Recipe: Tater-Tot Casserole

23 Apr

Approximately eight years ago, I moved to Minnesota from California. It was a big change, as I’m sure you can imagine. The first hurdle to clear, of course, was the weather. I’ll never forget being a 16 year old high school student in the central valley of CA, complaining about the inhumanity of forcing children to go to school in 40 degree weather- were they waiting for people to freeze to death?! I was confused when my dad told me, “You don’t know cold.” I am no longer confused. I know cold.

But the weather is not the only difference between these two seemingly polarized locales. I found myself in the midst of a church-going community like I’d never seen; groups of matriarchal women making huge batches of what they called “hot dish” for their many different “potlucks”. I wasn’t initially convinced that casseroles could stand alone as a main course, but as any good Midwesterner knows, they are a staple in cold-weather cuisine. Their simple, hearty flavors do wonders for the chilled body, and provide comfort to the soul. Our favorite “hot dish” in our house, by far, is tater-tot casserole. Sure, it’s mundane, perhaps even pedestrian. But at the end of a long day in the snow, there’s nothing better.

Tater-Tot Casserole


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 can julienned green beans
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 onion
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • 1 bag frozen tater tots


  1. Brown ground beef with roughly chopped onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder (to taste).
  2. Drain meat, mix with ½ can of soup.
  3. Spread meat mixture in the bottom of an 8×8 oven dish. Cover with green beans and the rest of the soup. Arrange tater-tots in a single layer over the top of the meat and beans.
  4. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees (f) for 45-60 minutes.

Do you have any favorite casserole dishes? We’d love to see them in the comments!

Download the .pdf version of this recipe: Tater Tot Casserole


4 Responses to “Recipe: Tater-Tot Casserole”

  1. sheila @ Elements April 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    Great idea! I don’t think it’s mundane at all. It looks yummy, and I love everything in it! And it definitely will warm you up on a cold winter day! 🙂

    • chefshellina April 24, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      You’re so sweet! Thanks for coming by- let me know how you like the casserole if you make it. 🙂

  2. lifetasteslikefood April 25, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    You had me at tater tots, the rest is just icing on the cake!!! Looks delicious!!! 🙂

    • chefshellina April 25, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      Haha! Indeed, tater-tots are a fave around here, too.

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