The Secret to Even Better Tater Tots Is Already in Your Pantry

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If we were giving out superlatives, tater tots would win Most Likely to Be in a Kitchn Editor’s Freezer. We’ve been a little obsessed lately, adding them to everything from frittatas to tacos.

But for as much as we love getting creative, we also understand the appeal of eating a tot as it was intended: straight from the sheet tray as a hot and crispy finger food, with a bottle of ketchup nearby. So for the nights when you’re after fast and easy, may we suggest a simple roast in a hot oven? With just one extra ingredient, that is.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt Is the Upgrade Your Tots Deserve

We’ve told you which brand of tots to buy. We’ve asked you to cook them at least 15 minutes longer than the packaging says. But what we’ve been withholding is perhaps the most important hack of all: Shower your frozen tots with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt to make them completely and utterly irresistible.

If it’s not already in your pantry, here’s what you need to know about Lawry’s. It’s a pre-mixed blend of salt, sugar, onion, garlic, and spices (including paprika and turmeric), meaning it pretty much does all the work for you. Instead of rummaging through your spice drawer trying to come up with the right mix of flavors, you can simply shake on some of this.

In the case of tots, you’ll want to pour the frozen tots onto a sheet tray, toss with a bit of olive oil, add a few shakes of seasoned salt, then toss again to coat the tots. Pop ’em in the oven and roast until warm and crispy. (And remember that the first ingredient in Lawry’s is salt, so you don’t have to add any additional salt.)

The mix is also great on popcorn, eggs, french fries, and mashed potatoes. You can use it anywhere a recipe calls for seasoned salt — if you’re a fan of the Pioneer Woman, you know it’s one of her favorite ingredients. (Try it in her meatloaf, mac and cheese, or broccoli cheddar soup.) We also love Lawry’s in homemade snack mixes. If you’re still not convinced, does it help to know it’s a star ingredient in

John Legend’s slow cooker chili

Try it on tots tonight, then tell us: What’s your favorite way to upgrade tater tots?

Buy it online: Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, $3 for 1 (16-ounce) bottle

(Note: Online shopping is always going to be a few more dollars. Head to your local grocery store for the best deal!)

(Image credit: The Kitchn)