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Loaded Cheesy Sweet Potato Tots Recipe

close up of loaded sweet potato tots on plate
close up of loaded sweet potato tots on plate - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Tater tots, a one-time elementary school cafeteria staple, are now the kind of thing you might find on the appetizer menu at a trendy restaurant. The loaded tots in recipe developer Kate Shungu's recipe, however, are the sweet potato kind, which means that they offer more potassium and vitamin A and have a lower glycemic index than tater tots made with paler potatoes.

Shungu calls her loaded cheesy sweet potato tots recipe "a great way to jazz up sweet potato tots and turn them into something restaurant-worthy." She goes on to say, "I love all the contrasting textures in this dish," since the oven-baked tots (she starts with a bag of the frozen kind) get crispy on the outside while remaining soft inside. The toppings also present a range of flavors and consistencies, encompassing what Shungu describes as "creamy cheese sauce, crisp bacon, crunchy peppers, green onions, and soft pimentos."

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Gather The Ingredients For The Loaded Cheesy Sweet Potato Tots

ingredients for loaded tater tots
ingredients for loaded tater tots - Kate Shungu/Mashed

This recipe starts off with a bag of frozen sweet potato tater tots, but you will also need some bacon, pimentos, green onions, and bell pepper (Shungu likes using a yellow one) for the topping. You'll also be making homemade cheese sauce from butter, flour, milk, salt, Gruyère cheese, and Dijon mustard.

Step 1: Cook The Tater Tots

sweet potato tots on baking dish
sweet potato tots on baking dish - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Bake the tots according to package directions.

Step 2: Assemble The Toppings

chopped vegetables and bacon in separate bowls
chopped vegetables and bacon in separate bowls - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Meanwhile, gather the bacon, pimentos, green onions, and yellow pepper so that they're ready when the tots come out of the oven.

Step 3: Melt The Butter

butter in frying pan
butter in frying pan - Kate Shungu/Mashed

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.

Step 4: Mix The Flour Into The Butter

roux in frying pan with wooden spatula
roux in frying pan with wooden spatula - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute.

Step 5: Mix The Milk And Salt Into The Roux

white sauce in frying pan with whisk
white sauce in frying pan with whisk - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Whisk in the milk and salt, and let cook for 2–3 minutes, or until thick.

Step 6: Add The Cheese And Mustard To The Sauce

white sauce in frying pan with whisk
white sauce in frying pan with whisk - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Whisk in the Gruyère and Dijon mustard. Set over low heat, whisking occasionally, until the tots are done.

Step 7: Put The Cooked Tater Tots On A Plate

tater tots on white plate
tater tots on white plate - Kate Shungu/Mashed

When the tots have finished cooking, place them on a serving platter.

Step 8: Top The Tots, Then Serve

loaded tater tots on white plate
loaded tater tots on white plate - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Top the tots with the Gruyère cheese sauce, then add the bacon, pimentos, green onions, and yellow pepper. Serve while still hot.

Are Loaded Cheesy Sweet Potato Tots An Appetizer Or A Main Dish?

loaded tater tots on white plate
loaded tater tots on white plate - Kate Shungu/Mashed

As these tots are topped with cheese sauce, bacon, onions, and peppers, they do present the classic trio of starch, protein, and vegetables that make up a complete meal. Shungu agrees with this assessment and says, "This recipe would be great for a Friday night dinner ... or a clean-out-the-fridge meal." If you do use it as a main course, you could pair it with a green salad since you won't need anything starchy or heavy.

Of course, you could also serve the tots as an appetizer or, as Shungu suggests, "a snack for game day." As an app or a side dish, they'd complement a meaty entrée like burgers, steak, or ribs. For TV-watching purposes, they could either stand on their own or take their place alongside a smorgasbord of snacks, such as pizza, sliders, and poppers.

Can I Change Up The Ingredients In These Loaded Cheesy Sweet Potato Tots?

loaded tater tots on plate
loaded tater tots on plate - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Shungu explains that the ingredients she's listed for this recipe are meant to be no more than what she calls "a loose guideline," which means that "everything can be changed up." If you're looking to change up the cheese sauce, Colby Jack or cheddar would work, but you can also experiment with any other semi-soft cheese of your choice, such as pepper Jack, Havarti, or Swiss.

For the toppings, you could go with chopped yellow, red, or white onions in place of or in addition to the green ones, while any color of bell pepper could replace the yellow. If you like your food to be spicy, you could even swap these out for jalapeños. If you want to replace or supplement the protein, Shungu suggests using taco meat or shredded chicken, while chorizo, chopped ham, and pulled pork are other options. The tater tots, too, are subject to change -- Shungu suggests that you could "substitute in regular tater tots or even french fries."

Loaded Cheesy Sweet Potato Tots Recipe

loaded tater tots on plate
loaded tater tots on plate - Kate Shungu/Mashed

Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 25mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients

  • 1 (20-ounce) bag frozen sweet potato tots

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

  • 1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained

  • 3 green onions, sliced

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup milk

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Bake the tots according to package directions.

  2. Meanwhile, gather the bacon, pimentos, green onions, and yellow pepper so that they're ready when the tots come out of the oven.

  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.

  4. Stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute.

  5. Whisk in the milk and salt, and let cook for 2–3 minutes, or until thick.

  6. Whisk in the Gruyère and Dijon mustard. Set over low heat, whisking occasionally, until the tots are done.

  7. When the tots have finished cooking, place them on a serving platter.

  8. Top the tots with the Gruyère cheese sauce, then add the bacon, pimentos, green onions, and yellow pepper. Serve while still hot.

Read the original article on Mashed.