Taco Tater Tot Casserole is made with seasoned ground beef, refried beans and veggies. Topped with everyone’s favourte golden tots and a zesty Pico de Gallo, this casserole brings all the kids (young and old) to the table.
Tater Tots Are the Ultimate Casserole Topper
Simply put, Tater Tots have elevated the humble potato from simple beginnings to it’s full potential. Scroll through Pinterest and you’ll find a large number of tempting tot covered casseroles. It’s no coincidence…tots make a great casserole topping. They look impressive, taste amazing and always keep their crispy edge. There are really only a few ways to top a casserole, but a top layer of Tater Tots really brings a casserole to another level.
One pan dinners are all the rage right now, and casseroles are the original one pan dinner. They’re the stuff that keeps busy families on the go! Baked pastas are always a huge hit and an extra casserole in the freezer is always a great idea. It doesn’t hurt to have a few ‘go to’ quick dinner ideas up your sleeve…like tacos! They were the favourite quick dinner in our house because they were ready in 30 minutes flat. These tacos of days gone by provided the inspiration for this Taco Tater Tot Casserole.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Speaking of tacos (one of my favourite subjects), our Tex Mex inspired basic ground beef tacos were always made using a Quick Homemade Taco Seasoning. The spice mix includes common spices found in most pantries and takes mere minutes to prepare. Best of all, the recipe is customize-able to fit tender young palates aka picky eaters.
How to Freeze this Tater Tot Casserole For Later
Thinking of making an extra casserole for your freezer? This Tater Tot Casserole is really easy to freeze. Just assemble all ingredients (as per the recipe) in a baking dish then top with the tots, cover well and freeze. Short on tots? Just freeze the base layer then top with the cheese and tots just before baking.
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Cheesy Taco Tater Tot Casserole
Cheesy Taco Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 medium onion; finely diced
- 1 red pepper; finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic; finely minced
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 can (284 ml) Original Rotel; drained or 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can (398 ml) refried beans
- 2 cups shredded cheddar
- 1 batch homemade taco seasoning
- 1 bag frozen tater tots (arrange them inside your pan before baking to find out how many you need)
- Pre-heat oven to 425 F and bake tater tots on a parchment covered baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 F. If baking from frozen, do not pre-bake the Tater Tots but add 10-15 minutes extra cooking time.
- While the tots are baking, add onions and pepper to a large frying pan along with a tbsp of olive oil. Sauté for 5 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic to pan and sauté for a few more minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add ground beef to the pan and cook, breaking up the larger chunks as it cooks.
- When no red meat remains, add spices and cooked vegetables to the pan. Stir to combine.
- Add corn, tomatoes, and refried beans and stir to combine. The beans should be all through the meat as they give the casserole structure.
- Spread evenly in a 9 x 13 pan and top with shredded cheese. Top with tots.
- Bake for 30 minutes until tots are nice and golden.
- Let cool 5 minutes. Top with fresh Pico de Gallo (optional) then serve.
For many they are an irresistible treat but for a select few, tots are a way of life.