Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chili Tots Casserole ***

This one actually surprised me.  Dh loves Frito Pies, and while I like them, they are just too salty for me.  I found this recipe, in the hopes that dh and the kids would like it, and we could find a decent compromise for the Frito Pies.  It worked!  I love that meat is added to this.  Of course, if you had a chili with lots of beans, it would accomplish the same goal, but the meat keeps it from being "too much" on the chili side, for lack of a better explanation.  There's not the usual chili overkill that some recipes with canned chili have.  The best part was that it was so easy, dh threw it together in no time flat, without leaving me a zillion dirty dishes in the sink.  :)
I subbed ground turkey, as usual, and I actually used 1 1/2 lbs, since that's what I had handy.  I also had dh just use one 9x13 instead of two 8x8 pans.  I didn't make the extra one to freeze.  I love that I normally have most of the ingredients on hand, so this can be thrown together at the last minute.  Keeper for us!

Photo courtesy of Recipezaar

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar)

1 lb ground beef (optional)
2 (15 ounce) cans chili without beans
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (32 ounce) bag tater tots

Cook the beef and drain.
Stir in the chili and heat through.
Pour into two 8" sprayed square baking dishes.
Sprinkle with the cheese and top with the tater tots.
Cover and freeze one casserole for up to three months.
Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.
To use the frozen casserole: Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw). Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hrs or until heated through.

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