Recipe: Southwestern Tater Tot Casserole
Anyone ever had a tater tot casserole? I sure haven’t, but I came across one in a post about “14 Vegetarian Casseroles” and my interest was piqued. I’m not really even a huge fan of tater tots, but if there was ever an opportunity to give them a chance, this was it. Sure, a tater tot casserole isn’t the classiest, fanciest dish in the world, but it is damn tasty and is just the perfect bit of comfort food you might need after a long day.
The actual filling for the casserole is sort of like a veggie-loaded queso, and it’s glorious. I opted for pepper jack cheese, but you could also go for a sharp cheddar or even colby jack. I used about six ounces of pepper jack, but feel free to add more or less cheese if you’d like! Top with chopped green onions and some hot sauce (I’m newly obsessed with Frank’s Original RedHot Sauce) and you’ll be good to go.
I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this dish, and I guarantee your friends and family will be too. The tater tots stay crispy, even atop a mountain of gooey, bubbly cheese, and you don’t feel too bad eating this because it’s absolutely loaded with veggies! Enjoy.
3 T. butter
1 red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4-5 mini sweet peppers, diced (dice some extras for the garnish)
2 poblano peppers, diced
1 package mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 t. cumin
2 t. chili powder
1 t. smoked paprika
1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. milk
6 oz. pepper jack cheese, cut into cubes
1 - 14 oz. can black beans
1 - 11 oz. can fiesta corn
1 bag frozen tater tots
Salt & pepper to taste
Green onions for garnishing
1) Cook the tater tots according to package directions and set aside. Adjust the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
2) Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, poblano peppers and sweet peppers and season with the cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika. Stir thoroughly and sauté until the veggies are soft.
3) Add the flour and stir the mixture to coat. Pour in the milk slowly and stir constantly until the mixture is smooth. Add the cheese cubes and stir until melted.
4) Stir in the black beans and corn and season with salt and pepper.
5) Pour the mixture into a round pie dish and top with the tater tots. Bake for 25 minutes.
6) Remove and garnish with green onions and additional sweet peppers, if desired. Highly recommend serving with a bit of hot sauce!
Inspired by a recipe via Pinch of Yum