Everybody knows about Tater Tots, but when you make them from scratch, they are so much more delicious than store-bought versions. Golden brown and crunchy on the outside but soft and pillowy-delicious on the inside, these are addictive appetizers.
I’ve taken this tasty appetizer and side dish one step further making them Loaded Tater Tots! With melted cheese and bacon bits, this appetizer is family loved and approved!!
Fun, delicious, and easy to make on your Blackstone Griddle, check out my step-by-step tips to make these amazing deep golden brown loaded tater tots at home! Best dipped in sour cream, ranch dressing and even salsa.
My simple recipe will blow frozen tater tots out the window!! Are you looking for other fun appetizer recipes to make on the Blackstone Flat Top Griddle?
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Stuffed Tater Kegs
These cheese and bacon tater tots are also called Tater Kegs. I was first introduced to the homemade version by my daughter who insisted we try them.
You can check out the original cheesy tater tots recipe. After that first batch, we were hooked!
But I knew I could jazz these up even more! A few different recipes later, and Loaded Tater Tots were born!
Packed with cheese and bacon, these potato kegs are so flavorful, and so addictive, you just must try them!
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What’s the Difference Between Tater Tots and Tater Kegs?
Tater Tots are small, bite-sized crunchy on the outside bundles of potato goodness. Potato kegs, however, are a bit larger. More like a 2 or 3 bite party food, you can pack so much more flavor into them.
How To Make This Loaded Tater Tots Recipe
Gather your ingredients to make the Loaded Tots.
The first step to making these cheese and bacon Tater Tots is by boiling and chilling the potatoes. Work with larger potatoes to make grating them easier, and then just boil them in salted water for about 20 minutes until they’re fork-tender but still firm.
Chill the cooked potatoes. You can do this step the day before if you like. Next, grate the potatoes. Use a box grater or the attachment on your food processor to shred the potatoes.
Pop the shredded potatoes into a large bowl. To the potatoes add the crispy bacon pieces, flour, cheese, salt, pepper and mix until just combined.
Do not over mix and cause the shredded potatoes to become mushy. TIP: The bacon used in this recipe is bacon bits, but you can use cooked bacon that is crumbled and then added in.
Form the desired size and shape of you loaded tater tots by packing in the palm of your hands. Place on a baking sheet. Do this until all the ingredients have been formed.
Set up a dredging station with a shallow bowl or dish with flour, another with beaten egg, and a final one with breadcrumbs. You can make your own breadcrumbs recipe which is also known as panko bread crumbs.
Working one at a time, roll the tater kegs into kegs, ovals, or balls. Then, dip them into the flour, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs.
Lay the uncooked tots in a single layer on a parchment-paper-lined pan and freeze them for at least an hour.
You want them good and hard before frying so they don’t fall apart. Next comes the fun part: the frying! Cook time will vary.
How to Fry Cheese and Bacon Potato Kegs
Fry these tater tots on your Blackstone Griddle (I’ll tell you how below) or fire up your deep-fat fryer and set it to 375°F. Fry them in batches, for about 4-5 minutes, then flip them around and cook an additional minute or two until they’re golden-brown all over.
Drain them on paper towels. A good indication that the tater tot is done, when they are golden brown and floating in the hot oil.
You might also see some of the melted cheese drizzle out the crispy shell. Eat them while they are hot!
To Make Loaded Tater Tots on Your Blackstone Griddle
Deep frying on your Blackstone Griddle is easy, and you won’t heat or stink up your kitchen. Here’s how: Use a disposable foil pan and place it on the flat top.
Fill it with about 2-inches of cooking oil. See my recommendations below for the best oil for frying. Cover the pan with a domed lid and turn the griddle up to high.
Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the oil – you want it to be 375°F. When the oil reaches 375°F, work in batches to fry the tots.
Fry them for 4-5 minutes per side, then flip them around and cook an additional minute or two until they are golden-brown all over. Melted shredded cheese might come out the sides, which is a good indicator that they are done.
Drain them on a paper towel and repeat until they’re all cooked. Serve immediately while the bacon and cheese tots are still hot!
The Best Oil for Deep Frying Tater Tots
Peanut oil is my favorite kind of oil for deep-fat frying. It has a high smoke point, which means the oil can get really hot before it starts to smoke. This is a great choice if there are no peanut allergies to deal with.
Other oils good for frying are vegetable, canola, and avocado oil. Avocado oil can be pricer, so that may be a consideration.
How To Store Loaded Tater Kegs
If you have any left – and in my house, we never do – you can store these crispy crunchy tots of goodness in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Simply reheat them in your air fryer or oven until they’re heated through. They are best served fresh.
More Blackstone Appetizer Recipes
- Tater Tots Recipe
- Blackstone Nachos
- Fried Cheese Sticks on the Blackstone
- White Queso Dip
- Mozzarella Balls
- Mini Burger Tower
- Best Fried Wings on the Blackstone
- Tempura Chicken Pieces
- For Dessert Try: Strawberry Cheesecake Sliders
Air Fryer Homemade Loaded Tater Tots
When testing this bacon and cheesy tater tots recipe in an Air fryer, the final product was not as good as the deep-fried version. My oldest daughter likes using the air fryer over deep frying.
She asked me to make these with an Air Fryer version, so this still is a work in progress. The air fryer works great for warming up leftover cooked tots!!
