These loaded tater tots are so great because they are super easy and a family favorite dinner in one! These only take about 30 minutes and clean up is a breeze since it’s a one pan meal.
So, I decided to try out this tater tot appetizer. I always love when gluten-free tater tot casserole makes its debut on our kitchen table. So here is another tot idea!
This recipe is great for football Sunday, but it is also comfort food. Some other comfort foods we have are our gluten-free chicken noodle soup, gluten-free mac and cheese and our instant pot cheeseburger soup!
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I am always looking for easy appetizer recipes and this one really takes the cake. Not only is it a tasty appetizer, but it is also a simple recipe.
It makes for a great snack for a movie night. Plus you can mix it up with different toppings. You should definitely try adding bacon bits on top…
Why you should make this recipe
- There are so many ways you can make it, depending on which toppings you add
- It’s the perfect casual side dish for events
- Three words: Cheesy tater tots. I’m sold.
- You can dip them in your favorite dipping sauce!
- Gluten-Free Tater Tots – You would think that tater tots would be gluten-free, as they are potatoes, but sometimes there are seasonings and additives that have gluten. For this recipe, you will need 1 32 ounce bag of tater tots.
- Ground Beef – One pound of ground beef works great in these crispy tater tots. Adding ground beef really takes your tater tots to the next level.
- Cheddar or Pepperjack Cheese – Either cheese works great. It just depends on your preference and what you can find at the grocery store. You need 2 cups of shredded cheese.
- Tomatoes – Use as many or as little tomatoes as you want. Make sure they are diced.
- Pickles – Same deal here. Use as many or as little pickles as you desire. Chop them up and throw them on top!
- Shredded Lettuce or Microgreens – I think lettuce adds the perfect crunch to this fun appetizer. Plus, adding lettuce makes it healthy, right?
- Purple Onions – Dice up a 1/2 cup of purple onions to add to the tater tots. I love the color they add to this dish.
- Gluten-Free Ketchup & Mustard – Adding ketchup and mustard to this recipe really adds to the delicious toppings we use. The extra flavor really makes this recipe special.
How to Make These Loaded Tater Tots
You may be asking yourself, what goes well with tater tots for dinner? All the best cheeseburger toppings of course! Here’s how to make them…
Prepare for baking
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees f. While it is preheating, pull out all of the ingredients you will need.
I always love having all of the ingredients out and ready to go. It makes cooking easier for me.
Bake tater tots
Spread the tater tots on a baking sheet. Make sure they are in a single layer so they can cook evenly.
Bake according to the directions on the package instructions. It usually takes around 20 minutes but differs depending on the brand.
Cook ground beef
While the tater tots are cooking, you should cook the ground beef. You will actually cook the ground beef and onions together.
Cook on medium heat occasionally stirring the meat and onions together. Once the beef is no longer pink and the onions are translucent, they are done.
Top tater tots
Once the tater tots are cooked and the ground beef mixture is complete, cover the tater tots with the ground beef and cheese. Make sure it is evenly dispursed.
Then, bake the tater tots for 3-5 more minutes. This allows the cheese to melt so there is gooey cheese deliciousness.
Now you will chop the lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes. I prefer the tomatoes to be diced and for the pickles to be chopped.
What I love about this recipe is that you can make it your own. You can add or omit whatever toppings you desire.
Top the tots
Once the tater tots are all cheesy and warm, you can remove them from the oven. Then, add the lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes.
You can add other toppings as well. I think green onions and black beans are really yummy and go well with the recipe.
Once the tater tots have been topped, drizzle ketchup and mustard on top. I love the extra flavor this adds to the tots.
Now you are good to go! These tots are best served hot.
Tips for Success
- Make sure the tots are golden brown: I have found that for the perfect tray of crispy tots, you need to cook them until they are golden brown. That is the best way, in my opinion, to tell that they are done.
- Customize it: Make this recipe your own. Add whatever toppings you want, and avoid the toppings you don’t want. Add extra cheese! Avoid ground beef. They are your tater tots.
- Dry the lettuce: Make sure you really dry the lettuce after rinsing it because if you add slightly wet lettuce to the tots, they will get soggy.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: To store these fantastic tater tots, place them in a paper towel-lined airtight container. The paper towels will keep the tater tots from getting soggy. You can store them in the fridge for up to 3 days (but I’d eat them sooner so they aren’t completely soggy).
Freezing: Allow for the tots to cool to room temperature. Then, place them in an airtight container. Store in the freezer until you are ready to reheat.
Can you make these in the air fryer?
You bet! Just follow the same instructions but bake them in the air fryer in smaller batches at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
When they are done, just take them out to your serving plate and top them with your favorite toppings and sauces.
What are good toppings to add to these tots?
Ok, back to these tasty cheeseburger tots… I like to top them with grilled purple onions and microgreens to take both the taste and presentation up a notch. However, it isn’t necessary. Here are some other topping ideas…
- Diced tomatoes
- Chopped pickles
- Ground beef
- Cheddar cheese
- Diced green chilies
- Whole30 Ranch
- Fry Sauce
- Shredded lettuce
Ways to Enjoy
I love making these tots for the fam and love that only two pans gets dirty even more. Woohoo for very few dishes and easy dinner preparations!
Speaking of little work when cooking, have you tried using an Instant Pot? If not, our instant pot gluten-free mac n’ cheese is a go-to easy dinner of ours as well. Well that and this recipe for the BEST gluten-free meatloaf or our bacon wrapped tater tots.
Need an EASY and delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert?
Take a look at my Sheet Pan Meals and More!
Loaded Tater Tots
- 1 32 oz. bag of gluten-free tater tots
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cups cheddar or pepperjack cheese shredded
- tomatoes diced
- pickles chopped
- shredded lettuce or microgreens
- 1/2 cup purple onions diced
- gluten-free ketchup & mustard
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Spread the tater tots out on a baking sheet and bake according to package directions
- Meanwhile, cook the ground beef and onions together until the beef is no longer pink and onions are translucent
- Cover tater tots with ground beef and cheese and bake 3-5 minutes longer
- Remove from the oven and top with toppings of your choice
Originally published on June 16, 2016, but has been updated with new tips and information on January 11, 2022. Look at that awesome original photo! 😉