Comfort food and healthy aren’t usually two words you find together. However, with this Healthy Tater Tot Casserole, I totally did it! I mean, my mom was impressed so you know it’s good. To be honest, I’ve never actually had tater tot casserole or knew it was a thing. For this fall, I wanted to makeover the most popular comfort foods to be allergy-friendly and healthy at the same time. So I asked all my friends what their favorite comfort foods are and tater tot casserole came up several times. So along with this one, I have several more recipes I can’t wait to dive into, but this is number one. What a number one it is!
Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
While nothing is from a can, it is surprisingly simple. It’s about 15 minutes of hands-on time and 20 minutes in the oven. Dinner is ready in 35 minutes and uses just a few ingredients. The dairy-free mushroom sauce is 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 large shallot, 3 large cloves of garlic, 1 head of cauliflower, 8 ounces (1/2 a pound) of baby portabello mushrooms, 1 1/2 cups chicken bone broth, 2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tbsp potato starch or Bob’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour. The meat and vegetable mixture is 1 lb 96% lean ground beef, 1 cup frozen peas, 1/2 cup diced yellow onion, 8 ounces (1/2 a pound) of baby portabello mushrooms, 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Then you’ll need 2 lbs of gluten and dairy free tater tots. I added parsley for garnish to take pictures but that is totally optional 😉
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
While the oven is heating up we’ll start on our “cream” of mushroom soup. Roughly chop your shallot (don’t worry about making them small, they are going into a blender in a bit), peel and rough chop your garlic, rough chop 1/2 of the container of mushrooms, and get cauliflower florets off of the stalk and into medium-sized pieces. Once all that is done, preheat a medium pot on medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil and coat the pan. Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring around so they don’t brown. Add mushrooms and salt, stir in with shallots then cover for 1 minute. Uncover, stir and add garlic. Cook for one more minute. Now add broth and cauliflower. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until cauliflower is very soft and easily pierced with a fork. Pour everything into your blender along with the 1 tbsp potato starch or Bob’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour) and blend until smooth. It will have a thick consistency.
During that 8-10 minutes the sauce is steaming in the pot, brown your ground beef and be sure to break it into very small pieces. While the beef is browning, finely dice your yellow onion and the other half of the mushrooms. Once the beef is mostly cooked, make a hole in the meat and add your diced yellow onion. Cook the onion for 1 minute, then add in mushrooms and mix into your ground beef. Cook another 2-3 minutes, then add frozen peas. Cook another 2-3 minutes and turn off heat.
Grab a 9×13 baking dish and add your meat and vegetable mixture. Then evenly top with your “cream” of mushroom sauce. Take your frozen tater tots and line them up on top of your casserole. You want them evenly on top to maximize the number of tots and for even cooking. Place on the second shelf of your oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until tots are crispy.
Let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Want to freeze?
This recipe can be frozen, it will take an extra 20-30 minutes to cook thoroughly.