Tater Tot Casserole with Hidden Veggies

Tater Tot Casserole with Hidden Veggies

This is a winning combination of an easy Bolognese-style sauce topped with tater tots and cheese. Adults and kids will love it even if they don’t realize there're hidden veggies in it. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a shallow casserole dish or ovenproof pan. If you like to plan ahead, make the sauce and keep it in the fridge, and top with the tater tots just before cooking.

1 hr total time

15 mins active time


Serves 4



  • 4 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • ¼ small (4 oz) cauliflower

    coarsely chopped

  • 1 large zucchini

    coarsely chopped

  • 1 medium carrot

    coarsely chopped

  • 1 yellow onion

    coarsely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

    to season

  • 2 lb frozen tater tots
  • 1 cup (3½ oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley

    to serve (optional)


  • 1Place the mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini and carrot in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, scrapping down the side as needed. Transfer to a bowl. Add the onion and garlic to the processor and pulse until finely chopped scrapping down the side. Alternatively, finely chop by hand.
  • 2Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring for 3 minutes, or until soft.
  • 3Increase the heat to high, add the beef and cook, stirring to break up the lumps, for 3 minutes, or until browned.
  • 4Add the chopped vegetables and tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until reduced slightly. Meanwhile, continue to the next step.
  • 5Insert the wire rack into position 6.
  • 6Using a spatula, level the top of the casserole and place the tater tots on top.
  • 7Once preheated, place the skillet in the oven and start the timer.
  • 8Sprinkle with the mozzarella and start the timer.
  • 9The tater tots should be browned and crisp. If not, give it a bit more.
  • 10Sprinkle with parsley and serve.