Recipe: Matt’s tater tot casserole

Shown here with roasted green beans.  Surprisingly, I didn’t like them as well as steamed.

Matt’s Tater Tot® Casserole

The name Tater Tot® is a registered trademark of the Ore-Ida company. But just you try getting Matt to call this 1950s favorite “hash brown nugget casserole”. Whatever you call it, it’s not at all like the mushy gray slop you remember from the elementary school cafeteria.  Definitely a comfort food, though. Serve with ketchup at hand. (You will never hear me say that again.  I’m like Red Dwarf‘s Kryten when it comes to ketchup on dinner.)
Serves 6-8 depending on whether or not you serve a side dish (Matt does not because he considers this bachelor food, which should be eaten out of the pan over the sink or out of a bowl balanced on your knees while you watch TV).
Ingredients:
1 lb 97% lean ground beef
garlic powder to taste
Italian seasoning mix to taste
1 (10.75 oz) can reduced fat condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
1 (32 oz) bag Tater Tots® or store-brand equivalent (frozen)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Brown hamburger with garlic powder and Italian seasoning until crumbly and thoroughly browned. Place in a 13” x 9” casserole with the cream of mushroom soup and peas. Mix and spread evenly over the bottom of the casserole. Top with 1 cup cheddar cheese. Spread tater tots evenly over the top of the hamburger mixture and press down lightly to compress the layers, but not so much that the tater tots are submerged in the hamburger mixture as this will result in sogginess. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 20-30 minutes or until tater tots are golden brown on the edges.
  3. Let sit for 5 minutes until bubbling has subsided.
Nutrition information (when serving 6): 398.3 calories, 20.5g fat. (Nutrition information calculated using SparkRecipes.com recipe calculator.)

— Amanda

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