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This Totchos recipe combines BBQ chicken with queso for the best loaded totchos ever! Crispy tater tots topped with creamy cheese sauce, shredded BBQ chicken, and all the toppings is an easy appetizer or snack for game-day and parties or even an easy dinner.

tater tots and chicken and jalapeños on a grey pan.

The BEST BBQ Totchos

If you’re new to homemade totchos, allow me to introduce you. There are all kinds of tater tot nachos recipes, and the one I’m sharing is always a favorite. If you’ve ever had Sonic totchos, they’re basically the same thing – a combination of tots topped with creamy cheese sauce and all the toppings like jalapeno, more cheese, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.

So, like nachos but with hot and crispy tots instead and topped with BBQ chicken. These tater tot nachos are the best game-day snack, party appetizer, or fun Friday night dinner for the family. Plus, they’re easy!

Ingredients Needed

  • Cheese Sauce: We’re going to make homemade queso for this recipe but you can use a jar of sauce you get at the store – or skip!
  • Cheese: Monterey jack cheese for the sauce – be sure to shred it your self so it melts easier. I used a triple blend fiesta cheese for the topping (use cheddar cheese if you prefer).
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne
  • Frozen Tater Tots: The tater tots are the “chips” of the nachos. Buy whatever brand you like.
  • Shredded chicken – I use rotisserie chicken and toss it with BBQ sauce. Use up leftover chicken for this, or make instant pot shredded chicken!
  • BBQ Sauce: Use your favorite. I’m loving G Hughes sugar free sauces right now but you can use your favorite brand/flavor.
  • Garnish: You can garnish with jalapeños, tomatoes, or even green onions, guacamole, and pico de gallo.

How to make Totchos with BBQ Chicken

  1. Make the queso by melting the butter over medium heat, then adding the flour and milk and whisking until smooth and thick.
  2. Add in some of the cheese and spices. This can be done a few hours before and reheated before assembling the nachos.
  3. Mix shredded chicken with barbecue sauce and set aside.
  4. Bake tater tots on a baking sheet according to package directions. Top with sauce, chicken, and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted then add any toppings.
tater tots and chicken and jalapeños on a grey pan.

Expert Tips

  • Add some toppings to the totchos! I love diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, diced red onion, and sour cream with a sprinkle of lime.
  • You can also add salsa, black beans, black olives, or fresh cilantro on top.
  • Make sure to measure out your butter and flour properly because those ingredients are thickening agents for the queso.
  • Bake the tater tots until they are golden brown, they could get soggy otherwise.


How to store leftover totchos?

Store totchos with queso in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for a few days, but the tots won’t be as crispy. I think they’re best when they’re made. You can reheat tot chose in the air fryer with the proper parchment insert below.

Can I make queso with nonfat milk?

Yes, but the queso won’t be as thick or rich.

tater tots and chicken and jalapeños on a grey pan.

BBQ Chicken Totchos Recipe

5 from 5 votes
BBQ Chicken Totchos are perfect for snacks, hosting, parties or even a fun dinner when you’re wanting something crispy and tasty!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


For the Queso

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) butter
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) flour
  • cups (355ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (112g) monterey jack cheese (shred it yourself)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne or to taste

For the Nachos

  • 32 ounce bag (907g) of tater tots
  • 2 cups (140g) shredded chicken
  • 1 cup (237ml) barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (monterey jack, cheddar, or fiesta blend)
  • 2 roma tomatoes , diced
  • 2 jalapenos sliced and seeded (or use pickled)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion ¼ inch
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) sour cream garnish


Make the Queso (this can be done ahead of time):

  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle flour over butter and whisk until foamy.
  • Slowly pour in milk, continuing to whisk until mixture is smooth. Allow the mixture to thicken (it should coat the back of a spoon), stirring constantly.
  • Once thickened, remove the skillet from heat. Add in 1 cup of shredded cheese and mix until melted. Add in salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne and mix.
  • Cover and set queso aside. This can be made earlier in the day and reheated on the stove or the microwave to thin (it will thicken as it cools).
  • Place tater tots in a single layer on a cookie sheet or 9×13-inch pan. Bake according to package directions.
  • Mix shredded chicken with barbecue sauce and set aside.
  • Spoon some queso over the tater tots. Spoon barbecue chicken onto the dish. Sprinkle with additional Monterey Jack, cheddar and/or fiesta blend cheese. Add tomatoes and jalapeño if using.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for 7-9 minutes until warmed through and the cheese is melted.
  • Garnish as desired, serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • This dish is best served fresh and hot.
  • If you would like to make ahead, prep the toppings (tomatoes, onions, jalapenos) and store in airtight containers. Make the queso and store in an airtight container. When ready to serve, heat the queso in a skillet over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes until warmed through and creamy.
  • If you prefer crispier totchos, add an extra 5 minutes to the instructed baking time on the package and use less queso when layering. Or, keep the queso separate altogether and serve as a side that can be spooned over the top of the totchos.
  • Garnishes: Feel free to garnish with any or all: sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, green onions, black olives
  • Additions: the great thing about this recipe is you can alter it to your taste. Add corn, black beans, or use pre-cooked ground turkey or ground beef instead of chicken.
  • Store leftovers in refrigerator in an airtight container. If you reheat, I recommend reheating in the oven or in the air fryer (with a air fryer parchment insert) so the tots get crisp again.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 851kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 2541mg | Potassium: 1171mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 1132IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 406mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Mexican

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Last Updated on January 31, 2024

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. The recipe looks and sounds so good . Love all the fresh veggies added . Think I will maybe top mine with more tomatoes green and other color peppers, some black sliced olives and maybe some water chestnuts for crunch !!!!

  2. If you love the BBQ Chicken Pizza the you will love these. It tasted just like the pizza. This is a keeper and I will definitely make it again.