Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

If you're feeding a large family or a small army, this delicious Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is sure to please Even your meat-and-potatoes hubby will love it!By contributing writer Beth

If you’re feeding a large family or a small army, this delicious Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is sure to please Even your meat-and-potatoes hubby will love it!

I’m sure you’ve seen those casseroles made with “cream of” soup, but this casserole is completely different. Aside from the tater tots, it’s all from scratch and homemade – yum!

You can make this dish with a variety of ground meat. I used pork and beef for a deliciously moist texture. Chicken and turkey would be a great lower fat alternative. If you’re going the reduced fat route, you could also use skim milk instead of whole milk. I would caution against using reduced fat cheese. It just doesn’t melt right for it to work in this combination.

I used a regular 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. You can use a larger pan if you’re worried about it bubbling over. I didn’t have that problem, but your experience may vary and nobody likes to have to clean the oven after a mess.

If you're feeding a large family or a small army, this delicious Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is sure to please Even your meat-and-potatoes hubby will love it!

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ pounds ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, or turkey)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 20-ounce package of frozen tater tots
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.and spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large pan, brown the ground meat over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Crumble the meat as you cook it so it is in small pieces when it's done. Do not drain the meat.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, thyme, and mustard. Stir to completely combine.
  4. Stir in the butter and Worcestershire sauce. Continue to cook over medium heat. Stir to melt the butter completely.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir in. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat.
  6. Stir in the milk slowly and bring back to a very low simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute.
  7. Stir in half the cheese. Blend until melted.
  8. Pour the meat mixture into the prepared casserole pan, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Arrange the tater tots over the top of the cheese.
  9. Bake at 425 degrees for 21 - 25 minutes until mixture is bubbly and tater tots are light golden brown.

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Cheeseburger Pasta

There's nothing better on a busy weeknight than dinner on the table in 30 minutes. That's what makes this Cheeseburger Pasta dish the perfect supper for your hungry family.By contributing writer Beth

There’s nothing better on a busy weeknight than dinner on the table in 30 minutes. That’s what makes this Cheeseburger Pasta dish the perfect supper for your hungry family.

This recipe was inspired by my family’s love for macaroni and cheese. Yes, sometimes we make it from those blue boxes, but mostly I make it from scratch. Adding ground beef takes it from a side dish to a main dish.

You can add more garlic, ground mustard, or even toss in a tiny touch of horseradish to the cheese sauce to make it have a little more complex flavor.

It’s so much fun to put out the condiments on the table when I serve dinner. You can put out:

  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Thousand Island Dressing
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Bacon
  • Avocado
  • Hot Sauce
  • and even MORE Cheese!

Throw on anything that you’d put on a cheeseburger.

This dish can be thrown together in a flash. Make the most of your time by putting on the water to boil first. Then start browning your ground beef. This overlap in cooking will shave off minutes from your meal prep time. I can get this meal on the table in less than half an hour.

Note: I recommend a sharp cheddar cheese for the shredded cheese in the sauce. For our test version, we tried a three cheese blend that included cream cheese shreds. It was delicious and creamy and perfectly smooth!

There's nothing better on a busy weeknight than dinner on the table in 30 minutes. That's what makes this Cheeseburger Pasta dish the perfect supper for your hungry family.

Cheeseburger Pasta
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 8
 
Macaroni and cheese with a delicious twist! Your kids will adore this fast and easy meal.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (sharp recommended)
  • 12 ounces pasta, uncooked
Instructions
  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is being prepared, brown the ground beef along with the onion, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  3. When the beef is completely cooked do not drain the grease. Stir in the flour to coat the beef. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a low simmer over medium low heat. Do not boil.
  5. When the milk mixture is beginning to bubble gently, stir in the cheese. Stir until all the cheese is melted. Turn off the heat.
  6. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and place back into the pot it cooked in.
  7. Stir the cheese sauce into the pasta and serve with mustard and ketchup drizzle and chopped tomatoes.

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Jambalaya Pasta

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Aidells®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Have you ever made a meal that makes you feel like you just ate at a restaurant?

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My favorite thing to do is grab dinner out, but that’s because we eat a lot of tacos, pizza, and tuna casserole around here and I like something different once in a while.

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This jambalaya pasta is better than any I’ve ever had at a restaurant and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Who has more than 30 minutes to make dinner- not me!!

I love a little kick in my food, and Aidells® Cajun Style Andouille sausage (available at my favorite grocery store Publix) is the perfect way to take your regular pasta up a notch. Hormone, nitrate, and gluten-free, Aidells® is a great choice for your family. My husband isn’t eating gluten so I made this recipe for him with extra spinach and no noodles. You could also serve it over rice or mix it in with spiralized zucchini noodles for a gluten-free dinner.

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I’ve started adding spinach to almost every meal because my kids don’t seem to notice, however it is optional in this recipe. The spinach cooks down in this recipe and mixes in with all the other ingredients, making it an easy way to get a serving of vegetables with this meal.

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Jambalaya Pasta
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Aidells® Cajun Style Andouille sliced into rounds (available at Publix)
  • 2 Chicken breasts (sliced then)
  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ½ small red pepper diced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup heavy cream or sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Cajun seasoning (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking melt butter in a saute' pan.
  3. Slice chicken breasts into thin strips and saute' with butter and minced garlic over medium heat.
  4. Add cajun seasoning.
  5. Add onion and red pepper
  6. Once chicken is almost cooked add the sausage and spinach. Cover the pan.
  7. Continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Add cream (or sour cream) and cook an additional 4 minutes over low heat.
  9. Mix in shredded parmesan cheese.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Drain pasta.
  12. Pour sauce over pasta and serve.

This jambalaya pasta is so good and it takes less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish.

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The kick from the andouille sausage is just enough to make it spicy, but not so spicy that the kids won’t eat it. My family gobbled this up so I’ll be making it again soon.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Aidells®. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Easy Paleo Chicken Drumsticks

These easy paleo chicken drumsticks are simple to prepare, moist, very affordable. and super flavorful with minimal effort. By contributing writer Tessa

I have always loved drumsticks. They are simple to prepare, moist, and very affordable. And you can transform them into something super flavorful with minimal effort like these easy paleo chicken drumsticks.

You can personalize this recipe by changing the spices to an infinite number of combinations. I kept this one simple for kids.

These easy paleo chicken drumsticks are simple to prepare, moist, very affordable. and super flavorful with minimal effort.

Easy Paleo Chicken Drumsticks
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 8 chicken drumsticks or thighs
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, paprika, or smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high heat oil)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Mix the spices together and set aside.
  3. Pat all pieces of chicken dry with a paper towel.
  4. Toss the drumsticks with the oil and then sprinkle liberally with the spice mix.
  5. Place in a baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes until internal temperature registers 180.

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