These air fryer tater tots are cooked to perfection in your favorite countertop kitchen helper! Perfectly crisp on the outside, tender and fluffy on the inside. The air fryer makes for golden brown tater tots every single time, with no additional oil or cooking spray needed! The perfect kid friendly air fryer side dish.
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Perhaps I'm showing my age, but when I think of Tater Tots, I think of Napoleon Dynamite. Remember that movie that came out in the early 2000's? Yes, for me Napoleon Dynamite and Tater Tots go hand and hand. I really hope they were a sponsor for that movie, because if they were they really got their money's worth!
In addition to bringing on the waves of nostalgia, Tater Tots are the perfect kid-friendly food. They are already pretty simple to make in the oven, but they are made even better (and easier) in an Air Fryer.
The Air Fryer makes for crispy, golden outsides and fluffy, soft insides. Air Fryer Tater Tots are everything you ever wanted in a quick and easy air fryer side dish. If you have a double basket or oven style air fryer, you could make them alongside my Air Fryer Salmon Patties or Air Fryer Hot Dogs. Yum!
- Tater Tots: Yes, all you need is frozen tater tots! Well, that and an air fryer. You can certainly lightly spray them with cooking spray, but they cook up perfectly crispy without the addition of oil.
- Air Fryer
You can use any model of air fryer and get great results from it! I happen to like the basket style air fryer because you can shake the basket halfway through to ensure for even browning, but oven-style air fryers are perfect for cooking entire meals. There are pros and cons of each one. The only solution, of course, is to own more than one. 😅
How to Make Tater Tots in an Air Fryer
Start by preheating your air fryer to 400F for at least 3 minutes, or according to your manufacturers instructions. This preheating helps create a hot basket for the tater tots, ensuring that they get crisp on the outside but stay fluffy on the inside. This replicates the deep frying process (cold food hits hot oil), and is a super important step. Don't skip this!
Then, add your desired amount of tater tots to the basket. I recommend not adding more than two layers of tater tots to the basket of your air fryer, but you can look larger quantities if desired. You will just need to shake the basket every 5 minutes, and add more time to account for the larger quantity of food in the basket.
Cook for a total of 15-18 minutes, ensuring to shake the basket halfway through to ensure for even browning. You may need to cook longer, depending on your particular air fryer. You are looking for a crispy, golden exterior.
Serve and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauces!
Best Tater Tot Dipping Sauces
- Ranch dressing
- Mayochup (a mixture of mayo and ketchup)
- Copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce
Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on the make and model of your air fryer, and the temperature you are cooking them at, it can take anywhere from 12-22 minutes to cook tater tots in the air fryer.
Ninja air fryers run a little faster and hotter than other models, and so I recommend cooking your tater tots on the low end of the recipe time allotment. 15 minutes is good for a smaller batch, 18-22 minutes for a larger batch.
Depending on the make and model, your tater tots should cook for 15-20 minutes in an air fryer set at 400F.
You can add more than one layer of tater tots. Ensure that you shake the basket every 5 minutes to ensure for even browning, and you will need to cook for a longer time than you would smaller batches.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer English Muffin Pizzas
- Air Fryer Quesadillas
- Air Fryer Pigs in a Blanket
- Air Fryer Pierogies
- Air Fryer Salmon Patties
- Air Fryer Hot Dogs
- 16oz frozen Tater Tots (½ of a 32oz bag)
- Preheat your air fryer to 400F for at least 3 minutes, or according to your manufacturers instructions.
- Add the frozen tater tots to the basket of your preheated air fryer.
- Cook for 15-18 minutes, tossing the basket half way through to ensure even browning.
- Once the tater tots are golden brown, remove them from the air fryer basket using a pair of tongs.
- Serve immediately with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauces.
I recommend not adding more than two layers of tater tots to the basket of your air fryer, but you can look larger quantities if desired. You will just need to shake the basket every 5 minutes, and add more time to account for the larger quantity of food in the basket.
Preheating the Air Fryer:
This is a very important step, and you should never skip preheating your air fryer! When you preheat your air fryer basket, you're preparing a hot basket to add your food to. This replicates the deep frying process, which results in a crispy exterior, and fluffy interior. If you have soggy air fryer food, make sure you're ALWAYS preheating the basket.
If you'd like, you can sprinkle your hot tater tots with salt, or a generous sprinkling of seasoned salt.
Serving Size:¼ of recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 525mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.