Sunday, May 22, 2011

The kids (and my) Favorite Tator Tot Casserole

I know it's hard to believe but when Scott and I were first married I didn't really cook.  I mean I could make baked chicken or something super simple.  Then we had our son and I added a couple of more meals to my list.  Some where between moving into a house and having my second child, a miracle occurred and I learned to cook.  I distinctly remember having to prepare a meal for another church family and having no idea what to prepare.  That situation brought me to my first tator tot casserole recipe.  I'd never heard of it and definitely never eaten it.  Really I'm not sure what my mom used to cook for us when we were kids, it's amazing we were alive.  I think I might have eaten a lot of peanut butter and that's why I can't stand it.  The first recipe I tried for tator tot casserole was yummy and I have since misplaced the printed out sheet.  I have tried a few others but nothing was just perfect.  Christmas of 2010 was a cookbook Christmas, my older sister got me The Cooking Mom by Amy Hanten.  This recipe is the BEST EVER.  It tastes good with beef or turkey.

2 pounds ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1 can French green beans, drained (I used thawed frozen)
1 1/2 cups corn (frozen again)
3 to 4 shredded cheddar cheese
1 package frozen tator tots
1 to 2 teaspoons steak seasoning salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Brown ground beef in the skillet.  Drain any grease.  Season beef with garlic salt and pepper.  Place beef in the baking dish.  Place beans and corn on top of beef.  In a large bowl, whisk together soup, milk, and sour cream.  Spread over ground beef in an even layer.  Top with tator tots.  Sprinkle tots with seasoning salt.  Top with cheese.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes covered loosely with foil.  Uncover and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

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