Turkey Tater Tot Casserole

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Turkey Tater Tot Casserole for your Thanksgiving leftovers
This turkey tater tot casserole incorporates green beans, leftover turkey and an easy cream sauce, all topped off by toasty tater tots. It’s a fast, easy meal, as well as a great way to repurpose holiday leftovers.

Ah, the turkey leftovers. There are only so many things you can do with them before you start staring at them in your refrigerator and slowly push their containers toward the back to be forgotten.

This year, don’t let those leftovers go uneaten. My favorite ways of using up leftovers all involve turning them into something different, giving them new life and increasing your desire for them. The obvious way to do this is to pull out the comfort food.

In my family we don’t eat casseroles. We eat “hot dish.” Hot dish = casserole. This is basic Minnesota terminology you need to know. We had tater tot hot dish on a regular basis when I was growing up — the ground beef variety. This is simply a from-scratch take on tater tot hot dish – err, casserole – using leftover turkey in place of the ground beef. It tastes like comfort food. It’s quick to prepare.
Turkey Tater Tot Casserole for your Thanksgiving leftovers
Recipe notes: My mom made this casserole with cream of mushroom soup. I prefer to go at it from scratch, but I completely understand if this is not your thing, so here are a few substitutions you can make.

  • Option 1: Omit the stock, cream, milk, mushrooms and spices. Instead add 1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup and one can full of milk in their place.
  • Option 2: Omit the stock, cream, milk, mushrooms and spices. Instead add 3 cups ready-to-eat Tetra Pak style cream of mushroom soup in their place.

Turkey Tater Tot Casserole for your Thanksgiving leftovers
Turkey Tater Tot Casserole
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh cut green beans
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage or thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups frozen tater tots

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 3-quart casserole dish add the green beans in an even layer. Top with the turkey; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add in the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to sweat. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring continuously.
  3. Slowly stir in the chicken stock. Once it’s incorporated, add the cream, milk, sage, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until it starts to simmer.
  4. Pour the mushrooms and cream sauce over the green beans and turkey. Top the entire casserole with a layer of tater tots.
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tater tots are crisp and the sauce is thick and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Makes 5 to 6 servings.
Turkey Tater Tot Casserole for your Thanksgiving leftovers

Photo credit: Shaina Olmanson

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