You’ll love cooking air fried frozen tater tots. Once you make them in the air fryer, you’ll never want to cook them any other way. Promise! Air fried potato puffs are amazing: the texture is crispy, perfect without all the oil.

Air fried frozen tater tots in the air fryer in a basket

How to Cook Air Fried Frozen Tater Tots (potato puffs)

You really don’t need to add extra oil spray at all because the frozen tater tots already have oil in them. But if you decide to spray with oil, the tater tots will just have a more “crispy deep fried” texture. Add your favorite dip to a plate of these and you’ll have the best snack ever. Air frying these potato puffs or tater tots gives an incredible crunch that the traditional big oven doesn’t.

Video: Air Fryer Tater Tots:

Air fried frozen tater tots in the air fryer in a bowl

Can you cook air fried frozen tater tots in the air fryer?

  • Yes! Check out the photos below. There’s so many different sizes of tater tots or potato puffs, so adjust timing as needed.
  • Also, each air fryer cooks a little differently. So you’ll have to adjust time and temp accordingly. Just use our temperature recommendations below and keep checking the potatoes.
  • Once you cook your first batch, you’ll know what is the best time for your style of air fryer, potato puffs or tots.
  • See recipe below for details.

Do you Need to Thaw First?

No. You don’t need the thaw the tater tots before air frying. You’ll get the best results by air frying them straight from the freezer. Cooking from frozen gives them the crispiest outside. We’re obsessed with these air fried potato puffs.

Air fried frozen tater tots in the air fryer step by step photos
Air fried frozen tater tots in the air fryer |

Air Fryer Frozen Tater Tots (Puffs)

Lots of factors influence outcome of how the tots or puffs cook. They all vary in size, thickness, and sometimes the coating so you’ll have to adjust timing. For smaller air fryers (less than 5qt.) 1 pound is about the max without overcrowding the air fryer. The more you fill the basket the more frequently you’ll want to shake the basket to help them cook evenly. If you have a larger air fryer, you can cook more so long as the basket isn’t filled more than 1/2 full. 
All air fryers are different and some cook much hotter than others. Once you cook your first batch, you’ll know more of what works for your model of air fryer and size of food. These were tested on basket style air fryers. Read more recipe notes below the recipe.
5 from 3 votes


  • 1 lb. (454 g) Frozen Tater Tots (Potato Puffs, etc.)
  • salt , to taste
  • black pepper , to taste



  • Place the frozen tots (puffs)in the air fryer basket and spread out evenly. No oil spray is needed.
  • Air Fry at 400°F/205°C for 5-8 minutes. Shake and gently stir about halfway through cooking. If cooking larger batches, or if your tots (puffs) don't cook evenly, try turning them multiple times on following batches.
  • If needed air fry at 400°F/205°C for an additional 1-3 minutes or until crisped to your liking. Season with salt & pepper, if desired.


Air Frying Tips and Notes:
  1. No Oil Necessary. Cook Frozen – Do not thaw first.
  2. Shake or turn if needed. Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket.
  3. Recipe timing is based on a non-preheated air fryer. If cooking in multiple batches back to back, the following batches may cook a little quicker. 
  4. Recipes were tested in 3.7 to 6 qt. air fryers. If using a larger air fryer, they might cook quicker so adjust cooking time.
  5. Remember to set a timer to shake/flip/toss as directed in recipe.

If your air fryer is preheated or if you are cooking multiple batches, you may need to reduce timing by a few minutes (unless preheating is called for in the recipe).


Nutrition Information

Calories: 201kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 485mg, Potassium: 301mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg

Check out more french fry recipes here.