If you love crispy tater tots and cheesy nachos, you will flip for this loaded totcho recipe! Featuring crispy tots topped with pork or beef, crisp fresh vegetables and a creamy cilantro lime aioli. These tricked-out totchos are endlessly customizable and perfect for game day, snack time, and every single nibble in between.
Update: This post was originally published in October 2015. I made updates to the post below to include more information about making this totchos recipe at home.
Hello, friends! You’ve heard of nachos before – obviously. But, have you ever had a totcho?! Basically they’re nachos made with a bed of tater tots instead of tortilla chips. They’re out of this world delicious and you absolutely need them in your life. So, let’s make some, shall we!?
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About this totcho recipe
These nachos with tater tots are boss. Made on a bed of perfectly-crisp tater tots, these totchos are topped with a pile of savory pork or beef, crunchy pickled vegetables, spicy jalapeños, fresh herbs, creamy sauce, and plenty of melty cheese. Crispy, crunchy, creamy, meaty, savory, slightly spicy and perfectly cheesy, these tater tot nachos are beyond delicious!
If you’ve never made nachos with tater tots before, this is the ideal easy recipe to get you started. Endlessly customizable, just like their tortilla chip relative, you can make this totcho recipe with any (and all!) of your favorite Mexican toppings.
Why you’ll love this snack recipe!
Aside from being ridiculously quick and delicious, this recipe for totcho is also:
- Super Simple To Prepare! Just like traditional nachos, totchos are super easy to make.
- Easily Customizable! Use this totcho recipe as a blue print to create your best tater tot nachos. There’s endless flavor combinations to try.
- Crowd Pleasing! A tray of crispy baked totchos with all the toppings is always the first thing to disappear at parties.
What is a totcho?
A totcho is a playful fusion of two classic American appetizers – the nacho and the tater tot.
While nachos are made with a bed of crispy tortilla chips, totchos feature a bed of crispy tater tots. Totcho recipes can utilize the common potato tater tot, or they can use healthier versions, such as cauliflower tots and sweet potato tots. Also, totchos can be plain and made simply with shredded cheese, or they can be loaded up with all the toppings, such as ground beef or seasoned meat, salsa, corn, beans and more.
Jim Parker, of Oaks Bottom Public House in Oregon, is credited with inventing the tater tot nacho. We thank you for your service, Jim!
Ingredients for totchos
Use the ingredients list for this totcho recipe as a guide for your own customizations!
- Tater Tots – You’ll need one 32-ounce bag of frozen tator tots for this recipe. I recommend using plain (unseasoned) tater tots here.
- Meat – Totchos are the perfect way to use up any leftover protein hanging around your fridge. I love using lean pork tenderloin; however, leftover ground beef, chorizo, steak, turkey, chicken, bacon, or even ham and tofu work well here. You’ll need roughly 3 cups cooked meat for this tot recipe.
- Substitution: No leftovers, no problem! Swap in 1 pound of raw meat and cook it using your favorite method – grill, saute, oven-bake, air-fry, etc.
- Cheese – Don’t make the mistake of using pre-shredded cheese here; grab a block and shred it yourself for the best melty, cheesy nacho results. I prefer slightly spicy pepper jack cheese here; however, cheddar cheese or any Mexican cheese works well.
- Veggies – I’ve found that at least two cup of vegetables is the perfect amount of topping for a bag of tater tots. Seedless cucumber and pickled carrots with daikon add irresistible crunch and freshness; but use what you love.
- Substitution: Swap in one cup (or more) of your favorite veggies, such as corn kernels, diced tomatoes, or pickled onion.
- Avocado – Nothing beats the rich creamy flavor of avocados on Mexican food.
- Substitution: Swap in guacamole if you prefer richer flavor.
- Garnishes – Fresh cilantro, green onions, and jalapenos lend a touch of authentic Tex-Mex flavors.
- Sauce – A super quick and easy cilantro-lime aioli adds the perfect cool, creamy finishing touch to this tots recipe.
Variations on the tater tot nacho
Check out these other nacho topping combinations:
- Breakfast Tots – Swap the pork for steak, fry up a couple eggs and throw them on top of your tots for a fun twist on steak and eggs!
- Flavorful Nacho Taters – Toss the tater tots with your favorite Mexican seasonings before baking. Taco seasoning mixes are a quick way to add flavor. Alternately, a combination of smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and chili powder are my favorite spices for Southwestern flavors.
- Classic Tater Tot Nachos – Nix the pork and use ground beef or steak instead. Then, use corn kernels, diced tomatoes, and black beans as your veggie options. Finally, switch the creamy cilantro sauce for salsa and sour cream – voilà Mexican totcho.
- Vegetarian Nachos – Exchange the meat for black beans to make a tray of vegetarian tots.
- Sweet Potato Totcho – Substitute regular tater tots for sweet potato tots.
- Chili Cheese Tater Tots – Trade the pork for your favorite homemade beef chili and nix the veggies for one cup of chili beans. Swap Mexican cheese for cheddar cheese and use sour cream as your sauce.
How to make totchos recipe
Just like regular nachos, totchos are super easy to make and even easier to eat!
- Bake Tots – Bake the tater tots according to package instructions.
