These sweet potato tots are unlike anything you can buy at the store. They have a crisp, cornmeal-dusted exterior while the inside tastes like the world’s best barbecue-flavored potato chip. We like our tots dipped in ketchup, but a spicy Sriracha mayo would be delicious, too. Slideshow: More Sweet Potato Recipes 


Credit: Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Recipe Summary test

2 hrs
4 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large pot, cover the sweet potatoes with 1 inch of water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until barely tender, about 6 minutes. Drain well and let cool slightly.

  • Using the large holes on a box grater, coarsely shred the sweet potatoes. Transfer to a colander lined with a clean tea towel. Gently squeeze to remove the excess moisture. (You will have about 8 cups of drained sweet potatoes.)

  • In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes with the 6 tablespoons of flour, the garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro, paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. 

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and lightly dust with flour. Roll 1-tablespoon portions of the sweet potato mixture into 1-inch tots. (You should have about 70 tots.) Arrange the tots on the prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 1 1/2 hours.

  • Put the eggs and the cornmeal in 2 separate shallow bowls. Working in small batches, dip the frozen tots first in the beaten eggs and then in the cornmeal, pressing to help the cornmeal adhere. Return the breaded tots to the prepared baking sheet. Re-cover the tots and freeze until very firm, at least 30 minutes.

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. In a large deep saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 375°. Fry the sweet potato tots in batches until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tots to the prepared baking sheet. Season with salt. Repeat with the remaining tots. Sprinkle the fried tots with more cilantro and serve warm with ketchup.

Make Ahead

The sweet potato tots can be prepared through Step 5 and frozen in resealable bags for up to 2 weeks.