Taco Tot Casserole
What's For Dinner?
Every day you find yourself coming home to these three words. Your children, your significant other, or in your own mind that question rings. You don't want to spend money and go out to eat. You don't want to stand in the kitchen at the stove for an hour or more. You want something tasty, but quick, to prepare and eat. Different ideas are running through your head and/or those around are shouting their desires. French Fries! Hamburgers! Tacos!
You check your pantry. You don't have taco shells. You DO have McCormick Taco Seasoning. You have hamburger,. and you have tater tots. Then it hits you, combine all of the requests.
McCormick Taco Seasoning is what I prefer to use for Taco Tot Casserole. It is lower in salt compared to the off-brand and competitor packets. It has a blast of flavor with every bite. I not only use this seasoning for Taco Tot Casserole, I use it to marinade other meats prior to grilling. The fact that you can buy 12 packs for less than a dozen eggs is a highlight!
1 lb Hamburger
1 bag of Tater Tots
1 Yellow Onion
1 Packet of McCormick Taco Seasoning
1 or 2 Garlic Cloves
1 tsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 bag of shredded cheese - Cheddar or Colby Jack is recommended
Pepper and Cilantro (for taste to your liking)
Optional - Pickled Jalapenos
Preparation / Cookware
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Peel and chop the yellow onion
- Peel and mince the garlic cloves
- 1 non-stick medium size skillet
- 1 non-stick 9 x 13 cake pan
McCormick Taco Seasoning
- Place the hamburger in a non-stick skillet. On medium high heat, cook the hamburger until medium rare.
- Add the chopped onion.
- When the onions start to soften, add the minced garlic. Continue cooking until the hamburger is completely brown.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- Place the drained hamburger mix back into the skillet.
- Pour 1 packet of McCormick Taco Seasoning into the hamburger mix. Stir until the mixture is paste-like. Add pepper and cilantro, if desired.
- While skillet is on low heat, add a 1/2 cup of water and continue to stir. (repeat until the mixture has thinned but not soupy)
- Stir in soy sauce.
- Place the hamburger/taco mix into the cake pan. Spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle 1/2 the bag of shredded cheese over the hamburger mix.
- Evenly disperse the tater tots on top of the cheese. It is more presentable to place the tater tots in a line, touching one to another on each side.
- Place the baking pan in the preheated, 425 degree, oven for 30 minutes. (Ovens vary. Once the tater tots are crunchy, remove from the oven, and move on to the next step)
- Sprinkle the remaining bag of cheese on top of the cooked tater tots. Place in oven until chrese is melted.
Finally, it is time to eat!
Just because you didn't have the taco shells, you can still set up this dish like a taco stand. I like to put out small bowls of sour cream, jalapenos, tomatoes, black olives, corn, extra shredded cheese, and one of my favorites nopalitos (pickled cactus).
Even the leftovers taste amazing!