I can’t believe we’re most of the way through October and I haven’t talked much about football snacks yet.
This is highly unusual for me.
Especially considering that football (and sports in general) are big in our household. And sports-viewing activities almost always have an accompanying snack.
Step it up, Molly!
This snack is just that: a big step up from the ordinary. We’re combining a few of my favorite gametime snacks with this one.
Buffalo chicken. Nachos. Tater tots.
Instead of tortilla chips used in regular nachos, we’re using tots! Yes!
Or as I like to call them: crispy, salty, fluffy little nuggets of joy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like. So, this is very fitting for me.
What can I say? I love a tot.
These tots are crisped up in the oven with some ranch seasoning. Yes, we’re talking about the stuff in the packet. You could, of course, make your own if using store-bought spice packets is against your culinary religion, but I think the ranch packets are perfect just as they are. They have a time and a place.
In this case, the time and the place is sprinkled all over crispy tots. Yes, please.
Once the tots are hot and crispy, we build them into nachos. Tater tot nachos = TOTCHOS. So fun, right?
You can top these any which way you like, but today, I’m sharing my favorite football flavor of all time for these: buffalo chicken.
I like to use up cooked chicken (or even a rotisserie chicken from the store) here. Just chop or shred the chicken and toss it with buffalo hot sauce. Easy peasy.
Spread the chicken evenly over the tots and then top with three kinds of cheese: cheddar, jack, and blue cheese crumbles. The blue cheese is totally optional – I get that it’s not everyone’s thing. I LOVE it with buffalo sauce, so I’m adding it here.
Pop the whole shebang back into the oven for a few minutes just to get the cheeses melted and gooey. Then, while the totchos are still hot, I like to top it with some fresh stuff. For crunch!
I guess it also makes me feel a bit better about eating a tray of cheese-and-chicken-smothered tater tots if there’s some greenery involved. Hah!
I throw on some shredded lettuce, red onion, and scallions – all for flavor and texture. There’s something magical about the combo of hot and cold, crispy and cheesy, spicy and cooling. The lettuce does big things here.
And last but not least, I like to drizzle over a little more buffalo sauce for extra heat and a healthy glug of ranch dressing. You could also do blue cheese dressing! Whatever floats your totcho boat.
All that’s left to do is serve. The oooh’s and ahhh’s this one brings forth is one for the books. People get excited about tots. AND buffalo chicken. AND nachos.
A trifecta of flavor and texture and deliciousness.
Buffalo chicken TOTCHOS for the win!
These Buffalo Chicken Ranch Totchos are a fun mash-up of flavors that are ideal for football parties or tailgating! Buffalo chicken meets nachos meets tater tots. Crispy, crunchy, ranch-spiced tots get smothered in buffalo chicken and cheese, baked until gooey, and then topped off with a crunchy, ranchy salad. It’s pretty much carb-and-cheese heaven on a plate.
For the Ranch Tots:
- 1 (32-oz) bag frozen tater tots
- 2 teaspoons avocado or olive oil
- 3 teaspoons dry ranch seasoning
- Salt and pepper
For the Toppings:
- 1 (6-oz) chicken breast, cooked and shredded (this is a great time to use up leftover or rotisserie chicken)
- 1/4 cup buffalo wing hot sauce
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded jack cheese
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (optional)
- 2 cups shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
- 3 tablespoons diced scallions
- A few tablespoons of ranch dressing, for drizzling
- Additional buffalo sauce, for drizzling
For the Ranch Tots:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the tots out in an even layer on a large baking sheet.
- Drizzle with the oil and then sprinkle over the ranch seasoning, along with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
- Toss well to evenly coat the tots in the oil and seasonings.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during this time, or until the tots are crispy and golden.
- Remove the tray from the oven and push all the tots together into the center of the tray. We will build the nachos right on top (alternatively, you can transfer the crispy tots to a large oven-safe skillet and build them there).
For the Toppings:
- While the tots are baking, combine the shredded chicken and buffalo sauce in a bowl and mix until the chicken is well coated in the sauce.
- Prep your fresh ingredients: chop the lettuce, red onion, and scallions. Grate your cheeses.
- Top the tots on the pan with the shredded buffalo chicken, distributing it evenly.
- Top with the cheeses.
- Return the pan to the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until everything is warmed through and the cheeses are melted and gooey.
- Remove the tray from the oven and top with shredded lettuce, diced red onion, scallions, and a drizzle of ranch dressing. You can also drizzle over a little more of the buffalo sauce for extra heat.
- Serve immediately while everything is still warm.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: snacks
Keywords: tater tot nachos, buffalo chicken tater tots, buffalo chicken nachos, buffalo chicken tater tot nachos, buffalo chicken totchos, totchos, ranch tater tots