Cook once and eat twice with this hearty Southwestern casserole. With help from a few convenience products, it quickly goes together before you freeze it or pop it into the oven to bake.—Linda Baldwin, Long Beach, California
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) chili with beans
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
- 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 package (32 ounces) frozen Tater Tots
- In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the chili, tomato sauce, olives and chilies. Transfer to two greased 8-in. square baking dishes. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese; top with Tater Tots. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months.
- Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
- To use frozen casserole: Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw). Cover and bake at 350° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until heated through. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).
Originally published as Cheesy Chili Tots in Comfort Food Classics 2009 2008, p42
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