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Tater Tot Hot Dish

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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 (20 ounce) package frozen meatballs
1 (4 ounce) jar mushroom slices, drained
1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups shredded Swiss or Havarti or Colby cheese
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1 (16 ounce) package frozen peas
1 (16 ounce) package frozen tater tots

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Tater Tot Hot Dish

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

Okay, this isn’t the prettiest recipe in my collection, but it may be the most satisfying. Tater Tot Hot Dish is a classic Midwestern recipe that usually combines ground beef, canned vegetables, and some type of condensed soup with tater tots.

Don’t sneer. It’s pretty good!

But there’s always a way to make a classic recipe better. I used meatballs instead of ground beef, added fresh vegetables, used Alfredo sauce, and added cheese, sour cream, and mustard. And bacon. Always, always bacon. Those changes update this recipe and bring it into the 21st century.

You can, of course, use condensed cream of mushroom soup in place of the Alfredo sauce, and add frozen mixed vegetables. I’m certainly not going to stop you. Just make this recipe (or a variation thereof) on a cold winter or spring night when you really need some comfort food.

Because this is it.




Oh – and here’s a great tip for reheating leftovers. The tater tots will not be crisp if you reheat this dish in the microwave oven. So bake some more tater tots. Heat the casserole in the microwave and just mush the old tots in with the rest of the yummy sauce, then top with the crisp tots. Problem solved!



Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9" x 13" glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the red bell peppers and cook for another minute.


Add the frozen meatballs and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the Alfredo sauce and milk and bring to a simmer.


Simmer until the meatballs are thawed, then add the sour cream, mustard, soy sauce, and cheese and heat until the cheese melts. Stir in the bacon and peas.


Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and top with the frozen tater tots. I put the dish on a cookie sheet because it can spill over in the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling and the tots are crisp and golden brown.


Linda Larsen has a B.A. in Biology from St. Olaf College, and a B.S. in Food Science and Nutrition with High Distinction from the University of Minnesota. She has worked for the Pillsbury Company on the Bake-Off and in their test kitchens since 1988. Linda has written 37 cookbooks (and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005.

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