My Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet is a fun play on poutine with crispy tater tots covered in scrambled eggs, smooth country gravy, and cheese. Then it's topped off with crispy bacon bits and chopped chives. Oh my.
This Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet has been on my kitchen dance card for quite some time. Confession: I've never had Poutine. As I understand it, poutine is a delicious combo of crispy french fries covered in brown gravy and topped with cheese curds. There is nothing in that sentence I don't want to eat, but I've just never been to a restaurant that offers it.
A New Poutine
The closest I've come is the New Jersey Diner poutine knock-off, Disco Fries. This version has crispy fries, usually crinkle cut, covered in brown gravy, with ooey gooey melted mozzarella on top. Being the breakfast and brunch icon that I am, my mind automatically turned to transforming traditional poutine into Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet.
I want tater tots 24/7, so that was an easy pick. Country gravy screams breakfast to me (check out my Country Benedict or Chicken Fried Steak Sandwiches), so that was an easy transition. Hello, scrambled eggs, welcome to the gang. And there's no party to which I wouldn't invite bacon, so it can jump on board. All the best ingredients are assembling. Let's go!
Other than tater tots (and chives), every item below is a pantry staple. Grab your tots, we're making a Breakfast Poutine y'all!!
I never want a strict ingredient list, or an intimidating component, to keep you from enjoying one of my recipes. Here are a few ways to make this Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet accessible to everyone:
- Tater tots - I mean, this is a tater tot poutine, but somehow not everyone keeps frozen tater tots on hand at all times? You can use any convenience potatoes you have. Frozen french fries and frozen or fresh hash browns will all do the trick.
- Gravy - For some, making gravy can seem intimidating. I get that. There are really good Southern and Country gravies available in a packet that you can use. Just make sure you have enough to make 2 cups.
- Bacon - It has come to my attention that not everyone is a bacon fan? You can skip the bacon altogether or you can use diced ham or cooked crumbled breakfast sausage in its place.
- Scrambled eggs - My Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet has my fluffy scrambled eggs, which are made with cream cheese and heavy cream, for almost foolproof moisture, but you can make your eggs any way that you prefer. My way is just better 😜 But I wouldn't be mad if you topped your poutine with a fried or poached egg.
Tater tot skillet variations
I am not making a traditional Poutine by any measure, so why not keep playing with my food?
- Benedict - Send your poutine back over the border by covering it in hollandaise sauce and garnishing with diced bits of Canadian Bacon.
- Mexican - Cover it all up with a rich queso and garnish with fresh pico de gallo and cotija cheese. Oh man, you gotta!
- Sausage gravy - Head completely down south and cover your tots with sausage gravy and garnish with more cooked sausage crumbles!
- Living large - You can also make one big poutine by placing all the ingredients in a single 10 inch cast iron skillet and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.
There are a few steps to creating all the layers of your Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet, but not one of them is difficult. Start by preheating your oven to 425°F. Prepare two small sheet pans by placing a piece of parchment paper on one and spraying the other with nonstick spray. (please forgive my dirty oven in the pictures below. it's busy in there!)
2. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes, or until the bacon and the tater tots are crispy, flipping everything over halfway through the time.
3. Combine the eggs, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Place a nonstick pan over medium low heat and add one tablespoon of butter. Using a rubber or silicone spatula begin sweeping the sides and bottom of the pan.
4. Cooked egg will be gathered up, allowing uncooked egg to drop to the bottom of the pan. Do not overcook the egg, erring on the side of underdone. The eggs will continue cooking as they rest and when you assemble the skillets.
5. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet placed over medium high heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until mixture turns light tan, about 1 minute.
6. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
8. Allow to bubble up for the last minute. Add salt and plenty of black pepper to taste.
9. Divide tater tots into 4 mini individual cast iron pans, or other small oven safe dishes. Spoon eggs on each.
10. Drizzle each skillet all over with gravy.
11. Top with shredded cheese. Place back into 425°F oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melty and gravy is bubbly.
12. While they are baking, chop cooled bacon into ½ inch dice. Finely chop chives as well.
Sprinkle the top of each poutine with chopped bacon and chopped chives.
Dig in and enjoy!
Equipment: Mini cast iron skillet
Let me tell you about the joy of a mini cast iron skillet. I have 6 of them and I use them for everything. They are not only cute as heck, they cook foods quickly and evenly. They require, actually prefer, minimal cleaning and last forever.
Your instinct might be to chop your bacon and cook it, but if you do that you run the risk of some pieces cooking quicker than others. You will probably end up with some burnt bits, some undercooked bits, and a few that are just right.
Whether you oven bake them as I do, or cook them stovetop, I recommend cooking your bacon whole and chopping it up after it has cooled.
I would not recommend making these ahead of time. If you do, the tater tots will lose their crispiness as they quickly absorb the gravy. You also run the risk of the eggs drying out.
You can definitely cook the bacon and gravy ahead, as well as chop the chives. In the morning you just need to make the tots and the eggs. Just before assembly, reheat the bacon for 10 seconds in the microwave. Then chop the bacon and reheat the gravy, adding more milk if needed to thin. Assemble and bake as directed and you're ready to dig in!
You can make these for up to 8 people by doubling this recipe and making it on a large sheet pan. Click the 2X button on the recipe card below and cook the whole thing on the same large sheet pan that you cook the tater tots. Assemble everything on top, bake again to melt the cheese, garnish, and dish up individual servings.
More recipes in your cast iron
Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet
- ½ (16 oz) bag frozen tater tots
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tbs (60 g) heavy cream
- 2 tbs (29 g) cream cheese
- 1 tbs (14 g) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) flour
- 2 cups (480 ml) whole milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups (226 g) shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoon chives chopped
- Preheat oven to 425°. Place tater tots on a small sheet pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Place 4 strips of bacon on another small sheet pan that has been lined with a piece of parchment paper (you can also just spray it as well)
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until both bacon and tots are crispy. Flip the bacon and tots once, halfway through the baking time. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain, then chop up for garnish. Leave the oven on when finished with tots and bacon.
- While the tots and bacon are baking, make gravy and eggs.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet placed over medium high heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until mixture turns light tan, about 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, allowing to bubble up the final minute. Remove from heat.
- If gravy appears lumpy, pass through a fine mesh strainer. Season with kosher salt and plenty of black pepper to taste.
- Place eggs, heavy cream, and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Whisk vigorously. The cream cheese will not completely break down into the eggs. This is fine as it will melt into the eggs while cooking.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter to hot skillet, if using. Pour eggs into hot skillet.
- Using a rubber or silicone spatula begin sweeping the sides and bottom of the pan. Cooked egg will be gathered up, allowing uncooked egg to drop to the bottom of the pan.
- If you feel that it is happening too quickly, or if you see any browning developing on the eggs, move the pan off of the heat and continue stirring.
- Continue to gently move the egg mixture as it begins to form curds, until there is no liquid egg mixture left.
- Do not overcook the eggs, erring on the side of underdone, as they will cook more when the poutine is assembled. Remove from the heat and pour eggs immediately into a bowl to stop the cooking.
- Divide the tater tots evenly into 4 mini cast iron skillets or other 2 cup shallow oven safe dishes.
- Divide the eggs onto the top of each serving of tots.
- Top each serving with ½ cup of gravy followed by ½ cup of shredded cheddar.
- Place all servings back into the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the gravy is bubbling up the sides.
- Serve topped with chopped bacon and chives.
The nutritional and caloric information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It does not assert or suggest that readers should or should not count calories, and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s or doctor’s counseling.