Tater tots are the ultimate comfort food. Those crispy, golden potato nuggets are irresistible on their own, but they become even more crave-worthy when paired with a delicious sauce. Whether you’re looking to add a creamy, tangy, or spicy kick, the right condiment can take your tater tots from boring to sensational.
From classic dips like ketchup and ranch to more gourmet options like buffalo sauce and garlic aioli, we’ve rounded up the 13 best sauces for tater tots that will tantalize your tastebuds. Keep reading to discover new ways to dress up this beloved snack!
1. Ketchup – A Classic Pairing
What’s a tater tot without ketchup? This sweet, tangy tomato sauce is arguably the most popular condiment for tater tots. The slight acidity and sweetness of ketchup perfectly complements the crispy, salty tot. But basic ketchup can get boring after a while.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up your standard ketchup by adding complementary flavors:
- For a tangy twist, stir in a spoonful of yellow mustard or relish. The extra acid brightens up the ketchup.
- Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce for some heat. Sriracha, Tabasco, and Cholula are all great options.
- For sweetness and smokiness, mix in a bit of brown sugar, maple syrup, smoked paprika, or even a splash of bourbon.
- Minced garlic or onion powder gives ketchup a savory, aromatic boost.
- Try swapping half the ketchup for barbecue sauce for a sweet and smoky flavor.
With these easy add-ins, you can turn boring ketchup into a gourmet tot topper!
2. Ranch Dressing – A Cool, Creamy Dip
Ranch and tater tots just seem to go hand in hand. The cool, creamy dressing perfectly offsets the hot, crispy tots for a satisfying flavor and texture combo. But basic ranch can get old after a while.
Luckily, it’s easy to jazz up store-bought or homemade ranch with creative mix-ins:
- For a spicy twist, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce like Tabasco.
- Mix in fresh herbs like chives, dill, or parsley for a fresh tang.
- Stir in crumbled bacon or blue cheese for a rich, savory flavor.
- For an extra creamy dip, blend in sour cream, mayo, or Greek yogurt.
- Add minced garlic or onion for aromatic depth.
- A sprinkle of paprika gives ranch a subtle smoky taste.
With these easy add-ins, you can take boring old ranch to new heights! Dip those tots and enjoy the creamy, tangy bliss.
3. Cheese Sauce – For Ooey, Gooey Tots
What’s better than tater tots? Tater tots smothered in hot, melted cheese! A creamy, gooey cheese sauce takes tater tots over the top. But basic cheese sauce can get boring after a while.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up a basic cheese sauce by adding extra flavors:
- Stir in diced jalapeños or hot sauce for a spicy kick.
- For a smoky flavor, add smoked gouda or a pinch of smoked paprika.
- Mix in crumbled bacon or chorizo for a savory, meaty flavor.
- Blend in sour cream or cream cheese for extra richness and tang.
- Fresh herbs like chives, basil, or dill give the sauce a lively flavor.
- For a Mexican twist, add diced green chiles and cumin.
With these easy add-ins, you can transform basic cheese sauce into something irresistible. Smother those tots in hot, gooey cheese bliss!
4. Barbecue Sauce – Smoky, Sweet, and Saucy
What’s better than crispy tater tots? Tater tots slathered in sticky sweet, smoky barbecue sauce! Whether you use a store-bought or homemade BBQ sauce, there are plenty of ways to spice it up:
- For a spicy kick, stir in your favorite hot sauce like Tabasco, Sriracha, or habanero sauce.
- Add minced garlic or onion for extra savory depth.
- Mix in some brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey for a caramelized flavor.
- Blend in a spoonful of mustard or vinegar for tanginess.
- Stir in a splash of bourbon, beer, or coffee for a complex flavor.
- Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary or cilantro brighten up heavy BBQ sauce.
With these easy add-ins, you can customize your barbecue sauce to match your tastes! Drizzle it generously over hot tater tots for finger-lickin’ bliss.
5. Honey Mustard – Sweet, Tangy & Addictive
Honey mustard is a criminally underrated sauce for tater tots. The sweet honey and zesty mustard make an irresistible pairing with crispy, salty tots. But basic honey mustard can get old after a while.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up honey mustard sauce with fun add-ins:
- For a kick of heat, add a pinch of cayenne, crushed red pepper, or hot sauce.
- Mix in some lemon or lime juice for extra zest.
- Add minced garlic or onion powder for savory depth.
- Stir in fresh herbs like dill, chives or parsley.
- For an Asian twist, blend in soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and chili powder.
- Swap half the mustard for brown mustard or stone ground for tang.
With these easy ways to customize honey mustard, you can create a gourmet dipping sauce for your tots!
6. Buffalo Sauce – When You Want Some Heat
If you like a little heat with your tater tots, buffalo sauce is sure to satisfy. The classic blend of hot sauce and butter packs some punch, but can get one-note after a while. Luckily, it’s easy to spice up basic buffalo sauce:
- For extra hotness, add more of your favorite hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne.
