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A small cast iron skillet filled with buffalo tater tots, melted cheese, crispy bacon, ranch dressing, green onions, and pickled red onions.

Loaded Buffalo Tots

sara a.
An awesome buffalo tot recipe that is LOADED with cheese, bacon, green onion, pickled red onion, and blue cheese crumbles (if you like!) So easy to make and a huge crowd pleaser.
4.58 from 14 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 432 kcal


For Pickled Red Onions: (makes about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 large red onion very thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. hot water
  • 1 tsp. sugar or honey
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

For Buffalo Tots:

  • 4 servings frozen tots about 36 tots
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce such as Frank's wing sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic
  • pinch freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded jack cheese such as Monterey, Colby, or Pepperjack
  • 1/2 cup soft, shredded cheddar cheese mild or sharp
  • your favorite ranch or blue cheese dressing
  • chopped green onion
  • blue cheese crumbles optional
  • pickled red onions


For Pickled Red Onions:

  • Place all ingredients into a mason jar. Shake to combine, and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Strain the onions and use for tots, or keep leftover onions in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For Buffalo Tots:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  • Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil or a wire baking rack. Place bacon strips onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Toss frozen tots in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spray a large, rimmed baking sheet (separate from the one with the bacon) with baking spray. Spread the tots across this baking sheet.
  • Bake the tots and bacon at 425 F. Once the bacon is crispy (about 13-15 minutes), remove it from the oven and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to cool. Continue baking tots according to the package directions, or about another 7-8 minutes until browned and crispy.
  • While the tots finish baking, melt the butter over low heat in a small sauté pan. Add the hot sauce and combine with the butter. Stir in garlic powder and freshly cracked black pepper, and turn off the heat.
  • Toss the cooked tots in the buttered buffalo sauce. Once the tots are evenly coated, transfer them to an oven-safe baking dish. Bake for 2-3 minutes in the oven to re-crisp them.
    Crispy tater tots tossed in a garlicky buffalo sauce, placed inside a small cast iron pan.
  • Carefully remove them from the oven, and cover them with shredded cheese. Place back in the oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Go ahead and chop the bacon while the cheese melts.
    Crispy tater tots tossed in a garlicky buffalo sauce, covered in shredded cheese, and placed inside a small cast iron pan.
  • Top with ranch, chopped bacon, green onion, blue cheese crumbles, and pickled red onion (all optional!), and serve hot!
    A small cast iron skillet filled with buffalo tater tots, melted cheese, crispy bacon, ranch dressing, and green onions.
  • Enjoy!


Serving: 1servingCalories: 432kcal
Keyword buffalo tots
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