Tater Tot Hotdish, also known as Tater Tot Casserole, is a classic comfort food recipe best known in Minnesota.
This Tater Tot Hotdish recipe is a combination of five ingredients you will most likely already have on hand – ground beef, onion, cream of mushroom soup, corn and tater tots.
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TATER TOT HOTDISH
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When I made Tater Tot Hotdish, I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m not from Minnesota. I’ve only been there a couple of times. I grew up in California and I had actually never heard of a Tater Tot Hotdish until recently. Tater Tots? You bet. I love them. I have a handful of recipes where tater tots are the star ingredient. But I had no idea what a hotdish, let alone a tater tot hotdish was.
Turns out, a hotdish is just another name for casserole.
What is a hot dish in Minnesota?
Since I had never been to Minnesota and had never even heard of a Hot Dish until recently, I had to consult my friend Julie who was born, raised, and still currently resides in Minnesota. She calls it “supper” instead of “dinner” and says “Ya”. I knew I could trust her advice.
She basically told me that Hot Dish was ground beef, cream of mushroom, corn and tater tots. I was a bit shocked that people combine those ingredients and call it a meal.
Where were the green vegetables? There had to be more to it.
“Should I add green beans or peas?” I asked her. Nope.
Not sure if traditional Hot Dish from Minnesota calls for onion, but I had to at least add onion to the ground beef.
Wanna know something? This Tater Tot Hotdish was freaking delicious. Like, way better than I thought it would be.
How long does it take to make Tater Tot Casserole?
The ingredients in this casserole recipe are super simple, however it does take some time to cook. Because of the simple ingredient list, however, the prep time is short and for the majority of the time the hotdish is in the oven. That means you can help the kids with their homework or go ice fishing or whatever else people do in Minnesota!
In all seriousness, the ground beef takes about 10 minutes to cook.
Then, you add all the other ingredients, stick it in the oven, and wait for everything to heat through and for the tater tots to get crisp. This part takes an additional 45 minutes or so.
How do you get tater tots crispy in the oven?
That is the burning question, isn’t it?
There are two tricks to getting your tater tots to crisp up when making a hotdish.
- Ensure they are in a single layer. If you have tater tots that are buried under other tater tots, they’ll turn to mush underneath. If you’re strategic about your placement, you’ll be able to fit them all in a single layer. This will probably work better with a rectangle 9×13 baking dish, but I wasn’t interested in dirtying another dish so I cooked them in the large fry pan that I cooked the meat in. The circle made it slightly more challenging to fit all the tater tots.
- Allow your tots to defrost slightly before cooking. You don’t want them to thaw completely, otherwise they’ll fall apart when you’re arranging them. But, somewhere in between frozen and thawed helps them get crispy when you cook them.
Tater Tot Hotdish, also known as Tater Tot Casserole, is a classic comfort food recipe best known in Minnesota. This recipe is a combination of five ingredients you will most likely already have on hand – ground beef, onion, cream of mushroom soup, corn and tater tots.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 14 ounce can corn drained
- 2 11 ounce containers cream of mushroom soup
- 2 pounds tater tots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once meat is starting to brown and is crumbly, remove from heat. This should take about 10 minutes.
Either transfer meat mixture to a 9×13 casserole dish or keep it in the skillet if it is 12″ diameter and oven safe. Top with corn.
Next top with cream of mushroom soup.
Finally, top with tater tots. You can just dump them on, but I like to make a pattern because I'm weird like that.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until everything is heated through and tater tots are crisp on the outside.
For extra crispy tater tots, allow to defrost slightly before baking.
This post was originally created for Centsless Meals and has been updated with more fun facts and tidbits for your reading pleasure.
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