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Healthier Tater Tot Hot Dish

This is one of the easiest dinners I know how to make - and it's perfect for fall! It's cozy, flavorful, and makes great leftovers. This version of Tater Tot Hot Dish is made healthier by adding extra veggies and taking out the canned soup - but it's still just as creamy and delicious as the original!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Main Dish, Midwestern
Keyword Easy Tater Tot Casserole
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 725kcal
Author Stephanie Simmons


  • 1 lb ground turkey or ground beef
  • 2-3 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 large bell peppers
  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • pinch of pepper
  • 12 to 16 ounces cheese, grated I used a mix of monterrey jack and cheddar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 bag frozen tater tots


  • Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop your onion and bell pepper. Cook your ground turkey in a large cast iron pan, take the meat out and set aside (I put mine in a paper-towel lined bowl or strainer to absorb excess grease), and wipe out the pan - or use a new pan.
  • Make the Hot Dish Filling: Heat the oil in your pan over medium heat. Saute the onion, peppers, and garlic until tender (but not too tender, it'll continue cooking as we progress and it will bake in the oven at the end, so aim for crisp-tender). Add the meat back into the pan with the veggies, and add the spices, stirring to combine everything. Add the flour, and stir to coat everything well. Next, slowly pour in the milk while whisking the mixture in the pan to keep everything nice and smooth. Next, slowly add the grated cheese, whisking while you add each handful. Again, this will keep things smooth, so the cheese doesn't clump up. You can add anywhere from 12-16 oz of cheese, depending on how cheesy you want it. Stir in the black beans and corn.
    Taste and add extra seasoning if desired.
  • Bake: Top with frozen tater tots. If your skillet is super full when you put it in the oven, add a sheet pan underneath to catch any drips. Bake for 25-30 minutes - tots will have browned slightly and the filling will be bubbling underneath.
  • Serve + Store: Top with extra diced peppers, cilantro, etc. after baking, if desired. Enjoy immediately! Store leftovers, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Calories: 725kcal