My phone chirped – I had a text. It was coming up on five and I guessed Hubby was letting me know he was on his way home. I was right, it was Hubby. I was mistaken about the message. He was going to be late. No worries. My casserole wouldn’t take long. Planning ahead for late evenings is something I take pride in. And besides, it’s summer. There is something perfectly acceptable about eating dinner at seven in the summer. Eat at seven in the winter and you feel like it’s midnight. Why is that?
This is one of those great casseroles that can be prepped in advance, but not assembled before cooking. If the tater tots thaw they become mussy. And the corn chips get soggy. But you can cook up the taco filling and it doesn’t take very long to layer the ingredients.
My guys generally like everything I make. They are simple hamburgers and pizza kind of guys. This is one casserole they really enjoyed. It’s simple yet packed with plenty of flavor. Yeah, I’d say this was a keeper.
Corn Chip Taco Tater-Tot Casserole
1 lb Ground Chuck
3 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
16 oz Refried Beans
2 cups of crushed Corn Chips
1 cup Sour Cream
32 oz Tater Tots
2 cups Mexican Cheese Blend, shredded
Note: This is best with Frito Corn Chips or similar chips rather than corn tortilla chips.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Brown the ground chuck in a skillet over medium heat. Crumbling the meat as it cooks. Drain the drippings. Add taco seasonings. If dry, add some water or beef broth just to moisten. Add the can of refried beans and continue to heat until combined.
While the mixture cooks, spray a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside until ready to use.
Spread the ground beef mixture on the bottom. Crush the corn chips and add a layer on top of the meat/bean mixture. Next add a layer of sour cream, smooth with the back of a large spoon.
Finally layer the tater tots and the cheese. You’ll want to use the whole bag of tots for a nice potato layer.
Place the casserole in the heated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tater tots are browned. Take care not to burn the cheese while making sure the tater tots have heated all the way through. Serve and enjoy. A nice salad will round out the meal beautifully.