Taco Tater Tot Casserole between carols

Taco Tater Tot Casserole between carols

Abigail Sipe Rochester

It appears the world, or at the least, the Golden Triangle, has formally switched into “Christmas mode.” In every single place I am going and every part I do, I hear Christmas music enjoying and see twinkling lights up on housetops.

My weight loss program, nonetheless, can’t stay in Christmas mode for the entire month. My husband and I can’t reside on sugar plums and sugar cookies and sugar every part. My metabolism can’t sustain. I’m sorry. I’ve tried.

In my outdated age (23 years), my physician advises in opposition to a lot sugar consumption. However my physician would in all probability additionally advise in opposition to this recipe: Taco Tater Tot Casserole.

Between Christmas parades, Festivals of Timber, Wassail Fest and different occasions, I used to be scrolling on TikTok (probably the most in-between issues exercise) and noticed a house prepare dinner named Jess (her TikTok deal with is @applesauceandadhd) aggressively making this casserole.

Once I say aggressively, I imply Jess was yelling on the digital camera all the time. However she gave the impression to be utilizing elements an actual particular person would use of their casserole, moderately than fancy elements. She additionally simply appeared to have robust emotions about tots, which mesmerized me.

When Jess’s video about Taco Tater Tot Casserole was over, I believed a harmful thought that appears to be inherent in Sipe girls: I may do this.

It’s a phrase that both results in near-miracles or disasters.

So let me set the scene of what my husband, Hunter, walked into a couple of hours later: A blonde girl stands in entrance of her range over a pan stuffed with floor beef, black beans and taco seasoning. She seems to be arranging tater tots on high of her concoction, as if it’s a pie.

One other girl is screaming at her from an unidentifiable supply, describing the significance of seasonings and tater tot placement on a loop. Within the background, “Silent Night time” is enjoying over a speaker. (Should you don’t have a kitchen speaker, I extremely suggest it. You’ll be able to’t hear your errors. But additionally, be suggested that I’m not liable should you don’t hear your errors.)

The girl can also be singing a separate Christmas tune whereas the opposite tune is enjoying. It’s the tune “I Pray on Christmas.” She seems to be asking greater powers for the success of her taco combine and tater tots.

I don’t blame my husband for slowly backing out of the room when he noticed me on this festive, frantic state. However quickly, I had lured him again to the kitchen with the scent of freshly baked tater tots and tacos.

After we tasted the Taco Tater Tot Casserole, I might say it fell nearer to the “near-miracle” class than the “catastrophe” class.

Particularly since my husband later went on to inform me it was one in every of his favourite issues I had ever made.

And if that’s not a Christmas miracle, I don’t know what’s.

So sing a bit of vacation tune, think about I’m yelling this recipe at you and revel in your mid-December taco break. You gained’t remorse it.


1 pound floor beef
3 tablespoons garlic (I used jarred, modify and add much less if utilizing recent)
1 packet taco seasoning (about 1 ounce)
1 cup jarred salsa
1 can black beans (strained and rinsed)
1 bag (12 ounces) frozen corn
1 bag (2 kilos) tater tots
1 1/2 cups taco model shredded cheese
Bitter cream, pico de gallo and different desired toppings, for serving

■ Preheat oven to 350 levels. In a big, deep oven-safe skillet over medium warmth, brown floor beef. As soon as browned, drain. Add garlic, both jarred or recent. Add 1/2 cup of water and taco seasoning (in response to package deal instructions). Permit to prepare dinner till water and seasonings are absorbed.
■ Add jarred salsa, black beans and frozen corn. Cook dinner for about 5 minutes. Style for seasoning stage. If extra seasoning is desired, add right now. Then, add a few 3/4 cup of taco model cheese mix. Permit to soften.
■ As soon as cheese is melted, take away from warmth. High with tater tots, organized in concentric circles. (Topping the identical pan with tater tots results in a crispy, but nonetheless tender casserole consistency from the potatoes. Should you’re going to go for additional crispy tots, you may also bake them on a separate baking sheet earlier than you simply throw them on high and eat as is. I can’t management your choices, right here.)
■ Switch skillet to oven, permitting casserole to bake till tater tots are golden brown (about 20-25 minutes). Take away from oven and high with remaining shredded cheese, permitting the warmth to soften the cheese.
■ Serve with bitter cream, pico de gallo and every other desired toppings.

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