Tater Tot Casserole

If you’re looking for a stick-to-your-ribs comfort dish, this one is it.  Tater tots, seasoned ground beef and cheese sauce are all baked into a casserole that will make your tummy and taste buds happy, happy, happy.

My complete recipe is located at the bottom of this post.  Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Tater Tot Casserole

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Although the name of this dish is “Tater Tot Casserole,” the real star is the cheese sauce that ties it all together.  If you do an online search, you’ll find that quite a few tater tot casserole recipes call for cream of mushroom or chicken soup.

While I do like the canned condensed soup, I thought I’d make my own for this recipe, and I’m glad I did.  Not only can you control the quality of ingredients that go into the dish, you can also control the amount of sodium as well.

Start by placing vegetable broth into a large pot.  You’ll use this same pot to eventually make the cheese sauce, so make sure your pot is big enough to fit the sauce base and all of the cheese and other delicious ingredients that go into it.

Bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat.

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Add chopped mushrooms, Dashida, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, and thyme to the pot.  Stir to combine, then place a lid on the pot.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the mixture returns to a boil.

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While the broth is simmering, whisk some flour and milk together.

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Pour the flour mixture into the boiling liquid, whisking as you pour so as to prevent lumps from forming.

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Turn the heat down to medium-low.  Cook for a couple of minutes to allow the base to thicken.  See, doesn’t this look better than the canned condensed soup?

It tastes better too. 🙂

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Once you’ve got the base done, you can finish up the cheese sauce.

Whisk in some milk.

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Add shredded cheese and sour cream to the pot.  Stir the mixture until the cheese melts.  Turn the heat off and place a lid on the pot.  Set the cheese sauce aside for now while you cook the ground beef.

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Brown lean ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions, garlic powder and Dashida; cook for 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent.

imagePreheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place a layer of frozen tater tots in the bottom of a DEEP baking dish.  A deep roasting pan works well.

Pack those babies in there!

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I don’t show it here, but add half of the cheese sauce to the pan, on top of the tater tots.

Add all of the ground beef to the pan, on top of the cheese sauce.

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Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the ground beef.

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Top with more tater tots.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy on top and the sauce is bubbly.

Serve and ENJOY!

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Tater Tot Casserole
 
Author:
Recipe type: One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Delicious comfort food combining the childhood favorite, Tater Tots, with seasoned ground beef and a creamy, cheesy sauce.
Ingredients
Meat and Potato Filling:
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida (Korean beef flavored seasoning)
  • 1 large bag Tater Tots
Sauce Base:
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons Dashida
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup flour
Cheese Sauce:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (I like to use a Mexican cheese blend)
  • 1 cup sour cream
Instructions
Prepare the Sauce Base:
  1. Bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the mushrooms, Dashida, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder and thyme. Return the mixture to a boil.
  3. Whisk the milk and flour in a small cup or bowl. Pour the mixture into the boiling liquid, whisking as you pour to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for a couple of minutes to thicken the base.
Make the Cheese Sauce:
  1. Whisk the remaining milk into the sauce base.
  2. Stir in the shredded cheese and sour cream. Set the sauce aside.
Brown the Meat:
  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and Dashida. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
Layer the Casserole:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using a DEEP DISH pan, layer the casserole as follows:
  3. ~ Tater tots, half the cheese sauce, meat, remaining sauce, then tater tots.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top layer of tater tots are golden brown and crispy and the cheese sauce is bubbly.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

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