- Mix in minced garlic or onion for savory depth.
- A splash of vinegar adds tanginess to balance the heat.
- Stir in a spoonful of brown sugar or honey for sweetness.
- Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley cool down spicy buffalo sauce.
- For a creamy finish, swirl in ranch dressing, sour cream or cream cheese.
With these easy add-ins, you can customize buffalo sauce to your desired spice level! Dunk those tots and get ready for the heat.
7. Spicy Mayo – For a Creamy, Fiery Kick
If you like some creamy heat with your tater tots, spicy mayo is sure to satisfy. Mixing mayo with hot sauce gives a cool, creamy base sparked with heat. But basic spicy mayo can get boring after a while.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up spicy mayo:
- For even more heat, add extra hot sauce like sriracha.
- Mix in minced garlic or onion for savory flavor.
- Add a pinch of chili powder or cayenne for a slow, smoky burn.
- Stir in some lime or lemon juice for brightness.
- Blend in chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for smoky spice.
- Swap half the mayo for sour cream or Greek yogurt for tang.
With these easy add-ins, you can customize spicy mayo to tantalize your tastebuds! Use it to dip those hot tots for the perfect amount of creamy heat.
8. Avocado Ranch – Cool, Creamy, and Nutty
For a cool, creamy dip with nutty avocado flavor, avocado ranch is sure to satisfy. Combining ranch with mashed avocado gives a tangy, lush texture perfect for dunking crispy tots. But basic avocado ranch can get boring after one too many tot dunks.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up avocado ranch:
- Mix in diced tomatoes or salsa for a fresh, chunky texture.
- Add minced garlic or onion for an extra aromatic punch.
- Stir in crumbled bacon or feta for a salty crunch.
- Blend in Greek yogurt or sour cream for extra richness.
- A sprinkle of smoked paprika gives avocado ranch a subtle smoky taste.
- Fresh herbs like cilantro, basil or chives brighten up the flavor.
With these easy add-ins, you can customize avocado ranch into a top-notch tater tot dip! Get ready to dunk those tots into cool, creamy bliss.
9. Aioli – For Mediterranean Flavor
Aioli is a classic Mediterranean garlic mayonnaise that makes an amazing sauce for tater tots. The combination of garlicky goodness and creamy mayo is irresistible with crispy tots. But basic aioli can become tired after one too many tot dunks.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up basic aioli:
- For extra garlic flavor, add more minced or roasted garlic.
- Stir in lemon or lime juice for bright acidity to cut the richness.
- Blend in fresh herbs like basil, parsley, oregano or chives.
- Mix in crumbled feta or parmesan for a salty crunch.
- Add a pinch of crushed red pepper for a hint of heat.
- For an Italian twist, blend in sun-dried tomatoes and basil.
With these easy add-ins, you can turn basic aioli into a gourmet Mediterranean dip for your tots. Get ready to dunk those crispy spuds into garlicky goodness!
10. Tzatziki – Cool, Herby Cucumber Sauce
For a refreshing, herby dip for your tater tots, look no further than tzatziki! This classic Greek cucumber yogurt sauce adds a cool, creamy counterpoint to hot crispy tots. But basic tzatziki can become tired after one too many tot dunks.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up basic tzatziki:
- Use Greek yogurt for superior richness and tang compared to regular yogurt.
- For extra cucumber flavor, grate the cucumber instead of dicing it.
- Add extra lemon juice and zest for bright acidity.
- Mix in fresh dill, mint, or parsley for herby flavor.
- Stir in minced garlic for savory aroma.
- Drizzle in olive oil for added richness.
- Top with a sprinkle of feta cheese for a salty bite.
With these easy add-ins, tzatziki transforms into a gourmet dip that’s perfect for cooling down hot tater tots!
11. Chimichurri – For Fresh Herby Flavor
Looking to add some fresh herby flavor to your tater tots? Look no further than chimichurri sauce! This uncooked green sauce is packed with bright parsley, oregano, garlic and vinegar. It adds a delicious fresh flavor kick to hot crispy tots. But basic chimichurri can become tired after too many tot dunks.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up basic chimichurri:
- Use a mix of flat and curly parsley for depth of flavor.
- Add some cilantro for a citrusy, aromatic note.
- Mix in some diced jalapeño for a hint of heat.
- Add extra garlic or shallots for savory flavor.
- Use red wine vinegar for a robust tangy flavor.
- Finish with a drizzle of bold olive oil.
- Top with crumbled feta or cotija cheese for a salty crunch.
With these easy add-ins, you can turn basic chimichurri into a bright herby green sauce that energizes boring old tater tots!
