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Ready for the easiest way to make tater tots? Stop wasting time with the oven, air fry tater tots instead! Crispy tater tots are easily achieved in the air fryer in less time for a quick snack or side!

Golden air fried tater tots in a bowl with a side of ketchup.
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Why you should air fry tater tots

This is my favorite way to prepare tater tots! It’s a simple recipe that can achieve incredible crunch factor without additional oil and tons of time to heat up an oven. Tater tots make the perfect side dish and now they can be enjoyed without all the fuss.

Reasons you’ll love these air fried tater tots:

Quick prep: Air fryer tots are super fast to make—you don’t even need a preheated air fryer!

Less mess: No deep frying with messy oil to make perfect tater tots!

Easy: Nothing gets easier than tossing frozen tater tots into the air fryer basket and having crispy potato puffs in minutes!

Extra crispy: These are truly the crispiest tater tots you will ever try!

Ingredient notes

These delicious air fryer tater tots only require one ingredient: frozen tater tots! There are many different brands and any of them will work for this recipe.

A bag of frozen tater tots.

What about oil? I often see extra oil recommended for frozen foods like this but I don’t find it necessary. These frozen tater tots get crispy just the same in an air fryer without any spray oil. Plus I’ve notice grease building up in my air fryer from the hot air blowing around oil so I prefer not to use it. Feel free to use a little bit of oil if you prefer!

If you want to get fancy, you can toss them in your favorite seasonings after air frying with a little oil. Here’s my favorite combination: chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and sugar. I usually just eyeball it but this is in order of how much I add, most to least—most being chili powder.

Air fried tater tots after tossing in a little oil and seasonings.

Other optional seasonings: onion powder, Italian seasoning, sweet paprika, ranch seasoning, taco seasoning, salt and black pepper.

How to make

Here’s the step-by-step tutorial for making this air fryer tater tot recipe. Exact times and temperatures are available in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Frozen tater tots in an air fryer basket.

No need to preheat the air fryer, simply place your frozen tater tots in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Try not to have too much overlap.

Cooked tater tots in an air fryer basket.

Cook at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, giving the air fryer basket a good shake halfway through to ensure all sides of the frozen tater tots are cooking evenly. The outside of the potato puffs should be golden and crispy.

Quick tips

  • Try to avoid overcrowding your air fryer. For smaller air fryers you may need to cook in batches to ensure everything cooks evenly. If you have a larger air fryer you may be able to fit the whole bag in one go. I use an 8 quart air fryer and am able to fit all of it in at the same time.
  • Don’t remove your frozen tater tots from the freezer until you’re ready to add them to the air fryer basket. If they’re out in room temperature for too long they may become soggy and take longer to achieve crispiness.
  • Want to make it with homemade tater tots? Follow the same instructions, just add extra minutes as needed until the outside of the tater tots are a golden brown.
Golden air fried tater tots in a bowl with a side of ketchup.

How to serve

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Here are some of my favorites: barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, honey mustard, and hot sauce.

Turn them into a tater tot casserole or use as tater tot nachos topped with a tasty nacho cheese. These air fryer frozen tater tots are so versatile and are the perfect side dish to any meal!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you cook frozen tater tots in the air fryer?

If the air fryer isn’t preheated, it will take about 10-12 minutes to cook. If you preheat your air fryer first, you many only need to cook frozen tater tots for 8-10 minutes.

How do you make frozen tater tots crispy?

The best way is to air fry them for at least 10 minutes to get them crispy. If you want them extra crispy, you can air fry for 12-14 minutes, shaking the basket a couple times to make sure they cook evenly.

Hand holding a tot and dipping it into a small bowl of ketchup.

More easy air fryer recipes

Want more air fryer potato recipes?

Frozen Potato Wedges in the Air Fryer

Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes

Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries

Golden air fried tater tots in a bowl with a side of ketchup.

Crispy Air Fryer Tater Tots

5 from 1 vote
Author: Rachel
This is the easiest way to make tater tots! Stop wasting time with the oven, air fry your tater tots instead! Crispy tater tots are easily achieved in the air fryer in less time for a quick snack or side!
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4

Method

  • air fryer

Ingredients  

  • 16 oz frozen tater tots

Optional seasonings:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • chili powder to taste
  • smoke paprika to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste

Instructions 

  • No need to preheat the air fryer, simply place your frozen tater tots in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
    16 oz frozen tater tots
  • Cook at 400°F for 10-12 minutes until golden and crispy, giving the air fryer basket a good shake halfway through to help the frozen tater tots cook evenly.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and seasonings! For the optional seasonings, add the air fried tater tots to a large bowl and add the olive olive. Gently toss to coat. Then sprinkle over the chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and sugar. I usually just eyeball it but this is in order of how much I add, most to least—most being chili powder. Gently toss again to evenly disperse the seasonings and enjoy!
    1 tablespoon olive oil, chili powder, smoke paprika, garlic powder, salt

Notes

Want to make it with homemade tater tots? Follow the same instructions, just add extra minutes as needed until the outside of the tater tots are a golden brown.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few days. Reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes to retain crispy texture.

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
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