Cook’s Country: Tater Tot Hotdish (Ep 1504)

Tater Tot Hotdish

Be sure to buy cylinder-shaped frozen tater tots (not crisp crowns or coins). Do not thaw tots or vegetables; they enter the frozen hotdish. Serve with ketchup.


11/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
1 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
11/2 cups whole milk
11/2 cups chicken broth
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (11⁄2 cups)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 bag (2 pounds) frozen potatoes


1. Set oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine beef, mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme, 11⁄2 tsp salt and 11⁄2 tsp pepper in a Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, 25 to 28 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spoon.

2. Stir in flour until fully incorporated and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the milk and broth and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits. Cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the parmesan. Transfer the mixture to a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

3. Sprinkle peas and corn evenly over beef mixture. Lightly arrange the tater tots in an even layer on top, but don’t press down on the mixture (you may have extra tater tots). Bake until the tater tots are golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 38 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through cooking. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

4. TO ADVANCE : At the end of step 2, let the beef mixture cool completely, then cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To serve, cook beef mixture, covered, until hot in center, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove foil, stir in beef mixture, sprinkle with peas and corn, arrange tater tots on top and cook as directed in step 3.

Photo credit: Cook Country

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