dirty tater casserole

blackfalcon13 avatar
By Stephen Farris
from Corsicana, TX

I was a little tired of the same old tater tot casserole I've always made, so I decided to add a little more flavor to it and wow, after cooking it, it didn't last long! It is a little on the spicy side, so if spicy is not your thing then you may want to substitute the dirty rice with maybe a regular brown grain rice.

serves 6
prep time 35 Min
cook time 40 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For dirty tater casserole

  • 1 1/2 bag
    tater tots, tater crowns, etc.
  • 2 can
    cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 lb
    lean ground beef
  • 1 box
    tony chachere's dirty rice
  • 1 1/2 pkg
    colby/jack cheese
  • (optional spices; garlic pepper, onion powder)

How To Make dirty tater casserole

  • 1
    First step, Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Usually I go ahead and get the tots out of the freezer and set them on the counter while preparing everything else. That way they can be thawing out a little before adding them to the casserole pan.
  • 2
    Second step is browning the ground beef. Since you'll be combining it with the dirty rice you might as well just follow the directions on the box, that's what I did. Although, while browning the meat I did add a few sprinkles of Garlic Pepper seasoning (optional) to cook in during this process.
  • 3
    Third step, drain meat and add in the dirty rice along with 2 1/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil/ reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes/ take off heat and let stand for another 5 minutes. Don't forget to stir occasionally while cooking the rice/meat mixture. While the rice/meat is "breathing" (lol) I went ahead and tossed the cans of Cream of Mushroom soup in a pot along with about a 1/3 cup of water ... just enough to smooth it out a little. (cook and set aside after done)
  • 4
    Fourth step, I take the tots (no Napoleon Dynamite jokes please) and line the bottom of an 11 x 7 bake pan with them and put the remainder to the side for now. I sprinkled a little more Garlic Pepper seasoning and some Onion Powder seasoning (both are optional) over the top of the tots. I also added about two handfuls of the Colby Jack cheese over the top of them. The soup goes in next, poured evenly over the entire pan, then add in the dirty rice on top of that and smooth it out even. Take the remaining tots and cover as much of the top you can with them. Don't fret if you can't cover the entire top because there weren't enough (depending on how big the bag was). Then take the rest of the cheese and sprinkle generously over the top of the casserole until completely covered.
  • 5
    Final step, put in the oven (still no oven here at the casa, so had to use the trusty old roaster) and bake for about 25-35 minutes at 375, making sure the cheese has a nice golden brown look around the edges and bubbly. (Note – since oven temps may vary just make sure to keep an eye on it from time to time.) Take out and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Sides – Mini ears of corn, French style green beans, black-eyed peas, mixed greens, Ranch style beans, or no sides. It’s that good by itself. If a little spicy is not your thing, then you could substitute the dirty rice with brown rice or something similar in fashion and/or leave out the additional spices. Also, since my crew doesn’t like onions (and I do) the majority won out so I left those off the list of ingredients, but IF I had “control of the cards” they would have been finely chopped and sautéed then added to the dirty rice/meat pot and combined with the rest of the mix. Sneaky as I am and as you read above, I did sneak in a little of that onion powder. But the main thing … they ate it up and loved it, which will always bring a big smile to the cook’s face! It's a lot of fun to make and to eat. I think you will enjoy this recipe, especially when the weather is a little nippy outside!

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