Easy Vegan Tater Tot Casserole

tater tot vegan casserole
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / HNBS

This vegan tater tot casserole uses homemade tater tots. We'll show you how to easily make the savoury treat at home, including variations with different ingredients.

Tater tots are popular bite-sized cylinders of shredded potatoes with a crispy outer layer which are commonly associated with cafeteria lunches, greasy spoon diners, and the frozen food aisle of grocery stores. They’re so popular in fact, it’s estimated that Americans consume 70 million pounds of tater tots every year. They can be eaten on their own, but repurposing them into a vegan tater tot casserole is an even tastier way to enjoy them. 

Making Vegan Tater Tot Casserole

Enjoy all the flavors of taco night in your vegan tater tot casserole.
Enjoy all the flavors of taco night in your vegan tater tot casserole.
(Foto: CC0 / Unsplash / Julius David)

Enjoy this Mexican-inspired vegan tater tot casserole filled with warming spices. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb vegan ground beef
  • 1¾ cups black beans, drained
  • 1¾ cups corn
  • 1¼ cups enchilada sauce 
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning 
  • ¾ cup vegan cheese 
  • 4 cups homemade vegan tater tots (find the How-To below) or frozen store-bought tater tots (check the package to make sure they’re vegan)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onion, and cook until translucent before adding in the garlic. 
  2. Add in the vegan ground beef, black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, and taco seasoning, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in half of the vegan cheese, then spread the mixture into a 9×13 inch casserole dish. 
  4. Place the tater tots on the top of the casserole dish until the entire dish is covered, then transfer it to the oven and bake at 375°F for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. 
  5. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and bake for another 5 minutes. 

Variations of the Homemade Tater Tot Casserole

The above recipe uses vegan ground beef, but you don’t have to. You can omit the meat-substitute altogether, or opt for something like homemade tempeh – just dice it and add it in alongside the onions. You can also use diced tomatoes instead of enchilada sauce, and add in any other vegetables you want. 

You can also finish off your vegan tater tot casserole with a few different garnishes: 

Making Homemade Tater Tots

It's okay if your homemade tater tots don't have the perfect cylinder shape of the store-bought ones.
It's okay if your homemade tater tots don't have the perfect cylinder shape of the store-bought ones.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / andreinanacca)

While the above recipe can use store-bought tater tots from the frozen food section, it’s relatively simple to make (and freeze) your own. Most tater tots in the store are vegan, but you should always check the ingredients list to make sure. By making your own, you can ensure they’re vegan, customize the flavors, and skip the plastic waste that comes along with bagged tater tots at the grocery store. Here’s how to make your own vegan tater tots: 

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Peel the potatoes and add them to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until just soft (parboiled). Then drain the potatoes and let cool.  
  2. Finely grate the potatoes with a box grater, and wring any extra moisture out using a clean dish towel. 
  3. Add the potatoes into a large bowl along with the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper, and work until the mixture is combined and workable. 
  4. Heat the oil in a large pot on the stove on medium heat. While the oil is heating, form the potato mixture into tot-sized cylinders. 
  5. Add the tater tots to the pot and fry until golden and crispy on both sides. 
  6. Remove from the pot, and place on a wire rack to drain excess oil. 

Tip: If you’d like to freeze your homemade tater tots, allow them to cool to room temperature and then place them in an airtight container in the freezer. To reheat, bake in the oven at 400°F until heated through. 

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