Makeover Cheddar Tot Casserole

Cheddar Tot Casserole

Super-cheesy casseroles are usually taboo for the health-conscious, but with a little bit of tweaking, they can often be lightened up. And that’s exactly what Jessica Salts was counting on when she sent us Cheddar Tot Casserole.

“I used to love making this recipe for functions and as a family treat,” she writes from Corpus Christi, Texas. “I found it in one of the Taste of Home brand magazines a few years ago. However, I’ve since switched to the Light & Tasty way of cooking and no longer make the casserole because it has such a high level of fat.”

We can see why it became a staple. The delicious dish is truly comfort food at its finest. Evaporated milk, sour cream, butter and cream of chicken soup combine with Tater Tots to create a creamy, filling base. Topped with crushed potato chips and cheddar cheese, it makes a wonderfully decadent dish.

But, as good as it tastes, it’s a nutritional nightmare. So Jessica decided to do something about it; she sent us the recipe with a request. “Can you help me cut some of the fat out of this recipe without losing the flavor or fun?”

Sure thing, Jessica! Our makeover team got down to business by replacing the ingredients they could with low-fat or fat-free substitutions. Because some fat-free ingredients don’t perform well while baking, they chose mostly low-fat variations instead. They also cut the butter in half to reduce the fat and switched to sour cream and onion chips to enhance the taste.

With just a few changes, the team cut 13 grams of fat per serving and halved the saturated fat, all without sacrificing flavor. So go ahead, Jessica; bring your family’s favorite back to the table! We’re sure you’ll find Makeover Cheddar Tot Casserole a resounding success.

The jump from full-fat to fat-free can sometimes leave makeovers short on flavor and richness. Try a combination of reduced-fat and fat-free ingredients for a happy medium.