I don’t know about you, but in our household, Thanksgiving planning started at the end of October (it’s a big deal!). We planned out our menu and everything we may need, and a few days ago I finished up a make-ahead timeline to make things go as smoothly as possible on the big day.
I don’t know about your timeline – if you’re nerdy enough like me to make one – but mine is filled with 2-3 things to prep and make every night leading up to Thanksgiving. And since this week I’ll already be doing lots of chopping, baking, cooking, and prepping after a long day of work, the last thing I need is to worry about the age old question of “what’s for dinner??“.
Enter today’s easy recipe…… *drum roll please*…..
I present to you: Pizza tator tot casserole!
My taco tator tot casserole is perhaps one of the most popular recipes in our house – we make it at least once very few weeks – it’s just that good. I remember the first few weeks when I started my new job back in February, we actually made a double batch of it in anticipation of being busy and giving me enough time to get settled into my new routine. Now we gave a new spin to our favorite comfort food – combining our favorite casserole dish with tons of pizza flavors! It’s hearty, meaty, and cheesy all at the same time. It’s got pizza sauce, basil, plenty of cheesy goodness, lean ground beef, onions and green peppers, and not to mention to crispy baked tator tots carefully arranged in OCD fashion on top. All the food groups balanced into one delicious meal, it’s guaranteed to be a hit at your dinner table!
Have I mentioned that it’s also super easy and painless to make?
Just like ordering pizza on a lazy Friday night, you can totally customize what goes into this casserole based on personal preference. We kept it simple by using plain ground beef and pizza sauce, but this dish totally has the potential to be dressed up based on what you like on your pizza..
Add in bacon bits, crumbled Italian sausage, and pepperoni slices for the meat lovers in your house.
Simply add in more cheese for extra cheesy goodness.
Or if you happen to like your pizza piled high with veggies, just throw in some sliced mushrooms, olives, extra peppers, spinach, or whatever happens to tickle your fancy at the moment.
See? I told you the possibilities are endless.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 15-oz pizza sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 package frozen tator tots
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet, brown the beef over medium heat with the green peppers and onions until the beef is no longer pink. Add the pizza sauce and basil.
- Transfer the beef mixture into a 8x11" casserole dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and tator tots
- Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and brown. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese, bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.
- Serves 6
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