Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tater Tot Casserole

It occurred to me a couple weeks ago that we haven't had this in FOREVER. Like, seriously forever. I don't even know if it's on the blog, it's been that long. This is one of the casseroles my mom would make when I was little and my folks weren't that well off. Kind of poor people food, but it's awfully good. She refused to make it for a long time, and I remembered it in college or shortly after I graduated, and I've been making it ever since. We were going to have it last night, but we ended up running to Walmart, and by the time we'd get home it was going to be too late to start it, so we just got one of their take and bake pizzas instead. Incidently, their pizzas aren't that bad, and they're pretty reasonably priced.

Tater Tot Casserole
1 lb ground beef
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
Cheddar cheese--sliced or shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Tater Tots

In an 11x7 pan, crumble or spread ground beef. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder on top of beef. Cover with sliced or shredded Cheddar cheese (NOT American cheese...real cheddar). Spread can of cream of mushroom soup over the cheese layer (this can be tricky business if you've used shredded cheese). Top with tater tots. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, uncovering for last 30 minutes. Or bake at 375 for one hour, uncovering for last 30 minutes.


You can use regular onion instead of onion powder, I just hate chopping up onions and opt for the easy way out. My mom always slices up cheese when she makes this, but I usually have shredded on hand and go with that. Slices are definitely easier than the shredded.

Personally I like a little ketchup on my plate to dip it in, but not everyone goes for that.

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