Minnesota tater tot hotdish is a family favorite! This version is made without canned condensed soup so it's free from common allergens like gluten and dairy but it's still delicious enough for everyone to enjoy!
If you live in Minnesota, there are two things that you must embrace: the cold winters and hotdish.
Hotdishes (casseroles if you're not from Minnesota) are usually made by mixing meat and some kind of starch (rice, pasta, potatoes) with a can or two of condensed cream soup. (And there might be some vegetables thrown in, too.)
Condensed soups usually have wheat, dairy, and soy which are common allergens. But you can still make a delicious Minnesota tater tot hotdish without it.
- Ground beef or ground turkey
- Earth Balance Buttery Spread - This comes in a dairy free variety or a soy AND dairy free variety. If you can't find it, you can substitute a safe cooking oil like olive oil instead.
- All-purpose gluten free flour - I use Bob's Red Mill all-purpose baking flour. Any gluten free flour should work fine.
- Gluten free beef or chicken broth - I like Kitchen Basics broth which is free of the top 9 allergens.
- Frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)
- Frozen tater tots - be sure to read labels carefully and choose a brand that is free from your allergens (see FAQ's below for more).
Recipe tips and FAQs
Add extra vegetables
This recipe calls for one 14 ounce bag of mixed vegetables but I often add two bags because I love my veggies! It also helps the dish go a bit further which is nice if you want some leftovers.
Add extra meat
Speaking of adding extra components to make the dish go further, adding more meat is another way to do that.
My kids love this meal so much that they want to eat it for lunch the next day! So, I started adding an extra half-pound of meat so we'd have leftovers. I still make the same amount of sauce and it still turns out well, just not as creamy.
Make it ahead of time
I often make this dish while I'm preparing another dinner that also uses ground beef or turkey. I start with two pounds of ground meat and then divide it.
A dish this works particularly well with is this gluten and dairy-free turkey stroganoff because both of these dishes have a similar creamy sauce. I make double the sauce and divide it between the two dishes, then add the other components to each.
Once the hotdish is assembled, just cover it and put it in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
You can assemble this dish and freeze it before baking. Ideally, you would let it thaw for 24 hours before baking, and then bake the normal amount of time. If you are baking it frozen, the baking time will be quite a bit longer.
I also like to freeze individual portions of leftovers. This is my version of a frozen entree but without the allergens!
Are tater tots gluten free and allergy friendly?
You can find tater tots that are gluten free and free of other common allergens such as dairy and eggs.
Like Ore Ida, many tater tot brands are made with soybean oil which can be a problem for those with soy allergies.
If you are avoiding soybean oil and are looking for safe tater tots, here are some options I found (updated March 2022):
- Alexia Organic Yukon Puffs
- 365 by Whole Foods Tater Puffs - does have an advisory statement that states these are processed ina facility that processes wheat, milk, and soy (here is a link to the company's allergen policy).
- Ian's Alphatots - not tater tots but would still accomplish the same thing! One note is there is an advisory statement that states these are made in a facility that manufactures products containing fish.
- Alexia Sweet Potato Puffs - I've been sweet potato tots are excellent on this dish and these are free from the top 9.
More main dishes
Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish
- Cooking spray
- 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 tablespoons "safe" margarine such as Earth Balance
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose gluten free flour
- 2 cups gluten free beef or chicken broth
- 1 12 ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
- 32 ounces frozen tater tots See notes
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a 13x9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- In a skillet, brown the ground beef or turkey over medium-high heat. Drain the fat if there is excess. Add the onion and saute until tender. Place this mixture in the casserole dish.
- In the skillet, melt the margarine. Sprinkle the flour over it and whisk together for about 1 minute. Whisk in half of the broth. Allow mixture to bubble and thicken and add more broth until the mixture is the consistency of thick gravy.
- Pour the cream sauce mixture over the beef/turkey mixture in the casserole dish and mix together. Next, cover beef/turkey mixture with frozen mixed vegetables. Then, top with enough tater tots to cover the entire vegetable layer.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake an additional 15 minutes at 425 degrees or until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.
- See the notes in the post about finding allergy friendly tater tots.
- Read labels carefully to make sure ingredients do not contain your allergens.
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