BBQ Tater Tot Casserole is a hearty and easy dinner that would even fill up a hungry cowboy!
Two things happened this week that inspired this recipe. First, I saw a delicious breakfast tater tot casserole from NeighborFood. It made me remember the first time I heard about tatertot casserole when I was in college. I thought it sounded weird, tried it anyway, and fell in love. I have since kind of forgotten about it, but when I saw that breakfast one, it gave me a hankering. I started to think about how I could make a recipe that was somehow different than the standard cream of mushroom soup version. Then someone probably said, “Mommy!” and I got distracted and forgot about tater tot casserole existing again.
Then, a few days later we had french fries for dinner. No news there, but I decided I wasn’t in the mood for plain fries and got some BBQ sauce for dipping. That reminded me of how much I like fries and BBQ sauce, and that reminded me of my tatertot casserole craving. That’s how we got here.
I don’t know why I called this Cowboy Casserole exactly. It just seems like something a cowboy would eat, but I don’t have a cowboy handy to ask if they are into tater tots and BBQ sauce and corn. We sure liked it, and it’s plenty easy. It’s also easy to make the meat part ahead of time and bake when you’re ready.
Oh, and as a side note, I like to use BBQ sauce with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. That usually is hard to find and expensive, but I noticed that Target’s Market Pantry brand uses real sugar and is really reasonably priced. This only feeds my Target addiction, as if I needed help with that. Use your favorite BBQ sauce in this recipe, and enjoy a tasty comfort food dinner!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 20 ounces ground turkey A pound of turkey or beef is fine.
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup frozen corn (or 10 ounces can whole kernel corn drained)
- 15 ounces can pinto beans drained
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- 28 ounces bag frozen tatertots
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, ground meat, chili powder, hot sauce, and salt. Stir and cook until meat is almost cooked through. Stir in corn and drained beans, and cook a couple more minutes until hot.
Pour meat mixture into the prepared baking dish. Drizzle BBQ sauce over the meat, and spread shredded cheese over that. Arrange tater tots in an even layer over the top of the cheese.
Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until potatoes are golden brown. (I like to bake mine a little longer so the tots get pretty crispy on top.)
- Prep Time: 3
- Cook Time: 45
Want more hearty dinner ideas? Try these!