Homemade Tater Tots

Make your own Homemade Tater Tots by following this easy recipe using a leftover baked potato—healthy comfort food straight from your childhood.

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a tray of homemade tater tots.

Do you love spuds? This homemade tater tots recipe is a healthier, homemade twist on the old standard frozen favorite. Forget that stale bag from the Antarctic regions of your freezer, and DIY with me!

What are tater tots?

Also known as Tater Gems, they are little cylinders of crispy potatoes, kind of like small barrel-shaped fries. Generally sold frozen in a plastic bag in your grocer’s freezer.

a tray of homemade tater tots.

When I first moved out on my own and started ‘cooking,’ Tater Tots, along with Mr. Noodles, were pretty much the staples of my diet. Getting those little gems perfectly browned and crispy was my claim to fame.

Try these Air Fryer Potato Puffs for another tater gem recipe option! It is much healthier than deep-frying.

a tray of homemade tater tots.

Ingredients for this recipe:

You do need to have an already baked and cooled baked potato for this tater tots recipe. I usually make baked potatoes for dinner the night before and just throw an extra one in. After it cools, I put it into a container and store it in the fridge overnight. Easy peasy!

A hand holding a leftover baked potato

To take things to the next level, I added caramelized onions. This is totally optional, and you can easily substitute granulated garlic or garlic powder.

They are pretty easy to whip up, click here for how I caramelize onions. I advise making an entire batch even though you won’t need them all for this recipe. They are pretty versatile and taste great in frittatas, as a burger topper, or in a sandwich.


caramelized onions in a pan.

Homemade Tater Tots – Step by step

First, peel the cooled potato and grate it up.

Next, add the onions, sea salt, and fresh pepper.

Mix it all together.

grated potato in a white mixing bowl.

Form your ‘tots’ by pressing about 2-3 tablespoons worth of the potato mixture into your palm, then shape it into those familiar cylinders.

Tater tot cylinders lined up on a baking tray ready to baked

Brush them with olive oil and pop them into the oven.

Homemade Tater Tots being brushed with olive oil before being baked

This is where I excelled back in the day.

I like my taters to be crispy on all sides, so I rotate them around a few times to get them perfectly browned.

Typically, I’m not much of a ketchup fan, but it’s pretty much mandatory to dip these babies in a little something. This Spicy Dipping Sauce or even this Homemade Mayonnaise would be fantastic dips also!

A great serving suggestion is to portion them up alongside your breakfast, like this delicious western omelet. Potatoes and eggs go hand in hand.

a tray of homemade tater tots.

What are the calories in tater tots? This homemade version is about 75 calories per serving, which is 1/4 of the recipe. If you eat them all, it’s about 300 calories. Not too shabby!

I just love baked potato and comfort food recipes. There’s nothing like an old favorite made new, made yourself, and made with real ingredients.

They are not frozen, they are not processed, but they are all delicious.

a tray of homemade tater tots.

More healthy potato recipes:

**This recipe was originally posted on April 14, 2014. Updated September 21, 2018, and updated again on May 11, 2021, with recipe notes, writing, and new photos.**

If you’ve tried my Homemade Tater Tots, please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below. I’m always interested in feedback!

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a tray of homemade tater tots.

Homemade Tater Tots

Sharon Rhodes
Make your own Homemade Tater Tots by following this easy recipe using a leftover baked potato. Healthy comfort food straight from your childhood.
4.92 from 35 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 73 kcal


  • 1 large russet potato *baked and chilled overnight
  • ¼ cup caramelized onions *(or use 1/4 tsp onion powder) *optional
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper *two or three grinds


  • Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Peel and grate the cooked & cooled potato.
  • Add in the caramelized onion or onion powder (optional), sea salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Form into cylinder shapes and place on lined baking sheet.
  • Brush each side with olive oil.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating every 8-10 minutes to brown each side.
  • Enjoy warm with dips (optional).



Calories: 73kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 148mgPotassium: 222mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
Keyword homemade tater tots
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    1. Yes! You can store them in the freezer in an air-tight container once completely cooled. They should be good for up to one month.
      Reheat from frozen by baking at 400 for 15 minutes or until crispy.

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  2. Wow, what a great idea. I’ve never made tater tots at home before. These look so amazing! I also love how you added caramelized onions.

    1. Thanks doll! I was super impressed how these turned out. I swear, much better than the frozen. The caramelized onions were the kicker. I hope you give them a try! 🙂

  3. I love this idea! So clever and so much better than a store-bought bag of potato-randomness. It would be fun to get the kids in on making them as well…I think I’ll have to do that! Thanks for a great idea!

    1. Perfect for an activity with the kiddos! 🙂 I hope the family loves them as much as we did. Thanks Bonnie!

  4. Ohh! These look so good! I have a soft spot for tater tots and I love that these are baked and not fried. I will be making these soon!

    1. There are good, if I do say so myself. 😉 I actually made baked potatoes tonight for dinner mainly so I can have these taters tomorrow! Thanks for the nice comment, Isadora. I hope you love them. 🙂

  5. What great idea! We call these “potato gems” in Australia, and they are a staple food of most school aged children. In fact I probably havent eaten them since I was a child! I used to love them though so no doubt I would love your homemade version. They look so crispy and delicious 🙂

    1. I’m on a big nostalgia kick these days! I used to have these all.the.time. I think the caramelized onions make them so much more grown up though, right? I hope you love these ‘gems’. 😉

  6. Yum yum! I bet my girls would LOVE these! I actually love potatoes and caramelized onions, so putting the two together sounds heavenly! 🙂

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