15 oz of your favorite chili, canned or homemade, preferably without beans
3/4 cup fancy shredded cheese of your choice
1-2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional)
Oil for greasing muffin pan
Preheat the oven to 375°F (350°F for dark pans). Grease the inside cups of a 12-cup muffin pan.
Place 5 thawed tater tots in each of the 12 greased cups, then gently smash them down with a spoon to create a little cup out of the tots. I found that a 1/4 cup measuring cup fits perfectly inside the muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tots are golden brown and crispy.
While the tater tots are baking, cook the chopped bacon in a medium saucepan until crispy. Remove about half of the chopped bacon from the pan and set aside. Heat the chili and hot sauce (optional) in the saucepan with the bacon and cook until chili is warmed through.
Carefully remove the tater cups from the muffin tins and evenly spoon the bacon chili into them, about 1.25 oz each.
Sprinkle each chili cup with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of bacon bits over the cheese and top with any other desired toppings, like chopped onions and jalapeños.
Optional final step, place the cups on a flat baking sheet and broil or bake them again to further melt the cheese.