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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chili Tater Tot Casserole

There's so much to love about this dish. Most importantly, its delicious. Second most importantly, its easy! Comfort Mexican-American food ready in about 30's become a staple dish around here, especially on nights when the fresh produce part of my fridge is running low.

The chili is made of 3 components: ground beef, spices and picante sauce. The picante sauce is incredible because the chopped onions, peppers and tomatoes already in it do all the work so your chili will have a chunky texture that you didn't have to to do anything to get! Control the spice level in your chili by taking care to purchase picante sauce that is at your preference...I've made the mistake of buying hot picante instead of mild and the kids couldn't eat it...and the adults were gulping water after every bite! Using frozen tater tots means no peeling of potatoes and I've found that people get a little excited at the idea of eating tater tots for dinner, plus the kids are more likely to give this a try that way.

Serves 6 adults

-1 pound ground beef
-2 tablespoons taco seasoning OR (1 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin/salt/paprika + 1 tablespoon ground coriander)
-1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
-2 1/2 cups mild picante sauce
-1 cup water
-20 ounces frozen tater tots
-1 cup shredded cheese (Mexican blend, cheddar, monterey or pepper jack)

-1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
-sour cream, for serving (optional)

To make
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-Heat a pot or skillet and add ground beef, seasonings and cumin seeds. Cook on medium heat, breaking the meat up as it browns until it has cooked through. This will take about 5-10 minutes.
-Add the picante sauce and water and bring the meat mixture to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes until the picante sauce thickens and you have a chunky meat mixture. Taste the chilli and add more salt or spices to your preference.
-Place the frozen tater tots in a 9x13 inch baking dish and add the chili. Stir it around to coat all the tater tots with chili.
-Bake uncovered in a preheat oven for 25 minutes until the potatoes have cooked and the tops are toasted. Remove from the oven and add shredded cheese, then return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
-Remove from the oven and garnish with optional green onions.
-Serve with a side of sour cream.

3 ingredient chili!
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  1. YUMMMMMMMMM...I always love all the recipes you post!

  2. Making this tonight! Just cooked the chili and now all I have to do is bake it...can't believe how easy it was and the chili tastes really good. Picante sauce is a really smart cheat move

  3. This casserole has earned a firm spot on my dinner rotation. Everybody gets excited when its for dinner!