Tater Tots and Bacon Cheese Bites appetizers contain three of our favorite food groups! You’ll love this combination of crunchy bacon, crispy tater tots and melting cheddar cheese.
These small bites are like little sandwiches with the crispy tot sandwiched between two crispy pieces of bacon with melty cheddar cheese inside.
Perhaps you’ve had bacon-wrapped tater tots before, a fine combination. The only downfall is that sometimes the bacon isn’t cooked evenly, and sometimes the tots aren’t crispy because they’re cooked in a cylinder of bacon. This appetizer eliminates that hazard.
The golden brown tater tot stays crispy, and you don’t have to fuss with turning and trying to evenly cook a cylinder of bacon in the oven.
We eat first with our eyes, and the other advantage to these tasty little skewers is that you can see all the luscious layers and know exactly what you’re enjoying.
Why Bacon Tater Tots Are Worth Making
- You really can’t go wrong with potatoes, cheese and bacon.
- Unlike bacon-wrapped tots, you can see all the mouth-watering layers of goodness.
- The bacon is perfectly cooked – crispy, with just a little chewy bite.
- The tots are golden brown and crunchy.
- The cheddar cheese is melty.
- The ratio of Compliments to Complicated Recipe Steps is 30 to zero.
The Easy Cooking Process
- Cook the tater tots and bacon pieces in the oven on separate baking sheets.
- Cut the cheese (literally, not figuratively) in squares.
- Assemble the appetizers on sturdy skewers.
- Serve, while humbly basking in the praise.
Q: Can I make this recipe with regular sliced bacon instead of thick sliced bacon?
A: You bet. The appetizers won’t be quite as bacon-y. Regular sliced bacon isn’t quite as sturdy and some pieces may break when you skewer them, so you may wish to cook some extra slices of bacon just to be on the safe side.
Q: Can I cook the tater tots in the air fryer instead of the oven?
A: Sure! You can spread the frozen tots in a single layer in your air fryer, spray with a little cooking spray and cook on 400 degrees F or High until golden brown (turn once or twice during cooking for even browning), about 18-20 minutes. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the tots in batches.
Q: I don’t have these ingredients on hand. Can I substitute pizza rolls, Spam and pepperjack cheese?
A: That actually doesn’t sound half bad!
Useful Tools for this Recipe
Sturdy wood appetizer picks* will help hold all the luscious layers together.
You’ll need three large baking sheets,* two for the bacon and one for the tots.
The baking sheets are all lined with foil, and a top layer of parchment paper* keeps the bacon from sticking.
Leftovers and Reheating Instructions
Let’s be honest. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll have leftover bacon tots. But if you do, you can store the leftover appetizers in a sealed container or on a foil-wrapped plate for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
Reheat them on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree F oven for about 5-6 minutes, until hot.
Let’s Get Cooking
Begin by cutting thick-sliced bacon in squares and arranging the squares on two sheet pans lined with foil and topped with a piece of parchment paper.
The foil makes clean-up a breeze, and the parchment paper keeps the bacon from sticking.
Arrange the frozen tots on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Put the baking sheets in a preheated 450 degree F oven. The tots will need about 28 to 32 minutes to cook, and should be turned over once halfway during baking.
The bacon will cook in roughly the same time, but the exact cooking time depends on the thickness of the bacon and how your oven cooks. Keep an eye on the bacon and pull the pan from the oven when it’s browned and crispy.
Drain the bacon squares on paper towels and cool for 5 minutes.
Cut each piece of cheese in 9 square-ish pieces. (These pieces look huge! But this is a close-up photo of a standard deli slice of sharp cheddar cheese.)
Build each little sandwich by sandwiching a tater tot and cheese slice between two bacon squares.
Arrange the tater tot bacon bites on the parchment and foil-lined baking sheet. Return to the oven for 2 minutes, just until the cheese starts to melt.
Arrange on a platter, serve and enjoy!
Here’s the easy, printable recipe:
Tater Tots and Bacon Cheese Bites
- 30 frozen tater tots from a 32 ounce bag
- 1 pound thick sliced bacon about 12 strips
- 4 deli slices sharp cheddar cheese
- salt for sprinkling
- 30 wooden picks or skewers
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line one baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Line two more baking sheets with foil and top each with a piece of parchment paper.
- Cut each strip of bacon in 5 equal pieces. You should have about 60 pieces total. Arrange the bacon pieces on the parchment/foil-lined baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
- Spread the frozen tater tots on the foil-lined baking sheet.
- Put the baking sheets in the oven and bake.
- Turn the bacon pieces once after 10 minutes and blot excess grease with paper towels. Return to the oven and continue cooking until brown and crispy, but not hard, about 10 more minutes. Your cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the bacon.
- The tots will need 28-32 minutes to bake. Turn once after 14 minutes for even browning.
- While the bacon and tots are cooking, cut each of the cheese slices in thirds. Cut each third in 3 pieces, for a total of 9 small squares each. Reserve.
- Remove bacon from pan and transfer pieces to paper towels to drain. Cool the tater tots on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Cool for 5 minutes. Do not turn off the oven.
- Assemble the appetizers by sandwiching a tater tot and cheese slice between two bacon slices.
- Arrange on the foil-lined baking sheet and return to oven for 2 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve hot. Makes 30 pieces.
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