Sweet Potato Tots

Tater tots – sweet potato edition.

Sweet Potato Tater Tots

Tots, sweet potato style.

Us kids of the 70’s looked forward to one thing in the school cafeteria: Tater Tots. They were invented in the 50’s, and by the 70’s they were a staple at school and at home. Seriously, who doesn’t love the crispy crunchy little nuggets with pillowy soft insides? If anyone says they don’t like Tater Tots, only two things are possible 1) they are lying, or 2) they have never eaten Tater Tots. We are all Napoleon Dynomite when it comes to Tots.

We decided to update this American classic, giving this recipe a sweet orange makeover for a bloggers-only contest. If you like sweet potato fries, these tots may just become your new addiction!

This new enlightened version is even more delicious than the original – same crispy outsides, but sweeter, more flavorful insides. Sweet potatoes are about a million per cent more flavorful than regular spuds, and pack a real nutritional bang for your buck. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are an incredibly nutrient-dense food.

To make the interior light and fluffy I grated the tubers and then baked the shreds to take out excess water. Then, I tossed them with a little cornstarch and flour for binders. They hold together perfectly and the bath in hot oil gives them that perfect crunch.

Well worth the effort – for kids and for the kid in all of us.


Makes about 16 tots

1 pound sweet potatoes or yams (1 large potato or 2 small potatoes)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or cayenne pepper)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Canola oil for frying
Cinnamon sugar if desired for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel the skin off the potato. Grate the peeled potato on the large holes of a box grater. Place a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet (11 by 17 inches). Spread the grated  potato on the baking sheet, distributing evenly. Sprinkle salt on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to warm. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except oil. Stir this dry mixture into the grated potatoes until it is fully integrated with potatoes and you can no longer see it.

Heat oil to 375 degrees in a deep fryer or a medium skillet filled about 1 inch deep with oil.

Pour a little oil into a small bowl. Dip a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon  into oil and then fill the spoon with potato mixture. Dump out the tablespoon into your hands and pat out mixture into small discs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Deep fry in batches, leaving plenty of room in oil so that discs don’t stick together. Cook for about 80 to 90 seconds, until outsides are browned. Remove and place on paper towels. Blot tops of discs gently with another paper towel. Sprinkle with either a little more salt or cinnamon sugar, as desired. Serve immediately.

Other amazing tots by bloggers:

Home made Tater Tots, The Urban Baker
Oven Baked Tater Tots, The Kitchn
Tater Tots for Adults, Al Dente
Crab Tater Tots, Living in the Kitchen with Puppies

— posted by Donna


  1. says

    Ha, I just had a side of sweet potato for dinner, but nothing like yours. These taters look divine so this recipe is on my list to try. Thanks.

  2. Sue says

    The good old days of tots are coming back to me now. This looks like a great version. Thanks for this post.

  3. says

    Us kids of the 90s adored tater tots as well. In fact…us 20-something year old STILL adore them. And dream about them. To this day.

    And then you went and sweet potato-ified them. Which makes them all the more glorious.


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