This gluten free Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish recipe is made from scratch with ground beef, green beans and homemade cream of mushroom soup.
The most ubiquitous of all the hotdishes in my home state would have to be Tater Tot Hotdish. I have literally never met one person who doesn't love this stuff.
If you have spent any time in or any time with someone from Minnesota you have likely heard that person go on and on about the virtues of hotdish. Hotdish is basically the state dish of Minnesota. In any other state it is known as a casserole but we Minnesotans like to have our own names for things.
You can find it on a Minnesotan's dinner menu any night of the week and lining the buffet tables of any given church supper or potluck.
When I was growing up the school I attended literally served Tater Tot Hotdish (affectionately known as TTHD) at least once a week in the cafeteria. The mere mention of this dish will garner a sentimental nostalgia that is pretty much unparalleled.
As a nod to my beloved home state and all of our culinary quirks I wanted to contribute my own version of this upper Midwest staple.
It's made from scratch using fresh ingredients and it's entirely gluten free but it's got that homey comfort we all know and love.
- What Is The Difference Between a Hotdish and a Casserole?
- Is Tater Tot Hotdish Healthy?
- Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish Ingredients
- How To Blanch Green Beans
- How To Make Hotdish From Scratch
- How To Make Cream Of Mushroom Soup
- How Long Should I Bake Tater Tot Casserole?
- What To Serve With Tater Tot Hotdish
- Can Tater Tot Hotdish Be Frozen?
- Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish
What Is The Difference Between a Hotdish and a Casserole?
Before we go any further we need to establish the difference between a hotdish and a casserole. Technically, a casserole refers to the physical dish in which the food is cooked. A casserole is the cooking vessel that holds the ingredients as they bake in the oven.
A hotdish refers to the meal itself and it usually consists of meat, potatoes or some kind of starch, vegetables (sometimes), and cream-of-something soup.
In reality a hotdish and a casserole are the same thing - A starchy meat-and-potatoes meal that's held together with a creamy soup base. A casserole is what much of the country calls it and a hotdish is what Minnesota (and parts of neighboring states) call it.
Is Tater Tot Hotdish Healthy?
Hotdishes and casseroles are definitely comfort food. I suppose it depends on your definition of healthy - I'll go ahead and call my version healthy-ish.
In order to make this recipe gluten free (as most hotdish recipes are not) I used a homemade cream of mushroom soup (also used to make this Green Bean Casserole). To liven it up a bit I went for fresh green beans.
Many frozen potato products like French fries or tater tots are dusted with flour before freezing and are not gluten free BUT Ore Ida makes all kinds of gluten free potato products so that's the brand I opted for (be sure to check labels to be sure if gluten is an issue for you).
Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish Ingredients
As far as hotdish recipes go this one is pretty gourmet. Does it take a lot more time and effort than opening a few cans and throwing everything into a baking dish? Yes. Is it worth it? You betcha.
Here's What You'll Need To Make It:
- 6 cloves Garlic
- 1 Onion (any color)
- 2 lbs. fresh Green Beans
- 1 8 oz. package Mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1.5 - 2 lbs. Hamburger
- 3 Tbsp. Butter (split)
- 3 Tbsp. Gluten Free Flour Blend (or regular AP flour if not GF)
- ½ cup Evaporated Milk
- 1 cup GF Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp. Onion Powder
- ¾ tsp. Kosher Salt and Pepper (split)
- 1 32 oz. package Gluten Free Tater Tots (such as Ore Ida)
How To Blanch Green Beans
The first step is to blanch the green beans.
Blanching simply means to cook them for a short period of time in boiling water and then to transfer them to an ice bath in order to stop the cooking process.
This allows them to retain their crispy texture and bright color. The beans will bake evenly in the casserole and will not become mushy.
- Wash and trim 2 lbs. of fresh green beans. Cut the beans into halves or thirds. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the green beans and boil for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, remove the beans with a slotted spoon or spider strainer and place them into a bowl of ice water.
- After the beans have cooled in the ice water, place them in a strainer and drain them.
If you're a fan of green beans I think you'll love these Garlicky Roasted Green Beans!
How To Make Hotdish From Scratch
A quintessential component of any good hotdish is a package of ground beef. This recipe calls for 1.5 - 2 lbs. I went for 85% lean ground beef but you can use any kind you like.
How To Prepare The Ground Beef:
- Mince 6 cloves of garlic and 1 onion (any color).
- Heat a skillet to medium and add 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot add the minced garlic and onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the ground beef along with ¼ tsp. salt and pepper. Saute the ground beef for 5-6 minutes, breaking it up into smaller pieces as it cooks. Continue to saute until the beef is browned.
- Remove the meat from the pan and place it into a bowl for the moment.
How To Make Cream Of Mushroom Soup
It might seem daunting to make cream of mushroom soup from scratch but I promise it's not. Homemade is SO much better than the canned stuff.
- While the beef is browning in the skillet cut 1 8 oz. package of mushrooms (any variety) into small pieces.
- Once the meat is in the bowl place the pan back on the stove top. Add 1 Tbsp. butter to the skillet. Add the mushrooms along with ¼ tsp. salt and pepper.
- Saute the mushrooms for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Remove from pan and place in a bowl separate from the beef.
- Place the skillet back on the stove and add another 2 Tbsp. of butter. Add 3 Tbsp. GF flour blend (or regular AP flour if not GF). Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir the butter and flour mixture together. (This creates a roux).
