Take-out Tuesday, Cheesy Tater Tots

These little  🏈 footballs 🏈  of cheese and potato goodness are brought to you today by HHjr

On the weekends, my son LOVES to cook, I mean LOVES it!  He will have 2 or 3 grills going at once, and a skillet, the oven or a fryer

I was in town solo for the weekend so I got to enjoy so many of his delicious creations

Friday night he made Pizza Bolognese for us and a cheesy bacon & pineapple pizza for his boys

Pizza Bolognese

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 partially baked pizza crust of choice
  • 1/2-1 cup Bolognese sauce
  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 2 oz fontina or mozzarella cheese grated
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese grated


  • Saute mushrooms over medium high heat in olive oil.
  • When mushrooms have released liquid and begun to turn golden add kale and garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring and being careful not to burn garlic.
  • Set aside. Top crust with sauce and vegetables, then sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake at 400 until hot and melted.
Keyword Bolognese sauce, Italian pie, pizza, pizza Bolognese

Bolognese Sauce

45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Course sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 14 cups


  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced & chopped
  • 1/2 pound pancetta or slab bacon chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • S&P
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cups milk
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 28 oz jar quality marinara sauce


  • Saute bacon in skillet until crisp. Remove to drain on paper towels and pour off most of drippings. Saute onion, celery, carrot and garlic in skillet until translucent. Add bacon and seasonings and cook for 5-10min. Remove bay leaves.
  • Pour into heavy stock pot. Add a scant amount of reserved bacon drippings to skillet and saute mushrooms until brown, then add to vegetable bacon mixture. In same skillet brown pork and beef, drain and return to skillet with milk. Simmer 10 min until milk has absorbed into meat.
  • Add meat to vegetable mixture then carefully pour in the tomatoes, spaghetti sauce and wine and season with salt and pepper and add to pot. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and cover. Slowly simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring now and then, until the sauce is very thick. Taste again for salt and pepper. Makes 14 cups. Can be frozen
Keyword Bolognese sauce, Italian meat sauce, marinara sauce, spaghetti sauce

We make pizzas all the time, you can see some of the recent ones here along with a formula for Creating Your Own Pizza Masterpiece

Fall Saturdays are all about football, and he loves to spend all day cooking game day food, ribs, wings, drummettes, pulled pork

I usually make a hearty dip for afternoon noshing, like this White Cheddar Cranberry Fondue, so perfect because it’s Alabama red & white

He invited another bachelor over for the night time game and they decided to cook big manly man steaks

In the afternoon he whipped up these little footballs, with hash browns and grated cheese

I didn’t witness the making, just happily discovered them in the fridge later

He shaped them in the palm of his hand,  squeezing until they stuck together

Refrigerate for at least an hour to ensure they will stay together when they are immersed in hot oil

Serve these as a side dish or a stand alone appetizer and you will score a lot of points!  🏈

Make plenty, they will disappear quickly!

Cheesy Tater Tots

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American


  • frozen shredded hash browns thawed or refrigerated raw hash brown potatoes
  • extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • bacon crumbles optional
  • salt & pepper


  • use a ratio of 2:1, 2/3 parts potatoes and 1/3 part cheese
  • Place potatoes, bacon and cheese in a bowl or ziplock bag, add seasonings and mix well. Form into bite size balls or β€œfootballs” by rolling in the palm of your hand and squeezing cheese and potato together. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Fry in small batches in medium hot oil, 1-3 minutes until just done. Fry only long enough to crisp potatoes so the cheese doesn’t melt away. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve hot or warm
Keyword cheesy potato bites, french fries, fried potatoes, tater tots

This is similar to my recipe for Cheesy Chive Potato Crowns

And Tater Crabs


🏈   πŸ₯”   🏈   πŸ₯”   🏈   πŸ₯”

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Rustic and RefinedBetween Naps on the Porch, Gardens Galore  Make it Pretty Monday

Coastal CharmCooking and Crafting with J&J,  The Scoop,   A Stroll Thru Life 

Celebrate and Decorate,     Creatively Crafty      Full Plate Thursday

Foodie Friday & Everything Else    Thursday Favorite Things

Share it One More Time   Delicious Dishes Recipe Party









18 Responses to “Take-out Tuesday, Cheesy Tater Tots”
  1. Lynn says:

    Love tots in all shapes, sizes and flavors:@)

  2. Jenna, how nice to have a chef in the family. We all love tots and these look so yummy…the pizza looks fabulous! What a nice weekend for you not having to cook! Roll Tide! πŸ…°οΈπŸˆπŸ…°οΈ

  3. Cheesy gator tots are perfect for Alabama tailgating! You taught your son right! Wow, he can cook! πŸ˜€ Roll Tide Roll! I love your table!

  4. So I wake up, turn on my iPad, check my emails, and what’s the very first thing I see as I sit here hungry enough to gnaw off my own foot? STEAK!!!! PIZZA!!!! What are you trying to do to me, woman?!?!!!?!? Lucky you to have such a talented son!

  5. Thanks for relinking your tater crowns. I like the baked, not fried concept. Maybe I’ll make those for book club tomorrow. Depends on if I feel like cooking or go the easy route but I’ve had these on my radar for awhile and was going to try to find them again!

  6. Jodi says:

    Oh what would the world be like without CHEEEESE!!!???

  7. thefrenchhutch says:

    I shouldn’t be reading today’s post before I have a little lunch. That steak looks out of this world delicious and the tater tots, yum. Looks like your son has the gift of cooking like his mom! Perfect table setting for our fall days. My compliments to your son………..RTR!

  8. Tell HHJr he’s killing me with all this yummy food! He can come cook for me anytime.Tell him I’d even clean up. I’d be gaining all kinds of weight if he was around – I’d eat all of what’s pictured here!

  9. Mary says:

    Jenna, I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like! How fun, convenient and DELICIOUS to have a son that loves to cook (how is he still single? πŸ™‚

  10. Wow, that is serious cooking and eating, Jenna. Your son was a good student of his talented cooking mama.

    Johanne Lamarche


  11. Jill Kuhn says:

    Looks like creative cooks run in your family!! πŸ’•πŸ‘ The mini tators look like a great appetizer! 😊

  12. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Jenna,
    I love you Take Out Tuesday and y our Cheesy Tater Tots! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

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