After twenty-five years of marriage, I finally broke down a few months ago and made my first tater tot casserole. I don’t know what possessed me to do so, but I did it, and now there’s no turning back … because they absolutely loved it. Their eyes — when they could pull them from the sloppy concoction in from of them — looked on me with adoration and gratitude. Who knew? I had always disdained this particular casserole. Tater tots? I’d think. Really? Can’t you think of anything more imaginative than that? But … there’s something to it. I can’t fight its popularity. So I’m sticking it in the rotation, such that it is. And tonight was appearance #3.
This is one of those dishes in which I use a bag of pre-cooked hamburger. (Discussed in my post on Batch Cooking vs. OAMC). Last week, I cooked about 10 lbs of hamburger — half seasoned for Italian dishes and half seasoned for Mexican dishes — and froze it in 4 cup servings. I love opening the freezer and seeing those waiting baggies. Half the work is already done.
So here’s my tweaked and twiddled version of Tater Tot Casserole:
- About 2 lbs of frozen tater tots
- About 4 cups of hamburger cooked with onion and green pepper, and seasoned with Italian seasoning and garlic
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can of milk
- shredded cheddar cheese
In a greased 9 x 13 pan, spread half the tater tots. Add the cooked and seasoned hamburger. Mix the two soups together with the one can of milk and spread over the hamburger mixture. Sprinkle with lots of cheese. Top with the remaining tater tots.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
I don’t blame you if you turn your nose up at this … but you’ll be missing out, nonetheless 🙂
HOW have you not ever made this????? I made it for Bill in our 1st year of marriage and it is made at least 1x amonth now. The girls LOVE it.
Gina, I have no explanation. I think it was casserole snobbery. But I’ve learned my lesson! Everyone in this house loves it.
anita scheftner says
love the recipes…but love seeing your pampered chef stoneware!
don’t you just love them?..lol..don’t know what i would do without mine…have you tried le crueset yet?..they are spendy..so haven’t tried it yet..
I haven’t tried Le Crueset, but I sure do love my PC stoneware. I gave away most of my other baking pans.
Linda J Baker says
I use a Le Crueset 7 qt dutch oven for everything. Would be lost with out it. The cheaper knocks off do not compare – the lids aren’t right. http://www.cutleryandmore.com/ usually has some great deals on good cookware. Le Crueset also is available in outlets – google for the best deals. I got mine nearly half of most retail from cutlery and more. (Free Shipping helps!)
I’ve heard so many good things about Le Crueset. I might have to run down to Sur La Table at Pike’s Street and check it out. I do use my grandma’s dutch oven quite a bit, but I’m pretty dependent on my crock pot. That thing barely ever cools off. 🙂
DeAnn Beck says
Could also make it with green beans. 1 can green beans , 1 can of mushroom or celery soup and 1/2 soup can milk 1 1/2 lbs hamburger… everything else the same.
I like that … I’m going to try it next time. My daughter loves green beans with a crazy passion.
Arline Stone says
I use P.C. stoneware, Christina used to sell it, But, I love my Le Crueset dutch oven. I use it for so many things, I use it in a slow oven, instead of using a crock pot. I have a smaller oval shaped one also, but don’t use it as much as the big round one. The Chinese are knocking them off, but they are not the same. I would have never spent $350.00 or so on the Dutch Oven, I picked it up at an estate sale. The person conducting the sale didn’t know what to ask for the two pieces, I offered $60.00, and the seller was very happy, so was I.
Arline! You’re a great wheeler-and-dealer!! Good job. 🙂 I’ll have to start frequenting estate sales. Between your recommendation and Linda’s, I’m thinking I’d like to try the Le Crueset Dutch oven.