Frozen Crispy Tater Tots in the Ninja Air Fryer 7

Frozen Crispy Tater Tots in the Ninja Air Fryer

Tater tots are very similar to French fires and in my book are just as good! I air fry tater tots often and they are a super easy way to make your own tater tots at home. This simple recipe is a great side dish for burgers, sandwiches, or breakfast and anyone can make it! They are crispy potato puffs with just the right amount of seasoning and a little cheese. The best part is crispy air fryer tater tots are an easy recipe that requires minimal effort and limited cooking time. Now let me show you how to make the best side dish perfect for snacking, your next backyard BBQ, or game days. Full recipe card below.

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What are Tater Tots?

Tater tots are small bite sized cylinders of grated potatoes. They taste very similar to hashbrowns and are usually crispy on the outside and softer in the middle. Tater tots are often deep fried but can also be baked in the oven or air fried. Like French fries, they are commonly made with white potatoes like russets but are also sometimes made with sweet potatoes. Tater tots are sometimes called by different names like tater puffs, potato gems, or potato royals since the brand Ore Ida owns the name tater tots. In recent years tater tots have become very popular on restaurant menus across the United States and are now sold in a frozen version at most grocery stores.

What is an Air Fryer?

You have likely heard of the new food trend of air frying. But every time I share a video of me air frying dinner on Instagram, I get a lot of questions about what it tastes like. So let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

In my opinion, the best way to describe an air fryer is they are really powerful convection ovens that are portable. The hot air makes food very crispy without drenching your food in vegetable oil making it a healthier option. Unlike a deep frying, air frying can be done with a small amount of oil and sometimes none at all. I personally don’t enjoy super greasy and heavily oiled fried food so the air fryer is a great way to have crispy potatoes without the deep fried taste.

Frozen Crispy Tater Tots in the Ninja Air Fryer 8

One of the most common questions I get is does it taste like deep fried food? No. In my opinion, they taste very different. With the air fryer you get the crispiness of something that has been fried but without all the the added oil taste.

My Air Fryer

I will say, when I used my first air fryer I wasn’t completely sold. When they first came out I didn’t feel like I had room in my kitchen for one so I chose to get the air fryer lid for my Instant pot instead. This way I would only need to store the extra lid and not another appliance. But it was very awkward to use and as a result, I didn’t use it much.

Then I reconsidered and asked for a Ninja Foodi air fryer for Christmas. And I LOVE IT! I use it several times each week and it makes the crispiest tater tots. The Ninja is a different type of air fryer in that the air fryer basket is a pull out drawer and is much larger than my old one. This makes using it so much more convenient. It has two zones which can be used simultaneously or as one large mega zone as it’s called. The only draw back is the size. It does take up more space, but in my opinion it is totally worth it!

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Crispy Air Fryer Tater Tots Ingredients

These super easy air fryer tater tots only require a handful of simple ingredients and a few steps to make. Let me go over what I used and why.

Tater tots – I always use store bought frozen tater tots. Why? Because it is super convenient, I always have a bag in my freezer, and I can make as little or as much as I want. And if I am being honest, making homemade tater tots from scratch just doesn’t seem worth the extra work. There are lots of different brands of tater tots that you can find in the freezer section at your local grocery store. They even come in sweet potato tots now! I know a lot of people like the Ore Ida tater tots, but my favorite brand is actually the Great Value tots at Wal-Mart. But really any brand will work here.

Frozen Crispy Tater Tots in the Ninja Air Fryer

Olive Oil – I used a little bit of extra virgin olive oil mixed with the other seasonings to toss the tots in. This will be your sticking agent for the seasoning mixture to adhere to the tater tots.

Seasoned Salt – Whenever I make tater tots I prefer to use seasoned salt over regular salt because it just adds a little something extra. If you don’t have seasoned salt, you can also use sea salt or garlic salt.

Black Pepper – A little bit of pepper to top it all off gives this recipe a little extra flavor.

Parmesan Cheese – I used real shredded parmesan cheese for my tots. You can use the jarred parmesan cheese that comes in the green containers, but it is not real cheese and the texture will be different.

Chives – I used fresh chives for a little extra flavor here, but they are completely optional. You can also use dried chives if you have them.

Dipping – Use your favorite dipping sauce on these air fryer tots. Barbecue sauce and ranch dressing are great options, even better if you mix them together! Or try my fancy ketchup.

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Seasoning the Tater Tots

For best results, wait to season the tots until after the cooking process. After you remove them from the air fryer, toss the tater tots in a large bowl with the seasoning mixture until they are fully coated.

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Frozen Crispy Tater Tots in the Ninja Air Fryer 7

Frozen Crispy Tater Tots in the Ninja Air Fryer

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  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Enjoy delicious and crispy tater tots in the air fryer without going to a restaurant! These easy frozen potato puffs crisp up perfectly in the Ninja Air Fryer in just 20 minutes! They are a super simple side dish that can be made without all the fuss of dicing and grating fresh potatoes. Simply add your favorite brand of frozen tater tots to the air fryer while you make the rest of your meal. This is a great addition to weeknight dinners, breakfast, or backyard BBQs. No matter when you make them, this easy tater tot recipe will quickly become a family favorite!


Units Scale

16 oz Frozen Tater Tots (1/2 a bag)

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

1 tbsp Chives optional


  1. Set the temperature of your air fryer to 375 degrees F. Pre-heating is not required, but I think it helps for the fryer to heat up for a couple of minutes prior to adding my tots.
  2. Spray the inside of the air fryer with cooking oil spray to prevent the tots from sticking to the bottom.
  3. Add a single layer of frozen tater tots to the air fryer basket. I use my mega zone for this and can make about a half a bag at a time. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. When the tots are done, do not allow them to cool in the fryer. I find that this makes my tots less crispy. As soon as the time ends, open the fryer and turn it off. Cool for a few minutes with the drawer or lid off.
  5. In a large bowl mix up the seasoned salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and chives with the olive.
  6. Add the cooked tater tots to the bowl and toss in the seasoning mixture until coated.
  7. Transfer to a plate and serve.
  8. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


Air fryer ovens may differ in size and temperature so your cook time and quantity may vary.

  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Frozen Crispy Tater Tots in the Ninja Air Fryer 2


Leftover tater tots can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. They do tend to get soggy the longer they sit in the fridge, so it’s best to use them as soon as possible or only make what you intend to eat.

How to Reheat Tater Tots

Microwaving is always an option, just not a good one unless you enjoy soggy tater tots. To maintain the crispiness, the best way to reheat tater tots is in the air fryer. I set mine to 360 degrees and cook for about 6 minutes on reheat mode. You can also reheat in the oven or toaster oven for similar results.

When to Make Tater Tots in the Ninja Air Fryer

These easy crispy tater tots are the perfect side dish for weeknight meals, backyard BBQs, a party appetizer, or even a quick snack. Feeling extra adventurous? Cover your tots in melted cheese or cheese sauce and make tater tot nachos! Using frozen tater tots is the quickest way to make an easy side everyone will love. They can be made on short notice and pair well with burgers, breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, or even scrambled eggs. Ninja Foodi air fryer frozen tater tots will be your new favorite side dish the whole family will love!

Looking for a tasty sauce to dip them in? Try my curry lime yogurt dipping sauce, balsamic ketchup, or spicy ketchup mayo.

Frozen Crispy Tater Tots in the Ninja Air Fryer 7

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