There is no comfort food greater ingrained for me than Tater Tot Hot Dish.
Here are my Top Tips to make an easy casserole even easier and better.
- Make 2 at once. If you’re making the mess, just make 2 and freeze one. This is a huge time-saver and sanity-saver when you have meals made and ready to put on your weekly meal plan.
- Since you’re making 2 at once, brown 2 lbs of meat. I mix 1 lb of ground beef with 1 lb of ground turkey. Ground turkey is generally much less expensive and if you mix them together in a casserole, you can barely tell the difference.
- If you’re chopping onion to brown with the meat, chop a whole onion and freeze whatever you aren’t using immediately. Cry once, use twice. I freeze in small containers or freezer bags.
- Mix it up. I made one with cream of mushroom soup and green beans and the other with tomato soup and corn. You can also add shredded cheddar to either variety if it suites your fancy, but I sometimes skip it.
- I like to use casserole dishes that come with lids so they are easy to freeze and easy to put away into the fridge as leftovers. Remember to write the instructions on a label on top!
- I have 2 go-to Pampered Chef tools for this recipe. The Mix ‘N Chop for browning meat and the Small Mix ‘N Scraper for getting the soup out of the cans and stirring up the ingredients. (I am not a consultant, just love the products. Buy from someone you know!)
- Buy tater tots (or Crispy Crowns or Golden Rounds or whatevs) when they are at rock-bottom price (below $2 where I live) and stash in your deep freezer until you need them.
- I bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes but then BROIL them for a few minutes to crisp up the tots at the end. Same thing for re-heating. I’ll put a portion in an oven-safe dish, microwave it for a minute but then broil it for a minute or two to get the tots crispy. Yum!
Tater Tot Hot Dish from Working Mom Hacks
2 lb browned ground beef (or beef/turkey mixture), browned with onion, salt, pepper, then drained and rinsed
In a 8×11 or 2qt casserole, mix 1 lb meat with : 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup and 1 can Green Beans, drained AND/OR Mix 1 lb meat with: 1 can Tomato Soup and 1 can Corn, drained
Top each with 1/2 bag Tator Tots
Bake for 30 min at 350, then broil 3-5 minutes
Freeze other casserole. Thaw 24 hours in fridge before baking. For best results, you should keep the tots off the casserole and keep them frozen in their own bag until baking, but it does work fine if you thaw the casserole with tots. Don’t over think this, it’s tater tot hot dish for goodness’ sake.