A vegetarian version of a Minnesota classic, this Healthy Tater Tot Casserole is loaded with veggies and made without soup. Whip up this meatless tater tot hotdish for a holiday dinner or just a cold winter’s night!
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As a proud resident of Minnesota (for over 3 years now!), I am very excited about this recipe!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with tater tot casserole, or “hotdish” as Minnesotans like to call it, it’s typically made with veggies, ground meat, cream of mushroom soup and cheese. Then it’s topped with frozen tater tots before going in the oven.
Sounds like the ultimate comfort food, right?! It is. But, being that this is a Veg World (after all), I just had to put my own healthy spin on this dish. And how did I do that? Loaded it up with veggies (of course!) and cut the meat and canned soup.
The Best Healthy Tater Tot Casserole Without Soup!
Besides this recipe being an ode to the great state of Minnesota, it has a lot of other things going for it. Here’s why you’ll love this vegetarian tater tot casserole.
- It has FIVE veggies. Yeah! And that’s not counting the tater tots (do those count as veggies??).
- You can make it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you need to.
- It makes more than a few servings, making it potluck- and Thanksgiving-friendly.
How to Make Healthy Tater Tot Casserole
For those of you from Minnesota, you can probably skip this section ;-)! For non-Minnesotans, let me give you a brief overview of making hotdish (more info in the recipe card).
- Saute the garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrots, peas, and corn in a large skillet.
- Add the milk and flour, and stir until it starts to thicken. Instead of using canned cream of mushroom soup to thicken it, adding milk and flour on your own will accomplish the same thing.
- Transfer to an 8×8 baking dish. Top with shredded cheese.
- Add the tater tots in an even layer on top.
Wait, it’s that easy? Sure is, friends, it sure is! But just to make sure you make a perfect Healthy Tater Tot Casserole with Veggies on the first try, I’ve compiled my top tips for you.
Looking for more casserole recipes? Check out the Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole and Healthier Green Bean Casserole with Almonds while you’re here.
FAQ and Expert Tips
- Season with salt and pepper throughout the dish. This will help you boost the flavor of the dish.
- This tastes best with sharp cheddar cheese, but you can also sub Monterey Jack or even a mix of mozzarella and parmesan.
- To make this gluten free, use gluten free flour in place of all-purpose.
Can you freeze tater tot casserole?
- If you want to make this ahead of time, you can prepare the casserole (without baking it), and cover tightly with plastic wrap and then with foil before freezing. You can also use a disposable casserole dish with a cover for easy freezing (and so you can use your pan while it’s in the freezer)! It will last up to 4 months when frozen.
- You do not need to thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight before baking, since tater tots are cooked from frozen anyways. If you are only making it 1 day in advance, you can keep it in the fridge in its baking dish covered with foil instead of freezing it.
How do you reheat tater tot casserole?
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- To reheat, transfer a serving to a plate and put it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on high.
- To keep the tater tots crispy while reheating, cover the whole dish with foil and put it in a preheated oven (300-350 degrees F) for ~30-40 minutes.
If you are making this dish for Thanksgiving, take a look at my Thanksgiving Menu and Prep Guide. It can help you organize your menu and timeline for the big day! You may also want to check out the Mini Vegetarian Pot Pies, Low Sugar Cranberry Sauce with Parsnips, Turnip and Beet Gratin, and Slow Cooker Arugula Mashed Potatoes.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Healthy Tater Tot Casserole with Veggies
- 8×8 baking dish
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic - pressed or minced
- 1 yellow onion - diced
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms - sliced, ~2 cups
- 1 carrot - sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- ½ teaspoon sea salt - more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper - more to taste
- ⅔ cup half and half - or whole milk
- 2 tablespoon all purpose flour - can sub gluten free flour
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese - shredded
- 1 pound frozen tater tots - in a 16 ounce bag
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish and set aside.
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, cook for a few minutes, then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms have shrunk down. Add the carrot, peas, and corn and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the half and half or milk into the skillet and add the flour. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and transfer to the greased baking dish. Top with the shredded cheese. Then add the frozen tater tots in an even layer. You should have just enough to fill an 8×8 baking dish.
- Put the hotdish in the oven and cook for 45-60 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble and the tater tots are cooked through and slightly browned. Serve warm and enjoy!
- I like to add a tablespoon or two of herbs to the veggie mix for more flavor. You can add chopped parsley, sage, thyme, and/or rosemary. Be sure to add salt throughout the cooking process to boost the flavor.
- To make this ahead of time, follow all of the steps up until putting it in the oven. Cover tightly and store in the fridge, but only if you are making it the next day. If you are making it at a later time, cover the dish in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze for up to 4 months. You do not need to thaw it in the fridge before baking, since tater tots are cooked from frozen.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- Reheat leftovers on a plate in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on high. Or you can cover the baking dish with the leftovers with foil and reheat in a preheated oven (300-350 degrees F) for ~30 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this “hotdish”!
Flavorful, veggie filled alternative to a cream of mushroom casserole. We used coconut/almond milk half-and-half and it worked great as an alternative to half-and-half.
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Brian! I’m glad to hear this worked well for you and that you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for rating the recipe :). Hope you are well!
I made this for supper–delicious! I added some sage and parsley, because I had some. I also tossed in about 2 cups shredded cooked chicken and made this a one-dish main course.
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Yay, I’m so glad that you enjoyed this!! Great idea to add those herbs and the chicken to make it a complete meal. Yum!