Sunday, September 4, 2011

Meat Loaf Tater Tot Casserole

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This is one of my favorite recipes for stretching a pound and a half of ground beef to feed up to 10 people.  It is easy to put together, can be made ahead, and can be a one-dish meal.  Add a salad and some hot bread for a wonderful meal.  This easily comes in at less than $1.00 a serving.

I have seen recipes for Tater Tot casseroles that call for browned-up ground beef.  This one, however, is a thin meatloaf topped with Tater Tots and gravy and a vegetable if you like.  It can be made ahead and frozen.  Just thaw in the refrigerator and bake.

Any meatloaf recipe can be use in this recipe.  So if you have a favorite of your own, go ahead and use it.  Other crackers can be used instead of the butter-flavored ones the recipe calls for.

The recipe uses two cans of cream soup.  You may use your favorite flavor or make you own.  I like one each of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken.  I just pick out the larger mushroom pieces so hubby doesn’t notice.  Add the vegetables for a one-dish meal.  Leave them out if you have eaters who would object.  I find that if they like potatoes and gravy, most kids will eat this with the vegetables added with few objections.

Meat Loaf Tater Tot Casserole
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2/3 cup finely crushed round butter-flavored crackers (about 16)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped red pepper, optional
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground sage OR poultry seasoning
1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground preferred
1-1/2 pounds (675 g) lean ground beef
1 (2-lb.) pkg. frozen Tater Tots
1 1/2 c. frozen loose pack vegetables of your choice (peas, peas and carrots, diced carrots, chopped broccoli, mixed vegetables), optional
2 cans (10 1/2 oz.) cream soup of your choice
1 c. milk
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, crushed crackers, onion,  red pepper, salt, sage or poultry seasoning and pepper.  Add ground beef, mix lightly but well.  Spread mixture into the bottom of a well-greased 9x13-in. baking pan.  Use two 9x9-inch pans for a smaller family and freeze one.  Place Tater Tots over the meat loaf mixture, standing them on their ends and pushing them in slightly.  (You will probably not need the whole package).  Scatter the chosen vegetable between the Tator Tots.  Empty the soup into a medium bowl.  Use the measured-out milk to rinse out the soup cans.  Add the Worcestershire sauce.  Beat with a wire whisk until well combined.  Pour soup mixture over the top of the Tater Tots and vegetables, spreading evenly.  At this point, the dish maybe well wrapped and frozen.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Let set 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 10 servings

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5 comments:

  1. I'm making this because it freezes,, you see its just hubby and i,, we need freeze able meals,, this is great!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks so yummy! I would love it if you came over to Cast Party Wednesday and shared this recipe with us.
    Thanks,
    I hope to see you there!
    http://ladybehindthecurtain.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Delicious recipe!! I used canned mushrooms in the meatloaf mix and mixed in cheese with the soup. Then topped the whole thing off with more cheese! Great comfort food. It's like an American shepard's pie!

    ReplyDelete

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