Potato Topped Hotdish (a healthier tater tot hotdish)
Oh, how I LOVE hotdish. I mean, it’s a one dish meal with veggies, meat and usually a starch, warm and scrumptious to provide comfort and joy with every bite. Just the thought of a warm wintery hotdish (not to mention eating them) brings back a whole helping of nostalgia. Growing up in Minnesota, the winter months were full of hotdish (or casseroles, if you prefer) in any form. My all time favorite is the tater tot hotdish. Most every hotdish you’ll find at the midwestern family table is made with some sort of condensed soup. Not exactly as healthy as one would think. The ingredient list in condensed soup leaves much room for improvement. That’s where I come in! Yes, the name potato topped hotdish is intentionally made to sound like tater tot hotdish. Why, well, because it essentially IS tater tot hotdish, cleaned up and made healthy.
I’ve done away with the condensed soup making my own veggie sauce to provide more nutrients and more flavor than any condensed soup can provide. Topped with sliced potatoes, it not only looks pretty, but tastes divine too. Of course, you can simply make a homemade cream of mushroom soup to substitute but why stop there? Why not add something unexpected… say, cauliflower, for example. This cauliflower and mushroom sauce combines mushrooms, cauliflower and some minute mayonnaise. The cauliflower is steamed and then combined in a saucepot with the sautéed mushrooms, garlic, mayo and beef stock and pureed to provide the “cream” for this hotdish.
For the base of this hotdish, the cauliflower shroom sauce is mixed with browned ground beef. Then, I sliced some potatoes really thin with a crinkle cutter to layer on top. A sprinkle of smoked paprika and this potato topped hotdish looks pretty darn delicious. Keep it dairy free or top it with a little shredded smoked gouda for a little taste of heaven.
- 1 pound hamburger, browned
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mushrooms (any kind), chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 head cauliflower, steamed
- 1 cup beef stock
- ½ cup minute mayonnaise (or you can use heavy cream or coconut milk)
- 6-8 small potatoes sliced very thin
- olive oil, for brushing top of potatoes
- paprika - to sprinkle on top
- cheese - optional for topping
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Brown hamburger with onion, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Steam the cauliflower.
- In a saucepan, sauté mushrooms with garlic until mushrooms have given up most of their moisture.
- Add cauliflower, beef stock and mayo to mushrooms and puree. I used a stick blender for this.
- Mix together the ground beef with the cauliflower mushroom sauce and place in a lightly greased 9x13 pan.
- Top with sliced potatoes. I layered mine in alternating directions for a prettier visual.
- Brush tops of the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake for about one hour to 75 min until potatoes are tender.
- Top with shredded cheese if desired after baking. You can place back in the oven if needed just until cheese is melted. Smoked gouda is amazing on this one!