These chili cheese tater tots make a quick and easy weeknight dish and are always a favorite. Loaded with chili, shredded cheese, and crispy air-fried tater tots, this is a delicious dinner idea that can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Tots have been a staple in my family for as long as I can remember. When I was a girl, we had tots to go with weekend meals or at parties, and when I had my own family, I made them quite frequently, too. Even now that my kids are grown and living on their own, I still make them for myself. And I LOVE to make them for special occasions or when the kids come over with the grandkids. The tots recipe I have today is one of my family’s favorites, and I make them whenever I can. I also love bringing them to parties and other gatherings because they’re so darn easy to make, and everyone always loves them. I also love to make chili cheese tater tot casserole in a baking dish, using this recipe as well. It’s the perfect meal to make when feeding a crowd.
Chili Cheese Tater Tots
This easy recipe is so simple to make and super flavorful. It all starts with crispy on the outside and tender on the inside tater tots. Then they’re served on plates and topped with chili, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and diced onions. It’s a flavor combination that’s always a huge hit wherever I take them. They’re great for parties, movie nights, game nights, or just as an afternoon snack. If you have a houseful of hungry teenagers, make a batch of these for an afterschool snack, and you’ll notice that the kids are always at your house.
Why You’ll Love These Chili Cheese Tater Tots
- Making them in the air fryer leaves them super crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
- They’re super fast when cooked in the air fryer.
- They’re a delicious, hearty lunch, dinner, or party recipe.
- They take less than a handful of ingredients to make!
Chili Cheese Tater Tots Tips and Variations
This is a simple recipe, but even simple recipes have a few little tricks to help make them even better. I’m sharing those along with some fun variations, as well.
- Always preheat your air fryer for proper cooking. It’s a myth that they don’t have to be preheated.
- Always spray your air fryer basket no matter what you’re making.
- Always cook your tots from frozen. The recipe was designed for that.
- If you don’t have an air fryer, simply bake your tots per the package directions.
- Use your favorite brand and flavor of tater tots for this recipe. They all work.
- You can use your favorite brand and flavor of chili, too.
- I use cheddar cheese, but you can use any cheese you like. Mexican blend and taco cheeses are especially good.
Chili Cheese Tater Tots FAQ
If you have questions about these chili cheese tater tots, then read on. The following FAQ answers the most commonly asked questions about this recipe.
Where do tater tots come from?
Tater tots were invented in 1953 by F. Nephi Grigg as a way to use up leftover potato trimmings. They were so popular that by 1961, Ore-Ida has bought the invention and was shipping it to all 50 states!
How do you make tater tots crispy?
If you’re baking them, turning them halfway through cooking will ensure that both sides of the tots get crispy. If air frying, shaking the basket about halfway through cooking will do the same thing.
What toppings are good on chili cheese tater tots?
There are a lot of great topping options for these tots. Some fun ideas include:
- Sour cream
- Green onions
- Pickled jalapeños
- Refried beans
- Nacho cheese sauce
- Ground beef
How do you know when tater tots are done?
If you follow this recipe exactly, they will be perfectly done. Visually, you know they’re done when they have a deep, golden-brown color and the outside looks exceptionally crispy.
Chili Cheese Tater Tots Ingredients
It only takes a handful of ingredients to make this delicious recipe. They’re all very simple, and you’ll find them easily at your local grocery store.
- Frozen tater tots
- Can chili beans (I used Hormel®)
- Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Onions, optional
How to Make Chili Cheese Tater Tots
Making this recipe is just as easy as getting the ingredients together. It only takes a few simple steps.
Step 1: Prep
Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees and spray the basket with natural, non-aerosol cooking spray.
Step 2: Air Fry the Tots
Place the tater tots in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Then, cook them for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy, shaking the basket after 6 minutes.
Step 3: Heat the Chili
While the tots are cooking, place the chili in a small saucepan, stir, and let simmer until nice and hot over medium heat.
Step 4: Serve
Place the desired amount of tater tots on individual plates or a serving plater. Sprinkle wit salt and pepper if desired. Then, top the tots with chili, shredded cheese, sour cream, and diced onions. Enjoy!
Try These Delicious Chili Cheese Tater Tots Today
These chili cheese tater tots are so delicious and so easy to make. It only takes a few steps and a few minutes to make them, and everyone always loves them. From game day to potlucks, other special occasions, or just because, once you make these, I know you’ll find yourself coming back to this recipe again and again!
Looking for More Air Fryer Recipes?
Air Fryer Mexican Street Corn – A super easy and quick way to make everyone’s favorite street corn in just a matter of minutes.
Mini Corn Dogs – Making these in the air fryer create a crispy, crunchy, and absolutely delicious corn dog in just a matter of minutes. It’s the perfect snack to whip up for parties or for a quick snack for the kids.
Frozen Egg Rolls in the Air Fryer – These are a simple, crispy, and perfect appetizer that takes just a few minutes to cook in the air fryer.
Also, try these Cheese Pigs in a Blanket from Deliciously Seasoned. These are cooked in the air fryer, allowing them to be cooked so quickly, and creating a. super crispy crescent roll wrapped around a little smokie.
Chili Cheese Tater Tots
- 32 ounce bag frozen tater tots
- (2) 15 ounce cans chili with beans, I used Hormel®
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Optional: sour cream, diced onions
- Preheat the air fryer at 390° for a minute.
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray like grapeseed oil.
- Pour tater tots into the basket and spread out in a single layer.
- Cook at 390° for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket after 6 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, heat chili until hot while tater tots are cooking.
- Carefully remove tater tots from air fryer basket and place the desired amount of tater tots on individual plates or on a serving platter.
- Top with chili, shredded cheese, sour cream and diced onions.
- Enjoy with a side salad.
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