Fall is in the air! I can feel it in my bones. The days are getting shorter, and today’s cooler temperature tickles and excites me for what the next few months will bring. I just love the Fall. It brings such relief from the oppressive heat and unrelenting humidity of the Summer months. What better way to celebrate the changing of the season than with casserole!!!
Today, I want to share my Tater Tot casserole with y’all! It’s a magical combination of textures, colors, and flavors that leaves you begging for more. It has a little bit of a healthier spin on it because I add veggies to the ground beef while I’m frying it (often veggies from my garden which makes it extra special!).
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again—I don’t love vegetables! I know! You’re probably like, “um, what? But she has a huge garden!?!”. Yep, it’s true. I have a huge garden, and I love to grow things, but eating said things…not so much. I have to be intentional and creative in my cooking to make sure that I get a healthy share.
I’ve found that “sneaking” them into some of my favorite dishes has been working great! This is a dish that I’ve found is super easy to add veggies to. And the fun thing is that you can be pretty creative as to what veggies you want to add. Some of our favorites are shredded carrots, peas, onions, and bell peppers—it’s delicious with each different veggie!
For this recipe, I used some peppers from the garden, and of course, onions! You can never have too many onions! Feel free to use whatever veggies you feel in the mood for, or leave them out altogether, if you choose ?.
Happy Fall Y’all!
Tater Tot Casserole
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- 2 TBSP Oil
- 2 medium onions (~400 grams), diced (optional)
- 2-3 large Bell Peppers/banana peppers/whatever kind of pepper you’d like (~250 grams), diced (optional)
- 4 medium Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1-2 tsp Salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp ground Pepper
- 2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 10.5 oz cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
- ½ cup Milk
- 2 15 oz cans cut Green Beans
- 7-8 square slices of your choice of cheese or 1½ – 2 cups shredded cheese (optional)
- 2 lbs Tater Tots, frozen
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat up a large cast iron casserole dish (or frying pan). Add the oil. Once the oil has heated up, place your minced garlic in the pan and let it simmer for about a minute.
Add the diced onions and peppers, stirring it well. Let the onion and peppers cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions start to get a slight translucent appearance.
Add the ground beef, mixing it so that it’s well dispersed among the peppers and onions. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Let it simmer until the meat is beautifully cooked all the way through.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, dump the can of Cream of Mushroom soup. Add about a ½ cup of milk (you can also just fill the soup can about ½ full so that you don’t dirty another dish–doesn’t have to be an exact measurement). Whisk the milk/soup mixture until it is nice, smooth, and lump-free.
Open the 2 cans of green beans, and drain the liquid off.
Once the meat has finished cooking, turn off the heat. If you are frying the meat in the dish you will bake the casserole in (like this awesome, old cast iron dish that Hubby found for me!), just smooth the meat/veggie mixture out so it covers the bottom of the dish. If you are baking it in a separate casserole dish, pour the meat mixture into that dish and spread it out in the same way.
Spread the drained green beans evenly over the meat mixture.
Pour the milk/soup mixture over the greens, using a spoon or spatula to get uniform coverage. If you are using cheese, now is the time to add it! I’ve done sliced cheese as well as shredded. Both work great and add a unique creaminess to the dish.
And, last but not least, spread out your taters. This is the fun part where you get to be creative. Sometimes, if I’m in a rush, I just dump them on and call it good, but if I have the time, I try to make it look a little nicer. Just do whatever you’re in the mood for, and have fun with it!
Stick the casserole in the oven, and bake it for 35-45 minutes, or until the tater tots are a nice, golden brown color.
Serve it warm with ketchup.