Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

When life gives you challenges, make a casserole. The Practical Cook, in her deeply Southern way, cannot resist a challenge. This year’s schedule made Christmas Brunch a necessity, and so the recipes must rise to the occasion. As the cook has trouble simply rising out of bed when on location at her brother’s house, the recipe must be easy and feed a crowd. Sound like what you want this week? Read on.

The Very Practical Tater Tot Casserole

The Very Practical Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

There are a million of these recipes out there, and endless variations. Here’s what I did, and what I would recommend going forward. As my brother noted, sometimes you’re in the mood for a Tater Tot. This recipe satisfies that urge, while still being a hash brown on the bottom. It’s like the mullet of casseroles, Tot on top, party in the back.

2 bags Tater Tots, thawed (or generic Tater Tots, if the guy in the freezer section recommends a different brand that has less salt and fat in it, and is cheaper, welcome to my grocery shopping world)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small container of sour cream (I used Daisy brand for this)
2 cups chicken stock
4 ounces of extra sharp cheddar, shredded
4-6 pieces of high-quality bacon, cooked and chopped
pre-shredded cheese blend to top

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and locate a large baking dish.

The ritual thawing of the tots by candlelight.

The ritual thawing of the tots by candlelight.

2. In a medium bowl, combine soup, sour cream, and chicken stock. Whisk to blend completely.

Tater Tot Casserole Ingredients

Tater Tot Casserole Ingredients

3. Layer one bag of Tater Tots (and do make sure they’re thawed) on the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/2 of the soup mixture over them. Top with 1/2 the cheddar and all of the bacon.

Tater Tot Casserole layered and prepped for the oven.

Tater Tot Casserole layered and prepped for the oven.

4. Add the second bag of Tots. Pour remaining soup mixture, cheese, and any extra pre-shredded blend over the top. Bake for 350 for an hour, checking to see if it becomes overbrown or is cooked through.

5. Serve hot!

Notes: I think the Onion Tator Tots would be awesome here, like Waffle House without the scattering, but couldn’t find them in my last-minute shopping run. You could saute an onion and add it, or toss in some diced scallions. Parsley would also be a nice choice if you wanted some green, or diced pimentos or red peppers if you wanted some red. Dried thyme would change this to a more complex dish, and I plan on trying it with 1 teaspoon or so added to the soup mixture.

Tater Tot Casserole Aftermath

Tater Tot Casserole Aftermath

Overall, this was a huge hit, very simple, impressive looking, and tasty. It is not a health food, but I don’t consider brunch, particularly a holiday one, a calorie-cutting opportunity. Special thanks to my extended family for tasting this right out of the test kitchen. I’m very lucky to be related to you all.

Are you a fan of brunch casseroles? I plan on doing a whole segment on them soon. Post a comment below if you’ve got ideas.

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7 Comments

Filed under Recipes

7 responses to “Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

  1. Meredith

    I think my kids will love this … looking forward to making it this week while they are out of school. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • The Practical Cook

      If they’re not super big eaters, cut it in half, or invite their friends. But it does reheat nicely for many breakfasts/snacks. :)

  2. Maria

    My daughter loves tots, so I will try this one. Speaking of casseroles, just this past Christmas morning I was sitting at the table wondering how many other people in the world were eating Overnight Breakfast Casserole at the same moment (I know, what a weird thing to ponder). Just a simple mix of eggs, milk, sausage, cheese, bread cubes and a dash of dry mustard. It’s our Christmas morning tradition.

  3. I have made this recipe several times, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients. I had to improvise. I used 1# ground beef, 1 chopped onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and worcestchire sauce. I cooked that over med-high heat and after it was cooked I added 1 can of cheddar cheese soup and 1 can of milk and mixed it all together. I then poured that into a greased dish and topped it with cheddar and colby cheese. Following that, I topped it with tater tots. ( there are also new mashed potato tots from Ore-Ida that are AWESOME!) I baked that for about half an hour then put it on broil for about five more min. Then topped it with more shredded cheese. My husband loved it….with ketchup of course. I have to say I have made this many ways…I find it best with corn mixed in….and a nice fresh salad on the side…this is one of those meals that you have to balance out..in order to relieve some of the guilt of eating it! But man is it good..it is great mexican style too, with peppers and onions mixed into the beef and taco seasoning. Campbell’s makes a great fiesta cheese soup that mixes well with this too. It is one of those meals that you can do almost anything too. It is hard to screw it up. ENJOY!!!

    • The Practical Cook

      Interesting, that is definitely a full meal casserole (just add salad!). It’s funny, but this year I’ve discovered that for me, ground beef is strictly a lunch/dinner thing. It’s got to be pork for breakfast. I suppose that’s my Southern roots showing!

      Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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