I don’t know about your house, but this classic go- to recipe is a hit in our home! Oddly enough, I just assumed everyone has heard of tator tot hotidish. Well, you know what assuming does…
One day my hubs was at work discussing classic meals that are always hits. Tator tot hot dish was one everyone participated in except a certain fellow, he and his wife had never heard of it before. I felt foolish. Customs in some homes are not the same in all home. Even though I already know that, we often forget how spoiled we are with some of our classic, comfort foods and hot-dishes no longer enjoyed around the world. Now hold on, if you already make Tator tot casserole, after the “classic” recipe, try some of the twists and delicious varieties you can make! Here goes our home recipe scaled down to a regular 9X13 cake or glass pan.
~First, brown 1 lb of burger of burger. Season with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Brown, then crumble. A potato masher works great!
~Next spray your 9X13 pan. Evenly scatter your cooked & crumbled burger across the bottom of the pan.
~Open and drain (2) cans of mixed vegetables. (Frozen may be used as well.)~
~Then add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (10.5 oz.)
~Fill your can up with milk and add into the pan as well.
~With a wooden spoon, gently stir around the creamy mixture and vegetables to make sure everything is coated.
~Finally top with tator tots and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Now this is the plain Jane recipe, which is great might I add. However, try these 5 other burger varieties the next time you make this dish and see which is your favorite way to eat Tator tot casserole…
- Same as above, but prior to topping the dish with tator tots, top with (2-3) Cups of cheddar cheeses, then the tator tots.
- Start burger the same, but add 1/2 an onion and 2 cloves. Brown and place in pan as directed above. Then instead of mixed vegetables, try (2) cans of french style green beans and when you add the milk & cream of mushroom, be sure to add in 1 Tablespoon of Worcester sauce. Top with cheddar cheese, then tator tots. Bake as directed above.
- Brown 1&1/2 lbs of burger. Brown, drain & place in 9 X 13 pan. Next, in a large bowl combine 3-6 oz of precooked bacon, 16 oz of sour cream, 2 C. cheddar cheese, 1 can of cream of cheddar soup, and 32 oz pkg of Tator tots. Mix up and spread over the burger mixture. Cover and bake for about 45 minutes.
- Same as #2, but fry burger with fresh sliced morel mushrooms (or fresh replacement from the store). Omit Worcester sauce and replace the green beans with 2 cans of corn. (or fresh from the garden corn-**our favorite.) With a lot of cheddar cheese on top!
- Taco Tator tot casserole- brown beef with diced onion and cloves. Simmer and add your taco seasoning. While simmering, add 2 cans of corn, 1 can of black beans and one diced green pepper. Continue to simmer and ad 2/3 Cup of enchilada sauce and 1/3 Cup of water. Simmer until peppers begin to soften, then transfer to your 9 X 13 cake pan. Top with cheese and Tator tots. Bake as directed above. Then, remove from over and top again with cheese, salsa and enchilada sauce. Bake 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and place a handful of your favorite taco topping on: lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, etc.
- BONUS- Chili, Brown burger, onion & 1/2 green pepper. Brown and add: 1 packet of chili seasoning, 1 can of tomato sauce ( 8oz.) and 1 can of diced tomatoes (14oz). While it starts to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove from heat, add 2 Tablespoons of sour cream and stir. Place in the 9 X 13 pan. Top with 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Top with Tator tots. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro and bake for 25 minutes.
I hope this classic dish is a hit for you, your family, friends daycare, potluck dish or whatever, like it is for us. Until next time, happy baking and happy homemaking! Enjoy!!!