Recipe: Kraut-Tots

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

Who needs french fries when there are tater tots around (or, in this case, kraut-tots)? This crispy, bite-sized side draws inspiration from the classic favorite, with one fun and delicious twist.

Yes, that’s right — kraut-tots. This flavorful variation blends starchy strands of shredded potato with a cup of tangy sauerkraut. Add a dash of seasoning from the spice cabinet and you’re good to go.

This recipe makes about a dozen bite-sized kraut-tots, depending on the size of the potato and how small or large you form the tots. Be sure to pack the tots as densely as possible when forming them — this will ensure they stay together and hold their shape during cooking.

The toughest thing about these crispy tots is not eating the whole batch on your own. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!


Serves 2

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    large Idaho potato (approximately 1 pound), peeled

  • 1 cup

    sauerkraut, drained and dried

  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • Fresh-ground black pepper

  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Add the whole potato to a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the water and let the potato cool, and then use a food processor or box grater to shred the potato into short strands. You may need to snip the mixture with kitchen shears to make smaller potato strands.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the shredded potato, sauerkraut, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture, and then roll and press between your palms to shape into a tater tot. The tots should be densely packed so that they stay together during cooking. Place the tots on a large plate or baking sheet and repeat with the remainder of the mixture. Transfer the tots to the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. They should be firm, but not frozen.

  3. Meanwhile, heat about 2 inches of canola or vegetable oil in a tall pot to 350°F. Prepare a paper towel-lined baking sheet and set aside. Remove tots from the freezer. Use a slotted spoon to carefully lower them into the hot oil, 2 or 3 at a time (be sure not to crowd the pan). Cook, turning once or twice, until golden-brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tots to the prepared baking sheet to cool. Repeat with the remainder and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Use a dish towel to drain as much moisture as possible from the sauerkraut. The more dry it is, the better the tots will cook up.
  • Make sure to use a tall pot when frying; because of moisture in the potatoes and sauerkraut, the oil may sputter or pop during cooking.