Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

The hubby came home from work tonight starving and while trying to decide what to make, I came across this Tater Tot Casserole I had made before.  When I made the casserole the first time, we weren’t very impressed.  Of course I couldn’t do the cream of mushroom since the hubby doesn’t like mushrooms but it was so bland, we didn’t even save the leftovers.  I think the puppies had a good dinner that night!

In theory the tater tot casserole sounds SO GOOD so I decided we could tweak it and do kind of a combination tater tot casserole and cheeseburger pie.  Cheeseburger Pie is a go-to recipe when I don’t know what else to make because it’s so good, so easy, and made with ingredients I almost always have on hand.

Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

And so the Cheeseburger Tot Casserole was born.  Enough rambling, here’s how you make it:

Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 16oz frozen tater tots
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 2 cup shredded cheese, divided (I tend to just use up whatever kind of cheese I have, which you’ll see in the pictures below, I used a mix of Mexican and Italian cheeses)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or 1/4 cup finely chopped onion)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup chopped dill pickles (optional but delicious! Mine were kind of big, they should probably be smaller.  You could also use dill pickle relish for this.)
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

1. Brown the meat, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and drain off the fat.

Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

2. Stir in onion powder, chopped pickles, ketchup, mustard, flour and milk.

Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

3. Once mixture is bubbly and getting thicker (it doesn’t really take any time at all), remove from heat and add 1 cup shredded cheese.

Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

4. Pour into baking dish sprayed with cooking oil or buttered (I used a 2qt round dish) and pour frozen tater tots all over the top of the meat.  The hubby said the tots needed a little salt and pepper.  I thought they were fine.  Personal preference there whether you want to either toss the tots with some seasoning, or throw a little extra on top… or just leave them as they are.

Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

5. Bake according to the tater tot directions (mine baked at 450 for 20-24 minutes).

6. Add the extra cup of cheese on top of the tater tots in the last about 2 minutes of baking.  That’s just enough time to melt the cheese, if you want it a little browned, I’d say about 5 or 10 minutes.  Make sure that before you put the cheese on it, the tater tots are starting to crisp.

Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

You can also add crumbled bacon into the meat mixture to make it a Bacon Cheeseburger Tot Casserole.  Since my husband thinks bacon is its own food group and I’m not so fond of it, we did half and half and I just sprinkled bacon crumbles on top of half of the meat mixture rather than mixing them in.  It would probably be good if you mixed some ranch dressing mix into the meat too… Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger Tot Casserole.  Okay, definitely trying that next time!

Bacon Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

This is a meal you can have on the table in less than 45 minutes.  If you know you’re going to have a very busy evening but have a little free time during the day, you could even cook up the meat mixture ahead of time, throw it in the fridge, then just pour the tater tots over the meat and put it in the oven when you need it.

Cheeseburger Tot Casserole

Hope y’all enjoy!  Let me know what you think when you try it!

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