Yes, tater tots. Hear us out.

Tater tots have been relegated to school cafeteria trays and dive bar menus, but these crisp, golden nuggets can do so much more. As the holiday season approaches, pick up a bag or two of frozen tots at the grocery store along with the eggnog and candy canes and you'll be glad you did. Here are three ways they will save you this holiday season:

Holiday Brunch

Made with eggs, Cheddar cheese, bacon, and of course, tots, this homey Tater Tot Breakfast Bake will be the star of any Christmas brunch. Serve the casserole alongside a pitcher of mimosas or bloody Marys and a simple salad for a fun meal with friends. Or make it the center of a family-friendly spread with mini cinnamon rolls, fruit salad, and extra bacon. Best of all, the dish can be assembled the night before and baked the next morning, making brunch a breeze.

New Year's Eve Party Appetizer

Four words: Loaded Tater Tot Kabobs. Sure, you could wow your party guests with fancy cheese boards and endless trays of one-bite hors d'oeuvres. But we'll bet money that these tater tot skewers topped with cheese and bacon will disappear faster. Especially if beer is involved.

House-Full-of-Company Supper

Your guest rooms (and couch) are at maximum occupancy, it is 6 P.M., and everyone's hungry. You could order a half-dozen pizzas, or you could whip up this crowd-pleasing Chili-Cheese Potato-Tot Casserole. This reader favorite is made with ground beef, chili starter, canned tomatoes, and plenty of cheese, all topped off with a layer of tater tots. It is pure comfort in a bowl, which is what we could all use a little more of around the holidays.