Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tater Tot Casserole

Tell me that doesn't look good to you!  I had a craving one day for tater tots, and even though I had never been much of a fan of tater tot casserole, I decided to look around the internet for recipes.  I ended up changing Deep South Dish's version of the recipe to suit my taste.  Check out the link for instructions for variations on the recipe to make a breakfast casserole and a side dish casserole.  This recipe was so easy and definitely a keeper!

Tater Tot Casserole 
1 (10-ounce) can cream of mushroom or chicken soup (see this post for homemade cream of chicken soup)
1 cup milk 
1/2 cup of chopped sweet onion 
1 pound of ground beef 
1 teaspoon of minced garlic w/bell pepper (McCormick's)
1 tablespoon of fresh basil 
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme 
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning 
salt and pepper to taste
frozen peas, defrosted (drained if canned)--optional, can use green beans, corn, or mixed veggies
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 
1 pound package of frozen tater tots 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray; set aside. Whisk together the cream soup and milk until well blended; set aside.  Cook ground beef and chopped onion together until meat is browned; drain if needed and return to the skillet. Add the minced garlic/pepper, basil, thyme, Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper (might be seasoned enough without the salt and pepper). Transfer meat mixture to the prepared casserole dish, layer peas, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Evenly pour the soup mixture over the top. Arrange the tater tots on top and bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until potatoes are nicely browned and crisp. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese on top and return to the oven just until cheese is melted.

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