Tater Tot Add-ins and Toppings
This recipe is so gosh darn good as it is, but you can jazz it up even more with some of these ideas. Add-in to the loaded tater tots recipe or use as toppings to take them to the next level.
- Add sliced green onions
- Add diced jalapeno
- Chicken Pieces
- Chopped Broccoli
- Switch up the shredded cheddar cheese to pepper jack cheese, lends a nice spicy touch
- Roll them in Panko before frying for even more crunch
- Swap out the plain breadcrumbs for the Italian breadcrumbs
- Sour cream
- Melted shredded cheese and cooked bacon added to the outside of the tater tots.
Loaded Tater Tots – Frequently Asked Questions
My family loves dipping them in sour cream, but other favorites include queso dip, chipotle sauce, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, and even ketchup.
This isn’t a complicated recipe. The hardest part is maintaining the temperature of the oil. Keep an eye on the thermometer and if the oil temp drops, turn up the burner if you’re doing it on the griddle, or give the deep fat fryer a minute to heat back up.
Yes, you can! You can boil the potatoes the day before and then continue with the recipe or prepare the recipe right up to the point where you’re ready to fry them. Keep the bacon and cheese tater kegs in the freezer and allow extra cooking time if they’re frozen solid. Freeze this tater tot appetizer no longer that a month. Unlike frozen tater tots, this homemade appetizer food does not hold up well being frozen for long periods of time.
Chef Sherry’s Cookbook
Loaded Tater Tots Recipe
Get the recipe and nutritional information below.
- Potatoes, Peeled & Cooked - 8 Medium 2 lbs (875 g)
- Colby Jack Cheese, Shredded 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) (168 g)
- Bacon Pieces 1/2 cup (1.7 oz) (47 g)
- Salt, Table 1 teaspoon (0.3 oz) (7 g)
- Pepper, Ground 1/4 teaspoon (0.1 oz) (1 g)
- Flour, All Purpose 1/2 cup (2.25 oz) (64 g)
- Eggs, Beaten 2 each
- Breadcrumbs. 1 1/2 cup (7.1 oz) (201 g)
- Oil for Frying
- Gather the ingredients to make your Loaded tater tots recipe.
- Place the peeled potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 20 minutes. The cooked potatoes should be tender but not falling apart. When they are done drain the water from the potatoes. Let them cool. If desired, this step can be done the day before to help save time.
- Grate all the cold potatoes with a box grater or food processor and place into a large bowl.
- Combine the shredded cheese and potatoes, bacon pieces, salt, and pepper.
- Form each bacon and cheese potato kegs into one-to-two-inch balls or kegs shapes with the potato mixture using the palm of your hands to press them together.
- Next, prepare your dredging station which is going to consist of a bowl of flour, a bowl of beaten eggs, and a bowl of breadcrumbs.
- Start by rolling tater tots in the flour, dipping in the beaten egg, and then tossing in breadcrumbs to form an even layer around the potato filling.
- Place each bacon and cheese tater tot in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Repeat this procces until all the tots have been formed and breaded. Next, freeze the loaded tater tots for at least one hour.
- Blackstone Griddle Deep Fried Loaded Tater Tots
Fry on the Blackstone Griddle by placing a pan or disposable foil pan on top of the flat top griddle.
- Fill the pan with about 1.5 to 2 inches of frying oil of your choice. Leave enough room in the pan for boiling and expansion.
- To help heat the oil, cover the pan with a dome lid.
- Make sure to use a digital thermometer to keep track of the oil temperature. Turn the burners of the Blackstone Griddle on high. You want to bring the oil temperature to 375°F.
- When the oil reaches 375°F, pull the loaded tater tot balls from the freezer.
- Do not over crowd the oil, and work in batches. Place several of the bacon and cheese tater tots in the deep fryer.
- Fry the cheese and bacon loaded tater tots for 4 – 5 minutes until the outsides are a deep golden-brown color.
- Makes sure to keep the oil temperature as close to 375°F as possible by adjusting the griddle burners and using a dome lid to cover the oil when needed.
- With a metal slotted spoon, scoop each loaded tater tot out of the oil when they are done.
- Place the fully cooked tater tots on a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet.
- Serve hot.
- Dip the homemade loaded tater tots in ranch dressing or sour cream if desired.
- If you want to jazz up your cheese and bacon loaded tater tots, add some chopped green onions or jalapeños, hot sauce or seasoning of your choice.
- My family's frying oil of choice is peanut oil. Avocado oil, vegetable oil, clear frying oil, and canola oil all make great deep-frying options as well.
- Stuffed Tater kegs are giant homemade tater tots that come in a variety of different flavors.
- Don't have a Blackstone Griddle, Deep-frying using a pot of oil on the stove or an electric deep fryer.
- If you have Leftover loaded tater tots, reheat in an air fryer, the oven, or the microwave.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links. Click on the highlighted text in a post to explore a product. If you purchase through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I ONLY EVER ENDORSE PRODUCTS THAT I TRULY LOVE. Thank you for your support!
Amount Per Serving Calories 439Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 29mgSodium 297mgCarbohydrates 85gFiber 8gSugar 5gProtein 14g
Note: For exact nutritional information, consult your dietitian. All nutritional information is simply a guideline.
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