Crispy Tot Chili Casserole

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Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Crispy Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili…then gets topped with crispy tots!

Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Tater Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili...and then gets topped with crispy tots!Whenever Laura and I go out for date nights to our local pub, we often order a round of loaded tots as an appetizer.  Talk about the perfect way to start a night out!  (Let’s be real, though.  We’re always back home in bed by 9pm – I’m sure you other parents out there can identify!)

Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Tater Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili...and then gets topped with crispy tots!Channeling that tot theme, we often have crispy tots as an appetizer here at home on New Year’s Eve.  This tradition started years ago, and we still make tots every New Year’s Eve as a happy hour snack.  (And let’s be real again.  Most of the time we’re in bed long before the clock strikes midnight!)  This year, I picked up two bags of Grown In Idaho Super Crispy Tots at Walmart.  One bag for New Year’s Eve, and a second bag for this Crispy Tot Chili Casserole.

Grown in Idaho Super Crispy Tater Tots

Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Tater Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili...and then gets topped with crispy tots!Crispy Tot Chili Casserole

The idea for this Crispy Tot Chili Casserole started with those loaded tots.  If we can load all sorts of deliciousness on top of tots, then what about switching it up and putting tots on top of a casserole?  And for this casserole, I went with one of our favorite winter comfort foods – classic beef chili.  The only difference with this chili is it uses a bit less liquid so that it stays more like a casserole rather than a soup.  And the crispy tots on top?  They’re the shining star!  This recipe is going on our short list of winter comfort food favorites – talk about taking meat and potatoes up a notch!

Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Tater Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili...and then gets topped with crispy tots!Speaking of crispy tots, I used Grown In Idaho Super Crispy Tots for this casserole.  We love crispy tots, and these tots are super crispy and super flavorful.  Great tots start with great potatoes, and Grown In Idaho Super Crispy Tots start with potatoes that are grown in Idaho.  These tots are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside – and the best part is you can pick them up in the frozen section at your local grocery store.  (This casserole is baked in the oven, but Grown In Idaho Super Crispy Tots can be prepared by themselves in the oven or in an airfryer.)

Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Tater Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili...and then gets topped with crispy tots!As tasty as tots are by themselves, I have to say that tots also make a great ingredient in all sorts of dishes.  Take these Cuban-Style Smashed Tots for instance – I’m pretty sure those would be an awesome gametime snack!  Or what about a breakfast frittata topped with crispy tots?  That has weekend brunch written all over it!

Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Tater Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili...and then gets topped with crispy tots!If you’re looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal, then put this Crispy Tot Chili Casserole on the list.  It’s an easy meal to make, and it’s sure to have everyone asking for it again soon!  I know I’m planning on making this casserole again really soon here in our house.  Check out the product finder to find Grown In Idaho Super Crispy Tots near you.

Did you make this Crispy Tot Chili Casserole?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Crispy Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili...and then gets topped with crispy tots!

Crispy Tot Chili Casserole

Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Crispy Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili...and then gets topped with crispy tots!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 440kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef I used 93/7
  • cup tomato paste ~½ of a 6-oz. can
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz. can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-oz. bag Grown In Idaho Super Crispy Tots
  • {optional garnishes} ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Spray a 9”x13” casserole dish with non-stick baking spray; set dish aside.
  • Using a large skillet, add olive oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, add diced onions. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add garlic, stir and sauté for 1-2 more minutes.
  • Add beef and break apart using a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid (if any) from pan.
  • Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano; stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes and chicken broth. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Once boiling, remove skillet from heat and transfer mixture into prepared casserole dish.
  • Place frozen tots in an even layer on top of chili.
  • Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until tots are golden brown.
  • Remove casserole dish from oven and top with shredded cheese and chopped cilantro. Continue baking for 5-10 more minutes, or until cheese has melted.
  • Remove dish from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Looking for the ultimate winter comfort food meal?  This Crispy Tot Chili Casserole starts with a classic ground beef chili...and then gets topped with crispy tots!

Looking for more tasty comfort food recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

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Do you love those endless breadsticks at Olive Garden?  Then make a batch of these Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks at home!  (And good luck eating just one...)Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

This Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Roasted Brussels Sprouts features creamy macaroni and cheese combined with crispy bacon and roasted Brussels.  It's a meal in itself!Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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16 Comments

  1. I love yalls New Year tots tradition. We do a snack platter and I’m seriously contemplating adding Idaho Super Crispy Tots to that list – though I’m torn between tots or this loaded tots casserole! This sounds and looks so comforting and delicious- especially on a cold rainy day like today is here in the Atl!
    BTW Happy New Year to you, Laura, and Robbie!!!

    1. Oh, tots on the New Years Eve appetizer list is a MUST, Shashi! We usually make a batch of tots for a late afternoon snack, and then we eat dinner (pizza!) much later. It helps us stay up. Of course, staying up for midnight doesn’t have the same appeal as it used to. Now I prefer to get the extra sleep as Robbie will be awake at the same time no matter what!

      In other news, though, this crispy tot casserole is amazing. I’m not kidding one bit when I say it’s one of our new favorites! 🙂

    1. Haha – I hear ya, Marissa. A good crispy tot is like our kryptonite, too! I highly (!!) recommend using tots as a casserole topper. This classic chili makes for a great meal on a cold day!

    1. Oh, you totally need to make tots a required NYE snack! About 4:00, put those tots in the oven, and you’ve got a really fun appetizer for the last day of the year. In the meantime, try this casserole – it’s amazing! 🙂

    1. Ah, that’s a good observation, Raymund – I never thought about it. This casserole really is like shepherd’s pie, but using tots instead of mashed potatoes. It’s quite tasty for sure! Comfort food at its best!

    1. I’m with ya 100% here, Valentina! A good tater tot is hard to beat – but take those tots and put ’em on top of beef chili? Oh man, that’s some good eats right there! 🙂

    1. Oh, we could totally eat this every week, too, Dawn! The classic beef chili topped with tater tots took beef + potatoes to a whole new level! 🙂

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