Few can resist a fried potato. The salty, crispy, and savory spuds are highly adaptable, appeal to every age, and almost never disappoint. However, on the quest for a leaner bod, tots can be a dangerous pit stop that quickly turns into a detour. For this reason, we curated a list of recipes that can be as healthy and diet-friendly or cheat meal-ish as you want. From veggie tots to tofu, there's something here for everyone. And for more ways to healthify the most decadent dishes, check out these 20 French Toast Recipes That Won't Derail Your Diet.
BAKED CAULI TOTS
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 178 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated), 207 mg sodium, 10.7 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 11 g protein
If you haven't already jumped on the cauliflower train, here's your chance. The versatile veggie is packed with belly-slimming fiber, detoxifies your body, serves up 77 percent of your vitamin C quota, and fights inflammation. One or two of these tots and we promise you won't want to get off.
Get the recipe from Cupcakes and Kale Chips.
HOMEMADE TATER TOTS
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 220 calories, 11.1 g fat (1 g saturated), 10.2 g sodium, 2.4 g fiber, 1.2 g sugar, 3.3 g protein
If there's a bag of frozen tots somewhere in your freezer right now (and basically always), this one is for you. While we understand their convenience, store bought premade potatoes often contain added fat (before they even hit the frying pan), making them a flat-belly nightmare. Not to mention, how many times have they fallen victim to freezer burn? Make your own from scratch. Not only will they taste better, but you get to control what goes into them. For more foods to never to never put in your shopping cart again, check out these 150 Worst Packaged Foods in America.
Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.
CHEESY BACON TOPPED TATER TOTS
Nutrition (per 5 tot serving): 216 calories, 9.3 g fat (3.1 g saturated), 383 mg sodium, 23.7 g carbs, 3.5 g carbs, 1.8 g sugar, 10 g protein
At ETNT, we are huge fans of foods that come together easily because time is almost always not on our side. And while you may be romanticized by many of the recipes on this list, the reality is you don't actually have the time to make your own tater tots, right? Wrong. These guys are made in mini cupcake tins and require you to combine their ingredients, scoop and press bake. No excuses here.
Get the recipe from Well Plated.
TATER TOT WAFFLES
Nutrition (per 1 waffle serving): 238 calories, 13 g fat (3.7 g saturated), 266 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 2.6 g fiber, 1.3 g sugar, 2.6 g protein (calculated without salt)
Carboholics rejoice. We are about to make all of your dreams come true with these tater tot waffles. The best part? They aren't even that carby and contain calorie-scorching cajun seasoning. Just make sure to pair it with a protein like egg whites or nonfat
Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.
BUTTERNUT TOTS WITH SPICY MAPLE MUSTARD
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 170 calories, 4.1 g fat (<1 g saturated), 332 mg sodium, 30.4 g carbs, 4.4 g fiber, 7.9 g sugar, 5 g protein
From hunger-taming fiber and essential minerals to carotenoids, butternut squash offers a plethora of nutrients at little caloric cost. As a tater tot ingredient, it creates crispy salty and sweet bite-sized pieces of heaven.
Get the recipe from Connoisseurus Veg.
TATER TOT PIZZA CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per slice, yields 8): 321 calories, 18.5 g fat (5 g saturated), 469 mg sodium, 17.7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1.4 g sugar, 23 g protein (calculated with part skim mozzarella and no salt added tomato sauce)
Before you deem this a dietary sin, keep in mind that research says occasional cheat meals actually boost your metabolism and ward off feelings of deprivation. The key is planning and we highly recommend planning in this one.
Get the recipe from Oh Sweet Basil.
ROASTED PUMPKIN CHIPOTLE CHEDDAR TOTS WITH AVOCADO BLUE CHEESE
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 253 calories, 17 g fat (7.5 g saturated), 263 mg sodium, 17.1 g carbs, 4.5 g fiber, 5.2 g sugar, 10.5 g protein (calculated without salt)
Whoever said pumpkins were so last season was seriously wrong. Why give up the opportunity to feel fuller, improve your vision, sleep better, get a natural glow, lower blood pressure and more? Plus, this recipe is paired with a dip made from the waist-whittling avocado. And according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) published in Nutrition Journal, avocado eaters report a lower body mass index and smaller waist circumference. Plus, they consume significantly more fruits and vegetables.
Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.
Nutrition (per ¾ cup serving): 349 calories, 12.5 g fat (3.2 g saturated), 420 mg sodium, 41 g carbs, 7.2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 22 g protein (calculated with ground turkey)
As if tater tots could get any more enticing, this recipe tops them with ground turkey, taco seasoning, black beans, cheddar cheese, diced tomato and onions. And luckily for you, fiber-packed black beans are tiny rapid weight loss bullets. What's more? Thanks to anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function, they can actually make you smarter. Just make sure to practice serious portion control with this one. Any more than one serving can wreck havoc on your body goals.
Get the recipe from Just a Taste.
4 INGREDIENT ZUCCHINI TATER TOTS
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 138 calories, <1 g fat (0 g saturated), 211 mg sodium, 31.2 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 3.2 g sugar, 4 g protein
Zucchinis flawlessly adapt to whatever ingredients they're combined with, all while you cut calories, carbs, fat, and sodium from even the most atrocious nutritional profiles. And these tots are no exception. Only 138 calories for an entire cup and less than one gram of fat? Heck yes!
Get the recipe from She Likes Food.
