Tater Tot Hot Dish: 10 Recipes for the Potato Puff Casserole


Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

Tater tot hot dish

Tater tot hot dish

Happy National Tater Tot Day!

Did you know that February 2 is National Tater Tot Day? Often, this falls right around Super Bowl Sunday. Coincidence? I think not.

What Is a Tater Tot?

Some of you might be scratching your heads, wondering "what in the world is a tater tot?" Tater is a nickname for potato, and of course a tot is a wee child, so a tater tot is a baby potato. The name was coined in 1953 by the Grigg brothers, founders of the Ore-Ida (Oregon and Idaho) Potato Company. In the manufacture of frozen French fries, potatoes are chopped and sliced and some unused potato results. Not wanting to waste those precious starchy bits, the brothers mixed them with flour and seasonings and formed them into round nuggets. Tater tots were born.

Are They Gluten-Free?

Yes! I'm happy to report that the Ore-Ida company uses yellow corn flour in their tater tots, not wheat flour. This is from their website:

Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil blend (soybean and cottonseed), salt, yellow corn flour, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (to retain natural color), dehydrated onion, sodium acid sulfate, natural flavor

A Bit of Trivia

Did you know?

  • Americans consume over 70 million pounds of tater tots per year.
  • In Australia and New Zealand, they are known as “potato gems.”
  • Canadians call them “spud puppies.”

Recipes In This Article

  1. Tater tot breakfast casserole (CBA)(GF)
  2. Buffalo chicken tater tots
  3. Tater taco casserole (CBA)(GF)
  4. Sloppy joe casserole (CBA)(GF)
  5. Chili tater tot casserole (CBA)
  6. Tater tots chicken pot pie
  7. Pizza tot casserole (GF)
  8. Crock-Pot tater tot casserole
  9. Sweet potato tot casserole
  10. Homemade veggie tots (V)(GF)
  • CBA - Can be adapted to vegetarian
  • V - Vegetarian
  • GF - Gluten-free
Tater tot breakfast casserole

Tater tot breakfast casserole

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast casseroles are not just for breakfast anymore. Keep this eggy casserole in mind for brunch, or the Carb Diva family mash-up of breakfast for dinner that we lovingly refer to as "brinner." This tater tot breakfast bake is truly the perfect one-dish meal.

Buffalo chicken tater tots

Buffalo chicken tater tots

Buffalo Chicken Tater Tots

Did someone say "Super Bowl Sunday?" This would be the perfect dish for a sports gathering. The only thing better than chicken and buffalo wing sauce is chicken + buffalo wing sauce + tater tots and sour cream. Buffalo chicken tater tots is a winner winner chicken dinner.

Note that this recipe contains condensed cream soup, which is thickened with wheat flour. If you use gluten-free cream soup this recipe can be adapted for those who are gluten-sensitive.

Tater taco casserole

Tater taco casserole

Tater Taco Casserole

This tater taco casserole gets a spicy kick from enchilada sauce and taco seasoning. Christy uses ground beef, but you could certainly substitute ground turkey, ground chicken, leftover rotisserie chicken, or even veggie crumbles.

Sloppy joe casserole

Sloppy joe casserole

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Sloppy joe sandwiches are pretty popular with the kids I know. If your family likes sloppy joes they'll love this meal. Krissy Allori makes her own sloppy joe sauce, but if you're rushed for time you could probably substitute the Manwich sauce in a can. This recipe for sloppy joe casserole makes a generous 6 servings.

Chili tater tot casserole

Chili tater tot casserole

Chili Tater Tot Casserole

Melissa is a busy mom and creates family-friendly meals that are inexpensive, easy to put together, quick, and kid-approved. Her chili tater tot casserole hits all of those notes with canned chili as the foundation and frozen tots on top. If you happen to have some homemade chili on hand, feel free to use that (you lucky person, you!).

Tater tots chicken pot pie

Tater tots chicken pot pie

Tater Tots Chicken Pot Pie

The Betty Crocker Kitchens are a part of the General Mills family of foods, creating family foods (that feature their products) since 1921. This mashup of two beloved comfort foods is perfect for a chilly evening meal. All of the flavors you associate with a chicken pot pie are here, but in place of the typical pastry crust, there are crispy-baked tater tots.

Pizza tater tot casserole

Pizza tater tot casserole

Pizza Tater Tot Casserole

All of the flavors that you associate with pizza are right here (and more). The bottom layer is a mix of all our favorite pizza toppings. We have ground beef, Italian sausage, bacon, green peppers, mushrooms, and onions all mixed together in pizza sauce. And then it gets even better with crispy tater tots on top. In the last few minutes of baking add another layer of cheese and some pepperoni for a perfect pizza tater tot casserole.

