I think I was first introduced to the idea of Tater Tot Nachos by my food blogger buddy Dan. The idea of substituting tortilla chips for tater tots was questionable to me at first, because I was worried about the crunchy factor, but as long as you prepare them correctly, Tater Tot Nachos are amazing and I might even argue that this kicked-up green chile version is even better than the standard!
As with so many recipes, these tater tot nachos are at the same time rigid in the steps you need to take to nail them, but also very flexible in possible substitutions.
Once you have your piping hot, crunchy tot nachos ready, you can serve them easily as an appetizer or as a dinner.
How to prepare tater tots for these totchos
In my opinion, the most important step in this recipe is how you prepare the tater tots. You want to make sure they get nice and crispy before you load them up with cheese and toppings.
I recommend doing this by lightly oiling a large baking dish and spreading out the tater tots in an even layer. Sprinkle the tater tots liberally with taco seasoning and bake them in a very hot 450˚F oven for about 30 minutes. They should start to get very golden brown and delicious. If you notice they are cooking unevenly, you can stir them, but the more you mess with them the more you run the risk of them starting to fall apart.
Once you have crispy tater tots, you can finish off the green chile tater tot nachos in just a few minutes!
It’s worth noting that even with this pre-bake method for the tots, there will still be some tots that get overly topped and end up falling apart. This is actually okay. The sections that fall apart turn into this kind of crispy potato casserole situation. While it requires a fork for these sections, it’s very good eats.
How to cook the chorizo and other protein ideas
I like to top my green chile tater tot nachos with spicy chorizo. Loose chorizo is very easy to cook. Just brown it in a skillet over medium-low heat to avoid it burning and break it up as it cooks.
Once it is browned and cooked through, remove it from the stove and let it rest while your tater tots finish cooking.
While I like spicy chorizo for my topping, there are many topping options you can try. Ground beef is fine as long as you season it well. Minced up chicken would work as well. Or you can just skip the meat and go with sauteed peppers and onions and black beans.
Baked tater tot nacho toppings
I recommend splitting the toppings into two categories for these nachos: baked and fresh. The baked toppings should go back in the oven for a few minutes with the tater tots.
These toppings including chorizo, shredded cheddar cheese or monterey jack cheese, green chile sauce, and red onions.
Add these toppings to the tater tot nachos and then they go back in the oven for another 10 minutes to get melty and delicious.
Fresh Tater tot nacho toppings
Once your melted tater tot nachos come out of the oven, you can add your fresh toppings including tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, and minced cilantro.
These toppings would just fall apart if you added them before baking so it’s best to add them right before serving. In fact, the sour cream and avocado you could just leave on the side so people can help themselves.
Other after-baking topping ideas you could add would be pico de gallo (I would sub out the green chile sauce if you use this), green onions, pickled jalapenos, and even black olives would be good!
How to reheat these tater tot nachos
These tater tot nachos do okay the next day actually. This is especially true for the sections that don’t have sour cream and avocado.
If you want to reheat a section of this recipe, the best way to do it is actually in a skillet. If you have a good non-stick skillet, add a drizzle of oil and then try to transfer the “totchos” out in mostly one piece, keeping the tater tots on the bottom.
Place them in a hot skillet and cover with a lid over low heat. The skillet will crisp up the tater tots on the bottom and steam the top to remelt the cheese. It works great!
Green Chile Tater Tot Nachos
- 32 oz. frozen tater tots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for dish
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 pound chorizo, browned
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1 cup green chile sauce
- 8 oz. grated cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 avocado, diced
- Cilantro, minced
- LIghtly oil your 9×13 baking dish and lay out your tater tots in a flat layer. It's okay if there is some overlap. Sprinkle the tater tots with taco seasoning. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook chorizo in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks. Remove from heat when cooked through and browned.
- Prepare other toppings: dicing onions and tomato, shredded cheese, and prepping avocado and cilantro.
- When tater tots are crispy, top with most of the cheese, the green chile sauce, and the chorizo and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove tater tot nachos and top with fresh toppings like onions, tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, and cilantro. Serve while warm!