I first heard of tater tot casserole when watching an episode of 19 Kids and Counting. It sounded like something I could really support! I started looking at sites like allrecipes.com and the Duggar family website for a recipe to make this yummy looking dish. None of the recipes I looked at seem just right. I made up my own as I went along, and I've been tweaking it into the recipe I'm sharing today. My family seems to like it, and I hope you do, too! This is the first dish I made and considered a success, so it holds a special place in my heart. Plus it's cheesy, comforting, and really tasty.
I usually serve this as a main dish with a salad and rolls. It can be put together and refrigerated in the morning, and you can pop it in the oven when you get home from work. That makes this a pretty simple meal to put together. No, it's not the healthiest thing in the world, but it sure is good.
Note: Because I added to and modified this so much, it makes a ton. I use a 9x13 glass pyrex dish plus a smaller size glass dish I have. Just know it makes more than will fit in a normal size casserole dish. You can probably get away with dividing it into two 9x13 dishes. It just won't be as deep.
Tater Tot Casserole
2 pounds tater tots
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
finely chopped onion to taste
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 dash minced garlic
1 teaspoon seasoning salt (I use Lawry's)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup softened butter
grated parmesan cheese (to taste)
2 pounds ground beef* (optional - I always use it because it makes this a more filling meal)
3 cups Cornflakes cereal
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray an extra large casserole dish or two regular 9x13 dishes with cooking spray.
2. If using, brown ground beef in a skillet, drain.
3. Place tater tots in a large mixing bowl.
4. Combine soup, onion, sour cream, cheddar cheese, a few sprinkles of parmesan cheese, garlic, seasoning salt, and softened butter in a small bowl. Pour mixture over tots. The mixture will be very thick. Mix the tots and the mixture together until all the tots are covered with the mixture.
5. Put ground beef in the bottom of the casserole dish. Add the tater tot mixture on top of the ground beef.
6. In a medium bowl, mix cereal and melted butter. Pour over casserole. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and extra cheddar if desired.
7. Bake, uncovered for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until brown.