- Add Cheese and Meats – Remove the tots from the oven and top with shredded cheese, cooked meat, and any other non-fresh ingredients, such as beans.
- Broil – Return the loaded tots to the oven and broil until the cheese melts.
- Garnish – Add your favorite fresh nacho toppings to the tater tot, such as cilantro, jalapeno, avocado, and cucumber. Drizzle with the creamy cilantro sauce or dollop with sour cream.
- Enjoy – Serve tater tot nachos immediately and enjoy!
Tips for the best nachos with tater tot
- Bake the tots first! You must bake the tater tots in the oven before adding the cheeses and meats. The tots need to be crisp in order to hold up to the weight of the toppings.
- Use any tater tot! You can use any tater tots you love in this nacho recipe. I personally love sweet potato tots.
- Season the tots! If you prefer robust flavor, toss the tater tots with your favorite seasoning mix, such as taco or fajita seasoning, before baking.
- Customize! Totcho recipes are incredibly easy to customize. Keep the measurements the same for the meat, cheeses, and veggies and just swap in what you love.
- For example, swap out the pork for steak; then switch out the carrots and daikon for black beans and corn – there you have it, Tex-Mex beef totchos.
FAQs: tater nachos
Can I make vegan tot nachos?
With a few simple substitutions you can easily make this the best vegan nachos tater tots!
- Meat Substitutes: Use canned beans, vegan taco meat, or even lentils instead of meat.
- Cheese Substitutes: Instead of topping your nachos with regular cheese, swap it out for began cheese.
- Swap the Sauce: Omit the creamy mayonnaise-based cilantro sauce for chunky salsas and guacamole.
What’s the best cheese for nachos with tater tots?
Cheddar cheese is arguably the most commonly used cheese for nachos, because it melts well, it’s flavorful, and it’s also super easy to find. However, don’t limit yourself to just cheddar on your totchos! You can use any good melty cheese to make potato tot nachos – mozzarella, pepper jack, Monterey jack and Colby cheeses are some of my favorites. However, harder Mexican cheeses, such as queso fresco and cotija are excellent as a garnish on nacho taters.
Serving this loaded tots recipe
Totcho recipes can be a hearty appetizer or a complete meal, depending upon your level of hunger. However, a lighter salad, or any type of American ‘bar’ or ‘pub’ food pairs great with potato nachos. If you are looking to make your nachos tater tots a meal, below are few side dishes ideas to help round out your dinner:
- Simple Side Salad or Chopped Salad
- Cilantro Rice, Mexican Rice, or your favorite Rice Dish
- Crunchy Slaw or Coleslaw
Tater tot nacho recipes are best when enjoyed immediately, fresh from the oven. However, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. I do not recommend freezing tot chos as the cheese and toppings aren’t appetizing once thawed.
Overall these totchos are bomb.com. They are tater-tastic and absolutely belong on your family table. But don’t just wait for the next game day! Fry up a few eggs, throw them on top of your tot nachos and serve them up for Sunday brunch. Basically – are you hungry? Make these. 😉
Until next time, friends, cheers! To happy totcho munching!
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More delicious snack recipes!
If you are looking for more pub foods for easy entertaining, try these delicious favorites next:
- Fajita Hummus
- Broccoli Cheddar Tots
- Potato Skin Appetizer
- Sweet and Spicy Little Sausages
- Salt & Vinegar Chicken Wings
How to make this totchos recipe at home👇
Totcho Recipe (Tater Tot Nachos)
- 1 Large Baking Sheet
- 1 (32 oz) Package Tater Tots
- 2 Cups Pepper Jack Cheese – shredded (substitute: your favorite block of cheese)
- 3 Cups Cooked and Chopped Pork Tenderloin (substitute: steak, beef, chicken, turkey or tofu) (SEE NOTES)
- 1-2 large Jalapeno(s) – thinly sliced or diced
- 1 whole Avocado – diced
- 2 whole Green Onions – thinly sliced
- 1 small Cucumber – small dice
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves - to taste
- Pickle the Carrots and Daikon: In a medium sized bowl add the carrots and daikon. Add in the salt, rice wine vinegar and sugar. Stir to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes to pickle. Rinse and drain well. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Bake the Tots: Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Arrange tater tots on top and bake according to package directions.
- Add Cheese and Meat: Remove the tater tots from the oven. Sprinkle the shredded cheese and meat all over the top of the tots.
- Broil: Switch oven to broil and return the tater tot nachos to the oven. Cook until cheese melts, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and place the pan on a wire cooling rack.
- Garnish Totchos: Top cheesy tots with pickled carrot/daikon, jalapeños, green onions, eggs, diced avocado, cucumber and cilantro. Drizzle with cilantro aioli. Serve and enjoy!
- Serve Tater Tot Nachos: Serve tachos immediately right from the sheet pan with spoons and forks. Enjoy!
- Meat: No leftover meat, no problem! Use 1 pound of your favorite protein (ground beef, chicken breasts, etc.) and cook it using your favorite method - air-fry, grill, saute, etc.
- Eggs: Topping these tater tot nachos with fried eggs is a really good decision!
- To Fry Eggs: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Crack 2 eggs into the pan and fry until they are cooked to your desired doneness. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Leftovers: These tater nachos are best eaten fresh, warm from the oven; however, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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