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Vegetarian tater tot casserole

Ingredients: 

1 bag frozen tater tots 

1 can cream of mushroom 

1 can cream of potato 

1 can peas 

1 can corn 

1 block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 

dash salt 

dash pepper 

dash garlic powder 

dash cayenne pepper 

dash paprika 

dash parsley 

 

 Instructions: 

Before beginning, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

To begin, start with a large-sized mixing bowl; pour the cans of peas, corn, and cream of mushroom and potato into the bowl; mix. For typical seasoning, add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Follow with the cayenne pepper and paprika for a light spicy flavor—though not overwhelming; add more if more spiciness is desired. Stir the spices into the canned mixture; make sure it is all evenly distributed, as this will help later.  

Spray a medium to large-sized casserole dish with nonstick spray. Pour half the bag of frozen tater tots into the casserole dish, then pour the entire canned mixture on top; spread the mixture evenly across the tater tots. Sprinkle about one-third of the shredded cheese on top of the mixture. Follow with the rest of the frozen tater tots on top. 

Once the oven is preheated, place the casserole in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. With about 10 minutes left, top the casserole with the rest of the shredded cheese, covering the tater tots, and add a dash of parsley—mainly for looks—and garlic powder. 

Remove at the end of cook time. If the casserole does not look soft enough or cheese melted to liking, replace in oven for another 5 minutes or so. When finished, let it stand for a few minutes before eating. Top with salt or pepper to taste. 

 

Commentary: 

I have to give kudos to Lindy Fike for teaching me how to make tater tot casserole. This recipe is extremely simple, quick, and a great meal for anyone. All ingredients for this recipe combined would not cost more than about $8 and many of which you may already have at home. When it comes to the canned vegetables, using a substitute of either frozen (thawed) or even fresh work great as well, though canned just makes this recipe that much simpler to make. This tater tot casserole is also extremely versatile, as you can add a wide variety of vegetables—such as carrots or celery—or a combination of cheeses. 

Not only is this tater tot casserole a quick and healthy recipe for the average college student, it also maintains well for leftovers. If you are meal prepping for your week and simply don’t have the time to make lunches or dinners, by doubling this recipe you can create extra large servings that can last all week! This will stay well in the fridge as well as in lunch containers, simply microwave again until soft and cheesy again. 

The best part about this recipe is it takes only about 10 minutes to put together and while it bakes you can work on whatever homework you have for class, or simply take a break and kick back and watch your favorite show. So take a load off this week and try out this healthy and easy tater tot casserole!  

 

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