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Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole
Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

Introduction: Mexican Tater Tot Casserole is a delicious and hearty dish that combines the comfort of tater tots with the bold flavors of Mexican cuisine. It’s a crowd-pleaser and a family favorite. In this recipe, we’ll show you how to make this flavorful casserole step by step.

Ingredients:

For the Casserole:

  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 package (32 ounces) frozen tater tots

For Garnish (optional):

  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa

Instructions:

1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

2. Cook the Ground Meat:

  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef or turkey over medium-high heat until it’s browned and cooked through.
  • Drain any excess grease from the meat.

3. Add Vegetables and Spices:

  • Add the diced onion and red bell pepper to the skillet with the cooked meat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
  • Stir in the black beans, corn, diced tomatoes with green chilies, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

4. Layer the Casserole:

  • Transfer the meat and vegetable mixture to the greased baking dish.
  • Spread half of the shredded cheese evenly over the mixture.
  • Arrange the frozen tater tots on top of the cheese in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

5. Bake:

  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is bubbly.

6. Serve:

  • Once out of the oven, let it cool slightly before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, and salsa if desired.

7. Enjoy:

  • Serve your Mexican Tater Tot Casserole hot and enjoy the delicious blend of flavors.

Variations:

  • Feel free to customize this dish with your favorite toppings like sliced black olives, diced avocado, or green onions.
  • You can use ground chicken or turkey as a leaner option.
  • For an extra kick, use spicy diced tomatoes with green chilies or add hot sauce to the meat mixture.

This Mexican Tater Tot Casserole is perfect for weeknight dinners, potlucks, or game day gatherings. It’s a comforting and satisfying meal that the whole family will love. Enjoy!

Cook’s Note:

  • If you want to make this casserole in advance, you can assemble it up to the point of baking, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and foil, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while the oven preheats, then bake as directed.
  • Leftovers of this casserole are just as delicious. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • This dish can easily be doubled or halved to accommodate the number of servings you need. Adjust the size of your baking dish accordingly.
  • If you prefer a spicier casserole, you can add some crushed red pepper flakes to the meat mixture or use a spicy salsa.

Conclusion: Mexican Tater Tot Casserole is a fantastic combination of flavors and textures. With its hearty meat and vegetable filling, crispy tater tots, and gooey melted cheese, it’s a dish that satisfies both kids and adults alike. Whether you’re serving it for a weeknight dinner or at your next gathering, this casserole is sure to be a hit. Enjoy your delicious Mexican Tater Tot Casserole!

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