Texas Tater Tot Casserole

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Hit all your comfort cravings with this Texas Tater Tot Casserole.

Y’all know I follow the 80/20 rule, right? The one where we try to eat nutrient-dense foods, lots of veggies, et cetera, 80 percent of the time, and splurge 20 percent? Well, my friends, this falls squarely on the 20 percent side.

Texas Tater Tot Casserole is the comfort food you need.

Tater tot casserole (or hotdish if you’re from Minnesota) is one of those comfort-food casseroles those of us who hail from the Midwest are pretty familiar with. We had it a lot as a kid and to tell the truth, I was never a fan.

This is mainly due to the fact that the traditional recipe is made with cream of mushroom soup, and I was a staunch opponent of all things mushroom.

Cream of mushroom soup has teeny-tiny pieces of mushroom in it, and yep, I was such a brat that I would pick out all the pieces and set them aside on my plate, forever annoying my parents.

Tater Tot Casserole - ingredients

Still, the thought of the dish — a cheesy, saucy dish topped with crispy potatoes — brings forth lots of feelings about growing up in Wisconsin, even if I didn’t eat it back then.

And that made me want to re-create the dish to fit my now home, the place we’ve lived for more than 10 years.

ingredients for tater tot casserole

To make this tater tot casserole truly Texas-style, of course you have to start with brisket. 

Pick up some extra at your BBQ pit stop and save it for this recipe. Be sure to get a good mix of lean and fatty, as well as some bits that have a good char on them.

Texas Tater Tot Casserole one of those comfort-food casseroles those of us who hail from the Midwest are pretty familiar with.

Instead of cream of anything soup, we’re mixing up a thinner queso.

Yep, that good old mix of melted cheese and Ro-Tel you’ve probably been seeing on TV for halftime snacking. Instead of using American cheese product, first you make a roux and add in milk.

For the cheese I used a mix of Monterey Jack and Cheddar, and then the diced tomatoes with jalapeños. (You can save some to eat with chips, I don’t mind.)

Texas Tater Tot Casserole hits all your comfort food cravings.

To be completely honest we don’t normally have tater tots in the house, but every once in a while I just get a craving.

Thanks to this dish I can get all of my cravings taken care of at once, and with not too much work.

Texas Tater Tot Casserole is a cheesy, saucy dish topped with crispy potatoes.

Note that while this recipe calls for the whole bag of tater tots, the size and shape of your pan will determine how many you use.

If you use an enameled cast iron skillet like the one pictured, you will have some tots left over.

Texas Tater Tot Casserole

Texas Tater Tot Casserole

Hit all your comfort cravings with this Texas Tater Tot Casserole.
4.36 from 14 votes
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 634 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or mixture of cheeses, divided (about 10 ounces total)
  • 10 ounces Ro-Tel style tomatoes, (tomatoes with chiles)
  • 2 cups chopped cooked brisket
  • 32 ounces frozen tater tots
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream, to serve

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a casserole dish or enameled cast iron skillet.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour to create a roux and cook, whisking, until golden brown.
  • Whisk in milk, scraping up roux and incorporating. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat. Whisk in 2 cups of cheese until completely melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in tomatoes.
  • Scatter brisket on the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Pour cheese sauce over the top. Arrange tots on top of the sauce; some might sink down a little.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove from oven, scatter remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top. Return to oven for 10 minutes.
  • When done, remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving to allow the sauce to thicken and the dish to cool slightly. Scatter green onions on top and serve with sour cream, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 634 kcalCarbohydrates: 40 gProtein: 31 gFat: 40 gSaturated Fat: 17 gCholesterol: 116 mgSodium: 1008 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 2 g
Tried this recipe?Share on Instagram and mention @stetted or tag #stetted!

Memory Lane Comfort Food

19 Comments

  1. I live by the 80/20 rule too, but I think mine is the reverse of yours! Trying to be better, and I am eating mushrooms, so I’m very proud of myself! All hail the “hotdish!” I’ve never had a tater tot casserole, but that’s going to change!

  2. I am learning a few new dishes today with this theme. I have not ever eaten tater tots but they look sinfully good. I will absolutely eat them when I am doing my 20% naughty LOL.

  3. This looks SO good. I’m a big fan of potatoes and cheese together, especially in the form of fries or tots. This dish would be perfect for a football-watching party. Can’t wait to try!

  4. I live by the 80/20 rule too, but I think mine is the reverse of yours! Trying to be better, and I am eating mushrooms, so I’m very proud of myself! All hail the “hotdish!” I’ve never had a tater tot casserole, but that’s going to change!

  5. First of all, I STILL pick out all the tiny pieces of mushrooms out of the soup. And second, this is a rockin’ recipe with the brisket and cheese. Absolutely killed it! Let’s hear it for the 20% splurge. My husband would love it.

  6. My family will absolutely love this Texas Tater Tot Casserole. It’s sheer comfort food. Nice to do Progressive Eats with you.

  7. The whole world around here is going nuts for poutine. I don’t have the slightest interest in trying it – not sure why, but this Tater Tot Casserole has me salivating. Guess that means I’m much more into real comfort food than trendy stuff. If you get me into the frozen food aisle to buy Tater Tots, there are a lot of people around here who are going to be scratching their heads, wondering what’s happened. I’ll be laughing all the way to a big helping of this casserole.

  8. Oh my gosh Megan, so totally decadent and I think even more so with your changes which I love. I have a thing for tater tots. I never buy them to have at home but they are the only food I ever crave from a fast food menu!

    These would be the perfect Super Bowl dish; I might be watching the game. 🙂

    1. @Linda No, the tater tots don’t need to be defrosted! They cook up very well from frozen. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Made this for dinner on a whim the other night and it was SO good. Getting good brisket is tricky in the middle of IL, so I used taco meat instead but left the rest of the recipe as-is.

    Husband and I fought over the leftovers. Will absolutely make again!

  10. Made this for dinner on a whim the other night and it was SO good. Getting good brisket is tricky in the middle of IL, so I used taco meat instead but left the rest of the recipe as-is.

    Husband and I fought over the leftovers. Will absolutely make again!

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