This is the best dinner casserole I've made in a long time. There are so many recipes we try and say "ah, don't need to have that again", even though it may be good, it's just not out of this world delicious. And with the mile-high pile of recipes cut out from magazines, my ever growing boards on Pinterest and the mounds of actual cookbooks that I would love to cook from, it's rare that a recipe ever gets repeated in my house. Believe me when I say that, my kids beg for me to make something again and my answer is "why, we have so many more things to try". (this recipe was made a while ago - pre diet but just never got posted!) OH, it's SO GOOD though! These are the days that I HATE DIETING!
I made this casserole only out of necessity, I had planned to make a Cheeseburger Casserole that my girls love (haha, see I was even trying to repeat a recipe and it didn't happen). Anyway, I had the hamburger meat out and went to the freezer to grab the frozen hashbrowns, and no hashbrowns. But I found a bag of Tater Tots and my brain went to work, I had seen a few pins, about a Tater Tot Casserole, so I went there first and then made the rest up as I went along. And if I do say so myself it was A-MAZ-ING! My new word to describe all the food I love A-MAZ-ING. But this did not just get an a-okay from me, my girls loved it, my husband ate it, and my neighbor was over stealing a few slices of the Pupmin Spice Cake I made and she LOVED it so much, she went home and made it for dinner the next night. I would say we hit a home run with this recipe.
Tater Tot Casserole
made by Tina Hudgens (sauce adapted from The Village Cook)
1 to 2 lbs ground hamburger meat (we use 1/2 beef and 1/2 turkey)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced onion (or use dried onion flakes, or leave the onions out if you don't like them)
2 oz Velvetta Cheese
1 bag tater tots (frozen)
1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp ranch dressing
1/2 tbsp chives
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp parsley
1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded cheese (use your favorite kind: cheddar, mozzerella or we used Pepper Jack for a kick)
Heat the olive oil in a skillet with the onions to brown, add in the ground beef and cook until done, drain meat and return to pan. Add in the Velvetta cheese, until melted. Pour the meat mixture into the bottom of an 8x8 square baking pan (sprayed with pam, of course). Then add a layer of Tater Tots on top of the meat mixture.