German Tater Tot® Potato Salad


While this recipe may upset a few Germans, it's a risk I'm willing to take. Tossed with a warm bacon dressing and made easy with crispy, crunchy, frozen potato nuggets, this take on a German potato salad makes an already easy recipe even easier. If you're a fan of Tater Tots®, you'll find this salad to be spectacular in taste, texture, and appearance. Plus, there's no peeling, slicing, or boiling necessary!

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
8 servings

This one is dedicated to people who don't like to follow directions.

It's been my experience that most people like tater tots. It's also been my experience that most people don't like to peel and cut potatoes. And that's just two reasons for why I think most people will love this German "tater tot" potato salad. Also, there's bacon involved. This is a very simple recipe and the hot bacon dressing couldn't be easier, but one thing must happen for this to be a complete success.

You have to be able to not follow directions. The instructions on your bag of frozen tater tots is probably going to say to bake for 30 minutes or so, which might be fine if they're going to be eaten as-is, but for this German salad application, they must be extra crispy, and will need at least 10 extra minutes. Maybe more.

This will prevent them from falling apart when we toss them, as well as improve the texture of the overall dish. The only other advice I'll give: Make sure you enjoy this salad hot, warm, or at the very least room temp, since cold bacon dressing is not something we generally want to eat. You can also make the dressing ahead of time, so it's ready to reheat and toss with your tots as soon as they're ready. In any case, whether you pair these with a meaty main course or enjoy them as a stand-alone dish, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

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  • canola oil cooking spray

  • 1 (28 ounce) package frozen bite-sized potato nuggets (such as Tater Tots®)

  • 1 (8 ounce) package bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

  • cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Cover a sheet pan with foil, and spray generously with cooking spray.

  2. Spread frozen potato nuggets evenly on the prepared pan, then spray the tops with cooking spray.

  3. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until well browned and extra crispy, 40 to 45 minutes. Please note, this will be about 10 to 15 minutes longer than the package directions.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare dressing: Place bacon in a cold, dry pan. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until fat has rendered, and bacon is foamy and almost crisp. Reduce heat to medium and toss in diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to soften and turn translucent, about 3 minutes.

  5. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook until sugar just starts to caramelize onto the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan by stirring in apple cider vinegar and scraping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits. Turn off the heat.

  6. Remove Tater Tots® from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a large mixing bowl. Pour warm bacon dressing over top and toss until thoroughly and evenly coated. Mix in parsley and chives. Taste and adjust for salt before serving.

Chef's Notes:

Choose potato nuggets with the fewest ingredients on the label, like potatoes, salt, and oil.

The bacon dressing can be used to make a warm spinach salad or spooned over a chicken breast or pork chop. You could even try it over vanilla ice cream, no joke!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

242 Calories
13g Fat
30g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 242
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 852mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 353mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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