15-Minute Air Fryer Totchos Recipe

Nachos covered in cheesy goodness, sauce, and veggies is the perfect summer afternoon plate to serve while relaxing on the patio — but it's not the only option. Just like their older counterpart, totchos have become a staple menu item in restaurants and bars across the United States, and it's no mystery as to why. Crispy tater tots make a mouthwatering pairing with the vegetables, cheese, beans, and sour cream that have become go-to toppings for a massive platter of nachos.

Recipe developer Laura Sampson of Little House Big Alaska has an air fryer totchos recipe that makes for a perfect snack to share with family and friends on a nice summer day. With a little bit of prep time and a cook time of just 11 minutes, you can dive into this classic dish in 15 minutes. Whether you like your totchos smothered in salsa or heavy on the cheese, there's plenty of room for experimentation and taste-testing with this recipe. If you're ready to eat, let's get started.

Gather your ingredients to prepare air fryer totchos

If you've ever made nachos, you'll find that a lot of the ingredients for this recipe are deliciously familiar. You'll need frozen tater tots, oil, cheddar cheese (shredded), refried beans (from a can or homemade), lettuce (chopped), and a tomato (chopped). In addition, you'll need some green onions, sour cream, lime juice, salsa, and cilantro. Summertime is such a great time to whip this up, since so many ingredients can be picked up fresh from your local farmers market.

If there are any other toppings you enjoy, feel free to add them into the mix. As for additional toppings, the possibilities are truly endless. "Add any super nacho ingredients you love to this recipe — you can't go wrong," Sampson says.

Fry the tater tots

Start by taking a piece of parchment paper and cutting holes in it. "The holes can be of random size and placement," Sampson notes. "They just need to be small enough that the tots don't fall through and far enough apart to allow for airflow."

Now, line your air fryer basket with the paper, and put the tater tots on top. Using a spray bottle with vegetable or light olive oil, lightly cover the surface of the tater tots — about two to three spritzes should do the trick.

Next, set your fryer to 400 F, and fry your tater tots for 10 minutes. At the five-minute mark, give the basket a shake to mix them up a bit. They should be crispy and golden brown on the outside when they're done (see the above photo). If the tops aren't crispy after 10 minutes, keep the tater tots in the frier for an additional two minutes.

Prepare your vegetables, cheese, and sour cream mix

You can prepare your vegetables and cheese while your tater tots are in the fryer. Start by putting all of your veggies and your cheese onto a big cutting board. Now, dice the avocado, chop the lettuce and tomato, and snip the green onions with a pair of scissors.

If you're a bit rusty with a knife, take a look at our guide for veggie prepping info. (The most important tips for this recipe are washing your produce, using a sharp knife, and making sure your veggies are all uniform pieces.) Finally, you can mix the sour cream with 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and you're ready for the next step!

Fry your tater tots with cheese and beans

When your tater tots are crispy and golden brown on top, evenly spread the shredded cheese and beans across them. Once you have a nice even coat of these toppings on top of your tater tots, cook the combination for one to two minutes in the air fryer. At the end of this step, the cheese should be melted and the beans should be warm. If you're unsure, take a look at the photo above for reference. 

Get excited, because you are so close to enjoying your loaded air fryer totchos! All you have to do is one more step.

Serve your air fryer totchos

When the tater tots, cheese, and beans are all fried, carefully slide the parchment paper out of the basket and onto a serving tray. Now comes the fun part: beefing up your meal with some toppings and garnish. Start by adding the lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado chunks, as well as any additional cheese. For your sour cream and lime mixture, put it into a Ziplock bag, seal it, and snip off a corner. Afterward, carefully squeeze the bag and drizzle the mixture across the totchos.

In the final stretch, top off your tocthos with some salsa, snipped cilantro, and anything else you'd like. "You can leave off any of the toppings you don't care for," Sampson says. "And of course, you can just plop the sour cream on top if you like it that way."

Although you can serve your totchos with another meal, they have more than enough heft to act as the main course. "This makes a great one-dish type of snack-y lunch — I don't think it needs to be served with anything else," Sampson says. And if you have leftovers, you can certainly store them for one or two days in the refrigerator, but this recipe is best enjoyed immediately. As Sampson notes, "This doesn't make for good leftovers because the tots get soggy."

15-Minute Air Fryer Totchos Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
Crispy tater tots make a mouthwatering pairing with the vegetables, cheese, beans, and sour cream. This 15-minute air fryer totchos recipe won't disappoint.
Prep Time
Cook Time
totchos with loaded toppings
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 2 ½ cups frozen tater tots
  • 2 to 3 spritzes of oil
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¾ cup lettuce, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 green onions, snipped
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons refried beans
Optional Ingredients
  • salsa, for topping
  • cilantro, for topping
  1. Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper liner or a sheet of parchment with holes cut in it.
  2. Place the tater tots in the air fryer basket, and spritz them lightly with oil.
  3. Fry the tater tots at 400 F for 10 minutes. When they have cooked for 5 minutes, give the basket a shake to mix them up a bit.
  4. Prepare the vegetables and cheese on a large cutting board.
  5. Mix the sour cream with 1 tablespoon of lime juice.
  6. Check the tots for crispiness. If they need more time, cook them for another 2 minutes.
  7. Top the tater tots with shredded cheese and beans. Fry them again for 1 to 2 minutes to melt the cheese and warm the beans.
  8. Slide the parchment paper out of the basket and onto or into a serving tray.
  9. Top the totchos with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado chunks. Add more cheese as you desire.
  10. Load a Ziplock bag with the sour cream, and snip off a corner. Drizzle the sour cream over the totchos.
  11. Add salsa, snipped cilantro, and any additional garnishes.
  12. Serve and enjoy your totchos.
Calories per Serving 949
Total Fat 91.7 g
Saturated Fat 21.4 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 77.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.1 g
Dietary Fiber 9.2 g
Total Sugars 4.4 g
Sodium 505.6 mg
Protein 19.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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