Wednesday, March 14, 2012


If ever something was comfort food to us, this would be high on the's the ubiquitous Tater Tot casserole...sure it is totally bad for you but it sure does make you feel good at the same time!  Best of all, it's pretty inexpensive.

Begin by gathering the 6 simple ingredients:

1 - 1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 pkg of onion soup mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 16 oz pkg frozen peas
1 pkg frozen tater tots (we like the 'crowns' if you can find them)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Steps as follows:

1) Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish a bit just to keep everything from sticking. 
We put the meat and onion soup mix right in the pan and just mix it up there with your hands like a meatloaf.  At this time you can add other seasonings you might like. We added a bit of paprika and some cayenne for heat.

2) Press the seasoned meat into the bottom of the dish.

3)  Put the tater tots on top of the meat. Some people are very orderly in their approach, lining them all up in rows.  We just sort of randomly put them in, you'll see why in a couple more steps.

4) Pour/spread the cream of mushroom soup on top of tots. 

5) Sprinkle the peas randomly over the top.

6) Finally, spread about 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese over everything.

7) Bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins and then take it out of the oven.
This is an important (and different) step.  Using a large spoon, stir it around a bit, bringing the meat up from the bottom and breaking it up.  Add salt/pepper to taste and put the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top of what you stirred up.

Return to oven for another 20 mins, or until meat is fully cooked.

8) Remove from oven and it will look like this.  Not the prettiest dish at the dance but...

...when you dish it up, it sure is good.

Eat.  Repeat.  As often as desired.



Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

I have never tried the tater tot casserole. But that does look pretty good. I may have to try that (not that I need to eat anything else not good for me, haha)!

1st Man said...

You can leave out the peas if you don't like them, or change the seasonings up a bit. It's pretty forgiving. Of course, I pour ketchup on mine, but then again, I'm a kid at heart when it comes to this kind of food!

ricki lee said...

Wow. This looks amazing! I have always wanted to try a tater tot casserole and yours looks yummy. Thanks.

Have Myelin? said...

okay, i think you need a roommate. =) namely, me.

Annie*s Granny said...

Very similar to the one we love:

2 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 cans (10¾ oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup mixed with
1 soup can 1% low fat milk
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bag (32 oz) frozen bite-size potato nuggets (such as Tater Tots)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13 x 9-in. baking dish.

Cook beef and onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up clumps of meat with a wooden spoon, until meat is no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Spread meat mixture in baking dish. Pour soup mixture over top and spread to cover. Sprinkle evenly with cheese; top with potato nuggets.

Bake 1 hour or until bubbly and potatoes are lightly browned.

My daughter adds green beans to hers, but we like ours naked ;-)

Heather said...

ooooh, makin me hungry, kinda reminds me of Shepards Pie a little.

Patsy said...

This does sound tasty! I have joined your blog, so I can follow along with your journey! Patsy

1st Man said...

I hope you try it, it really is delicious. Like I said, probably not the healthiest, but it's delicious...ha. Come back and visit soon!

1st Man said...

Ha!! Too funny!! We don't eat like this EVERY day, but it is nice on occasion. :-)

1st Man said...

Yummy! Oh how I love a tater tot casserole. Thanks for your recipe!

1st Man said...

You know, I never thought about that! It is very Shepard's Pie like! Only a lot more casual, ha.

1st Man said...

Welcome welcome!!! Thanks for following along on our humble little blog. I hope you enjoy what I post. And yes, this is some yummy food! More recipes will be coming!

Country Life said...

Sounds really good! :)

Kelly said...

Peas? Peas? Really? There is no green stuff of any kind in tater tot casserole!!! It is simply comfort food topped off by cheese. I love peas, but get them out of there!! Actually, it's kind of funny because we just had a discussion about this very dish at church tonight.

Suporna Sarkar said...

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1st Man said...

It IS good! LOL! Hope you try it...(peas optional)

1st Man said...

Hey, they peas add color and provide a healthy portion to the meal, LOL! OK, fine, you can leave the peas out... :-)

1st Man said...

Thanks for the kind words! please stop by again, there will be something new at least every day. Thanks again and welcome!

Sara said...

My mom makes it with green beans and precooks the meat. I will have to try it your way. Well without the peas seeing no one in my house likes them.

1st Man said...

Thanks for commenting and welcome! Yes, I've had it that way as well. It's easier when you precook but we like this for the more rustic look it gives. Plus the meat comes out more chunky this way, just feels more substantial. There is no right or wrong way to do it ha. Green beans sound good too! So much dislike of peas, LOL! I love peas. Guess I'm in the minority, haha!

Deb said...

That looks great! Going to try tonight to see if I can get my 4 & 6 year olds to eat it. It would be nice to have a meal that we all eat!! Fingers crossed...

1st Man said...

AWWW, it's neat to know someone is trying something we posted! I sure hope it comes out great and more importantly, I hope they like it!!

Anonymous said...

I just followed your Sweet and Savory Brisket Recipe from Pinterest to your site (sounds good) and decided to look at your other recipes. I am especially interested in your Tater Tot Recipe. I, also, thought of Shepherd's Pie when I saw it. For that reason I'm going to try it with condensed tomato soup. (Mmm...My mouth is watering as I type this!) As for the peas, unfortunately when I was young my mother tended to over cook most everything. My gag factor rises when I remember shriveled little peas, toxic dark green Brussels sprout bombs and dark yellow, almost orange, corn on the cob! So, I only eat fresh or thawed--not cooked--peas in salads. If this works out, which I think it will, I think it should be called "Cheater Shepherd's Pie"! Pamela