Loaded Taco Tater Tots
If you want to impress people in Week 1 of the regular season, serve them loaded taco tater tots. They’re delicious and relatively easy to make. Our first Gameday Goods recipe – slow cooker ribs – can be found here. Heck, serve ’em tots and ribs; people will be pumped.
- Tater Tots
- Ground Beef
- Jalapeno (optional)
- Red Pepper
- Cheese (cheddar and Parmesan)
- Taco Seasoning
- Bacon Fat (oil and/or butter would also work)
- S&P, Garlic, Onion Flakes, and Parsley
Step 1: The Tots
First step is getting your tots good and crispy. Keep in mind that you’re going to be mixing them with a ground beef mix that has a fair amount of liquid. The tots need to be crispy enough to stand up to the mixture. Ensure you don’t overcrowd your baking sheets; use two if you need to. The goal is to get a nice golden-brown around the entire tot. As the tater tots are baking, move onto step 2.
Step 2: Prepare the Taco Beef
We began with a cast iron pan and some left over bacon fat. If we were smarter, we would have saved some of the bacon to include. Alas, we are not the cleverest chefs.
When the bacon fat is hot (or, alternatively, oil), add in your diced onion.1 Get good color on the onions before incorporating the chopped jalapeno, red pepper, and crushed garlic.2 Similar to the tots, the goal here is a nice color as the ingredients come together. We went with a medium-high heat.
Once your initial mix is at the desired level of cookedness, add in your ground beef. Similar to cooking regular taco beef, simply wait until the GB is cooked through before adding your taco seasoning and water. We chose to use prepackaged taco seasoning, but if you’re interested in making your own, take a look at what ol’Babs recommends. Once cooked, add a cup of 3.25% milk. This will contribute toward creating a nice, thick sauce for your loaded taco tater tots.
Step 3: Combine and Bake
Once the tots are appropriately crispy and the beef mix is mixed/cooked, it’s time to incorporate everything. Throw your tots directly into the cast iron pan (you could use a casserole dish) and thoroughly mix. We added some S&P and Parmesan at this stage. Few things are made worse by adding Parmesan, folks.
Finally, we shredded cheddar cheese on the top and added some parsley on top of the cheddar. Put it in the oven3 to melt the cheese and to get some crisp on the top layer, as per the images below:
Once it’s at the desired level of melti/crispiness, serve it up and enjoy. Loaded taco tater tots and a Week 1 Vikings win will go a long way in making Sunday a success. Enjoy.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to include links to products on Amazon. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we may make a commission.
- This is our preferred knife. It’s small and cuts well. You could do a lot worse, folks.
- This is the garlic press we use. Sturdy and easy to clean.
- Part of the reason why a cast iron pan is so great is that it can go from the stove top to the oven. It’s a great addition to a kitchen.