Nothing says high class like a casserole topped with tater tots.
Am I right?
I’m choosing to believe your silence is an enthusiastic Heck yeah!
When I was 12 years old Tater Tot Casserole was my favorite dinner. This should surprise no one. What 12 year old wouldn’t go nuts for this? It’s like eating a cheeseburger, except instead of a bun you get crispy tater tots and some cream of mushroom soup.
Ok, so the cream of mushroom soup bit sounds a little funky, but don’t tell me you aren’t dreaming about a cheeseburger on a tater tot bun now. (note to self: figure out how to make tater tot buns. Sell them to Red Robin. Make millions of dollars. Move to the beach and spend the remainder of my life reading novels and eating tater tots. End note.)
I was curious to see if this childhood favorite was still as delicious as I remembered it. I went to my most trusted source for the recipe–my mom–but I decided to do a little Internet research to see if there were other versions out there.
Turns out, people have some pretty strong feelings about their tater tot casserole. I read more than a few message boards filled with arguments about whether the casserole should have green beans or corn, cheese or french fried onions, tots on top or tots on bottom.
What did I learn from my research? Don’t mess with someone’s favorite casserole recipe. There will be hell to pay.
In the end I decided to stick with the tried and true recipe of my youth with only a few minor changes. We are firmly in the green bean and cheese camp, but I did decide to replace one can of condensed soup with sour cream. The recipe is very forgiving so use whatever condensed soup you have on hand and feel free to sub in different cheese as well. (I have visions of a spicy version with green chilies and pepper jack cheese…)
I served this to our community group and everyone loved it, including those who didn’t grow up on this hearty casserole. I also made a vegetarian version of this by subbing a pound of fresh sliced mushrooms sauteed in butter for the meat layer. The vegetarians (and non vegetarians) of our group all approved.
While I love cooking with fresh veggies and herbs, everyone needs a few recipes like this in their back pocket. With only a couple pantry items and 20 minutes of hands-on time, this dinner is a cinch to throw together. The recipe serves around 8, so if you have a small family, I recommend putting it in two 8 x 8 inch baking dishes and freezing one for later.
I’m so thrilled to be sharing this recipe with the #SundaySupper Movement this week. The theme for this week was retro recipes. For a healthy dose of nostalgia, check out all the other great contributors below the recipe and join us at 7 PM on Twitter to share your favorite Retro Recipes as well! Do you have any childhood recipes you’d like to bring back?
Tater Tot Casserole for #SundaySupper
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 can low sodium cream of chicken or mushroom soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cans low sodium green beans (or 16 oz package frozen green beans, thawed)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used a mixture of mild and sharp)
- 1 large bag tater tots
- **For a vegetarian version replace meat with a pound of fresh sliced mushrooms sauteed in 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Replace cream of chicken soup with cream of mushroom soup. Place mushrooms on the bottom followed by soup mixture, beans, cheese, and tots.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease one 9 x 13 inch pan or 2 8 inch square or 9 inch pie dishes.
- In a large skillet brown beef until almost no pink remains. Drain all but about 1 Tablespoon of the fat. Add the onions and continue to cook until the onions are softened. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place the meat mixture at the bottom of the baking dishes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together cream soup, sour cream, and milk. Pour over hamburger.
- Scatter green beans over top of the soup mixture.
- Scatter shredded cheese over green beans.
- If making this ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze at this point. When you're ready to bake the casserole, arrange the tater tots on top of the cheese. Bake until mixture is bubbly and the tots are golden brown, about 40 minutes at room temperature, 50 from the fridge, and an hour from the freezer.
Using canned green beans (vs. frozen) or regular sodium canned soup will greatly impact the saltiness of this dish. I personally recommend using low sodium versions of all ingredients and making sure your beef mixture is well seasoned, but regular sodium ingredients can be substituted.
Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:
- Irish Cheddar-Whiskey Fondue by girlichef
- She Devils: Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs by Ruffles & Truffles
Sunday Supper Retro Salads:
- Coca-Cola Salad by Magnolia Days
- Salmon Salad | Retro Tuna Salad by Family Foodie
- Ambrosia Salad by Simply Gourmet
- Romaine “Wedge” Salad with Hot Maple Bacon Dressing by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Carrot & Raisin Salad by The Roxx Box
- Sweet & Smoky Broccoli Salad by In The Kitchen with KP
Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:
- Italian Style Bread by The Meltaways
- Creamed Chipped Salmon Jerky on Toast by Pescetarian Journal
- Grown-Up Tuna Melts by Home Cooking Memories
- English Muffin Pizzas by Comfy Cuisine
- Patty Melt, Hand Cut Fries, & a Shake by Mooshu Jenne
- Grown-Up Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup by Catholic Foodie
- Toast Topper #16: Grandma’s Mock Apricot Jam by What Smells So Good?
SundaySupper Main Dishes:
- Chicken Pot Pie Topped With Bacon Cheddar Biscuits by Chocolate Moosey
- Tuna Noodle Casserole by Country Girl in the Village
- Nana’s Marinated Beef Roast by Supper for a Steal
- Chorizo Scotch Eggs by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Chicken Maryland by Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Mushroom Stroganoff by Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Dairyfree Toast Hawaii by Galactosemia in PDX
- Porcupine Meatballs by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chicken Kiev by The Urban Mrs.
- Salmon Quiche with Preserved Lemon by Shockingly Delicious
- Steak Diane by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Fried Chicken only in the Oven by In the Kitchen with Audrey
- Hambak Steak a.k.a. Salisbury Steak by Kimchi Mom
- Retro-Redo: Homemade TV Dinner by The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- Kicked Up Meatloaf by Curious Cuisiniere
- Shrimp Scampi (a lighter version) by Kudos Kitchen
- Old-Fashioned Pork Chops by My Trials in the Kitchen
- Jägerschnitzel by Sustainable Dad
- Healthier Hamburger-Corn Noodle Casserole by The Weekend Gourmet
- Inspired by Tuna Noodle Casserole by Cookistry
- Chicken-N-Biscuits Pot Pie Casserole by The Messy Baker Blog
- Souper Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes by Mama.Mommy.Mom
- Meatloaf that will make you swoon and Datz the truth by Midlife Roadtrip
- Spaghetti with Currywurst Sauce by Masala Herb
- Tator Tot Casserole by NeighborFood
Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:
- Smokey Braised Red Cabbage by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Classic Corn Casserole by The Foodie Army Wife
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Balsamic by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Classic Green Bean Casserole Redux by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Mem’s Broccoli Casserole by Momma’s Meals
Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:
- Peachy Keen Tutti-Frutti Jello by La Cocina de Leslie
- Old School Boozy Rum Cake by Webicurean
- Individual Baked Alaskas by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Rainbow Jello by Cravings of a Lunatic
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Noshing with the Nolands
- Pineapple Bars by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Creamy Dairy Free Fresh Orange Julius With Coconut Milk by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Refrigerator Strawberry Cheesecake by There and Back Again
- Frozen Pineapple Upside-Down Cake by Juanita’s Cocina
- Boston Cream Pie by Gotta Get Baked
- Coca-Cola Cupcakes by Daily Dish Recipes
- Jello Poke Cake by Flour On My Face
- Devil’s Food Cake by Maroc Mama
- Bread Pudding with Pecans by Basic and Delicious
- Victoria Sponge Cake by The Lovely Pantry
- A Chocolate Twist on the Classic Japanese Strawberry Shortcake by Ninja Baking
- Post War Apple Pudding by My Cute Bride
- Layered Mini Chocolate Banana Cakes by Big Bears Wife
- Raspberry Jam Cakes by Pippis in the Kitchen Again
- Cocktail: Moscow Mule by Crazy by Crazy Foodie Stunts
What fun to read the stories about the recipes! There’s lots of great food in the list. I admit I still make and enjoy many of them. Nice to see some updated versions too. Which one is your favorite?
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.