If my time working at the daycare taught me anything, it was this:
1. Kids like casseroles and,
2. Even the pickiest of eaters LOVE tater tots
Thus… Tater Tot Casserole.
I was actually scared to death the first time I made this, just like when I made Beef Stroganoff for the first time, but it ended up being one of the easiest recipes on my menu, and one of the kids absolute favourites!
Tater Tot Casserole is a quick and easy dinner, perfect for those picky little eaters. It uses simple ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and pantry and is ready in only 45 minutes.
Making this really couldn’t be easier, and the ground beef base is the perfect spot to sneak in all sorts of vegetables. If you’re looking for the most vegetable impact with the least amount of vegetable taste try adding in this foolproof combo of veggies.
In a small food processor, or with your knife very finely mince;
1/2 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
2 ribs celery
1/2 green bell pepper
When you cook your ground beef, add these veggies at the same time. Since you’re pureeing them in the food processor, or so finely mincing them, they will cook up at the same time as the ground beef, and will mix all into the beef – you won’t even remember you added the veggies!
Here is what you will need to make Tater Tot Casserole for dinner.
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbspWorcestershire sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 lbs tater tots
optional (as above): onion, celery, green pepper and garlic – finely minced
Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat oil until shimmering. Add ground beef and veggies, if using.
Season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce, and cook until the beef is well browned. Remove from heat, and drain fat.
In the same pan you cooked the beef in, with a silicone spatula, mix in sour cream, cream cheese and cream of mushroom soup. Stir until it is well combined and it is a grayish color. Pour into the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.
Start layering tater tots over the top of the meat until it is completely covered, and then top tots with cheddar cheese.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and browned over the tater tots, and the meat is bubbling below. At this point you could also freeze your tater tot casserole to cook another time. When reheating, allow for an additional 15 – 20 minutes of cooking time.
That’s it! I told you it was easy-peasy! The filling for this tater tot casserole is the exact same recipe for another one of the kids favourites, my Easy 20-Minute Ground Beef Stroganoff. Just add egg noodles, and you have an easy dinner solution that everyone will love. I know it, because if my father will eat it, so will your picky kids! I promise!