12. Queso Dip – For Ooey Gooey Cheesy Bliss
Looking for an indulgent, ooey-gooey dip for your tater tots? Whip up a batch of queso! This Tex-Mex cheese dip is ideal for dunking crispy tater tots into hot, melted cheese goodness. But basic queso can become tired after one too many tot dunks.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up basic queso:
- For extra creaminess, blend in cream cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- Mix in diced jalapenos, green chiles or hot sauce for heat.
- Add crumbled chorizo, ground beef or bacon for meaty flavor.
- Stir in fire-roasted diced tomatoes for a chunky texture.
- Add minced garlic or onion for savory depth.
- Top with diced avocado, cilantro or scallions for fresh flavor.
With these easy add-ins, you can customize boring queso into an irresistible cheesy dip for maximizing your tater tot experience!
13. Caesar Dressing – For Savory, Garlicky Flavor
Looking for a punch of savory, garlicky flavor for your tater tots? Caesar salad dressing is an unexpectedly amazing sauce for tater tots! The combination of garlicky, eggy richness and tangy Parmesan is irresistible with crispy, salty tots. But basic Caesar can get tired after one too many tot dunks.
Luckily, it’s easy to spice up basic Caesar dressing:
- For extra garlicky flavor, use roasted garlic or add more raw minced garlic.
- Mix in some anchovy paste or filets for savory umami.
- Add a pinch of crushed red pepper for a hint of heat.
- Blend in Greek yogurt or mayo for extra richness and tang.
- Sprinkle on some extra Parmesan or pecorino cheese for a salty crunch.
- Stir in lemon juice for brightness to cut the rich creaminess.
With these easy add-ins, you can transform boring old Caesar dressing into an irresistible dip for your tater tots!
What is the most classic sauce for tater tots?
Ketchup is the most classic and popular sauce for tater tots. The sweet and tangy flavor complements the hot and salty tots perfectly.
What’s a quick and easy sauce I can make at home?
Ranch dressing is a quick, easy sauce for tater tots that you can mix up right at home. Simply combine ranch powder with mayonnaise and buttermilk. Adding herbs, garlic, or spices customizes it to your taste.
I want a sauce with some spice – what are my options?
Some great spicy sauces for tater tots include buffalo sauce, sriracha mayo, and spicy barbecue sauce. Mix in your favorite hot sauce or spices like cayenne to give these sauces an extra kick.
What’s a good creamy and cool sauce for tater tots?
Sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, avocado ranch and spicy mayo all make great cooling, creamy sauces for hot tater tots. Their richness nicely offsets the crispy tots.
I want a sauce with lots of flavor – what do you suggest?
Pesto, chimichurri, harissa, and romesco sauce all pack huge flavor that goes great with tater tots. Their herby, garlicky, spicy flavors add complexity.
What cheese sauce pairs best with tater tots?
For the ultimate cheese sauce, a classic cheddar or American cheese sauce is hard to beat. But queso, nacho cheese, or melted brie also make delightful cheese sauces for tater tots.
What’s your recommendation for kid-friendly tater tot sauces?
Ketchup, ranch, barbecue sauce, and honey mustard are all popular, kid-friendly sauces. Make them even more enticing for kids by serving them with fun dippers like potato topper toys.
Are there any unexpected sauces that go well with tater tots?
Some surprisingly good sauces for tater tots include creamy Caesar dressing, tangy fry sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and bold chimichurri. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Tater tots deserve more than just ketchup and ranch dressing. With this list of 13 creative sauces, you can take your tot experience from basic to sensational. From spicy to refreshing, herby to cheesy, creamy to tangy, these sauce ideas cover all the flavor bases. So next time you’re cooking up a batch of these crispy potato nuggets, try pairing them with one of these mouthwatering sauces. Your tastebuds will thank you!
Which sauce sounds like your new go-to for tater tots? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear your thoughts. And don’t forget to pin or share this article if you found it helpful. Happy sauce making and tot savoring!
Best Sauces for Tater Tots
- Ranch Dressing
- Cheese Sauce
- Barbecue Sauce
- Honey Mustard
- Buffalo Sauce
- Spicy Mayo
- Avocado Ranch
- Queso Dip
- Caesar Dressing
- Pre-heat your oven according to the instructions on the tater tot bag, usually to 425°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it with oil. Spread the tater tots out in an even layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake the tater tots for the time listed on the package, usually 14-18 minutes, flipping them halfway through. You want the tots to come out golden brown and crispy.
- While the tots are baking, prepare your desired sauce. Heat any sauces like queso or cheese sauce until warmed through.
- When the tots come out of the oven, transfer them immediately to a bowl. Toss them with the desired sauce so they are evenly coated.
- For an extra crispy crunch, you can optionally bake the sauced tots for 2-3 more minutes. The sauce will help the exterior get crispy.
- Serve the sauced tater tots warm right away, garnishing with any extra toppings like scallions, bacon bits, etc. Enjoy!