Amy’s Tater Tot Casserole

A few months ago I was talking with a niece about favorite childhood food memories. Tater Tot Hotdish came up during that conversation, and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. Who doesn’t love tater tots? I had to have it! But I wanted to update the recipe, using lean ground beef, adding more vegetables, and giving it a Mediterranean twist by using extra virgin olive oil in place of the margarine (gasp!) that was used in the 1980s version to coat the tater tots.

Here’s what I came up with, a lighter, more healthful version that my husband loves. A one-dish meal that gets him to eat more veggies will always be a winner in our home.

One final note: I rarely call out specific brands in recipes, but for this recipe, these brands create the best flavor. While I’m a member of the Beef Checkoff Beef Expert Bureau for which I reserve an annual honorarium, I don’t do any consulting work for any of these brands.

1 pound 93% lean ground beef
¼ cup California Olive Ranch™ Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large white onions, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
¼ cup McCormick® Italian Seasoning
2-10 oz. cans Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic Soup
1 tablespoon soy sauce

10 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (about 4 cups)
1 cup tap water

1-32 oz. bag Ore Ida Tater Tots
½ cup California Olive Ranch™ Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat brown the ground beef.
  3. When the beef is fully cooked, add the olive oil, onions, and Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. While the beef-onion mixture is cooking, cook the carrots by combining the carrots and water in a covered sauce pan over high heat for 10 minutes or until carrots are soft but still hold their shape. If you have a steamer basket insert, use that to steam the carrots.
  5. Drain the carrots and spread across in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  6. When the onions have become soft and translucent, add the soup and soy sauce to the beef-onion mixture. Stir to combine and then spread evenly over the carrots.
  7. Top the beef-onion mixture with the tater tots. Drizzle the olive oil over the tater tots.
  8. Bake the casserole for 45-50 minutes. Serve hot.


Number of Servings 12
Serving Size 1/12 of pan
Calories Per Serving 310
Total Fat (g) 17
Saturated Fat (g) 3
Trans Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 30
Sodium (mg) 350
Total Carbohydrate (g) 28
Dietary Fiber (g) 3.5
Sugars (g) 5
Protein (g) 11
Vitamin D (mcg) 0.04
Calcium (mg) 68
Iron (mg) 1.9
Potassium (mg) 680