By Allrecipes Magazine

King Tot

Dan Whalen is on a comfort-food crusade to reimagine tater tots for home cooks everywhere. It's good timing, too: The number of "tater tots" searches on Allrecipes is soaring. See how he makes tots the star of the show.

By Doug Crichton

Photo: Kim Cornelison

The Tot Tycoon

Since launching his blog in 2008, author Dan Whalen has created more than 1,000 recipes with fun twists on popular dishes. His latest fascination is the humble tater tot, and it's the star of his cookbook "Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes." You can check out his blog at

1. Chicken Tot Pies

"I tried to really push boundaries, and breaking tots up into a pot pie crust was definitely one of my favorite unusual uses," Dan says.

Photo: Kim Cornelison

2. Sriracha Gouda Grilled Cheese with Sweet Potato Tots

"People often forget that tots are a shortcut ingredient," Dan says. "Instead of having to cook sweet potatoes, just heat up tots for this sandwich."

Photo: Kim Cornelison

3. Lobster-Loaded Tots

"I'm from New England, where lobster is a tradition. My favorite way to use it: combine a fancy ingredient like lobster with a humble ingredient like a tot," Dan says. "The avocado crema and hot sauce really make this dish, though."

Photo: Kim Cornelison

4. Mapo Tofu Tots

"Mapo tofu is something I tried for the first time only recently, and I was instantly hooked," Dan says. "The flavors are pure comfort food to me. Any dish that can be served on top of rice can easily be served on top of tots."

Photo: Kim Cornelison

5. Tot Sliders

"In my world of blogging, the cuter a recipe looks, the better it does on social media. This dish is one of the times where it tastes as good as it looks," says Dan.

Photo: Kim Cornelison

"Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes is available to buy at

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This article originally appeared in the August/September 2019 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.