Homemade Tater-Tots (yes you can do it)

One of the things I like most about cooking for my kids is that I get to reminisce over certain foods that I grew up eating and now get to enjoy with my own kids. Take tater-tots for example. Even though I had this deathly fear of mashed potatoes, I for some reason or anotherΒ  “forgot” that fear when it came to tater-tots. Why I am not sure? If you really think about it a tater-tot is simply a formed mashed potato deep fried. Well. I guess that last word hit the nail on the head. It was deep fried. Who doesn’t go gaga over something fried- Am I Right?


Now some like their tots mushy, some like them slathered in ketchup , some like them as crunchy as possible and some,Β  like yours truly, like them perfectly crispy on the outside but still very soft in the center with a dab of ketchup- a dab! I know what your thinking. I don’t have time to make fresh homemade tater-tots when I can just as easy pop in a bag from the freezer section. Yes, your right. It is much easier to pop in frozen store-bought tots but your wrong when you say you don’t have time. Let me break it down for you:


The next time you make mashed potatoes, make a extra helping and set aside for the next day. Whip in a lightly scrambled egg into the potatoes along with a few extra ingredients (see recipe list) and stick back in the refrigerator to firm up. Next take them out- form into small bite size squares, circles, rectangles, freakin triangles for all I care and place that cookie sheet covered in tots in the freezer. When they are just beginning to freeze up, pop them in a bag and zip tight. Label and then YES- the next time you need tater-tots by all means pop open that bag- that bag of course of HOMEMADE TATER TOTS!


Wanna know a little secret. My tater-tots have this amazing flavor that adds a hint of tangy spiciness that is hard to pinpoint unless you know what it is. The secret ingredient is Mustard! I am a huge fan of putting mustard in just about anything and tater-tots is no exception. The mustard adds a different dimension of flavor and turns the ordinary tot into an extraordinary one. Not just any mustard will do (and I don’t say that often but learn from my experience)- you must have Brown Mustard. My favorite is Saucy Mama’s Spicy Brown Mustard.


Do you have a favorite mustard? If so, what is it?

This recipe and more kid friendly ideas can also be seen at Belleicious Kids!

Homemade Tater-Tots (yes you can do it)
  • 3½ cups leftover mashed potatoes- room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 to 1½ tsp (depending on how much you like the flavor of mustard) Saucy Mama spicy brown mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt and pepper each
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • Cornmeal**** optional for breading
  • Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying
  1. Take your nice cold or room temp mashed potatoes and add in the eggs and mustard. Stir together your salt, pepper, panko and all purpose flour. Then stir the panko/flour mixture into the potatoes.
  2. Note: Sometimes people make their mashed potatoes more thin and creamy or thick and chunky. The 3½ cups measurement in the ingredient list relies more on the thick and chunkier style-so if you find that after combining all your ingredients your mashed potato mixture is a little runny than add in a little more mashed potatoes- DO NOT double the flour or eggs but you can then season it accordingly if need be!
  3. Place in the refrigerator to firm up a bit. Drop a spoonful of potatoes either on a silicon lined or non-stick baking sheet or roll the potato mixture in the cornmeal then place on the sheet. YOUR CALL:) Both ways are excellent. Pop the sheet back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before frying. Heat 1½ inch of oil in a large cast iron skillet and fry on medium to high heat for 2-3 minutes before flipping. Repeat with remaining batches. Helpful Hint: You want the temp around 350 degrees so if the tots are cooking too fat then you need to turn the temp down or if not cooking fast enough then turn the temp up:) Drain cooked tater tots on paper towel before serving.

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  1. Bonnie

    I’m actually printing this recipe out as I type. My best friend from childhood always put mustard on her potatoes. I thought she was taste challenged!! Now I love all mustards (except the Chinese variety). I feel like making some mashed potatoes right now!


  2. yummychunklet

    OMG, even though these have mustard, I’m DEFINITELY making them because I love tater tots! Even more than French fries. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  3. val

    Who knew? You did. This is brilliant and I love me some tater tots.

  4. Pam

    I love both tater tots and mustard so this recipe will be a hit around here when I make it. Thanks for the great recipe. I like your blog too!

