Crispy Air Fryer Sonic Tater Tots: Skip the Drive-Thru!

I was so excited to find out that Sonic Tots are now available in the freezer section of the grocery store! I love their tots, but having to drive over to the restaurant is way out of my way, so I hardly ever get them. Enter air fryer Sonic tater tots, which make them perfectly crispy, right at home!

how to make air fryer sonic tater tots dinners done quick

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Tater tots are crispy, poppable bites of potato that are loved by kids and adults alike! They’re the perfect side dish anywhere you’d serve french fries, but they also work well as breakfast or a snack.

If you love Sonic’s tots, then you’re in even more luck! Their iconic potato nuggets are now available in the freezer section of the grocery store. No more heading to the restaurant when you can just reach into your freezer.

holding up a golden brown air fryer sonic tater tot

Your air fryer is the perfect tool for cooking them up perfectly! There’s no deep frying required, so you can use way less oil, and you only need to shake the basket a couple times. Now that’s easy!

What You’ll Need: Ingredients

frozen sonic tots pouring out of bag
  • Frozen Sonic tots
  • Salt to taste

Ingredient Notes

  • While this recipe is specifically geared towards the Sonic tots, the same directions apply to other brands of frozen tater tots as well. Ore Ida and McCain are two other common brands
  • A typical bag is 28 ounces and that’s 9 servings. You may be able to find larger bags at wholesale stores like Costco as well. You may cook as many servings at a time as fit in your air fryer basket in a single layer without adding cooking time
  • I typically serve my Sonic tots with salt and ketchup to keep it simple, but you can add any french fry seasoning or dipping sauces you like!

Variations of Air Fryer Tater Tots

  • Sonic Style (Copycat). Add canned no bean chili and shredded cheddar cheese. Optional additions are diced white onions and jalapenos
  • Bacon Cheddar. Top with cheese sauce and cooked, diced bacon
  • Spicy. Add diced pickled jalapenos and sriracha aioli to the top
  • Loaded. Top with cooked diced bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, sliced green onions
  • Breakfast. Add crumbled bacon, scrambled eggs, and sausage gravy
  • Buffalo. Add buffalo sauce, ranch or blue cheese dressing, blue cheese crumbles, and popcorn chicken (optional)
  • Cheeseburger. Add seasoned brown ground beef, American cheese, diced onions, pickles, ketchup, and mustard
  • Pizza. Add pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, and pizza sauce (or your other favorite toppings)

Air Fryer Sonic Tater Tots Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F
  2. Place the frozen Sonic tots into the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer
place frozen sonic tater tots in air fryer basket
  1. Cook on the air fry setting for 10 minutes, stopping halfway through to shake the basket. If they’re not as deep brown as you’d like, feel free to add a few extra minutes
  2. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot
overhead view of air fryer sonic tater tots plain and chili cheese

What to Serve With Tater Tots

Entrees

  • Hot Dogs
  • Sausages
  • Hamburgers
  • Sandwiches
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Smothered pork chops
  • Chicken tenders
  • Green salad

Pair your Sonic Tots with my Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs in the Air Fryer, Air Fryer Frozen Hamburgers, Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer, Air Fryer Aldi Red Bag Chicken, or any of my delicious Air Fryer Sandwich Recipes.

Breakfast

  • Eggs (any style)
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Pancakes
  • Fresh fruit

For some quick options, check out my Frozen Sausage Patties in the Air Fryer, Frozen Pancakes in the Air Fryer, or Turkey Bacon in the Air Fryer.

Dipping Sauces

  • Ketchup
  • Garlic aioli
  • Sriracha aioli
  • Queso
  • Ranch dressing
  • Curry mayo
  • Spicy ketchup

My creamy Air Fryer Queso is a great choice!

Drinks

  • Sauvignon blanc
  • Pinot noir
  • Lagers
  • IPAs
  • Soda (pop)
  • Citrus based cocktails

Try my Lime Vodka Sour for the perfect sip!

Recipe FAQs

How Do I Prevent the Tater Tots From Sticking to the Air Fryer Basket?

Tater tots generally do not stick to the air fryer basket. However, if you have this problem, spray the basket with nonstick spray before adding the tots.

Alternatively, you may use perforated parchment or nonstick foil to line the basket. Make sure to use perforated so air can get through, as this ensures the tots get crispy.

What’s the Ideal Air Fryer Temperature For Crispy Tater Tots?

The ideal air fryer temperature for crispy tater tots is 400°F.

While you can use lower temperatures and they’ll still cook, they won’t get as crispy on the outside as with a higher temperature.

Can I Use a Parchment Paper Liner For Air Frying Tater Tots?

Yes, you can use a parchment paper line for air frying tater tots. However, for best results, use perforated parchment.

