Maple Bacon and Beer Cheese Are The Best Way to Dress Up Your Tater Tots

Dennis Prescott

It’s the Holidays. That special time of year jam-packed with friends and family hangs, yuletide bliss, and sweet comfort food. Get extra cozy this holiday season and tuck into a big plate of Beer Cheddar & Maple Bacon Tots. Quick, delicious, and happy inducing.

Beer Cheddar & Maple Bacon Tater Tots


  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 pounds frozen tater tots
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos, sliced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Handful of fresh cilantro
  • Hot sauce, to serve

Beer Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup your favorite beer
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups shredded sharp (aged) cheddar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the bacon on it in a single layer. Baste the tops of the bacon with the maple syrup. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden and crispy all over. Transfer to a rack to cool and candy for 5 minutes, then crumble the bacon into bits.

Next, prepare the tots according to the package directions. While the tots are cooking, prepare the cheese sauce.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-heat and melt the butter. When melted, add the flour and garlic and, while constantly whisking, cook for 1 minute. Whisking still, pour in the milk in a slow and steady stream until it's all smooth. Whisk in the beer, salt, paprika, and cayenne and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. When simmering, cook for 5 minutes then decrease the temperature to low. Working 1 cup at a time, stir in the cheese until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Portion the tots into 1 large (or several smaller) serving dishes, then cover with cheese, scallions, jalapenos, and fresh cilantro. Serve with any extra cheese sauce, sour cream, and a nice glass of beer, for good measure.

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