Potato Tot Recipes Kids Will Eat Up

SMores Tots in Skillet
Matthew Benson
When you’re in search of a guaranteed crowd-pleaser look no further than a bag of frozen potato tots. They’re easy to prep, completely delicious, and surprisingly versatile.
Matthew Benson
Matthew Benson

S'mores Tots

Sugary tots?! You bet. This salty-sweet treat is to-die-for.

1 ½ lbs. frozen tots (about 65 tots)
2 Tbs. vegetable or peanut oil
1 sleeve graham crackers (9 whole sheets)
1 cup sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the tots on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle them with the oil. Toss the tots gently to coat, then spread them out in an even layer.
  2. Bake the tots, flipping them with a spatula halfway through cooking, until evenly browned and crispy, about 25 minutes.
  3. Place the graham crackers and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
  4. When the tots come out of the oven, immediately put them in a large bowl and pour the graham cracker mixture on top. Toss to coat.
  5. Pile the coated tots into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or onto the center of a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, reserving any bits of graham cracker mixture that remain in the bowl. Top the tots with the chocolate and marshmallows, then sprinkle the reserved graham cracker mixture on top.
  6. Bake until the marshmallows brown on top and the chocolate melts, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately, using forks (or your fingers if you’re brave) to eat the tots right out of the pan.

Makes 6 servings

Excerpted from Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie by Dan Whalen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Matthew Benson.

Matthew Benson
Matthew Benson

Shepherd’s Pie with a Totty Top

Use beef or lamb for this one-pot meal.

1 tsp. vegetable or peanut oil
1 lb. ground beef or lamb
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with their juices
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
About 1 lb. frozen tots (depending on the size of your baking dishes)
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until it is browned and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
  3. Add the onion and carrots to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Add the tomatoes, corn, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and thyme and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pan, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until flavors have melded and the mixture thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.
  5. Pour the beef mixture into an 11 x 7-inch casserole dish or divide it among 5 or 6 individual baking dishes. Top the beef mixture with the tots, covering it evenly and making sure the tots don’t sink too far into the dish. Bake until the tots are golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the shepherd’s pie(s) from the oven, top with the cheese, and bake until the cheese has melted and the filling is bubbling at the edges, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly and serve. 

Serves 5-6

Excerpted from Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie by Dan Whalen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Matthew Benson. 

Matthew Benson
Matthew Benson

Monster Tot Bacon Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese with tots as the bread! There isn’t much else to say. Except bacon! 

1 Tbs. vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
2 frozen Monster tots (aka hash brown patties)
3 slices American cheese
2 bacon strips, cooked until crispy

  1. Pour the oil into a large frying pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the tots and cook on one side until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the tots very gently and cook on the second side to a darker brown, about 5 minutes more.
  2. Turn the heat down to low. Flip one of the tots so the darker brown side is facing up. Top with 2 slices of the cheese, then the bacon and the remaining slice of cheese. Place the second tot on top, browner side down. Press gently.
  3. Cover the sandwich and cook until the cheese has softened, about 1 minute. Very gently flip the sandwich with the spatula. Cover and cook until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute more. Remove the sandwich from the pan, slice it in half, and serve immediately.

Serves 1

Excerpted from Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie by Dan Whalen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Matthew Benson. 

Tater Tot and Beef Stew

Add some fun to dinner, by using tots in place of potatoes in this comforting beef stew.

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