- After a minute or so add ½ cup evaporated milk to the skillet. Whisk the milk and flour mixture together with a whisk.
- Add 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth to the skillet and continue to stir (the mixture will likely look chunky at this point).
- Continue to stir with a whisk and add 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, ¼ tsp. garlic and onion powder, and ¼ tsp. salt and pepper. Stir until the mixture is creamy (it may take a few minutes).
- Once the mixture is creamy add the mushrooms back into the skillet and stir to combine.
How Long Should I Bake Tater Tot Casserole?
Now is the point where everything for this Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish gets thrown together in a casserole dish and the whole thing gets baked in the oven.
- Place the blanched green beans and browned hamburger in a 9x13 inch casserole dish (a cake pan will work as well).
- Pour the cream of mushroom soup over the top and stir all of the ingredients together until combined.
- Arrange 1 32 oz. package of GF tater tots over the top. Make sure the top is completely covered with the tater tots.
- Place the baking dish in an oven heated to 375 degrees.
- Bake the hotdish for 40-45 minutes.
- The hotdish should get hot and bubbly as it bakes and the tater tots should be completely heated through and slightly browned.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Baking times may vary slightly. The dish is ready when the green beans are cooked through but not mushy. The tater tots should be browned but not at all burnt.
If you're looking for more Ground Beef Recipes don't miss these!
- Cabbage Roll In A Bowl
- Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes
- Juicy Lucy Burger
- Cheesy Beef and Bean Enchiladas
- Pizza Stuffed Peppers
- Slow Cooker Ground Beef Chili
What To Serve With Tater Tot Hotdish
This Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish is definitely comfort food and is hearty enough to be served on its own but side dishes are always great to have on hand.
If you're looking for more hearty meals like this one be sure to check out this Quinoa Enchilada Casserole, Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake, Garden Fresh Vegetable Lasagna, Baked Eggplant Parmesan and Turkey and Rice Stuffed Peppers!
Can Tater Tot Hotdish Be Frozen?
This is a bit more labor-intensive than your average hotdish recipe BUT the nice thing is that it can be made ahead of time and frozen!
How To Freeze:
Prepare the Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish as directed. Once it is assembled allow everything to come to room temperature. Cover tightly and store in the freezer. It's best to use a disposable aluminum baking pan or metal baking pan if freezing as it is advised not to freeze and bake food in glass.
How To Reheat:
Remove the plastic wrap before baking and bake in a 375 degree oven as directed. It may require an extra 10-15 minutes bake time as it will be frozen at this point.
This recipe makes quite a bit so it's a great meal for families or if you'd like to enjoy the leftovers for a few days.
The leftovers should keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Or, you can cover the casserole dish and re-heat it in the oven.
I enjoyed two large plates and had to stop myself from going back for a third. Then, I had to give the leftovers to a friend to keep myself from eating the rest. Yeah, it's that good.
Looking For More Hotdish (aka Casserole) Recipes? Don't Miss These!
Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish
- Casserole Dish
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 onion any color
- 2 lbs. green beans
- 1 8 oz. package mushrooms any variety
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1.5 - 2 lbs. ground beef
- 3 Tbsp. butter split
- 3 Tbsp. gluten free flour blend
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup gluten free low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt split
- ¾ tsp. pepper split
- 1 32 oz. package gluten free tater tots such as Ore Ida
Blanch The Green Beans:
- Wash and trim 2 lbs. of fresh green beans. Cut the beans into halves or thirds.
- Boil a pot of water and add the chopped green beans to it. Cook the green beans for 3 minutes in the boiling water and then place them in a bowl of ice water using a slotted spoon or spider strainer.
- Once the beans are cooled drain them in a colander.
Brown The Hamburger:
- Mince 6 cloves of garlic and 1 onion.
- Heat a skillet to medium and add 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Once the oil is heated add the garlic and onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet along with ¼ tsp. salt and pepper. Saute the beef for 5-6 minutes, breaking it into pieces as it cooks. Once it has thoroughly browned place it in a bowl and set aside.
Prepare The Cream Of Mushroom Soup:
- While the hamburger is browning chop 1 8 oz. package of mushrooms into small pieces. After the hamburger is removed from the skillet place the skillet back on the stove top. Add 1 Tbsp. of butter to the skillet.
- Add the chopped mushrooms along with ¼ tsp. salt and pepper. Saute the mushrooms on medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes, or until they have cooked down and softened. Place them in a separate bowl from the hamburger and set aside.
- Place the skillet back on the stove top and add another 2 Tbsp. butter along with 3 Tbsp. gluten free flour blend (can use regular flour if not GF). Stir the butter and flour mixture for a few minutes until it has formed a paste.
- Add ½ cup evaporated milk to the skillet and stir with a whisk. Add 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth to the skillet (the mixture will look chunky at this point). Stir with a whisk for a few minutes until creamy.
- Add 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, ¼ tsp. of garlic and onion powder along with another ¼ tsp. salt and pepper. Stir until creamy. Add the mushrooms back into the skillet and stir until combined.
Assemble and Bake Hotdish:
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the blanched green beans and browned hamburger into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour the cream of mushroom soup over the top and stir until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Arrange 1 32 oz. package of GF tater tots on top of the casserole.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. The hotdish should be hot and bubbly and the tater tots golden (baking times may vary slightly).
- Remove the pan when finished and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.