If you are gluten-sensitive, please check the label on your pizza sauce.

Crock-Pot tater tot casserole

Crock-Pot tater tot casserole

Crock-Pot Tater Tot Casserole

What if you don't have the time to hover over an oven? Did you know that you can "bake" a casserole in a crockpot (slow cooker)? Carrie shares her tips for getting everything ready for the crockpot, set the time and go get the kids at school, run errands, pick up the dry cleaning or any of the other countless tasks on your to-do list, and then come home to a Crock-Pot tater tot casserole ready for your family.

Note that this recipe contains condensed cream soup, which is thickened with wheat flour. If you use gluten-free cream soup this recipe can be adapted for those who are gluten-sensitive.

Sweet potato tot casserole

Sweet potato tot casserole

Sweet Potato Tot Casserole

My older daughter loves anything made with sweet potatoes, so this one is for her. Haylie assembles a homey casserole of sweet potatoes, ground turkey, a homemade creamy sauce (is this starting to sound like Thanksgiving to you?), and then adds an unexpected (but totally wonderful) pop of flavor with fresh jalapeños on top.

Homemade veggie tots, five ways

Homemade veggie tots, five ways

Homemade Veggie Tots, 5 Ways

What if you want to reduce the carbs in your diet? What if you simply want to get your kids to eat more vegetables, or you have time on your hands and want to make your own tots rather than rely on processed food?

Here is your answer. Melissa has created five recipes just for you. Under her direction, you can make broccoli tots, cauliflower tots, sweet potato tots, zucchini tots, and mixed veggie tots and then use them in any of the above recipes.

Which One Is Your Favorite?

© 2020 Linda Lum


Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 28, 2020:

We haven't made all of them, but I can tell you that the broccoli tots are great. Yes, you can find them in the freezer section of your grocery store (I think Green Giant makes them) but wow are they expensive!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on January 28, 2020:

Just yummy! I think I've gained a few pounds just by reading all of these delicious recipes. I will definitely try the veggie puffs. Thank you. :-)

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 21, 2020:

Ms. Dora, almost two-thirds of my readers agree with you that the breakfast casserole sounds yummy-yummy.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 21, 2020:

Thanks for these interesting recipes and for including gluten free and vegan versions. The breakfast casserole is on my to-do list.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 21, 2020:

Thank you Flourish. That's how I try to approach each topic. I appreciate your support and your kind words.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 21, 2020:

I love the sheer variety here, Linda. You are so good with your research that if one recipe does not please a person there are lots of available options. Well done!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on January 20, 2020:

I love tater tots! You know my vote was cast for the breakfast casserole. Buffalo chicken looks good, too. Shoot, they all look good (except the pepperoni one)!

I just may have to start calling tots, spud puppies. Too cute!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 19, 2020:

Manatita, I try to provide something for everybody. Glad you liked it.

manatita44 from london on January 19, 2020:

Well, like your daughter I love sweet potatoes too. So that's my favourite. They all look good. Another sunshine Hub full of goodies. Interesting name.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 18, 2020:

John, as the reigning Carb Diva, I must admit that they are my guilty pleasure. The only recipe that really doesn't work for me is the one made with sweet potatoes.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 18, 2020:

Eric, I assumed that my foodie friends would gobble this up. I'm glad you liked it. Even if you hated it, I would still be happy. I've missed you so much!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 18, 2020:

Pamela, I don't know what type of winter you are having, but I want to bake in the oven along with one of these casseroles. It's SOOOO cold!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on January 18, 2020:

Linda, who would have guessed? I never imagined that there were so many ways you could use tater tots (POTATO GEMS) in recipes. In fact I never imagined eating them any other way then how they come lol. I love the things...and have to try the pizza version at least.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 18, 2020:

I read this twice looking for one I did not like like.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 18, 2020:

I used tator tots a lot when my boys were young but I haven't had them for years. It's like I just forgot about them and several of your recipes sound good. I am going to try some of them soon. Thank you for so many good ideas.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 18, 2020:

Bill, I've been called many things, but "Oh Wise One" is not one of them. OK, I'll tackle it and get back to you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 18, 2020:

This is one of those things I used to eat a ton of, but I don't think I've had a tater tot in at least a decade. Oddly I love them dipping them in mayonnaise....no idea why. There's a question for your mailbag: why do different people have specific taste preferences? Nature vs nurture...let's see you tackle that one Oh Wise One!

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