Spicy Vegan Tater Tot Hotdish

This Spicy Vegan Tater Tot Hotdish is the perfect winter comfort food. It’s easy to make in your cast iron skillet and a great way to use up whatever vegetables are in your fridge! It’s peppers, onions, corn, peas, and walnut meat in a thick flavorful gravy, topped with crispy tater tots.

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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.

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Spicy Vegan Tater Tot Hotdish - a comfort classic made vegan and oh so delicious! #vegan #veganrecipe #hotdish #vegetables #tatertots // plantpowercouple.com

Vegan Tater Tot Hotdish Inspiration

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 beef we added to this vegan tater tot hotdish to replace the traditional ground beef. It’s an adaptation of our sausage-style walnut meat, and it’s just so damn 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!

Spicy Vegan Tater Tot Hotdish - a comfort classic made vegan and oh so delicious! #vegan #veganrecipe #hotdish #vegetables #tatertots // plantpowercouple.com

More Vegan Cast Iron Skillet Recipes:

I am so, very excited to share this vegan tater tot hotdish recipe with you all. 

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 us know how it goes and what you thought!  Tag us in your photos on Instagram (we’re @theplantpowercouple, with the ‘the’). 

Hope you enjoy every minute of this recipe just like we have!

Spicy Vegan Tater Tot Hotdish - a comfort classic made vegan and oh so delicious! #vegan #veganrecipe #hotdish #vegetables #tatertots // plantpowercouple.com

Cheesy Vegan Tater Tot Hot Dish

Brittany Roche
This Spicy Vegan Tater Tot Hotdish is a comfort classic made vegan and oh so delicious! Walnut meat and veggies all cooked up in a creamy, cheesy roux, topped with tater tots, and baked to perfection. The perfect comfort food dinner!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 3 Tbsp refined coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 medium green bell peppers chopped
  • 10 oz container of mushrooms sliced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
  • 1 block vegan cheese optional, cut into cubes*
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 batch spicy beef-style walnut meat
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 32- oz bag frozen tater tots


  • Preheat your oven to 375F.
  • Heat the refined coconut oil 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 soy milk slowly, stirring continuously. Add the vegan cheese cubes and cover. Turn the heat to medium low and let it cook 5-7 minutes or until the cheese mostly melts.
  • 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 until the tots are nice and browned and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


*We love Violife + Daiya - both make vegan cheese blocks that are awesome in this recipe! 1-2 cups of shredded vegan cheese will also work.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. We don't eat processed cheeses, so to make it creamier, I added homemade vegan cream of mushroom soup thefoodieeats.com/vegan-cream-of-mushroom-soup/. It was a hit! Thank you for sharing this! Btw, we are true Minnesotans, and loved this.

    5 stars

    1. I love this so much! So happy you enjoyed the recipe and that it was approved by true Minnesotans! :) GREAT idea with the cream of mushroom soup. I LOVE cream of mushrooms and can't wait to give that a try.

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