Ree Drummond’s Tater Tot Casserole Recipe | Easy & Delicious
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Are you looking for a delicious and easy-to-make casserole recipe that will satisfy your cravings for comfort food? Look no further than Ree Drummond’s tater tot casserole! This hearty dish is perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends when you want something filling and satisfying without spending too much time in the kitchen. In this article, we’ll explore the history of tater tot casserole, share Ree Drummond’s famous recipe, and offer some tips for making the perfect casserole every time.
1. What is Tater Tot Casserole?
Tater tot casserole is a classic American comfort food that combines ground beef, tater tots, cheese, and vegetables into a filling and satisfying one-dish meal. It’s similar to a shepherd’s pie or a moussaka but with a crispy tater tot crust on top instead of mashed potatoes or eggplant. The dish is known for its simplicity and versatility, as you can add or subtract ingredients based on your personal taste and dietary preferences.
2. The History of Tater Tot Casserole
The origins of tater tot casserole are somewhat murky, but it’s believed to have originated in the Midwest or the South in the 1950s or 1960s. Tater tots were a popular convenience food at the time, and home cooks began experimenting with ways to use them in casseroles and other dishes. Tater tot casserole quickly became a family favorite, as it was easy to make, hearty, and inexpensive.
3. Ree Drummond: The Pioneer Woman
Its, also known as the Pioneer Woman, is a famous food blogger, author, and TV personality who has become synonymous with tater tot casserole. Ree is known for her down-home cooking style and her ability to turn simple ingredients into delicious and satisfying meals. Her tater tot casserole recipe is one of her most popular, and it’s been featured on her TV show, in her cookbooks, and on her blog.
4. Ree Drummond’s Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
Here is Ree Drummond’s famous tater tot casserole recipe. Crafting this dish is a breeze and it can be personalized to cater to your unique flavor preferences.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- One container of condensed cream of mushroom soup, sized at 10.75 ounces.
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 bag (32 ounces) tater tots
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until beef is browned and cooked through. Drain excess fat.
- Stir in cream of mushroom soup, milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Spread tater tots in a single layer in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Pour the beef mixture over the tater tots and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the beef mixture.
- Slide the casserole dish into the oven and allow it to cook for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cheese has liquefied and developed a golden-brown appearance while bubbling.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
5. Tips for Making the Perfect Tater Tot Casserole
While Ree Drummond’s recipe is pretty straightforward, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure your tater tot casserole turns out perfectly every time.
1. Customize Your Casserole
One of the best things about tater tot casserole is that it’s highly customizable. If ground beef isn’t your preference, consider using ground turkey or chicken as a delicious alternative. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can use plant-based meat crumbles or skip the meat altogether and load up on vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini. You can also experiment with different types of cheese, spices, and herbs to give your casserole a unique flavor profile.
2. Use High-Quality Ingredients
Since tater tot casserole is such a simple dish, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients to make sure it tastes delicious. Look for grass-fed beef, organic vegetables, and cheese made from hormone-free milk. You can also make your own cream of mushroom soup using fresh mushrooms and homemade chicken or vegetable stock.
3. Layer Your Casserole Correctly
To make sure your tater tot casserole cooks evenly and has a nice texture, it’s important to layer your ingredients correctly. Start with a layer of tater tots on the bottom of your baking dish, then add your meat mixture, and top it off with cheese. Make sure your tater tots are arranged in a single layer so they cook evenly.
4. Adjust Cooking Time and Temperature
Depending on your oven and the size of your baking dish, you may need to adjust the cooking time and temperature for your tater tot casserole. If you find that your casserole is taking longer to cook than the recipe suggests, try increasing the temperature by 25 degrees or covering the dish with foil to trap in more heat.
5. Let Your Casserole Rest
After you take your tater tot casserole out of the oven, let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. By doing so, the cheese will have time to solidify and fuse with the other flavors, resulting in a more cohesive and harmonious taste. It will also make it easier to cut and serve your casserole without it falling apart.
Tater tot casserole is a classic American dish that’s easy to make and always satisfying. Ree Drummond’s recipe is a tried-and-true favorite, but you can customize your casserole to suit your taste preferences. Use high-quality ingredients, layer your casserole correctly, and adjust the cooking time and temperature as needed. And don’t forget to let your casserole rest before serving!
- Is it possible to prepare tater tot casserole in advance?
Yes! You can assemble your casserole ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake it. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time as needed if your casserole is cold.
- Can I use frozen vegetables in my casserole?
Yes! In case you prefer, using frozen vegetables as a substitute for fresh ones is a viable option. Ensure that you defrost them before incorporating them into your dish.
- Can I use a different type of soup in my casserole?
Yes! You can use cream of chicken, cream of celery, or any other type of cream soup you prefer.
- Is it possible to prepare tater tot casserole using a slow cooker?
Yes! You can adapt Ree Drummond’s recipe for a slow cooker by browning your beef and onions first, then adding them to your slow cooker with the rest of your ingredients. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until your casserole is hot and bubbly.
- Can I make tater tot casserole without meat?
Yes! You can skip the meat in Ree Drummond’s recipe and load it up on vegetables instead. Try using mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and other veggies in your casserole for a delicious meat-free version.
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