Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mexitot Casserole

Last week I made a casserole my family absolutely loves. I make it at least once a month, I make a lot, and there's never any left. Cheeseburger and French fry casserole. I'll post that one soon, I promise, but while I was making it, my husband had an idea. Tacofy it.

I'm sure most of you have heard of the Dorito chicken casserole...It's very good and my family loves it, too, but I like to make a lot so we have leftovers. My husband takes them to work for lunch and when our sons are home, it gives them something to eat that doesn't use up all my groceries. The thing is, once the Dorito chicken casserole is cold, it doesn't reheat well. The chips are soggy and it's just kind of gross.

So! The hubs suggested  changing the cheeseburger casserole into a taco casserole. It's very good and reheats great! If you're from the southwest, you know places like Taco Bell sell seasoned tater tots (Mexitots). I'm from the Midwest, and the closest I've found is Taco John's potatoes ole, and I didn't find a Taco John's until we moved from Utah (hub's home state) to Iowa.

I took ground beef and seasoned it with store bought taco seasoning, but you can use homemade if you prefer. I also tossed a bag of frozen tater tots with a packet of taco seasoning. I mixed the meat with refried beans, topped it with canned soup and the seasoned tots, baked it, then added cheese. Really freaking good!! Not healthy, but...
If you prefer chicken, you can use it...Cooked and chopped, shredded, or ground. Just replace the beef with your choice.

Oh! It just popped into my head! Rotel! Mixed in with the meat! Ohhh! Gotta try that next time!

Mexitot Casserole 
Serves 8-10 (may be halved)

2 pounds ground beef
2 packs taco seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 C water
1 can refried beans (15oz)
2 lbs frozen tater tots, semi-thawed (let them sit out for an hour before using them)
2 C shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese
1 can nacho cheese soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C milk

Heat oven to 350°F

Place tots in a large bowl and sprinkle with about half of a seasoning packet, gently toss to coat.

Brown beef and onions untill meat is cooked through. Drain and rinse with hot water. Put meat back into the skillet. Stir in 2 seasoning packets and water. Heat to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in refried beans.

Spread meat mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking dish.

Combine soups and milk, whisk until well blended. Spread over meat mixture.

Arrange tots in a single layer over soups.

Bake 20 minutes, until tots start to brown. Top with cheese and bake another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream, chopped onions and tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.