Tater tots are a classic kid food that adults secretly love (am I right?), though they have the reputation of being unhealthy. It turns out, that’s not always the case. There are tons of amazing–healthy, even–tots that deserve a place at your table. These savory finger foods are a great way to serve up veggies of all kinds, and they’re perfect for big batch cooking since they freeze beautifully and can go from the freezer to oven on busy weeknights. The only downside is that they also beg for that pervasive red bottle of ketchup.
Most of the recipes here are for homemade tots, but just in case you have a craving for the original Ore-Ida frozen variety, I’ve included a couple of recipes that use store-bought frozen tater tots. Because I just couldn’t help myself.
I like that these classic Tater Tots from scratch at Served From Scratch (top) buck the perfect cylinder shape and look, well, homemade. Russet potatoes are combined with a blend of spices and fried to the perfect creamy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside state. Now these might be a tad spicy; reduce the amount of cayenne if you want to keep them mellow for the kids.
The simplicity of the 4-Ingredient Zucchini Tater Tots at She Likes Food has got me sold. Potatoes and zucchini are finely grated and loosely bound with a little salt and olive oil, then baked until golden and delicious. This is a win for the whole family.
I love recipes that are naturally vegan and gluten-free, no special flours or ingredients required. The Sweet Potato Tater Tots at Handful of Raspberries let the slightly sweet flavor of the potatoes shine with minimal interference. If your kids already like sweet potato fries, they’ll love these.
Tater tots aren’t strictly for potatoes. The Healthy Baked Broccoli Tots at Gimme Delicious combine broccoli with a few kid-friendly ingredients—cheese, breadcrumbs, and egg—to make this healthy kid-friendly side. You can even pack these yummy tots in the lunch box the next day.
If your kids get suspicious about certain colors (I’m talking to you, Mr. Green), try the 5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots at Just A Taste. The cauliflower creates a potato-like color and texture that kids may be more likely to accept. I’d go–or at least try to go–with Kelly’s suggestion and serve these with a garlic aioli. Yum.
Okay, this recipe is not exactly the healthiest, but the Chili Cheese Tater Tots Casserole at Buns In My Oven is definitely the heartiest. It’s seriously simple, looks incredible, and is generous enough to feed a large family (or make leftovers).
I could eat breakfast tacos all day long. The Tater Tots Breakfast Tacos at Delish elevate an ordinary egg and tortilla combo into something way more filling, fun, and utterly delicious. Served with eggs, beans, tomatoes, and crisp tater tots, these make a perfect back to school or busy weeknight dinner.