Potato Tot Hot Dish

BY Amanda Rettke TIMEJune 8, 2022 PRINT

Some of you may know this as Tater Tot casserole, but you’re wrong. OK, OK, that was a bit harsh. I can get possessive of my hot dish, all right?

This recipe is based on how I had it growing up, with the exception of the cheese sauce. You might think it odd, but if you do think it odd to add cheese sauce to anything and everything, maybe we need to rethink the friendship. More cheese sauce, please!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Makes 8 servings

  • Nonstick spray
  • One 32-ounce (908-gram) package frozen Tater Tots
  • 1 pound (454 grams) lean ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced (1/2 cup/74 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One 10.5-ounce (298-gram) can cream of mushroom soup
  • One 16-ounce (907-gram) bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup Homemade Cheese Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Place the Tater Tots in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes (this is just to pre-crisp them). Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef with the onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain. Return the skillet to the stovetop and stir in the cream of mushroom soup and frozen mixed vegetables.

Pour the beef mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth it out into an even layer. Pour the cheese sauce over the beef mixture. Top with an even layer of Tater Tots.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until bubbling and the Tater Tots are browned. Serve hot.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.

Homemade Cheese Sauce

This cheese sauce is a great addition to any hot dish. It’s also terrific as a dip for French fries or mixed with cooked pasta for a quick mac and cheese.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk 1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk and 8 teaspoons (21 grams) all-purpose flour. Pour in 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) whole milk and 1 teaspoon kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

The mixture will start to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 1/3 cups (151 grams) shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until the cheese melts. Refrigerate leftover sauce for up to 4 days and reheat when ready to use.

Recipes from “Homestead Recipes: Midwestern Inspirations, Family Favorites, and Pearls of Wisdom From a Sassy Home Cook” by Amanda Rettke. Copyright 2022 by Amanda Rettke. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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