Buffalo Potato Nuggets are a deliciously spicy snack. Serve them with non-dairy ranch dressing for the ultimate game day appetizer or movie night snack. This vegan recipe is a healthy take on tater tots, and it's easy to make in the oven or air-fryer.
Buffalo Potato Nuggets
Tater tots are back! Or maybe they never went away, but they just haven’t been on my radar. There was a local place that loaded tots, disco tots, and my personal favorite, buffalo tots on the menu, but sadly, they closed when he pandemic first hit.
While I do love tater tots, they’re usually deep fried, and I just don’t like all of that oil. The last time I had them while eating out, I didn’t feel so great afterward. Occasionally, I’ve picked up a package of frozen tots at the grocery store and cooked them in my air fryer, but they’re still loaded with oil, so they’re a very-once-in-a-while thing. (My favorites are Dr. Praeger’s Kale Puffs.)
Since I love to cook, I decided to try to make them myself with a mashed potato mixture. Of course, since they’re not deep fried and loaded with oil, they don’t taste quite like tater tots, but they’re still very yummy. Once they cook up, these potato puffs will be a little crisp on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside.
Traditional Buffalo sauce is made with hot sauce and butter. Sometimes a little vinegar and worcestershire sauce are mixed in, too. Frank’s usually the hot sauce of choice, but I prefer Cholula. In fact, we go through so much Cholula that I buy the restaurant sized half gallon bottle and use it to refill smaller bottles!
I’ve used Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter in this recipe, but you can use your favorite non-dairy butter. If you’re not a vegan butter kind of person, just skip it and drizzle your favorite hot sauce on your potato nuggets.
What you need
- Non-dairy milk
- Potato starch or corn starch
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Sea salt
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Hot sauce
- Vegan butter (I like Miyoko’s cultured vegan butter)
- Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Chives or parsley
See recipe card for exact amounts.
How to make Buffalo Potato Nuggets
- First, you boil diced potatoes until their fork tender.
- Next, you mash the potatoes together with a little non-dairy milk and spices.
- Then, you roll the mixture into nuggets and bake them.
- Once they’re cooked, you drizzle them with vegan buffalo sauce and non-dairy ranch dressing.
- Serve and enjoy!
They can also be cooked in an air fryer, if you have one. Be careful not to overcrowd your nuggets in the air fryer basket, though or they won't cook properly. If you're air fryer is on the smaller side, you might need to cook them in batches.
If you happen to have leftover cooked potatoes, you can skip the first step of the recipe and just go on to mashing the potatoes together with the spices. You’ll need about three cups of cooked potatoes. I made these puffs with the leftover potato filling from my Spinach Dip Potato Skins.
I like to keep the skins on my potatoes when I make recipes like this. You can peel your potatoes if you prefer.
If you're wondering, yes, potatoes are healthy! Check out my health benefits of potatoes post.
Serving Your Potato Nuggets
Buffalo Potato Nuggets are a terrific appetizer to serve at parties. They’re great for munching on while watching the big game or the Puppy Bowl. And they’re an excellent companion to sandwiches and veggie burgers instead of fries.
Serve your nuggets vegan bleu cheese or Ranch Dressing for dipping. I like to use my homemade ranch, but you can use store-bought nondairy dressing, if you prefer. Kite Hill, Daiya, and Follow Your Heart all make vegan ranch.
Buffalo Potato Nuggets
- 3 cups diced potatoes any kind
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon potato starch or corn starch
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup hot sauce such as Frank’s or Cholula
- 2 teaspoons vegan butter melted, (I like Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter)
- ½ cup vegan Ranch Dressing
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives or parsley
- If you’re using your oven, preheat it to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover them plus an inch. Bring to a rolling boil and cook the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl with the non-dairy milk, potato starch or corn starch, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Mash everything together with a potato masher or large fork until it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes.
- Roll the mixture into 1-inch nuggets. I like to use a small scoop to speed things up.
- If you’re using your oven, place the nuggets on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the nuggets are golden brown. If you’re using your air fryer, cook them for about 15 minutes on 400°. Whichever cooking method you use, be sure to flip the nuggets at the halfway point.
- While the nuggets are cooking, whisk together the hot sauce and vegan butter.
- Place the nuggets in a large bowl or on a serving dish platter, and drizzle with the hot sauce mixture. Then drizzle on the ranch dressing and top with the chopped chives or parsley. Serve with extra ranch dressing on the side for dipping.
Other potato recipes you might enjoy include
- Disco Fries
- Spinach Dip Potato Skins
- Colcannon Cakes
- Kale and Potato Nuggets from The Vegan Air Fryer by JL Fields
More Buffalo-Flavored recipes include
- Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
- Buffalo Chickpea Dip from The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook
- Almost Famous Buffalo Chicken Lasagna from Epic Vegan by Dustin Harder
- Buffalo Chickpea Tacos from Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen