The inspiration for this Mexican Tater Tot Casserole is my wife’s new found love of tater tots and my creative way to enjoy them in a Mexican flavored way. There are many layers of flavor in this recipe beggining with the Mexican spiced ground turkey including adobo seasoning, paprika and New Mexico Chili powder. There is a layer of queso cheese, onions and peppers, a couple of different cheeses and cheese layers and lastly the tater tots. There is fun and taste in every layer.
There are two different ideas to take away from this comfort food recipe. The first is that it is ok to use prepared ingredients. Whether you are just learning to cook, or want to be able to prepare a dinner quickly, using prepared ingredients are a huge help. The Food Network used to have a show with Sandra Lee called Semi-homemade for this expressed purpose. She gives lots of tips and recipes that can be more easily prepared. I guess that is what you call a “HACK”. The second tip is having a couple of good spices around. Ground turkey and veggies are such good vehicles to take on whatever flavor you wish to add. The combination of the adobo seasoning, paprika and New Mexican Chili powder make the base layer so, so, so good.
This Mexican Tater Tot Casserole really comes together pretty darn quickly. I did use 1 pan and 1 baking dish. I used my Dutch oven to brown the meat and to soften the veggies. The ground turkey absorbed all the flavor of the veggies and spices. I dropped this mixture in the bottom of a baking dish and finished by adding each layer. Throw it in the oven and dinner is ready some 45 minutes later.
The ground turkey and Mexican spices.
The peppers and onions with the spices added.
The ground turkey after browning with veggies and spices.
The layering of the Mexican Tater Tot Casserole.
The Mexican Tater Tot Casserole plated.
Mexican Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 LB Ground Turkey
- 2 Tsp Adobo Seasoning
- 2 Tsp New Mexican Chili Powder
- 2 Tsp Spanish Smoked Paprika
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion Diced
- 1/4 Whole Green Pepper Diced
- 1/4 Whole Red Pepper Diced
- 1/2 Cup Bottle Queso Cheese
- 1 Cup Mexican Shredded Cheese divided
- 1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
- 32 Ounces Frozen Tater Tots
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and spices and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to soften. Next, add in the ground turkey. Cook until the turkey is no longer pink, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread the turkey vegetable mixture on the bottom evenly. Pour the queso on top and spread to cover. Cover with about 1/2 to 3/4 of the Mexican cheese. Cover with Tater Tots. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the rest of the Mexican cheese and mozzarella. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Serve and enjoy!
Adapted from http://www.simplystacie.net/2016/02/mexican-tater-tot-casserole/