Sweet BBQ Tater Tot Casserole

My Mom used to make a tater tot casserole when I was growing up and I remember being very excited to eat the tasty little dish. Since she passed away and my step-father wouldn't give me her personal collection of recipes I haven't eaten it in 15 years. As I was preparing for the birth of my daughter and doing a little freezer cooking, I decided to try and recreate it myself. It was satisfying and very much reminded me of Mom.

Mom's home cookin'...sure to be a kid pleaser.

Recipe by Meal Planning 101

Serves 4-6

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15oz can tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/2-3/4 bag tater tots
1 cup grated cheddar

In a large frying pan, brown ground beef along with chopped onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, chili powder, cumin, peas and corn. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then remove from the heat.

Place beef mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish (if planning on freezing, cool mixture first). Arrange the tater tots on top of the beef mixture. If you are freezing, wrap in aluminum foil, label and place in freezer.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes. If casserole came from the freezer, thaw and bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. To get the tops of the tater tots a little crispier broil for 2-3 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove casserole from oven, sprinkle with grated cheese and put back in oven until cheese is melted.

Click here for printable version of Sweet BBQ Tater Tot Casserole

I really appreciated the sentiment attached to such a simple dish...and it helped that it was really tasty too. It was a family pleasing meal; just like when I was a kid.  This dish freezes wonderfully as well.

Meal Ideas:

  • Sweet BBQ Tater Tot Casserole + Side Salad
  • Sweet BBQ Tater Tot Casserole + Sauteed Green Beans