The perforations allow for better airflow, which results in a crispier tater tot.

How Do I Add Seasoning to Tater Tots Before Air Frying?

If you want to add seasoning to tater tots before frying, lightly coat them in olive oil and sprinkle the desired seasoning on.

However, adding seasoning after cooking, while they are still hot, actually results in better adhesion and flavor on the tots.

What’s the Best Way to Reheat Leftover Air Fryer Tater Tots?

The best way to reheat leftover air fryer tater tots is in the air fryer at 350°F for 3-5 minutes.

While you could also microwave them, they’ll lose their crispiness that way.

Can I Put a Whole Bag of Tater Tots in the Air Fryer?

You can put a whole bag of tater tots in the air fryer, so long as it fits in a single layer with some air space. Overpacking the basket will result in uneven cooking and lack of crisping.

The exact amount you can fit depends on the size of the bag, and the size of your air fryer. Cook in batches if needed, and hold cooked tots in an oven at 200°F while the remaining batches cook if you’d like.

How Long Do I Put Frozen Tater Tots in the Air Fryer?

Typically, you put frozen tater tots in the air fryer for about 10 minutes. You can add more time if desired for a darker brown on the outside.

Air fryers do vary between brands and models, so it is normal for there to be some variance here. Make sure not to overpack your basket, and cook in batches if needed.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • Sonic does include air fryer directions on the bag. However, I find that their indicated temperature of 360°F is not sufficient to get the crispy outside you desire with a tot, which is why I cook them at a higher temperature
  • You do not need to add additional oil to the tots for cooking, as they add some into the tots prior to freezing
  • My 8 Qt Ninja air fryer can hold 30 tots per 4-qt dual zone basket, so I am able to cook 60 at a time comfortably. Other air fryer sizes will of course vary
closeup of air fryer sonic tater tots with chili, cheese, onion, and jalapeno

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • Store completely cooled leftover Sonic tots in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Do not refreeze once they have been cooked once
  • To reheat, air fry leftover tater tots at 350°F for 3-5 minutes, until re-crisped and hot

More Crispy Potato Air Fryer Recipes

Final Thoughts

Forget the drive thru (or is it a drive in in this case?) and grab your air fryer instead! These air fryer Sonic Tots are the perfectly crispy potato nuggets you love, right from your freezer.

Whether you enjoy them with a simple salt sprinkle and ketchup, or load them up with your own favorite toppings and creations like Totchos, they make a perfect side dish, snack, and more.

The best part is, making tots in the air fryer is quick, easy, and loved by kids and adults alike. They pair with a variety of other foods, making them versatile as well!

how to make air fryer sonic tater tots dinners done quick

Crispy Air Fryer Sonic Tots

Air fryer Sonic tater tots bring the best of fast food right to your freezer! They cook up crispy and hot in only 10 minutes, making for the perfect side or snack.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Servings 1
Calories 180 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 10 Frozen Sonic Tots (or more servings if desired)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F
  • Place the frozen Sonic tots into the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer
    10 Frozen Sonic Tots
  • Cook on the air fry setting for 10 minutes, stopping halfway through to shake the basket. If they’re not as deep brown as you’d like, feel free to add a few extra minutes
  • Sprinkle with salt and serve hot
    Salt to taste

Notes

  • While this recipe is specifically geared towards the Sonic tots, the same directions apply to other brands of frozen tater tots as well. Ore Ida and McCain are two other common brands
  • A typical bag is 28 ounces and that’s 9 servings (of 10 tots each). You may cook as many servings at a time as fit in your air fryer basket in a single layer without adding cooking time. My 8 Qt Ninja air fryer can hold 30 tots per 4-qt dual zone basket, so I am able to cook 60 at a time comfortably. Other air fryer sizes will of course vary
  • I typically serve my Sonic tots with salt and ketchup to keep it simple, but you can add any french fry seasoning or dipping sauces you like, or see my variations section for different loaded toppings!
  • Sonic does include air fryer directions on the bag. However, I find that their indicated temperature of 360°F is not sufficient to get the crispy outside you desire with a tot, which is why I cook them at a higher temperature
  • You do not need to add additional oil to the tots for cooking, as they add some into the tots prior to freezing
  • Store completely cooled leftover Sonic tots in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Do not refreeze once they have been cooked once
  • To reheat, air fry leftover tater tots at 350°F for 3-5 minutes, until re-crisped and hot
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on any sauces or toppings added, and actual quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 84gCalories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2.5gSodium: 360mgPotassium: 340mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.34mg
Keyword air fry tater tots, air fryer sonic tater tots, air fryer sonic tater tots recipes, frozen tater tots air fryer, ninja air fryer sonic tater tots, sonic tots, tater tots
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how to make air fryer sonic tater tots dinners done quick pinterest
Katie Vine