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I was raised in the upper midwest, and Tater Tot Hotdish is just part of my DNA. Today, I am here to help spread the good word about this comforting family dinner that tastes great and is quick to put together. 

Keep those cans of condensed soup in the cupboard, as today’s Tater Tot Hotdish recipe doesn’t need them. You don’t need cans for this kind of dish, and you can make special dinners in the tradition of comfort food without canned soup.

Enjoy our delicious, creamy, and easy Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish without Canned Soup recipe

Cast iron tater tot hotdish on a wood table with some oregano.
Tater Tot Hotdish is such a comforting meal.

🥘 What makes this recipe special?

Some people might cringe whenever hotdish is brought up. Not me, but I do like to class it up just a tad, on occasion. For that reason, we are not using canned soup. Trust me. It is nearly as easy as plopping that gelatin soup mold into the casserole dish.

Instead of canned soup, we will use flour, milk, diced mushrooms, and diced onions to create our own flavorful thickener. Additionally, we are doing this all in a cast iron pan.

This allows us to use only one pan to create this recipe. From browning the meat to baking the final product, this tater tot hotdish is easy peasy. 

While this is not a new recipe for me, it definitely has some other influences you would find on Ramshackle Pantry. We have a homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup and a homemade skillet tuna helper recipe that have similar elements. Once, we even made homemade from-scratch tater tots, which would work for this too!

🥔 Ingredients

Tater tots is this show’s star, but a bunch of other elements go into making this comfort food. 

Ingredients for tater tot hotdish.
Ground Beef, Tater tots, flour, milk, salt, pepper, salt, mushrooms, onions, oregano, corn, and green beans are in this recipe.
  • Ground Beef
  • Mushroom
  • Onion
  • Whole milk
  • All-purpose flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Green Beans
  • Corn
  • Ore-Ida tater tots

I use Ore-Ida tater tots, but I am sure any brand would work fine. 

See the recipe card for quantities.

🍲 Instructions

Start with our cast iron pan and cook the ground beef into crumbles. Once about two-thirds done, add the onion and mushrooms. Cook this until glassy and the burger is cooked. 

Add flour and mix. Cream, salt, pepper, and oregano get added at this time. Mix everything in, and as the mixture heats, it should start to thicken.  

When it thickens, add in drained corn and beans. Mix it up and then bake at 400° Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. 

Process for making this tater tot dinner.
First, brown some ground beef with onions and mushrooms. Thicken with flour, milk, and add seasoning. Mix in corn and green beans before topping with tater tots and putting into the oven.

🤷 Substitutions and variations

There are a few great substitutions and variations you can make to change it up a bit.

  • Cheese – I love cheese and it is a great addition to this recipe. After 20 minutes in the oven, remove and add two cups of cheese to the top and bake for the last 10 minutes.
  • Tater tots – i use Ore-Ida, but other brands will work.
  • Vegetables – You certainly could do only corn or only green beans instead of one mixture of each. Or if you don’t like mushrooms, take them out and put a bit more onion or add some diced celery to the mix.
  • Vegetarian – I haven’t tried this, but I bet a package of impossible beef would work great for this dish. As a person with a vegetarian in the family, it is always good to have a nice vegetarian tater tot hotdish in the lineup. 
  • Cast Iron Skillet – You could cook the burger portion on your stove top in any skillet and then transfer to a casserole dish before you top with the tater tots. 

📦 Storage

This tater tot hotdish can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days in an air-tight container. It can also be frozen for later. The tots don’t hold up super well as leftovers or frozen, so I suggest eating them up. 

🎓 History tidbit

I wrote a whole article on the history of the hot dish. Check it out! 

❓ FAQ

What is Tater Tot Hotdish made of?

Tater tots, ground beef, thickened cream, and vegetables. 

What is the difference between a Hotdish and a Casserole?

All hotdishes are casseroles, but the opposite is not true. Check out this article on how hotdish is different than a casserole.

Spooning up tater tot hotdish from a cast iron skillet.
Ground beef tater tot casserole or hotdish? Maybe both!

📝 Tips and tricks

  • Be a bit careful about using more ingredients than I recommend here. I use a 10″ Cast Iron, and this recipe is the maximum amount I can cook in it.
  • Make sure to use oven gloves for your cast iron skillet. Don’t burn yourself!

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving this tater tot hotdish recipe a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.

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Cast iron tater tot hotdish on a wood table with some oregano.

Tater Tot Hotdish

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Ben
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

This easy Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish without Canned Soup is super easy to make, does not compromise on flavor, and can be cooked in one cast iron skillet. This is Midwest comfort food at its finest and you should make this hotdish today.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound 80/20 hamburger
  • 1/2 cup diced mushroom (about 25 grams)
  • 1/2 cup diced onions (about 60 grams)
  • 1 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt to taste (2 teaspoons)
  • pepper to taste (1 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 14 1/2 ounce can cut green beans (1 can), drained
  • 15 1/4 ounce can whole kernel sweet corn (1 can), drained
  • 1 lb frozen tater tots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. 
  2. While preheating, cook burger over medium-high heat in cast iron skillet
  3. Once the ground beef is ⅔ cooked through, add onions and mushrooms
  4. Once burger is cooked through and onions are glassy, add flour and mix
  5. Add milk, salt, pepper, and oregano and stir over heat until thickened
  6. Add corn and green beans and mix until even
  7. Remove from heat and add tots to top evenly
  8. Bake in oven for 30 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and enjoy

Notes

  • Be a bit careful about using more ingredients than I recommend here. I use a 10″ Cast Iron, and this recipe is the maximum amount I can cook in it.
  • Make sure to use oven gloves for your cast iron skillet. Don’t burn yourself!

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3 Comments

  1. I’m also a Midwesterner, but not from the hotdish region. I first heard of it here, on your blog. Since then, I’ve tried it out a few times, and I’m definitely a fan! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!