About This Tater Tots Casserole Recipe
Fast and easy dinners are my favorite, and this tater tots casserole recipe needs only a handful of ingredients and is on the table in less than an hour!
Since being introduced to Americans in 1956, tater tots have only grown in popularity over the years. Add to that ground meat, green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and cheese, and you have a dish that redefines comfort food.
Tater tots casserole, or “hotdish” as it’s known in Minnesota, is a dinnertime favorite. While there are many variants of this casserole, I wanted a meatless dinner, so I skipped the ground meat and opted for a homemade mushrooms cream sauce.
The deep earthy flavors of a fresh, homemade cream of mushrooms can’t be beaten, especially when you can get it done in just a few minutes. I’m sure that if you try it, you’ll never want to open a can of mushroom soup again.
This vegetarian version is loaded with comfort, flavor, and of course, tater tots. It is a comforting casserole, the kind of recipe you want to make for a busy weeknight dinner or Sunday supper.
What You Need for This Tater Tots Casserole Recipe
- Tater Tots: They are the star of this recipe.
- Milk and Flour: Two simple ingredients that help add a creamy texture and luxurious silkiness to a baked dish.
- Shredded Cheese: The shredded cheese gives that gooey texture and adds a lovely punch of flavor.
- Cooking Cream: A versatile ingredient, you can add it to sweet as well as savory sauces to create a rich and smooth texture.
- Mushrooms: White mushrooms are known for being very low in calories and offering multiple health benefits. They add a deep earthy flavor to this casserole.
- Thyme: The best herb I have found over the years to complement the mushrooms’ flavor is thyme. It has a pronounced, concentrated herbal flavor with sharp grass, wood, and floral notes.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic adds a bolder aromatic touch to the sauce.
- Butter and Extra Virgin Olive Oil: I like to use the mix to sauté the mushrooms. By combining the two, you cut down on the amount of fat intake from butter without compromising the flavor.
- Shredded Cheese: I have used a combination of mozzarella and red cheddar cheese, but you may use whatever melting cheese you like. Monterey Jack is perfect for this recipe too.
- Mushrooms: I have used fresh white button mushrooms for this recipe, but you may substitute them with brown or cremini mushrooms. You could also use a combination of your favorite mushroom varieties.
- Thyme: I like thyme because it complements the mushrooms’ flavor. You can also substitute it with parsley, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, chives, or cilantro.
- Milk: Personally, I prefer milk, but vegetable, chicken, or beef stock are also wonderful for this mushroom cream.
- Cooking Cream: Heavy cream, light cream, thickened cream, or half and half, all yield similar results and add richness.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic would be preferable, but you can also use garlic powder if that’s all you have on hand.
Can I make this tater tots casserole ahead of time?
Yes. You may prepare the mushroom cream sauce up to 2 days in advance and keep it in the fridge. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, just mix the thawed tater tots, mushroom cream sauce, and shredded cheese and bake.
Can I freeze this casserole?
Yes. You can freeze this tater tots casserole with homemade mushroom cream sauce completely finished. Just cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or a layer of foil and freeze. When you’re ready to serve it, bake it from frozen at 200℃/392°F for about 45 to 60 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown and it is bubbly.
How to store this casserole?
You can store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, you just need to microwave it until hot.
Tater Tots Casserole With Homemade Creamy Mushrooms Sauce
A quick and easy weeknight dinner to satisfy the entire family, tater tots casserole with homemade mushrooms cream sauce is the perfect comfort food.
Yield: 4 servings
For the mushrooms cream sauce
For the tater tots casserole
How To Make Tater Tots Casserole Step By Step
Start with the mushrooms cream sauce. Heat the butter and extra virgin olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat until melted. Sauté the chopped garlic for about 1 minute.
Slice the mushrooms and add them into the pot, season with salt and pepper, add the thyme, cover the pot and cook for 5-10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the flour, milk, and cooking cream, mix well, and gently simmer until thickened.
While still hot, use a handheld blender to purée the mushroom mix at high speed until smooth and thick.
Add the shredded cheese and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/392°F.
Place tater tots in a 20 x 15 cm/7.9 x 5.9 inches baking dish, pour the mushroom cream, add the shredded cheese, and add more tater tots on top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tater tots are golden brown and cheese is melted.
- If the mushroom cream sauce is too thick, you may add a little bit of milk to thin it out.