Spicy Bacon Tater Tot Nibbles

It’s amazing how three little ingredients when put together in just the right way can taste just so right.  In this case, we are talking bacon (but of course), jalapeno pepper and yes, Tater Tots.  Those addictive little crispy bundles of chopped potato that I can only buy every once in a while because I have zero self control around them.  And while I am perfectly happy to eat way more than my fair share of them just as they are, I am delighted to report that they also make great appetizer fixings!

This all started when I bought a bag of Tots to make the 15 minute ham and potato chowder I wrote about last week.  I looked all through my supermarket’s freezer section for a smaller bag of Tots…the Southern husband is my witness!  But apparently my store only carries large economy sized bags, and so after my chowder was done I still had the better part of a bag of them left.  What’s a girl to do?

A girl takes a bunch of those Tots, thaws them out, wraps them in bacon with a slice of jalapeno pepper inside, fastens the whole thing together with a toothpick and deep fries them for about 2 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the Tot is sizzling.  Then she drains them for a few minutes on a paper towel and serves them to the Southern husband in place of a normal supper that night.  Hey, it was meat and potatoes and a vegetable!  He didn’t look like he minded.

One word of caution…the jalapeno slice does give these babies a fair amount of sneaky heat, so if you have anyone in your crowd who doesn’t like that amount of spice, simply wrap a few Tots just in bacon with no pepper inside.  They are just as good mild as they are spicy.

After all of this, I still have some Tots in that bag.  I’m taking suggestions!

Spicy Bacon Tater Tot Nibbles

Serves: 24 Tots...recipe can be expanded as much as you like!

  • 24 Tater Tots, thawed
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced into thin rounds
  • 12 slices bacon, cut in halves
  • Canola oil for frying
  1. Pour about 2-3 inches of canola oil into a heavy deep pot (a Dutch oven works great for this) and heat to 350 degrees.
  2. While the oil is heating, wrap each Tot in a slice of bacon, tucking a jalapeno slice inside. Spear everything together with a wooden toothpick.
  3. Carefully lower the Tots into the oil with a metal slotted spoon or spider. Cook until bacon is done, about 2 minutes. Remove, drain on paper towels and serve!


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  1. Sounds like this is just the thing to serve when my college boy comes home.

  2. Kate,
    I’ve made the chowder–twice–since you posted the recipe last week. Scored big time first with the husband, and next with the son-in-law and daughter who is expecting twins!
    These little tots look downright addictive. I’ll be storing the recipe right beside your mac ‘n cheese cupcakes! :)

  3. You had me at “tator tot”…add jalapeño and I am way over the moon! And bacon, well, that’s definitely gilding the lily! Minimal ingredients, maximum flavor, easy prep. The only thing that might make this easier is possibly baking these glorious tots in the oven.

    • I know – three great tastes that go great together! You may be right about the oven – although you would miss the crispiness that comes from the frying. But it’s worth an experiment for sure!

  4. I had decided from the beginning we would leave the jalapeno out. I don’t like spicy and my husband is more of a meat and potato sort. His idea of a veggie is corn. I will have to make a grocery run for the tots. Maybe I can get lucky and only find a big bag too!!!

  5. I didn’t think there was a way to improve a tater tot — but this sounds like it does! :-)

  6. I want to make these for company coming in on Sunday but, I don’t have a deep fryer. Can that be baked? (which would be great) or can I do them in a regular skillet without all the oil?
    Thanks so much,

    • I’ve never baked them but I don’t see why not – you wouldn’t get the same exact crunch, but if you bake them until the bacon is crispy (I’d use a 400 degree oven) they should be fine. I think this would be better than the skillet with no oil.

  7. We’ve used tots in shredded beef wrap sandwiches (leftover pot roast) and burritos. Yummm!

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