  5. jackie @ marin mama cooks

    I love tater tots! I love them crispy and crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. I so need to make these, but will have to make normal mashed potatoes rather than my kale mashies, as I don’t think the kids would be big fans of kale tater tots, or maybe that could be a new recipe? Kale Taters! Give it a try girl! πŸ˜‰ I’m sure these did not last a minute in your house and I’m surprised that you had time to get such a great photo. My kids would have been sneaking in some tots. So pinning this recipe on my recipes I want to make board, because I so want to make these! xoxo, Jackie

  6. 2 Sisters Recipes

    Yum, these look so good! We love tater tots, and we remember these when we were kids ourselves. These are great to pack in their lunch boxes too, right? Oh we love Saucy Mama’s mustards ! Thanks for a super easy recipe! xxoo

  7. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Crisp and soft…this is a perfect treat for potato lovers!

  8. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen

    Crispy and tasty – I would say you’ve nailed these. How fun!

  9. Tricia @ Saving room for dessert

    Oh the memories! We were a tot family growing up and my mom made homemade potato cakes with left over mashed potatoes. We added a little onion, then dipped in egg and flour and fried – oh deliciousness! I will most certainly try this recipe for my grandson. He doesn’t like mashed potatoes but loves crunchy so in my freezer these go with leftovers from Thanksgiving! Thank you!!! I am a spicy mustard fan and often eat horseradish mustard as well as honey mustard. My condiment of choice!

  10. kitchen flavours

    This looks great! I would definitely have to control my willpower not finish the whole plate if I make this! We love mustard, and I can know that this will be a winner in my house!
    A great idea with the freezing!
    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Melynda

    Oh my gosh! Must. Make. These!

  12. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    I never thought of using leftover mashed potatoes to make tater tots. Great idea.

  13. Joanne

    Oh my!! I did not think that homemade tots were possible but here you are! Amazing.

  14. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner

    Yes, they must be crispy! I never thought to make them from mashed potatoes….love the idea. Pinning to make. πŸ™‚

  15. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    There’s nothing quite like reminiscing of your old childhood memories with homemade tots! Looks so delicious, Jessica πŸ™‚

  16. Torrie @ a place to share...

    jessica! hello! i have taken an extended break on blogging {reading/writing}, but i’m back, & wanted to stop in & say hi! all of your recipes (posts i’ve missed) look mouth-wateringly-delicious. but that doesn’t surprise me:).

  17. daphne

    I have never had this as a kid but I think I’m missing out! LOL I’m guessing I better bookmark this recipe when bub grows older LOL!

  18. Malli

    Love the idea of fresh, crispy and most of all preservative- free tater tots!!!

  19. Mandy - The Complete Book

    Heavenly! I could make a meal out of these. I am scared to make them for my husband as I can guarantee he will ask for them every other evening.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy xo

  20. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    The first time I saw tater tots in Australia I said, “Oh look, tater tots!”

    Everyone looked at me funny and said, “Maureen, those are potato gems, NOT tater tots.”


    I wonder what they’ll say when I make my own. πŸ™‚

  21. Kristy

    Homemade tater tots is genius – but the mustard is pure brilliance!!! Mr. N was looking over my shoulder at your post and he is insisting we make these soon. πŸ™‚

  22. Asmita

    Yummy! My little one will love these! Going to try this out. Thanks so much for sharing!

  23. nancy at good food matters

    we are never too old to love the childhood pleasures–like tater tots.
    love your recipe, love the addition of mustard
    great work!

  24. Roz

    I have always loved tater tots and if made from scratch cannot imagine how wonderful they must be! I’d gobble up the whole batch in a blink of an eye!!!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your precious family Jessica! Thank you for your friendship. (I haven’t blogged much lately due to: my stovetop dying and waiting for a replacement, my job, new grandchild, leaving my camera in TN when visiting my new grandchild and parents, my mother moving in, and on top of it . . . a new stray kitten)!

  25. Velva

    Who would want to eat tater tots from the frozen food section when you can eat these? I love tater tots (crunchy with ketchup). This would rock.

  26. Jed Gray (sportsglutton)

    Absolutely brilliant and these look so tasty Jessica.

    Sending you Happy Turkey Day wishes. Eat, Drink, and Live Well!!

  27. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Oh I love mustard and so fun to see mustard is in your ingredients! Love how they look too, and I know for sure we can’t stop after several pieces…right? πŸ™‚

  28. Erica

    You MUST make a sweet potato version next! THese look amazing!

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