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Loaded Tater Tots Appetizer Recipe

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Craving something crispy, cheesy, filled with flavor, and perfect for parties? Let me introduce you to my Loaded Tater Tots Appetizer recipe! Everyone will love a delicious handheld cup of crunchy tater tot cups filled with classic toppings like sour cream, bacon bits, and chives. Or, get creative and try your favorite sauces and extra goodies on these yummy baked snacks!

close up of loaded tater tots appetizer, tater tot cups, loaded tater tots
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Seeing Tater Tots in a New Light

“Gimme your tots!” Do you remember that phrase from the movie Napoleon Dynamite? Well, tater tots have certainly come a long way from being just a last-minute freezer-to-oven side dish. They are now super trendy for making lots of creative munchies and meals!

This loaded tater tots appetizer recipe uses tater tots as the edible base for a heavenly, tasty trio: cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream. How does that all sound?

loaded tater tots appetizer, tater tot cups, loaded tater tots

These are similar to loaded potatoes but are easy to make and, in my opinion, much tastier to enjoy. This recipe makes loaded tater tot cups that are crunchy, cheesy, and tangy. That’s perfect for a game night party appetizer or as a quick afternoon snack.

To be sure, tater tots won’t be on any healthy foods list. But, hey, that’s ok!

Sometimes you simply need an indulgent, delicious, comforting, and satisfying snack. So, go ahead and splurge with this Loaded Tater Tots Appetizer dish.

What Ingredients are in Loaded Tater Tots

This incredibly easy tater tot appetizer is made with only a few simple ingredients. Here is everything you need:

  • Frozen tater tots
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Cooked bacon
  • Green onions

Other suggestions for toppings to try: zesty hot sauce or salsa, ranch dressing, and crispy french fried onions.

Substitute the sour cream with Greek yogurt for a “healthier” tater tots appetizer if you like.

loaded tater tots appetizer, tater tot cups, loaded tater tots

How to Make A Tater Tots Appetizer

Although there are a number of steps in the prep of this dish, they are really easy to make. And there are photos showing the step-by-step prep each step of the way!

In fact, this would be a good food activity to have kids help with. Plus, they are sure to love the tasty results.

The number of tots you place in each muffin tin depends on the size of the muffin pan you’re using.

frozen tots placed on the muffin tin

In the pictures here, I used a regular-sized muffin pan, adding 5 tater tots each.

The complete recipe below also includes instructions for using mini-muffin-sized pans.

Baking the Tasty Tater Tot Appetizer

Spray your muffin tin with nonstick spray. Then add a few tots to each muffin well, and bake the frozen tater tots in the oven. Let cool before moving on to the next step.

Then, depending on the size of your muffin tin, use a shot glass, small juice glass, or measuring cup to make the tater tot cups. Gently press the glass or cup into the cooked tots to create potato cups.

muffin tin of baked tots, loaded tater tots

I used a small Duralex juice glass to create deep impressions in each group of tater tots. The photo below shows how to create the tater tot cups.

TIP: You only want a small gap between the glass and muffin tin opening. Twist the glass or container until the edges of the potatoes are close to the top of the muffin tin opening.

Bake again for a few minutes until crispy. Then it’s time to fill the tater tots cups with cheese!

muffin tin with tater tots, cheesy baked tater tots

Add grated or shredded cheese to each tater tot cup. I used a small melon baller to measure and add the cheese to the cups.

Bake again for just a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted and your appetizers are almost done!

Get the Full Loaded Tater Tots Appetizer Recipe Below!

muffin tin tots with cheese, loaded tots

Lastly, top the cheese with chopped bacon bits, sour cream, sliced green onions, or chopped chives.

Get creative and add Tabasco sauce, a drizzle of ranch dressing, and/or BBQ sauce, zesty marinara sauce, or diced tomato.

loaded tater tots,  tater tot cups, cheesy tater tots

These loaded tater tots are so yummy! Be sure to make enough though for each person to have plenty because they will definitely go quickly.

If you love appetizers, check out these easy appetizer recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these tater tot appetizers ahead?

You can. Follow steps 1-6 in the recipe, then refrigerate. Before serving, cover the muffin tin with foil and bake the tater tot cups at 400ºF for 10 minutes or until crispy and golden. Add toppings and serve.

How can I keep the tater tot appetizer bites warm?

