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RECIPE: Baked Potato Tots

Tater Tots are so beloved that the term is used generically, although it’s a trademark of Ore-Ida, which invented the little potato bites in 1953. (The story is below.)

Everyone else can call them “potato tots.” These days, chefs reaching back to childhood are serving fresh-from-scratch versions.

This variation, Baked Potato Tots, comes to us courtesy of and the blog, Mele Cotte. Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 1 hour 20 minutes and ready time is 1 hour 45 minutes.


Ingredients For 3 Servings

  • 2 medium Russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ to ¾ cup 0% Greek yogurt, warm
  • 1½ tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus extra to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups unseasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

    A baked variation of the iconic Tater Tots. Photo courtesy



    1. PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. SCRUB potatoes with a brush under running water; dry them off. Pierce each potato with a fork to prevent exploding. Bake the potatoes about 1 hour, or until they are cooked through. When cool enough to handle but still hot, cut the potatoes in half and scoop the pulp out of the skins.

    3. RUN the potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a medium bowl. With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in yogurt and 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and stir just until blended.

    4. PLACE breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl or pie tin. Stir in remaining ½ tablespoon cheese, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and Italian seasoning.

    5. USING a small scoop, form potato mixture into rounds that resemble a large marble or gumball. Roll in breadcrumbs, shaping the potato into a tot as you roll. Place each tot on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake 20 minutes, flipping over halfway through baking. Check after 20 minutes and continue to bake until browned and crisp. Serve hot.


    The Russet potato. Photo courtesy Idaho
    Potato Commission.



    Tater Tots are an American side dish made from deep-fried, grated potatoes. They are miniature croquettes: crisp little cylinders of hash brown-style potatoes. Tater is American dialect for potato, and “tots” came from their small size.

    Although the name may seem generic, Tater Tots is a registered trademark of Ore-Ida. Tater Tots were created in 1953 when Ore-Ida founders, brothers F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg, were considering what to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes from their signature French fries.

    They chopped them up, mixed them with flour and seasonings, and pushed logs of the grated/mashed potato mixture through a form, slicing off and frying small pieces. The Ore-Ida brand was acquired by H. J. Heinz Company in 1965.

    Find more delicious potato recipes at


    Check out the different potato types in our Potato Glossary.


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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