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Loaded Tater Tot Cups – An Easy Appetizer Recipe

If you are looking for a quick and easy appetizer recipe that is always a huge hit at every gathering, then this Loaded Tater Tot Cups recipe is your answer.

Frozen tater tots that are baked in muffin cups and then pressed into the form of a cup. The cups are then filled with all of your favorite loaded baked potato toppings, including cheese, sour cream, bacon and diced green onions.

It makes for a delicious, hand-held appetizer that everyone loves. In fact, when I recently made these for a party, they were the first appetizers to be gone from the table.

loaded tater tot cups
Loaded tater tot cups filled with cheese, sour cream, bacon and diced green onions. A delicious appetizer for any occasion!

Although they are absolutely delicious as written, you can even customize the toppings to add whatever you like. Add a few diced jalapeños for those who love things hot.

Or skip the sour cream and add pizza toppings instead. The choice is up to you, and you can get as creative as you want. In fact, sometimes I will make a topping bar so everyone can build their own with their favorite ingredients.

For a little inspiration, I have shared some of my other favorite topping combinations below. The list is located at the bottom of this article, below the cooking instructions.

Loaded Tater Tot Cups Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • Bag of frozen tater tots
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Sour cream
  • Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Green onions, diced

INSTRUCTIONS

The first step in making loaded tater tot cups is to place an oven rack in the lowest position. Then preheat the oven and spray the cups of a standard muffin pan with cooking spray.

Place 5 tater tots in each muffin cup and then place the pan on bottom rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

Spray the bottom of a small, skinny glass or a shot glass with cooking spray. Press the tater tots down in the bottom of the muffin cup with the bottom of the glass. They will smash and compress to form one large tater tot.

tots in muffin cup
Depending on the depth of your muffin tin and what type of tater tots that you bought, add 4-5 tater tots per cup.

Then place the glass in the center of each cup and press and twist until the tater tots form a cup. *You may need to spray the glass with non-stick cooking spray a few times.

Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown in color.

Then add 1 tablespoon of the shredded cheese in the center of the tater tot cups. Place the pan back in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted. This should take about 3-4 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and then carefully transfer each cup to a platter and let them cool for 5 minutes.

Divide the sour cream, bacon and diced green onion toppings evenly between each cup. Serve warm.

Other Possible Topping Combinations

Instead of using the toppings listed above, customize your tater tot cups with your favorite flavor combinations. Below I have listed some of the ways that I have served them in the past.

1. Taco

  • Place Mexican blend shredded cheese inside the tater tot cups. Then add taco seasoned ground beef or chicken, diced onions, sour cream, and salsa.

2. Sloppy Joe

  • Use leftover Sloppy Joe meat and place it on top of the cheese. Add a little more cheese on top and enjoy!
potatoes indented
When the frozen potatoes begin to heat up, remove them from the oven and use the bottom of a shot glass or small glass to compress and then indent the tots into a cup or bowl shape.

3. Buffalo Chicken

  • One of my favorite ways to spice up these tater tot cups is by adding cheddar cheese, shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, diced celery, and Ranch dressing.

4. Pizza

  • We all love pizza, so why not add a few familiar fillings to your appetizer. Start with Mozzarella cheese, then add a little warm marinara sauce, and diced pepperoni or cooked ground sausage. And if you like veggie pizzas, skip the meat and add a little diced green peppers, onions and mushrooms.

5. Breakfast

  • Tater tots are the perfect medium to hold classic breakfast ingredients. Add cheese, scrambled egg, bacon, sausage, and/or ham to the potatoes for a delicious brunch appetizer.

5. Vegetarian

  • Keep it vegetarian by adding cheese, diced mushrooms, red peppers, and broccoli to the mixture.

6. Vegan

  • Even those that eat a vegan diet can enjoy tater tot cups. There are a lot of plant based cheese options to choose from. Then add plant based sour cream, bacon bits (yes, they are vegan), diced green onion, and avocados.
cheese tots
Adding cheese to the tater tot cups helps to seal the bottom so you can add other fillings without the worry of them seeping out when serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I make these ahead of time?

If you want to make these in advance, follow the instruction listed through melting the cheese in the tater tot cups. However, do not add the other toppings. Then cool, cover and refrigerate. Then when you are ready to serve, cover the muffin pan with foil and place in a preheated oven set at 400°F for 10 minutes. Add the toppings of your choice.

2. Can I use a mini-muffin pan instead of a regular muffin pan?

If you want to make a smaller cups, add 2-3 tater tots in a sprayed mini muffin pan. Follow the baking instructions as written.

3. Can I use hash browns instead of tater tots?

If you want to use hash browns instead of tater tots, mix the cheddar cheese in with the thawed hash browns. Then form the cup by pressing the hash brown mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the muffin cups. Bake at 425°F until golden brown. *Check out this Hash Brown Egg Nest recipe for specific instructions if you are going to be making these for breakfast.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Yield: 12 cups

Loaded Tater Tot Cups

loaded tater tot cups

Tater tots that are made into the form of a cup and filled with cheese, sour cream, bacon and green onions. The perfect party appetizer!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. bag frozen tater tots
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF and place an oven rack in the lowest position. Spray the cups of a standard muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place 5 tater tots in each muffin cup and place Place the pan on bottom rack of the oven and and bake 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.
  3. Spray bottom of a small, skinny glass or a shot glass with cooking spray. Press the tater tots down with the glass until they compress into the bottom of the muffin cup. Then place the glass in the center of each cup and press and twist until the tater tots form a cup. *You may need to spray the glass with non-stick cooking spray a few times. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of cheese to the bottom of the tater tot cups. Place the pan back in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully transfer each cup to a platter and let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Top each cup with sour cream, bacon, and diced green onion.

Serve warm.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: Make the tater tot cups as instructed above but do not add the sour cream, bacon or green onion toppings. Cover and refrigerate. To reheat, cover the muffin pan with foil and bake the tater tot cups at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving tray and add the sour cream, bacon and green onions and serve warm.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 292mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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