Friday, May 25, 2012

Tater Tot Casserole

Now that warmer weather is here we’ve been grilling outside a lot.  But on those rainy busy day care days my husband needs something he can bake while I’m at work.  I decided to make a real classic this week because we recently got an eighth of a cow from the local butcher.  Now we have a freezer full of fresh steaks and ground beef and I’m excited to make some tasty dinners!  This one is a big hit with little kids.  It’s an easy way to hide vegetables and they can help line up the tater tots on top.


2 lbs ground beef                        7.50
1 medium or 2 small onions        .50
16 oz frozen mixed veggies       1.00
2 cans reduced fat                      3.50
      Cream of mushroom soup
1 Tbsp beef base                           .25
1 Tbsp steak seasoning                .25
32 oz frozen tater tots                2.59
Salt, Pepper and all purpose seasoning to taste


In a medium sauce pan brown the ground beef with 1 Tbsp of steak seasoning.  Drain and set aside.  Chop the onion and sauté in the pan until just starting to get tender.  Add the beef back to the pan and stir well.

 Stir in 16 oz of your favorite frozen vegetable.  I like the mixed vegetables because they add a lot of color and variety.  Green beans, mushrooms, edamame or lima beans would work great in this casserole.

Add 1 Tbsp of beef base, ¼ cup of water and two cans of reduced fat cream of mushroom soup to the pan.  Stir well.  Give the beef mixture a taste and add salt, pepper and all purpose seasoning to your preference. 

Pour half your meat mixture into two 8x8” pans or one 9x13” pan.

  Top with tater tots.  I like to put mine in neat rows.   This would be a great time to let your little ones help.  So gather your tots and bust out the taters! 

Cover your pans with foil and label. 

I recommend baking covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes to warm through.  Then remove the foil and bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes until the tater tots are a nice golden brown.  This will create a great crunch and contrast to your dish.   I put one in the fridge for my husband to bake tomorrow and one in the freezer to use in a few weeks.  When you are ready to bake the frozen casserole, please thaw in the fridge for two days before baking. 

I was able to make two dinners for $7.80 each.  This recipe doubles easily for making bigger batches or two 9x13” pans. 

If you have picky eaters, or know a mom with a new baby, this casserole is a winner! 

Christie aka Keeza