QUINOA CRUSTED BROCCOLI CHEESE TOTS
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 275 calories, 5.5 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 347 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 4.6 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 13 g protein
What would happen if you traded flour and breadcrumbs for the mightiest of supergrains and potato for broccoli? These hunger-busting cheesy tots. All the crunchy, savory flavor for a portion of the fat and a whopping 13 grams of satiating protein and 4.6 grams of belly-slimming fiber.
Get the recipe from No Spoon Necessary.
LOADED TATER TOT SKEWERS
Nutrition (per skewer): 227 calories, 11.5 g fat (2.8 g saturated), 441 mg sodium, 27.6 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 5 g protein (calculated with reduced fat cheese)
Anything that's preceded by "loaded" is freakin' awful for your six pack–unless it's got portion control already built into it. Thank you skewers.
Get the recipe from Made With Happy.
TATER TOT CHICKEN POT HOTDISH
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 261 calories, 10.2 g fat (3.1 g saturated), 461 mg sodium, 23.5 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 4.4 g sugar, 19 g protein
Never has there been a more timely meal with temps lingering in the teens to lower twenties. Just in case you're not familiar, a hotdish is a type of casserole that contains a starch, a meat, a creamed soup, and a vegetable. The ingredients are dumped together and tossed into the oven to bake. This one was inspired by the American fave: chicken pot pie, only it also contains tater tots. Normally, we would steer you away from this kind of flab trap. However, in this case, you can enjoy a one cup serving for minimal nutritional costs. For a foolproof casserole, check out these 25 Best Casserole Tips.
Get the recipe from My Name is Yeh.
HEALTHY BAKED BROCCOLI TOTS
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 95 calories, 3.6 g fat (1.6 g saturated), 210 mg sodium, 11.2 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1.7 g sugar, 5.4 g protein
What if eating tater tots could fend off cancer? Sounds good, right? According to clinical trials, consuming the cruciferous veggie just a few times a week can effectively "switch off" cancer genes, lowering rates of prostate, breast, lung and skin cancers! P.S. Check out that nutritional profile.
Get the recipe from Gimmie Delicious.
GLUTEN FREE TATER TOTS
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 176 calories, 4 g fat (1.8 g saturated), 137 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 2.9 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 6 g protein
If you're one of the many who avoids gluten like the plague, this one is for you. No pot bellies or tummy troubles with this "freezer staple all grown up." For the skinny on gluten-free, check out these 30 Gluten-Free Questions Answered in Five Words or Less.
Get the recipe from What the Fork.
BAKED SWEET POTATO TOTS
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 170 calories, <1 g fat (0 g saturated), 202 mg sodium, 39.2 g carbs, 5 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 2.5 g protein
One serving of these sweet potato tots serves up 25 percent of the day's belly-filling fiber and 11 times the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Not to mention they're made with just three wholesome ingredients. You won't find that in the freezer aisle.
Get the recipe from Whitney Bond.
BANG BANG CAULIFLOWER
Nutrition (per ¾ cup serving): 231 calories, 6.9 g fat (1.4 g saturated), 446 mg sodium, 34.5 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 8.4 g sugar, 7.5 g protein
If you're addicted to Sriracha (who isn't), you probably look for just about any excuse to use it. The "rooster sauce" was born in Sri Racha, Thailand by combining chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. Its low-cal flavor and calorie burning effect have made it one of the most widely utilized food enhancers. However, adding just one tablespoon to your tots increases the sodium count by 300 milligrams. While your body needs salt to function properly, too much can cause bloating, inflammation, high blood pressure, and heart disease. For this reason, we don't recommend drenching your cauliflower in it no matter how tempted you are. P.S. Not all hot sauce is created equal. To help you navigate, check out these 18 Best and Worst Hot Sauces-Ranked!.
Get the recipe from Kirbie Cravings.
SWEET POTATO TOT HOTDISH
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 323 calories, 10.8 g fat (4.3 g saturated), 406 mg sodium, 41 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 17.8 g protein
Now that you're familiar with a hotdish, this one combines sautéed garlic, green chili peppers, black beans, mushrooms, cheese and corn, which is then covered in a layer of sweet potato tater tots. The product is some serious comfort food, with 7 grams of belly-slimming fiber and 17.8 grams of satiating protein.
Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH TATER TOTS
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 182 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated), 353 mg sodium, 22.7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1.8 g sugar, 10 g protein
This time of year it seems like just about everyone is wondering how to lose 10 pounds. Often that means resorting to serious diet deprivation–but it doesn't have. Trading one cup of cooked spaghetti squash for pasta saves you 168 calories and 1/4 the amount of carbs. While this isn't a pasta dish, it is another traditional empty-carby culprit. Bonus: When you choose this recipe over the frozen stuff, you'll also pack in essential nutrients, including potassium, calcium, and vitamins C and A. Shed weight and eat tater tots? Yaass.
Get the recipe from Kirbie Cravings.
TOFU TATER TOTS
Nutrition (per 6 tot serving): 162 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 105 mg sodium, 27 g carbs, 4.2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 8.5 g protein
Attention all vegetarians: When it comes to tofu, we recommend opting for a fortified brand. Although traditional varieties are a good source of protein, they lack B12, an essential nutrient for healthy nerves, red blood cells, and libido.
Get the recipe from Quite Good Food.
CRISPY PARMESAN CAULIFLOWER BITES
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 237 calories, 12.8 g fat (1.9 g saturated), 346 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 15 g protein
Egg-dipped cauliflower is covered in panko breadcrumbs and parmesan and sprinkled with calorie-scorching creole seasoning. The fiery flavor comes from a chemical called capsaicin that's been shown to speed up metabolism and fight inflammation.
Get the recipe from Closet Cooking.