Vegetarian Tater Tot Hotdish – a classic comforting Minnesota casserole, now vegetarian-friendly!
Now that it’s officially September we can talk all things FALL! I don’t have another pumpkin recipe for you today to kick off the fall recipes that will be coming your way (although don’t be fooled – they are coming).
No, today I want to share with you a Minnesota classic, a tradition, a right of passage…
Since I recently moved back to Minnesota, I’ve enjoyed lake days, boat rides, drinks on patios, and soaking up the last few rays of a perfect Minnesota summer before it ends. There’s NOTHING like a Minnesota summer.
I’ve also learned how to make a vegetarian version of hotdish, as a way to welcome myself back home.
If you’re ready to move on from this recipe because what the heck is a hotdish, and why do I care, and this just sounds weird — then WAIT.
Because I was just like you not so long ago, and I promise you it’s worth figuring out.
To be honest, after spending the majority of my childhood in Minnesota, I never truly had a tater tot hotdish.
Sure, I have had plenty of casseroles (I was born in Iowa).
And if we’re being honest, the Midwest has every version of “throw whatever in a pan and bake it”, but I never had a true tater tot hotdish/casserole/whatchamacallit.
It was time that changed.
If you haven’t put 2 and 2 together, hotdish is essential a casserole. A mix of some sort of veggies, and usually meat, with cheese and some sort of condensed cream-of-something soup.
It’s like the best of Midwestern ingredients in one baking pan for a quick dinner.
When I set out to finally add some tater tots to my casseroles – and finally call it hotdish, the ground beef that traditionally accompanies it had to go.
Y’all know I’m not usually about the meat. It doesn’t really add much for me, and basically, all I care about are the tater tots (we’re on the same page, right?). So, this one is made without meat. I REPEAT: ONLY THE TOTS MATTER.
If you traditionally eat meat, I promise you won’t miss the meat at all; it’s packed with veggies and the Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup – ohmygosh – is just to die for. It’s the BEST meatless Monday dinner out there.
So the veggies are mixed with the condensed soup, and the mushrooms add such a hearty note and the flavor and spice that is added to the homemade soup – it’s like whoa – if you were ever worried about tater tot hotdish being boring, THINK AGAIN FRIENDS!
The veggie-mushroom filling is topped with a mix of Monterey Jack cheese and parmesan, which makes it soooo cheesy and hi, cheese is my love language.
The Main Event: Tater Tots
Let’s not forget the tater tots, because they basically make this hotdish everything and more.
There’s nothing better than crisp pillows of potato goodness on top of a savory, creamy, veggie-filled dish.
On top of that cheesy layer goes the frozen tots, that bake to crispy perfection to balance out the textures of the dish. Yes, there’s a lot that goes into hotdish (hah!).
And it’s basically just all good ol’ comfort food perfection.
The Irish have Shepard’s Pie, the Minnesotans have Hotdish — crispy tater tot covered hotdish. FTW, BTW!
A classic, and comforting, Minnesota casserole, with homemade condensed mushroom soup, loaded with veggies, and topped with melted cheesy and crispy tots!
- 1 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ¼ cup celery, finely diced
- ¼ cup carrot, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
- ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
- 30–34 frozen tater tots
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
- In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic; season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes until tender.
- Add frozen corn and peas; stir for approximately 1 minute. Add parsley and cream of mushroom soup. Stir until mixed together.
- Transfer to small baking dish (see note) and spread evenly across the pan. Sprinkle cheeses on top. Line tater tots across the surface of the hotdish.
- Bake for 28-33 minutes until bubbly and tater tots are golden brown. Let sit 2-3 minutes before serving.
When I don’t make this in my Minnesota Cast Iron Skillet, I just a small round baking dish, which will serve 2-4 people. An 8×8-baking dish should also work fine if you don’t have a similar oval baker. If you want to serve more, easily double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 dish.
You can also make this in individual ramekins!
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Midwestern
Keywords: homemade, midwest, minnesotan, vegetarian
This post was first published September 6, 2016, but the photos were updated in Febrary 2019; no changes were made to the recipe, just notes for clarity.
This is not a sponsored post, just a super big fan of the skillet! It does, however, contain affiliate links through the Amazon Associates Program, which means if you happen to buy a product, a small portion – at no extra cost to you – goes to support FITK and keeps recipes coming. Thanks for your support!