30 Minute Meal: Tater Tot Nachos

For a quick, 30-minute meal, nachos are one of my kids’ favorite meals. I realize that nachos aren’t exactly synonymous with gourmet dinner, but they should be.  There are so many options, so many possibilities, so many variations of the lowly nacho that we could eat nachos for days and never repeat the same combination.

Where most nachos fail is to think that nachos are merely tortilla chips smothered in spicy cheese and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  I’ve had nachos with shrimp, nachos with pulled pork, nachos with black beans, nachos with steak.  I’ve even had Southern pork nachos build atop fried pork skins (chicharones) and prime rib nachos built on kettle cooked potato chips.  The combination of nacho toppings and nacho bases is limitless.

For this weeknight, 30 minute meal version of nachos, we’re building them on a bed of crispy tater tots and then, topping them with everything that would, could, and should be on a taco bar.  And, the end result…personalized, gourmet, tater tot nachos!

30 Minute Meal: Tater Tot Nachos

30 Minute Meal: Tater Tot Nachos


  • 1 bag frozen tater tots
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c. beef broth or water
  • Suggested Toppings for Tater Tot Nacho Bar
  • Refried Beans
  • Diced Tomato
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Cotija (crumbled Mexican cheese)
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Diced Spring Onion
  • Sour Cream
  • Sliced Jalapenos
  • Nacho Cheese


  1. Bake tater tots according to package directions until golden brown and crispy.  Do not undercook tater tots.
  2. In a large skillet, brown meat.  Drain fat.  Add seasonings and broth.  Simmer over medium high heat until liquid reduces and meat mixture is completely combined with seasonings.
  3. To assemble, pile tater tots in the bottom of a large rimmed bowl or plate and top with your favorite taco bar fixins!
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