I recommend keeping them in a crockpot on the warm setting to keep them at 175ºF for serving.

a hand holding a tater tots appetizer up close with more in the background on a wooden platter

Loaded Tater Tot Appetizer Recipe

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4.82 from 54 votes

Loaded Tater Tots Appetizer

Craving something crispy, cheesy, filled with flavor and perfect for parties? Let me introduce you to my Loaded Tater Tots Appetizer recipe! Everyone will love these delicious handheld cups of crunchy tots that are filled with classic favorite toppings.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword tater tots, loaded tater tots, tater tots appetizer, muffin tin tater tots
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 115kcal

Equipment

  • Muffin pan, regular or mini sized

Ingredients

  • 48-60 frozen tater tots (16-oz bag)
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 green onions, sliced (green part only)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF. Spray muffin pan cups with cooking spray.
  • For mini-sized muffin pan: Place 2-3 tater tots in each muffin cup.
  • For regular sized muffin pan: Place 4-5 tater tots in each muffin cup.
  • Place tater tots muffin pan on bottom rack of the oven and and bake 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.
  • Spray bottom of shot glass or small juice glass with cooking spray. Use it (in a twisting motion) to press the tater tots in each muffin cup to make potato cup. Return to oven; bake additional 15 minutes or until deep golden brown.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of cheese to each potato cups. Bake for 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Transfer to platter and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add sour cream, bacon, and green onion to each tater tot cup, and other garnishes. Serve warm.

Video

Notes

To make tater tot appetizers ahead:
Follow steps 1-6 in the recipe, then refrigerate. Before serving, cover the muffin tin with foil and bake the tater tot cups at 400ºF for 10 minutes or until crispy and golden. Add toppings and serve.
this recipe inspired by a Kraft foods recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg

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36 thoughts on “Loaded Tater Tots Appetizer Recipe”

  1. These look lovely but what on earth are tater tots?? We don’t have them in England – are they the same as hash browns ?

    Reply
    • Yes, they are very small shredded potatoes (smaller than hash browns) that are formed into balls and cooked, then frozen. So we buy them frozen and I used them as the “cup” for this loaded tater tot appetizer.

  2. 5 stars
    Made these for a brunch cruise. They were delicious! Made full muffin size. They held up well and had great crunch, flavor, and appealed to everyone! I will make these again, may try the mini version next time. 😋

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I need an appetizer for a party tomorrow, so I just did a test run of this recipe.
    Oh my! I can’t believe I haven’t had this in my rotation before. It’s delicious and easy and will be a huge hit, I am sure. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    I must thank you for this incredible recipe!! I made them for my Mom’s 92nd birthday and she, my husband and I wished I had made TWO dozen instead of one. Delicious!!

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Made these tonight for the Super Bowl. Definitely our new favorite party recipe! So cute and totally yummy. Can’t wait to try other ingredients in these adorable tater tot cups.

    Reply
  6. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I had to substitute “Simply Southwestern Potatoes ” as I didn’t have the hashbrowns. Still followed the recipe. I put some taco meat & cheese on some. Turned out great!!

    Reply
  7. 5 stars
    Brought the loaded tater tots to my grandsons birthday party. Everyone loved them. Will be making again but will double the recipe. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  8. 5 stars
    What a coup!! When I have my family over for dinner my grandson who is a junior in high school he’s not in love with baked potatoes or even mashed potatoes can you imagine? But this appetizer will put him in paradise and I can’t wait to try it

    Reply
  9. This could work for grab and go breakfasts too…just put some beaten eggs, bacon, onion and cheese in the potato cups and bake!

    Reply
  10. 5 stars
    I made these last night for dinner guests. Unfortunately, I only made half pan of the mini size because I had another appetizer too. I should have made a full pan and deleted the other appetizer. These were a big hit. Easy to make with limited ingredients. I’ll be making these for all gatherings.

    Reply
    • I haven’t done so, but I’m sure you could. When reheating in the oven, I would cover them with foil to allow them to reheat without burning. Let me know how they reheat.

  11. 5 stars
    I made these for Christmas Eve and everyone, including my picky husband, loved them. I made 48 of them in mini cups and they were the perfect two bite finger food. I baked the cheese on them and set out little dishes with sour cream, green onions and bacon bits. The few that were left reheated well and they were even good cold. This will be a standard. Sorry I didn’t take a picture.

    Reply
    • May I ask how you reheated them? Want to make for our potluck group but would have to make ahead & reheat before serving!!
      Thanks

    • I usually keep them in the Instant Pot or in a slow cooker on warm. If you want to reheat them in an oven, I would cover them with foil and reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. Depending on the depth of your casserole dish, they could reheat as quickly as 20 minutes or take 30 minutes.

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