Twisted Mexican Hot Tots

Twisted Mexican Hot Tots layered into a skillet with queso.

Twisted Mexican Hot Tots Recipe

A Mexican-inspired appetizer made with seasoned, crunchy tater tots, layered with chili con queso and chipotle sour cream in a cast iron skillet. Pure heaven!

Twisted Mexican Hot Tots layered into a cast iron skillet with queso.

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Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We? ?

We love Mexican food at our house. I always know that when I make dinner and it’s Mexican or Tex-Mex inspired, my guys are going to be happy campers.

Recently, I made a batch of Beef and Cheese Mexican Sanchiladas and a big pan of Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodles for a Saturday evening meal. It sure was nice to have leftovers on Sunday to enjoy, too.

If I would have had time, I’d have made a pan of Tex Mex Cauliflower Rice with Ground Beef since I’m trying to eat more low-carb meals…..but alas, I didn’t.

If you enjoy using your Instant Pot for making Mexican meals, give this Barbacoa Shredded Beef with Corn Salsa a try, or even Big Bold Beef Carnitas….both are easy favorites and great recipes for using beef roasts.

Things to Love About This Recipe –

  • Who doesn’t love tater tots……and queso???
  • The recipe requires just a few ingredients.
  • It’s very kid-friendly – a dish the entire family will enjoy.

How to Make Twisted Mexican Hot Tots in Just 4 Easy Steps

  1. Bake the tater tots until golden brown and crispy.
  2. Drizzle them with oil and toss with the seasoning.
  3. Layer the seasoned hot tots with queso and cilantro in a skillet or casserole dish.
  4. Top with the creamy chipotle sauce and serve!

Easy Recipe Tips for Making Twisted Mexican Hot Tots

Why can’t I toss the tater tots with the oil and seasoning blend first, then bake them?

  • Great question! I did try that when creating this recipe, but quickly learned that the brown sugar in the seasoning blend burns before the tater tots are nice and crispy. Bad idea! #LessonLearned

I’m not super familiar with chipotle sauce. Where do I find it and what IS chipotle sauce, exactly?

  • Chipotle sauce can be found in the Hispanic section of nearly any grocery store. A chipotle is a smoked jalapeno so chipotle sauce is very smoky…..and HOT. Use just a little bit, seasoning to taste as you go.

Why does the recipe instruct to use a pre-heated cast iron skillet or a pre-heated casserole dish?

  • Using a pre-heated vessel to pile your hot tots into really helps keep the entire dish nice and hot as you serve it. Is this a MUST? No. Just an easy little way I’ve found that helps me in serving my family. I also like being able to put the entire dish into the oven to re-heat for later.

What’s so great about cooking with cast iron, any way?

  • I love cast iron for many reasons. For one, it provides very even heat for cooking, creates superior browning, and can go from stove top to oven to the grill – it’s super versatile! And, because cast iron holds heat well, it’s great for serving dinner at the table family-style.
  • For this recipe, I use a large 12-inch cast iron skillet.

Other Recipes Your Family Will Dig –

Cast Iron is perfect for making a big pan of Mexican Hot Tots.

Printable Directions for Making Twisted Mexican Hot Tots

Twisted Mexican Hot Tots layered into a skillet with queso.

Twisted Mexican Hot Tots

A Mexican-inspired appetizer made with seasoned, crunchy tater tots, layered with chili con queso cheese dip and chipotle sour cream in a cast iron skillet. Pure heaven!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 321kcal
Author: Chef Alli


Hot Tots

  • 2 lb. bag tater tots frozen
  • 1 oz. pkg. Twisted Pepper Tex Mex Dip or Cheeseball Seasoning Mix, or use your favorite taco seasoning
  • 2 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Canola or vegetable oil for drizzling
  • 1 batch of your favorite Mexican cheese queso dip warm

Creamy Chipotle Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 tsp. chipotle sauce


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, combine the Twisted Pepper seasoning blend with the brown sugar and red pepper flakes; reserve.
  • Spread the tater tots over a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until golden brown, gently tossing the tater tots half way through the baking time.
  • Meanwhile, make the creamy chipotle sauce by combining the sour cream with the ranch dressing and the chipotle sauce in a small bowl; reserve.
  • When the tater tots are golden brown and crispy, remove from the oven, then drizzle them with a bit of oil, giving them a gentle toss to coat them on all sides; sprinkle the reserved seasoning/brown sugar blend over the tater tots; gently toss once more to combine with the seasonings.
  • Pile half of the warm seasoned hot tots into a large pre-heated oven-proof skillet (I love using my 12-inch cast iron skillet for this) or large pre-heated casserole dish.
  • Pour some of the warm cheese queso dip over the hot tots, as desired, creating a zig zag pattern; sprinkle with ciilantro, then repeat with the remaining tots and queso.
  • Drizzle the chipotle sauce over the top, then garnish the whole creation with additional cilantro over the top. Serve at once!!
  • **My family enjoys having extra warm cheese queso and creamy chipotle sauce on the side to dip their hot tots in.
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cast iron skillet, cheese dip, Mexican Hot Tots, queso, tater tots


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 963mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 544IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

Ellie Hughes, owner of Twisted Pepper Co, with a table of her seasonings.

From the Land of Kansas is the state trademark program that promotes and celebrates agricultural experiences and products that are grown, raised, produced, or created in Kansas. Visit their website for more information. Our featured guest and member business for this blog post and televised Good Morning KAKEland segment is Twisted Pepper Company, Wichita, KS. All recipe creation and opinions expressed within this post are my own.

**Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. It may also contain “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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