Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Upside-Down Tater Tot Casserole

I mentioned in my Weekly Menu post on Sunday that Shane brought this recipe to our marriage. While he will grill, and has learned to make a few simple dishes since we've been together, he's not really much of a cook. But this recipe is a good one. Plain, simple, tasty and upside-down! The tots in this recipe go on the bottom. Most recipes I've seen have top-tots.

I don't often follow recipes to the letter, but for this one I've learned two things. The first is that Campbell's Cream of Mushroom really does taste better than other brands in this particular recipe. The other is that the lemon-pepper seasoning makes this casserole. Substitute other seasonings if you like (seasoned salt, steak seasoning, etc.), but just know that you're not going to have the same casserole at all.

The amounts below will make 8 regular servings, but only makes 6 for us because we eat the heck out of it. Here's the step-by-step:

Upside Down Tater Tot Casserole

1 - 2 lb. package tater tots
2 pounds ground beef
Lots of lemon-pepper seasoning (for us, that's 2 tablespoons for 2 pounds of meat)
2 cans Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
Shredded cheddar cheese (in whatever amount you like)

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with pan spray. Fill dish with a single layer of tater tots. You'll have enough leftover for lunch one day.

Bake tots per package direction until golden and crispy.

Meanwhile, brown the ground beef. Drain and, if desired, rinse with water and drain again. Return beef to pan and add lemon-pepper seasoning.

In a medium bowl, combine contents of both cans of soup with milk, whisking until smooth.

When the tots are brown, remove from oven and spread ground beef mixture evenly over the top of them.

Pour soup mixture over beef mixture and carefully spread to cover.

Sprinkle generously with shredded cheddar cheese.

Return to oven and bake until heated through and until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.

Remove from oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting or spooning onto serving plates. Otherwise it will run like molten lava (but will still taste great). Enjoy!


Frances said...

This looks good! I have never had a tator tot casserole. I like tots, but it never sounded very appetizing, to me, to put them in a casserole. This just changed my mind!

Lisa B. said...

I've never tried it with lemon pepper seasoning. It sounds great. I also agree, Campbells cream soups are the best for any casseroles. I will use others, but I can tell the difference.

Also, I have a CVS gift card giveaway on my blog if you would like to enter.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I like the sound of the tots on the bottom much better than on top.

I always bake extra tater tots (or I try, they tend to disappear no matter how many I make) and then I fry them up with eggs (and whatever else I have lying around) in the morning. They are better than most hashbrowns (I especially love the extra-crispy tater tots).