Homemade Pepper Jack Tater Tots

I have to tell y’all that making these were a first for me. Zaylee loves tater tots and she was asking for some the other day and I didn’t have any in the freezer. When I told her she looked at me as serious as can be and said “Grandma, you cook you can make them yourself”. That was all the encouragement I needed to figure out how to make them. This is the end result of two tries, first batch fell apart, second batch fried up nicely. I’m sharing with y’all the second batch. I did add some pepper jack cheese to the second batch and she didn’t mind at all, we ate the entire plateful in one sitting.

I don’t know too many kids that don’t like a plateful of tater tots, I did as a child, my children did and now my Grandchildren. I’m usually never without a bag in the freezer as I use them in breakfast and supper casseroles as well. One thing I have noticed is that frozen tater tots are a whole lot smaller than they used to be. Shoot, many things we buy nowadays seem to be packaged in smaller containers or the item itself is smaller. Every now and then I’ll buy a box of Little Debbie Fudge Rounds, they were one of my favorite snacks as a kid just like they were Papa Hembree’s, but now those little tasty fudge rounds are smaller than they were back in the day. I know times are changing but it would sure be nice if some companies would leave things as they were when it comes to food. Maybe I’ll have to figure out a homemade recipe for those shrinking fudge rounds one of these days.


Homemade Pepper Jack Tater Tots (approx. 16 tots)

  • 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and washed
  • 1/2 C. finely grated pepper jack cheese
  • 1 T. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • good pinch of smoked paprika
  • good pinch of salt
  • veg. oil for frying


Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring up to a boil and boil them for 7 minutes. Drain and put the potatoes on a towel, letting them cool enough to handle. Grate the potatoes into a bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Pinch off a little of the mixture and squish and roll in your hands to form and oblong type shape. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining mixture. Place the pan of tots in the fridge for 30 minutes. Heat 1″ veg. oil in a skillet to 350 degrees. Working in batches, fry the tater tots till golden brown, gently turning as needed, about 3-4 minutes. Drain on a paper sack or paper towel lined plate

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