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Homemade Tater Tots

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  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: about two dozen tots 1x


I just wanted to see if I could make them, tbh.


Units Scale
  • 2 lbs russet potatoes
  • 1/2 C potato starch*
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • oil for frying


  1. Peel your potatoes and dig out any eyes. Use your food processor and shredding disc, or the large holed size of a box cheese grater to grate the potatoes into hashbrown form.
  2. Add the potato shreds to a large bowl and cover with water. Let them soak for 10 minutes, then drain. Fill the bowl again, swish the potatoes around, and immediately drain them. Repeat this until the water runs clear.
  3. Grab another bowl. Transfer half of the potatoes to a large piece of cheesecloth and gather it up around them. Use your hands to wring out all the excess moisture, the same way you would a wet towel, working from the top of the potatoes to the bottom. Once the moisture is removed, drop them into the new bowl. Repeat this step with the other half of potatoes – you can also wring them out in fourths or thirds if that’s easier.
  4. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and allow it to preheat for 1 minute. Add the butter and vegetable oil to the skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the potatoes to the skillet. Season with kosher salt, then stir and toss the potatoes to get them coated in the butter and oil mixture.
  5. Spread the potatoes out into one single layer and reduce the heat to medium. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lid – you should be hit with the smell of cooked potatoes. If not, put the lid back on for another 2 minutes, then try again. Once the potatoes have steamed and softened a bit, turn off the heat. Toss and stir the potatoes – it’s OK if some of them have browned – then transfer them back to the dry bowl.
  6. Add all the granulated garlic, onion powder, and black pepper to the potatoes, along with about half of the potato starch. Use a fork to stir the potatoes, working the seasonings and starch into the shreds. After everything is combined, add the rest of the potato starch and continue mixing until no dry spots of starch remain. If you can’t seem to get rid of all the starch, add 1/4 tsp of oil to the potatoes. Pick up a clump and squeeze it together. Does it stick in that shape? Good. If not, add, a little more oil and starch, just until it does.
  7. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with about one teaspoon of potato at a time, use your palm to squeeze the potato into a big blob. Using your fingers, or by rolling it on the counter or between the palms of your hands, shape the blob into a cylindrical shape. Once you have a little tube, use your fingers or the countertop to press the ends flat, maintaining the shape by holding them in as you go. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the potato. I generally have around two dozen tots, but it can vary. Transfer the baking sheet of tots to the freezer and allow to chill for 30 minutes.
  9. When ready to fry, heat your oil to 350°F in a deep vessel. Add just enough tots to the oil to fill the pan but not crowd it. Allow them to fry for 7 minutes, tossing intermittently, until golden brown.
  10. Drain on a wire rack, and repeat until all the tots are fried. Transfer them to a large bowl and sprinkle over the seasoned salt. Toss to coat them evenly in the seasoning. Dassit!


*Cornstarch is a fine substitute for potato starch. Potato flour, or all-purpose flour, could also be used. Refer to the post above the recipe for more tips and advice!

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
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