Tater tot hotdish. It’s not the heathiest thing to eat, and it’s certainly not the most fancy thing to make. But it’s a Minnesota classic. And what kind of Minnesotan would I be if I didn’t show you how to make it?
If you live outside of Minnesota, you’d probably call this something like “tater tot casserole.” But for some reason, Minnesotans say hotdish. I didn’t even know that was weird until talking to some out of town coworkers who laughed hysterically at the idea of eating something called “hotdish.”
Every Minnesota family has their own spin on the tater tot hotdish, and everyone will say that theirs is the correct way to make it. Some people add cheese, some people add veggies like carrots, peas, green beans, or corn. I’ve seen some versions with french fried onions too.
But generally speaking, as long as you’ve got some kind of cream of something soup, plus ground beef, plus tater tots, it’s legit. You can improvise as you see fit. You do you.
My version has cheese, corn and peas. Plus of course the old staples: ground beef, two different “cream of” soups–chicken and mushroom–and a crispy tater tot topping.
I’m not sure exactly which Minnesotan came up with the idea of making a casserole–um, hotdish–with tater tots as the central focus. But, hey, I can get behind it. Tots are the bomb. There’s a reason this stuff is so popular up here in the great white north.
When it’s cold out and you need a big helping of comfort food, I’m telling you. Go ahead and whip up a a big pan of tater tot hot dish, just like a good Minnesota grandma would make.
You won’t regret it.
Tater tot hotdish is an old-school, family-friendly Minnesota classic weeknight dinner. You might call it a casserole, but we Minnesotans call it a hotdish.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 10 oz cream of mushroom soup
- 10 oz cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1.5 cup colby jack cheese (shredded)
- 32 oz tater tots
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a skillet, cook the ground beef until no longer pink. Place the cooked beef in a large bowl and drain the grease. Set the beef aside. In the same skillet, sautee the onions and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the sauteed onions and garlic to the bowl with the ground beef and stir. Stir in the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, corn and peas. Mix until well combined.
Evenly spread the mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle one cup of cheese on top of the mixture. Place tater tots on top of the casserole, covering the top entirely.
Cook the casserole in a 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until bubbly and the tater tots are golden brown and crispy on top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake until the cheese is melted, about five minutes.