So last night I was going to serve pulled pork with some barbecue sauce on it, and then make tater tots to go on the side. (I made the pulled pork in the crockpot on Saturday using this recipe, by the way.)
But it was so cold yesterday, and I had eaten chicken tenders with French fries for lunch, so even though I love tater tots I wasn’t really wanting them by themselves. I wanted something warm and comforting. And I got to thinking, “What if I put the tater tots ON the pulled pork, and baked it like a tater tot casserole?”
A casserole was born.
I googled around for some inspiration, and you wouldn’t believe the number of tater tot casserole variations there are! (Or maybe you would.) I couldn’t find any that used pulled pork, per se, but I drew inspiration on the construction and cooking times from this recipe.
Basically, it couldn’t have been much easier, and I think you could do this with just about any meat you have on hand. Just make sure there’s some sort of liquid in the meat so it doesn’t dry out completely.
- frozen tater tots
- pulled pork or other pre-cooked meat
- beans, cream of mushroom soup, etc (to mix with the meat)
- shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 375.
Spray the bottom of an appropriately sized baking dish with non-stick spray (just in case). The amount of meat I had fit well in an 8x11 glass dish.
In a bowl, combine your meat and liquid. I used a can of “ranch-style beans,” liquid and all, but baked beans would also be delicious with the pulled pork!
Spread the meat mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish and top with shredded cheese. Add a layer of tater tots on top.
Bake for ~30 minutes or until tater tots are starting to turn golden brown and the body of the casserole is bubbling just slightly.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the tater tots with more cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes to let the cheese melt and let the tater tots continue to crisp up.
Plate up and eat!
One caveat, if you like your tater tots crispy this might not be the dish for you. They started to get a little crunch on their tops, but since they’re sitting on top of a pile of nice juicy meat they’re going to be a lot softer than if you just cooked them on their own. But they melded really well with the meat, beans, and cheese. Yum-o! This also got the Andy stamp of approval.
Have you made any concoctions lately that hit the spot? Is tater tot casserole in your repertoire of dishes?