Air Fryer Tater Tots

Air fryer tater tots and spicy mayo dip.
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Cool & Dry Time: 20 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Yields: 36 pieces

The air fryer is a great way to cook homemade tater tots. Store-bought frozen tater tots are quick and easy, but sometimes with black spots and discolorations. When you make your tater tots from scratch with fresh potatoes, you know exactly what's in them. Most commercial tater tots include up to 8 grams of fat per serving. Aside from a spritz or drizzle of cooking oil, there is little added fat in homemade tater tots.

The starch in the parboiled russets makes them the ideal potato for tots—the shreds hold together beautifully with no need for flour or cornstarch. Make the included spicy mayo dip to go with them or serve the tots with ketchup or your favorite aioli.


  • For the Spicy Mayo Dip:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • A few drops Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • For the Tater Tots:
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking oil spray (or 2 to 3 teaspoons vegetable oil)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Dipping Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for spicy dip.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Combine the mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Mix well; cover and refrigerate until serving time.

    Spicy mayo for tater tots.
    Diana Rattray

Make the Tater Tots

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 200 F. This is to keep the first batch warm while you cook the remaining tots.

    Ingredients for tater tots.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Peel the potatoes and place them in a medium saucepan. Cover the potatoes with water and bring them to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low; boil for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the potatoes are just partially cooked. A fork will pierce the exterior of the potatoes, but they will remain firm. Drain the potatoes and let them cool for about 15 minutes, or until they are cool enough to handle.

    Potatoes in the saucepan.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Grate the potatoes on a box grater or in a food processor with the grating disc attachment. Combine the grated potatoes in a large bowl and gently mix with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, the onion and garlic powders, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.

    Combine the shredded potatoes with seasonings.
    Diana Rattray
  4. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the potato mixture and then shape it into a small, oblong tot. Place the shaped tater tot on a parchment or wax paper-lined pan. If the potato mixture is sticking to your hands, moisten them with a bit of water while you work. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture. Let the tots air dry for about 5 minutes.

    Let the tater tots dry for about 5 minutes.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Spritz the air fryer basket with cooking oil spray. Arrange about half of the tater tots in the basket and spritz them lightly with cooking oil spray. Set the air fryer temperature at 375 F and set the timer for 15 minutes. Shake the basket every 5 minutes.

    Tater tots in the air fryer.
    Diana Rattray
  6. Transfer the cooked tater tots to a plate or pan; sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and put them in the 200 F oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining tots.

    Air fryer tater tots cooked on a plate.
    Diana Rattray
  7. Arrange the tater tots on a serving plate or platter with the dip. Enjoy!

    Finished tater tots with the spicy dip.
    Diana Rattray


  • Oven-Baked: To bake the tater tots, heat the oven to 400 F. Spritz the tots with cooking oil spray or drizzle with oil. Arrange them on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping after about 10 minutes.