These easy Air Fryer Tater Tots are the quickest way to get perfectly crisp tater tots when using frozen tater tots! No matter the air fryer model you use, your air fried tater tots are sure to become a favorite!
Air Fryer Tater Tots Recipe
These fantastically crispy tater tots are so quick and easy when cooked in the air fryer! I don't like to drag out a fryer or fill a frying pan with oil for cooking up tater tots at home, so they have been oven baked for many years in our home.
Not anymore! Cooking up frozen goodies like these tater tots, or french fries, or onion rings, etc is now completely done in one of my air fryers!
All that you need for these super crispy tater tots is a touch of oil for your air fryer basket or tray and a sprinkle of salt.
I always love hearing what foods are called in other regions of the states. So far I have found that my simple 'tater tots' are also called tater puffs, tater kegs, tater crowns, or spud puppies. What do you call these bite-sized shredded potatoes?
How To Make Tater Tots In An Air Fryer
No matter the style of air fryer you are using, it is always optional to use any extra cooking oil! The tater tots turn out delightfully crispy either with or without a quick coating of spray oil.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF ( 205ºC ) and lightly spray or grease your basket or trays with your preferred cooking oil. *You can also cook your tater tots at 350ºF ( 175ºC ) to have less chance of burning if you look away at the end of the cooking cycle.
- Basket style air fryer - arrange the tater tots in a single layer in the air fryer basket and spray with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt. Set the timer for 15 minutes, then toss the tater tots every 5 minutes until crispy.
- Convection oven style air fryer - arrange the tots in a single layer on your trays, spray with olive oil, then sprinkle some salt over them. Set the timer to 14 minutes and cook them on the 'AIR FRY' function. Rotate the tater tots at the halfway point in the cooking time and continue cooking until crispy.
- Using a rotating basket - to cook the frozen tater tots with best results, pour about half of the 16-ounce bag into the basket. Set your air fryer to the 'AIR FRY' function for 12 minutes then select 'ROTATE' ( which can be used in any cooking mode ). Check at the end of the cooking cycle and continue cooking until crispy if needed.
Remove cooked tater tots from your air fryer and serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauces. Enjoy!
The directions for air fried tater tots will also work for sweet potato puffs, Yukon select puffs, millet tots, and mashed potato bites!
*Mini tater tots will crisp up faster than standard-sized frozen tater tots. Reduce the cooking time by a few minutes. Minis are usually crispy in 10 - 12 minutes.
**Tater or potato rounds and potato bites may take a few minutes extra to get nice and crispy. Tater rounds and potato bites are usually nice and crisp around the 16 - 18 minute mark.
Do I Have To Preheat My Air Fryer
No, not necessarily. Typically, I do not preheat my basket style air fryer. My convection oven-style Instant Pot Vortex Plus has the preheating time built into the cooking time that you set on the 'AIR FRY' function.
Starting without preheating does add a few minutes to the cooking time, but your air fryer heats quickly! There is no noticeable difference to me in the end result of my crisped tater tots when preheating vs not preheating.
However, with larger air fryers this may be more of an issue. The preheating allows all of your foods to cook as evenly as possible.
Spice It Up!
Instead of serving your air fryer tater tots with salt, try some of these easy seasoning options!
- Cajun Tots - toss frozen tater tots in 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning ( the best Cajun seasoning brands are McCormick Gourmet Collection, Slap Ya Mama, and Tony Chachere ).
- Garlic Tots - sprinkle or toss the tots in 1 tablespoon of garlic salt or a combination of 2 teaspoons garlic powder with 1 teaspoon onion powder and a pinch of salt.
- Ranch Tots - toss frozen tater tots in 1 tablespoon of ranch seasoning packet mix ( ½ the packet ) before air frying.
- Taco Tots - toss tater tots in 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning before cooking.
- Seasoned Tots - toss frozen tater tots in 1 tablespoon of either Lawry's seasoning salt or Accent flavor seasoning before cooking.
Storing, Freezing & Reheating Air Fried Tater Tots
To store any remaining cooked air fryer tater tots, place the tater tots in an airtight container. Leftover tater tots will refrigerate for 3 - 5 days.
You can also freeze cooked tater tots. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and transfer to your freezer.
Once frozen, transfer the tater tots to a freezer storage bag or an airtight container. Re-frozen tater tots can be kept in the freezer for 1 month.
To reheat tater tots, simply warm them in your air fryer! You can ensure a crispy texture by heating them in this method.
Reheat tater tots in a single layer at 400ºF ( 205ºC ) for about 7 - 10 minutes in your air fryer. If your tater tots have been re-frozen, add a minute or two to the reheating time.
More Great Air Fryer Appetizers!
Air Fryer Tater Tots
- 1 lb tater tots (1 pound or 16 ounce package frozen tater tots)
- 1 tbsp olive oil spray
- 1 tsp sea salt (to taste)
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and spray or use a paper towel to coat the air fryer basket or tray with olive oil.
- Place frozen tater tots in the air fryer basket or on your air fryer tray in a single layer. *You may need to do this in batches, depending on the capacity of your air fryer.
- Spray the tater tots with olive oil.
- Sprinkle salt over the tater tots.
- Cook for 7 minutes and then turn over and continue cooking for another 7. Add additional time if you want them crispier.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!