Tater tots with cheese

What Can You Do With Leftover Tater Tots?

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It is only natural to have many leftover dishes hogging your fridge after hosting a brunch or dinner party. And one of the dishes that remain in large amounts is none other than tater tots‒ a go-to side dish for any party. So, what can you do with leftover tater tots? Well, there are quite a lot of things you can do with them. Let’s find out!

Tater tots can be reheated in the oven and enjoyed just as before. They can also be made into several dishes, such as casseroles, pot pies, skewers, etc. If you keep leftover tater tots in the fridge for more than 3 or 4 days, they might rot and become inedible.

To prevent throwing away perfectly edible tater tots, make sure to cook up your leftovers with one of my suggested recipes below. However, while there are plenty of things that you can do with leftover tater tots, check out a few re-heating techniques first. 

Reheating Tater Tots: The Correct Way 

Tater tots are best served crispy, compact, and perfectly golden-brown. Reheating them in the microwave, on the other hand, can make them all soggy and cause you to lose your appetite. Hence, for the best results, never reheat tater tots in the microwave. 

Rather, just pop the tater tots in the oven for a few minutes. Or, you can also heat them on the stovetop or in an air fryer.

How To Reheat Tater Tots?

To reheat tater tots in the oven, first fully preheat the oven to 350°F. While the oven heats up, grease a baking tray with butter or oil of your choice and place the tater tots on the tray. Lay out the tots with as much space in between as possible. Then, cover the tray with aluminum foil and pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes to be left with golden, crispy tots!

For a quick reheating session, just heat the tater tots on the stovetop. Just pour some oil in a pan on medium heat and throw in the tater tots. As the tots heat up quickly, keep an eye on the pan and stir the tots around. Once they’re done, place them on a plate with paper towels to soak up the extra oil.

I, personally, use the air fryer to reheat my tots. It’s the most convenient option for me. Because all you have to do is get the temperature of the fryer to 380°F, then put the tots in the basket inside the fryer for 5 to 7 minutes. And voila! Perfectly fresh tater tots!

Leftover Tater Tots: What Can Be Done 

I am usually left with a batch or two of tater tots after a get-together. Sometimes, I just reheat the tots the next day, and other times I try to use them in another recipe. With their crunchy texture and miniature nature, many things can be done with tater tots!

Have The Tater Tots Just As It Is 

If I don’t feel like going fancy with the tots, I just have them as it is. And for that I do either of these two things:

1. Just Reheat Them The Next Day 

It’s usually my go-to method when I want a minimum effort meal the day after hosting a group. I reheat my tots in the air fryer and eat them as good as new. As the tots remain fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, I just keep them in the fridge for the night and reheat them the next day for a quick meal.

2. Keep Them In The Freezer For Later 

If I’m too bloated with heavy food and I don’t feel like doing much with the leftover tater tots, I just put them in a ziplock bag and place them in the freezer for later. On defrosting and reheating, the tater tots retain their shape and flavor! 

Additionally, keeping the tots in the freezer also means I can take them out and use them in other dishes at any time. So, it’s a perfect solution for the times when I’m too lazy to deal with leftovers.

Make New Dishes With Leftover Tater Tots 

If you’re wondering what you can do with leftover tater tots then let me tell you, there are a whole lot of recipes that can turn your leftover tater tots into a perfect meal. So don’t throw away your leftovers and try out a few of the dishes below.

1. Tater Tots Skewer

This is perhaps the easiest recipe on my list. It requires minimal prep and minimum ingredients. All you need are some bacon slices, vegetables (completely optional), and a dressing of your choice. 

To make tot skewers, just pierce a single tot into the skewer and then follow up with a veggie and a portion of a strip of bacon. Alternate between these three ingredients throughout the skewer depending on its length. Then, just pop the skewers in the oven at 425°F and serve them hot and crispy. Finally, garnish with some sauce on top or serve it on the side for dipping.

For veggies, I usually prefer onions, carrots, and bell peppers. For a bit of a fancy kick, I sprinkle some cheddar and mozzarella on top of the skewers and bake them for an extra two minutes till the cheese has melted. I mean, who wouldn’t love a bit of cheese with tots? 

2. Improvised Potato Pancakes Or Fritters

This is another easy go-to recipe for me when I’m craving a full meal. The pancakes turn out super crispy on the outside and perfectly soft and flavorful on the inside. 

To make this dish, just mash the tots and add two eggs, two tbsp of milk, and some ground bread crumbs to them. Mix the mashed tots with the ingredients, shape them into disks, and just fry them. They’re best served with some sour cream on the side. Trust me, they’re that good!

3. Tater Tot Casserole 

One thing I love about casseroles is their versatility. I can keep it simple and make it for breakfast or go all out for lunch. See, making any hotdish recipe with tater tots is pretty easy. I can change up the base and add the tots as toppings. Whatever I do, it won’t disappoint. 

First, make the base of your casserole. If you’re a vegetarian, you can make a vegetarian base. Otherwise, you can choose beef or any other meat. As I prefer beef, I cook some beef with onion, garlic, and other spices in a skillet and then add the base to a pot. I top it with a thick layer of parmesan and mozzarella, then add the tots on top, and just pop it in the oven.

Adding the cheese between the beef and tots is important to not let the tots get soggy with the beef sauce. You can also add another layer of cheese on top of the tots before popping the dish in the oven. This elevates the dish to another level!

There are a plethora of dishes you can make with leftover tater tots. Other than my top 3 picks, you can make tater tot pot pies, loaded tots, tater tot nachos, pizza with tater tots as toppings, and much, much more.

If you’re not feeling like having the food altogether, bake up a dish with the leftover tots and send it as a warm gift to your neighbors or feed the homeless. There are always enough mouths to feed. So, don’t let leftovers go to waste.

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