These air fryer tater tots use a huge time-saving shortcut – frozen hash browns! They’re naturally vegan and made with all-purpose flour, but can also be made gluten-free or paleo.
I’m clearly air frying everything these days because I’m in love with my air fryer, but if you don’t have one, you can bake or fry the tater tots. So I’ve included directions on how to bake them in an oven.
Tater tot ingredients
You just need basic ingredients for these tater tots. You probably already have everything, except maybe the hash browns!
- Frozen hash browns
- Olive oil
- Granulated garlic or garlic powder
- Onion powder
What type of hash browns to use
You need the shredded and unseasoned kind. If you use one that already has seasoning (other than a little salt), you’d probably need to adjust the seasoning in the recipe.
If you’re thinking, “Frozen hash browns?! But I want a homemade version!” – I get it. But there are brands that are just frozen, shredded potatoes and nothing else.
The store-brand organic hash browns at Sprouts and Meijer both consist of just 100% potatoes. So I really don’t see any disadvantages to using those.
It saves a ton of time! If you’re like me and have an extreme lack of time on your hands the last year, then just get the hash browns. It’s worth it. 😂
But I really want a from-scratch recipe…
I can definitively tell you that if you use a food processor to shred your own raw potatoes, you’re going to have a mess when it’s time to form the tater tots.
Even if you rinse the potatoes, wring them dry, add egg, and other stuff – it’s not gonna work.
Frozen hash browns are the way to go!
I’ll post a totally homemade tater tot recipe using whole potatoes on my other blog at some point. I just need to find a quicker method than the ones called for in other recipes.
Spending 40 minutes on tater tots that take 4 minutes to eat just isn’t worth it to me. If you really prefer something homemade, try these amazing Air Fryer Garlic Fries or Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cheese!
You need to fully thaw your hash browns. If you don’t, they won’t stick together.
If you’re now reading this after starting the recipe, then you can add a beaten egg to the mix. That’ll make the mixture stick together better.
Naturally vegan tater tots
Just make sure that your hash browns don’t have any weird ingredients in them that would make them non-vegan.
And obviously, you’ll want to fully thaw your hash browns so that adding an egg won’t be necessary. I haven’t tried using a chia egg or any egg subs so I have no idea if they’d work.
Gluten-free and paleo options
To make these gluten-free, you can use a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour that’s meant as a replacement for all-purpose flour.
I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Flour, as always, with great results. You can also use it in my:
- Air Fryer Baked Apples
- Cornbread Pancakes
- Oatmeal Cookies Without Butter
- Healthy Cinnamon Apple Muffins
Using buckwheat flour, almond flour, etc. won’t work as they’re not subs for all-purpose flour.
Your other option is cassava flour. I used Otto’s Cassava Flour and it worked great. That makes these tater tots paleo!
Cassava flour isn’t really a 1:1 sub for all-purpose flour, but it’s pretty close. This is why it works in this recipe.
And whether you’re gluten-free or paleo, you need to check the label of your hash browns. Most brands are gluten-free but some contain dextrose, making them not paleo.
Even the hash browns from Whole Foods have dextrose, so be sure to take a look.
That’s it! I hope you’ll enjoy the tater tots. And for another tater tot recipe, check out this Tater Tot Casserole!
If you make this or any of my recipes, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #fooddoodlesrecipes so I can check them out. 🙂
Air Fryer Tater Tots with Hash Brown Shortcut
- 1 16-ounce (453-gram) bag of frozen shredded unseasoned hash browns, fully thawed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour or for gluten-free, use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Mix or for paleo*, use cassava flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt (add 1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted hash browns)
- olive oil or cooking spray
- Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil.
- Use a food processor fitted with an S-blade to pulse the shredded hash browns until they're finely chopped.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.
- Add the potatoes to that and mix everything together, being careful not to mash the potatoes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (205 °). Meanwhile, start forming the tater tots.
- Use a small spoon to scoop out some of the mixture to create 1” tots. Place in the air fryer basket. Don't stack them. You may need to bake them in 2 batches depending on your air fryer. Press down any little bits that are sticking out. If you don't, they'll burn.
- Spray the tater tots with an oil mister (I used olive oil) or cooking spray.
- Bake the tots at 400 °F (205 °) for 8 minutes. Shake the basket and bake for another 7-9 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
- Take the tots out and sprinkle with salt. Serve. These are best enjoyed hot.
- Let any leftovers cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. They're great reheated in the air fryer for a few minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (205 °).
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of foil and grease with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
- Place the tater tots on the greased pan and spray with olive oil or cooking spray.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.
- Flip and bake for another 10 minutes or until the bottoms are browned and crisp.
- Take the tots out and sprinkle with salt. These are best enjoyed hot.
- Let any leftovers cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. They're best reheated in the oven.
- If paleo, make sure to use paleo hash browns! The store-brand hash browns from Meijer and Sprouts are just 100% organic potatoes.