What to Make for Saturday Breakfast? Tater Tot Casserole
Okay, some days you just need something that's quick to throw together, inexpensive, and that people like and will eat. Enter Tater Tot Casserole. Yes, it uses convenience/prepared food--i.e., tater tots. The casserole also comes together in minutes, bakes in about half an hour, and is really good. I mean, really. It's got potatoes, eggs, cheese, bacon, onion, and enough spices to enhance but not overwhelm. Yes, even your kids will probably eat this casserole, particularly if you tell them it has tater tots in it. The casserole also is adaptable. For example, feel free to trade the bacon for cooked sausage crumbles or add some chopped red bell pepper or even tomatoes, if you like. Or leave out the meat and veggies entirely. You can also make the casserole the night before, refrigerate it, and bake it the next morning (see the note below). Go for what you like and have a good Saturday.
Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole -- Serves 4+
Half a 20-24 ounce bag of tater tots (about 3 cups)
2 cups of shredded cheddar or Monterey-Jack cheese, divided
3-4 tablespoons of bacon crumbles or cooked, crumbled bacon
1/2 cup of chopped green onion (or use 1/4 cup of chopped fresh chives, if you have
1 teaspoon of dried dill or 2 teaspoons of fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes or 2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of low-fat milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spritz an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the tater tots in the bottom of the dish in a single layer. Sprinkle on a cup of the cheese, the bacon crumbles, the green onion, the dill, parsley flakes, smoked paprika, pepper and salt. Whisk the milk and eggs together until thoroughly blended and frothy and pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and jiggle the dish a little to settle everything. Bake the casserole for 30-45 minute or until it is set and golden brown on top. Let the casserole cool a few minutes before serving it.
*Note: If you have refrigerated the casserole before baking it, I recommend microwaving it for 5 minutes, loosely covered with a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, before popping the casserole into the oven to bake. The microwaving step will warm the dish and jump-start the cooking process, so that you can get breakfast on the table quickly.