Food & Drink

Bacon-Wrapped Tots with Chipotle Mayo

How do you make a food invented in Idaho feel Southern? Wrap it in bacon and dip it in mayo

Photo: Matthew Benson

Last year, Americans consumed 3.5 billion tater tots, those crispy-on-the-outside, potato-pillowy-on-the-inside fried nibbles of nostalgia. Although tots are rooted in the potato history of Idaho, they’ve found a foothold at restaurants across the South.

On the more casual end of the spud spectrum, the Nook restaurant in Atlanta tops its Bloody Mary with tots and serves seven varieties of “tot-chos” including a $40 “Macho” version with five pounds of nacho cheese-smothered tots. On the high end, the chef Sean Brock has served house-made tots dotted with paddlefish caviar at McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina.

A new book by food writer Dan Whalen, Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie shares dozens of the author’s techniques for fancying up frozen tots and even making your own from scratch. Perfect for a backyard party or as a conversation-starting cocktail bite, these bacon-wrapped tots get an extra dose of South-by-Southwestern flavor with a spicy mayonnaise dipping sauce.


  • Bacon-Wrapped Tots

    • 24 frozen tater tots

    • 12 bacon strips

    • Dipping sauce (see Chipotle Mayo, below)

  • Chipotle Mayo (Makes about 1 cup)

    • ¼ cup mayonnaise

    • ¼ cup sour cream

    • 2 tsp. brown sugar

    • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar

    • Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried oregano)

    • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, plus 1 tbsp. adobo sauce from the can


  1. For the Bacon-Wrapped Tots: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Cut the bacon strips in half crosswise. Wrap a piece of bacon around each tot and place each, seam-side down, on the rack.

  3. Bake until the tots are browned and the bacon is cooked through and crispy, about 25 minutes. (The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the bacon, so keep your eyes on them.)

  4. Transfer the tots to a platter, skewer each with a toothpick, and serve immediately with the dipping sauce.


  5. For the Chipotle Mayo:

  6. This dipping sauce is spicy, tangy, and a little sweet—and takes only a few minutes to put together.

  7. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth.

  8. The sauce will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

Recipe excerpted from Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie, by Dan Whalen