Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole

Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole Recipe

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This dish is perfect for busy weeknights when you need something filling and easy to prepare. The ingredients are simple, and the preparation is straightforward, making it a go-to for both novice cooks and seasoned chefs. The rich flavors from the onion soup mix and the smokiness from the bacon pieces add layers of taste that make this casserole stand out.

One of the things I love most about this recipe is its versatility. While the original recipe calls for mozzarella cheese, feel free to experiment with different cheeses like sharp cheddar or pepper jack for a bit of a kick. Adding some diced green peppers or mushrooms can also elevate the dish, giving it a fresh twist.

This Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole is more than just a meal; it’s a story of family gatherings, shared laughter, and the joy of good food. Whether you’re looking to impress guests at a dinner party or just wanting to treat your family to a cozy meal, this recipe is sure to become a beloved favorite in your home.

Making the Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped bacon pieces
  • 24 oz. frozen tater tots
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 30 Ritz crackers
  • 2 oz. onion soup mix

Directions

  1. Set the oven to 350°F to preheat.
  2. Crush the Ritz crackers into fine crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, blend the BBQ sauce and ketchup together until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, crushed crackers, half of the BBQ and ketchup mixture, onion soup mix, and eggs. Mix thoroughly using your hands.
  5. Press the meat mixture evenly into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  6. Spread the remaining BBQ and ketchup mixture over the meat.
  7. Layer the tater tots evenly over the meat mixture.
  8. Sprinkle the bacon pieces and shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
  9. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 40 minutes.
  11. Allow the casserole to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Making Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole

FAQs:

Can I use a different type of cheese for this casserole?

Yes, you can use different types of cheese if you prefer. While mozzarella cheese melts well and gives a nice stretch, cheddar, Colby Jack, or even a Mexican blend would also work well and provide a different flavor profile.

Is it possible to make this recipe ahead of time?

Absolutely, you can prepare the meat mixture and layer the tater tots in advance. Cover the dish and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, sprinkle with bacon and cheese, then follow the baking instructions. However, you may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time if starting from a chilled state.

Can I substitute the ground beef with another type of meat?

Yes, ground turkey, chicken, or pork can be used as substitutes for ground beef. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture may vary slightly. Ground turkey or chicken will be a leaner option, so you might want to add a little extra seasoning or moisture, such as a splash of milk or extra BBQ sauce.

What can I serve with this Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole?

This casserole pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Consider serving it with a fresh green salad, steamed vegetables, or roasted asparagus to balance out the richness of the casserole. A side of garlic bread or dinner rolls can also complement the meal.

Can I freeze leftovers of this casserole?

Yes, leftovers can be frozen for later use. Once the casserole has cooled completely, cut it into portions and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Store the wrapped portions in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake at 350°F until heated through.

How can I make this recipe healthier?

To make this casserole healthier, you can make a few adjustments. Use lean ground beef or substitute with ground turkey or chicken. Opt for reduced-fat cheese and low-sodium BBQ sauce and onion soup mix. Additionally, you could add finely chopped vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini to the meat mixture to boost the nutritional content.

Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole Recipe

Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole

Try this easy and delicious Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole recipe, a hit at every family meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
...

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oz. onion soup mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 24 oz. frozen tater tots
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 30 Ritz crackers
  • ¼ cup chopped bacon pieces
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Crush the Ritz crackers into fine crumbs.
  • In a bowl, mix together the BBQ sauce and ketchup until well combined.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, cracker crumbs, half of the BBQ and ketchup mixture, the onion soup mix, and the eggs. Knead the mixture with your hands until everything is well incorporated.
  • Press the meat mixture evenly into the bottom of a well-greased 9x13 baking dish.
  • Brush the remaining BBQ and ketchup mixture over the top of the meat.
  • Arrange the tater tots over the meat mixture in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the chopped bacon and shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Cover the dish loosely with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for an additional 40 minutes.
  • Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Keyword Meatloaf, TAter tot

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