using regular store-bought bread crumbs.  But, while making these trial versions, it dawned on me.  I needed to use crushed potato chips!  I didn’t have regular potato chips on hand, but I did have these new Pop Chips in my pantry.  They were just what I needed to make these tater tots at their best!  Although regular potato chips would probably be just as good, I’ll always use the Pop Chips since they are not full of grease, making the tots a tiny bit healthier. (This is not a formal endorsement for Pop Chips, although I do highly recommend these tasty little treats!)

Even though these tater tots are baked in the oven and not dunked in the deep fryer, they are perfectly crispy.  It really felt good to not only use up the cooked potatoes, but to know I was eating healthier tots!  Win, win!

**Recipe updated 10/11/10

Oven Baked Tater Tots

Printable Recipe

8 Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups crushed potato chips

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Boil potatoes in a large pot until barely fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain and return to pot.

Gradually add the milk and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until mashed, but still lumpy.  You might not need to use up all the milk.  It is important to keep the potatoes lumpy and a little dry so it is not so messy to roll into balls.

Separate the eggs, flour and potato chips in three bowls; set aside.

Form the potato mixture into 1-inch balls and place on wax or parchment paper.  Roll each ball first into the bowl of flour, then the egg and finishing with the chips.  Once coated, form the balls into the tots formation.  Place on baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.

Source: Pennies Original


25 Responses

  1. WOW! Those look great!

  2. muahaha, you said tots. I totally thought of Napolean as I put chapstick on my chapped lips.

    Mmm, I loved that you used crushed potato chips. Very cool, and if you want to spice it up a bit you can use those jalapeno baked chips, and the crazy assortment that Lays has. Mmmmmmmm, the possibilites.

  3. This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I need these!

  4. My husband LOVES tater tots – he’s a big kid ;). I can’t wait to make these for him. I think I’ll use Pop Chips for the crispy coating!

  5. Love this idea, and of course love Napoleon. I have to try these!

  6. I will make these and cover them with chili and cheese. Thanks for the recipe. Yummers

  7. Ha! Homemade tater tots! I never would have thought to make these with leftover potatoes, but they look delicious!

  8. I’ve never thought of making homemade tater tots but I’m fairly certain that I would earn major, major points with my husband if I made these! Looks awesome!

  9. I just made these tonight. They’re good in theory but a lot of work to actually do. And you use up potato chips way too fast! It’s not as healthy as originally thought…It took me about an hour and a half to roll out all the mashed potatoes into tedious balls. It was not worth the effort for the final product. Hope everyone else has better luck.

  10. Just made them with jalepeno kettle chips…very good. I found they are very messy to make. Did I miss something along the way?

    • Hi Maria,

      When mashing the potatoes, make sure you mash them only until they are still lumpy. Also, you might not need to use all the milk since potatoes are different sizes. Gradually add the milk while mashing and don’t use all of it if it’s going to make it a mushy mess. I’ve found that this recipe works best when the mashed potatoes are so “mashy”. 🙂

      (I updated the recipe to include this information.)

      Thanks! What a fun idea to use jalapeño kettle chips!


  11. Oh my word! These sound fantastic! I absolutely love tater tots! I am definitely going to have to try these! What a fabulous idea!

  12. Love it! I’ve never made my own tater tots. These look absolutely perfect. I included a link to your site in my kid’s classic food roundup today on my blog (ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com). Hope that’s OK!

  13. I wonder if panko breadcrumbs would work just as well. Did you ever try those? They stay really crispy and nice in comparison to potato chips (I used the potato chip method once for onion rings with disasterous results). I also wonder if you could take a day to make them and freeze them after cooking. That way you’d always have them on hand for any tater tot craving.

    • Hi Kristin,
      No, I haven’t tried the panko bread crumbs for these tater tots, but I have used them for other recipes. I like the taste of the potato chips with these. Maybe using the Pop Chips kept them more crispy rather than regular potato chips. If you use panko and enjoy it, let me know! I’m wondering if it would be too bland.


  14. This recipe sounds great! Do you think sweet potatoes could be used instead of the Russet? I figured it would be like substituting mashed sweet potatoes…and provide a nice variation!

  15. […] most respectable bars around my neighborhood, but if you’re in the mood to make some at home, here’s a recipe that looks awesome from Pennies on a Platter. P.S. No Fry Daddy required, but if you have a Cornballer, that just might […]

  16. I made these last night. I added a little garlic powder to the potatoes while mashing. The crunch was great with the potato chips, however they didn’t have any real interior flavor. I still have half the potato mixture left, so I’m going to experiment with adding a little sour cream and chive, then rolling them in the mixtures or even putting a small cube of cheddar cheese in the middle for some gooey goodness.

  17. […] Ingredients: Recipe from Pennies on a Platter […]

  18. we’re going to try these tomorrow and use a can of french fried onions instead of potato chips, creamy photato-y goodness with ONIONS!

  19. […] Oven-Baked Tater Tots from Pennies on a Platter: […]

  20. Just made these last night with some leftover baked potatoes..they were fabulous! I used parmesan and garlic popchips and they had the perfect amount of flavor and crunch. Thanks!

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