Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I had no idea what a tater tot hotdish was until a few months ago…let alone a vegan tater tot hotdish.
According to Wikipedia, the hotdish has Midwestern roots and was originally created for church potlucks because it can feed a lot of people on a tight budget. Traditionally, it includes some kind of ground meat cooked with veggies and a can of creamy soup, often topped with frozen tater tots.
Meaty? Creamy? And tater tots? I dig it.
To me, the tater tot hotdish is kinda like a shepherd’s pie, but instead of a mashed tater topping, it’s tater tots.
You’re on board now, yes? Me too.
For this vegan tater tot hotdish recipe, I used this vegetarian recipe by Lindsay at Pinch of Yum for inspiration. No better place to get hotdish inspiration than a true Minnesotan herself, right?
I really dig the spicy walnut meat we added to this vegan tater tot hotdish to replace the traditional ground beef. It’s an adaptation from our Vegan Nacho recipe on page 6 in our 20+ Recipes to Become a Cruelty-Free Kitchen Badass e-cookbook, and it’s just so darn good! I love the softened texture it achieves after cooking in that gorgeous roux for so long. It’s the perfect meaty addition to all those beautiful veggies!
I am so, very excited to share this vegan tater tot hotdish recipe with you guys. Although I’ve never had the traditional version, I am soooo in love with this dish. It’s warm and cozy and filled with flavor, just begging to be shared with the people you love – which is awesome because when it comes down to it, making kickass food is so much more fun when you can share it. 🙂
You should totally make this recipe! And when you do, let me know how it goes and what you thought! Tag us in your photos on Instagram (we’re @theplantpowercouple, with the ‘the’) or Facebook (just Plant Power Couple there). Hope you enjoy every minute of this recipe just like we have!
- 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked in cool water 20 minutes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 small clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp yellow onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter or refined coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 bell peppers, chopped (I used green.)
- 10 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
- 1 block Daiya pepperjack cheese, cut into cubes (or sub 1-2 cups favorite vegan cheese)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 32-oz bag frozen tater tots
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Next, make your walnut meat: Drain the walnuts and add them to your food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse a few times or until the mixture achieves a ground meat texture.
- Heat the vegan butter over medium high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and peppers with a pinch of salt and saute for about 3-5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the cumin and chili powder and stir to thoroughly coat.
- Add the flour and stir again. Add the almond milk slowly, stirring continuously. Add the Daiya cheese cubes and cover. Cook 3-5 minutes or to help the cheese melt.
- Stir in the walnut meat, peas, carrots, and corn. Taste and adjust your seasonings. You'll probably want to add a bit more salt.
- Turn the mixture off heat and top with frozen tater tots.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes and allow to cool a bit before serving. Enjoy!