These crunchy, bite-size tater tots are a homemade take on a fun childhood classic.

Serves 4


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 russet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds total), peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped chives
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup instant mashed potatoes flakes
  • Canola oil, for frying


Active time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until just slightly tender, 6 to 7 minutes; drain and set aside to let cool briefly. While still warm, grate potatoes on the large holes of a box grater and transfer to a large bowl. Using your hands, mix in chives, thyme, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Form mixture into 24 balls, using about 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the potato mixture for each. Press them together firmly so they hold their shape. (Clean your hands from time to time to make the shaping easier.) Place potato flakes in a medium bowl, then roll potato balls through flakes to coat, shaking off any excess; transfer to a sheet tray.

Pour oil into a large, deep skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch, then heat over medium-high heat; oil is ready when a potato ball sizzles vigorously when dropped in. Working in two or three batches, fry potato balls, turning occasionally, until deep golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet tray to let drain; serve warm.

Serve with sour cream or crème fraîche as an alternative to ketchup. They can be made a day in advance and reheated in the oven at 350° until hot and crispy.


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