Crispy Air Fryer Tater Tots (How to From Frozen)

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Air fryer Tater Tots are perfectly crispy, even better than cooking them in the oven! Make this tater tots air fryer recipe as a quick side for dinner on busy weeknights.This easy recipe makes the perfect crispy tater tots! 

air fryer tater tots frozen


There’s nothing like golden brown crunchy tots. You can eat them any different way that you want, and with a quick cooking process, they can make the perfect side dish, too. 

Forget about deep frying – and give your mouth what it wants, which is the crispiest tater tots in less time.

No matter the type of air fryer that you have, you can cook a bag of your favorite brand of these crispy potato puffs to enjoy! 

Every tater tot lover knows that air fryer tots are the easiest way to make a great game-day snack or a simple way to make the best crispy air fryer tater tots.

While you can use the basket of your air fryer to make homemade tater tots, this simple trick will drastically cut down on the cooking time! 

ingredients for air fryer tater tots

Air Fryer Tater Tots

It’s so easy to make frozen tater tots in the air fryer, plus they are healthier than other methods because they use less oil. 

With only a few minutes of prep time, they go from freezer to table in a total of 15 minutes!

Enjoy air fryer tater tots as an afternoon snack, or make some as a quick and easy side for gourmet burgers or corn dogs.

Pair them with my Copycat white castle burgers, for a full, delicious meal in an hours time!

You can even use the air fryer to make crispy french fries, hassleback potatoes and baked potatoes. The side dish options are endless with this handy countertop appliance!

ingredients for air fryer tater tots

How to Make Tater Tots in Air Fryer

All you have to do is preheat the appliance, place the frozen tater tots in the air fryer, and spray them lightly with oil!

Give the basket a shake about halfway through so they get crispy on all sides, then season with salt and pepper before serving.

If you are feeding a crowd, you will need to work in batches. Place your serving plate in the microwave and add each batch as you go to keep them warm. 

Don’t cover it with a lid or foil, though, since the steam will turn your air fryer tater tots soggy.

tater tots in air fryer basket

Tater Tots Air Fryer Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t crowd the basket. When the tots are touching each other, they can become soggy in those areas.

    Keep them as separate as possible for maximum crispness.
  • Make adjustments as needed. The amount of time needed to air fry tater tots will depend both on the size of your appliance and how many you are making. 

    Start with lower times and check often until they are cooked as desired.
  • Want them extra crispy? Cook tater tots in air fryer for additional 2-3 minute increments until they are exactly how you like them.
  • Spritz with extra oil if they look dry. All you should need is a light spray at the beginning, but feel free to add another coat after shaking the basket if the tots look like they need it.
overhead: plate of tater tots with bowl of ketchup

Seasonings for Tater Tots

I like to add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to my tots, but there are so many options available! Just be sure to add your seasonings after you air fry tater tots.

FAQ – Common Recipe Questions

Who makes the best frozen tater tots? 

I love and recommend the brand Ore-Ida. The founders of this company (the Grigg family) are actually the ones who created this snack when trying to figure out what to do with leftover cut potatoes from their french fry factory.

For this tater tots air fryer recipe, I used their Golden Tater Tots — not the minis or Crispy Crowns. As a side benefit, these are also gluten free!

What are some good dipping sauces for air fryer tater tots?

There are certainly plenty to choose from, so get creative with your flavors or mix and match a few options!

Barbecue sauce
Cheese sauce
Sour cream with chives
French onion dip

Or any of your favorite sauces! 

Easy air fryer recipes like this prove that options are great! There’s no rules for cooking tater tots and dipping them in anything specific, so have fun with the process.

Why aren’t my tater tots crispy?

It’s super important that you add them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. If you overcrowd them, the hot air won’t circulate correctly, causing the crunchiness that is produced by air frying to be affected. 

Can I reheat cooked tater tots? 

Absolutely! The best way to reheat leftovers is to add them back into the air fryer basket in an even layer. A few extra minutes of cooking them will produce the perfect tator tots again! Leftovers can be reheated to be crispy tots again! 

Play with the time for the best results – but you’ll typically just need a few minutes. 

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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air fryer tater tots

Crispy Air Fryer Tater Tots (How to From Frozen)

Donna Elick
Air Fryer Tater Tots are perfectly crispy, even better than cooking them in the oven! Make some as a quick side on busy weeknights.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Method Air Fryer
Servings 5


  • 1 pound tater tots, 1/2 of a 32 ounce bag
  • olive oil spray or avocado oil, spray without propellant
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat the air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes.
  • Lightly spray the bottom of the air fryer basket. (If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can use a little bit of avocado or olive oil on a paper towel to coat the basket)
  • In an even layer, spread the tater tots in the basket. Cook for 10minutes, stopping to gently shake the basket halfway (you don’t want to smash your tots). Cook for an additional 2 minutes. If you would like your tots extra crispy, add additional time in 2-3 minute increments until you reach the desired crispiness.
  • Season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to a plate and serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
  • Sauces that are great with tater tots: ketchup, barbeque sauce, ranch, sriracha, sour cream with fresh chives, french onion dip, cheese sauce
  • How do I make my tater tots crispy? In the air fryer, the tater tots come out nice and crispy. The longer you cook them, the crispier they become. I recommend to cook in additional 2-3 minute increments if you want your tots extra crispy.
  • Don’t crowd your air fryer basket. When the tots are touching each other, they can become soggy in those areas. For maximum crisp, separate all of your tater tots.
  • Who makes the best frozen tater tots? I love and recommend the brand Ore-Ida. The founders of Ore-Ida (The Grigg family) are actually the ones who invented and termed the name “tater tot” when trying to figure out what to do with leftover cut potatoes from their french fry factory. (Source ) The good news too is that their golden tater tots are gluten free!
  • Why are tater tots great in the air fryer? They are healthier since they use less oil and are so easy to make! They are the perfect side or appetizer and are so fast to make at a total time of 15 minutes, with only a few minutes of prep time.
  • What can I serve with tater tots? These can be made as a snack and served with sauce or served alongside a main dish. I recommend serving with classics like cheeseburgers and hot dogs.
  • This was made in the Cosori air fryer, 5.8 quart. If you have a smaller or larger air fryer, you may need to adjust cooking times. Also, if you use more or less tater tots than recommended in the recipe, you will need to adjust cook times. Start with lower times and check often until they are cooked as desired.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 170cal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 409mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published March 2021, updated and republished March 2024

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  1. Funny I should read this because I made tater tots in my air fryer last night. In the past, I used a store brand, and they would never crisp up. This time, I used Ore-Ida, and they were wonderfully crispy.

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