I made this for the first time this summer. YES, summer. Of all the times right?
My daughter requested it for her birthday dinner. Hell yeah, how cheap is that? Sadly we’ve brought our kids up to love many finer foods and it’s not odd for them to be requesting lobster and steak on their day. lol Oh well, we enjoy what we created for as long as we can. They are only living with us for a little longer before the turkeys become adults and find their own lives.
Off track, that could happen a lot more as this year progresses. Since my daughter graduates in just a few months. 😉
Her request for this dish threw me. I’ve never made it as I stated above. I had no idea where she’d ever had it before as she’d never mentioned it. Off to the internet I went. There are a ton of recipes out there. I took some of the best ideas from recipes I found and then added some other things since I know how to make a killer hamburger gravy.
Once I looked around online I realized that this is basically hamburger gravy over tots, baked and with cheese melting on top. Once I saw that, it was easy to come up with this recipe.
How easy is this recipe to freeze? OMG so very easy. In fact unless you are hosting a banquet, this recipe is set up for the freezer. I don’t think I’ve done that with a recipe before. I made 3-8×8 pans with this recipe. 1 for cooking and two for the freezer.
However, I’m hiding them in the freezer so the kids don’t eat them like they devoured tonights dish. Hubby is working and asked if they licked the dish clean when I sent a picture. It kind of looked like it once they were done scraping all the sides with the spoon. I guess they like this dish. That means I’m adding veggies to this recipe next time. Recipes always end up tweaked around here.
I know below I added the recipe and said to freeze it with the cheese on top but that’s not the way I’m actually doing it. It will work, but I’m picky. Which is really funny since I’m not even eating it. I’m freezing it as you see in the picture. I like to bake the casserole first and get the top tater tots crunchy. Then toss the cheese on top and bake another 5 minutes to melt it. But it’s a personal option and if you don’t have time then just go for it.
Don’t forget to tear off aluminum foil and write the directions for cooking on there with a sharpie. Then cover and seal tightly. They will last for at least 2 months in the freezer. I’d let you know if it’s longer but I know I won’t be able to hide them in there longer!
This is part of my meal plan I’m posting in the morning. I’m on a freezer cooking mission this week. The freezer is looking too bare and that makes me uncomfortable lol
- 2.5 lbs hamburger or ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 family size cans cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup milk
- 3 lbs frozen tater tots
- 1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
- Brown meat on medium in very large skillet. The larger you can use the better for cooking.
- Once meat is almost brown, add in onions and celery. Cook until onion is almost translucent.
- Add in garlic and stir frequently. Cook for just 3 minutes.
- Turn skillet down to medium low.
- Add in both cans of soup and the milk.
- Set out 3 8x8 baking dishes or aluminum pans.
- Pour 2 pounds of tater tots between the 3 pans.
- Evenly spread meat and soup mixture between 3 pans.
- If you are freezing then let the meat mixture cool. If cooking then go right to next directions.
- Spread remaining pound of tots between the 3 pans. They should be on top so they can brown.
- Evenly spread cheese between 3 pans as well.
- Bake at 425 for 30-35 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
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