I feel incredibly blessed to have such amazing neighbors. It sort of feels like college- always having friends around and I love that. A month or so ago (after a looong night of hanging out) we decided that we were going to do a neighborhood “Tater Tot Casserole Cook-off.” Now, I’d never made tater tot casserole and in my mind I’d previously decided that I hated it. However, being person that cannot back down from a challenge I said that I would enter my winning recipe to take the victory. Yea, big talk considering I’d never even made a tater tot casserole. So, we set a date and off I went to find my winning recipe.
I knew I wanted to do something different than traditional tater tot casserole which usually calls for cans of cream of something and I also knew that I couldn’t go wrong with Mexican flavors. This casserole fit the bill perfectly. It came together quickly and easily and it tasted delicious.
I’m happy to report that all of our casseroles were delicious (you can see the other two in my picture above). We were very diplomatic in deciding that we were all winners and that each of our casseroles were awesome for different reasons.
Mexican Tater Tot Casserole
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend , divided
16 oz frozen tater tots (about 1/2 bag)
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 small can sliced black olives
Sliced pickled jalapenos
Fresh Diced Tomatoes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Heat canola oil in a large saute pan and add onions, ground beef and garlic. Cook until ground beef is cooked through and onions are soft. Drain any excess fat. Add taco seasoning mix, green chiles, frozen corn and black beans. Cook until warmed through and remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine beef mixture, frozen tater tots and 1 1/2 cups of cheese.
Pour 1/3 of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Gently press the ground beef tater tot mixture into the dish, making sure its level. (I also pulled up some of the tater tots to make sure they were on top so that some got crispy in the oven.) Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the ground beef and tater tot mix. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, uncovered.
During the last 5-10 minutes of baking add the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese, olives and jalapenos to the top of the casserole and bake until warm and bubbly. Top with chopped cilantro for serving.
Source: Blog Chef