If there is one recipe that is in every one's recipe box it's a version of this dish. If you have kids, you have tater tots in your freezer.
I was feeding some young men we call missionaries in our church and up until a few weeks ago, we could have them over to our house for dinner. We love having the Elders over for dinner. One, we get the house clean, two, I have 3 siblings that served full time missions and someone had to feed them and I have three children that have the potential to serve missions and they need to eat. One Elder that was from the East coast, never had Tater Tot Casserole. I was astonished. Truly astonished. My mother in law, bless her heart, had a recipe book from when my husband was in Junior High. She tried the recipe in there for tater tot casserole and she didn't like the recipe. When it got typed up, yes typed up and not put on a computer, the temperature and time weren't correct. the Tater tots were left cold and still frozen. When I married my Husband and my mother in law had me look that the recipe and sure enough, that was wrong with the whole thing, the oven wasn't hot enough and 10 minutes wasn't long enough to let the tater tots on top get hot.
Here is the basic recipe.
1 pound of ground beef, ( wanna go healthy? use turkey, ground chicken, or the 7/93 ground beef,
Season with Onion soup mix, ( I abhor a pantry that doesn't keep this on hand) and drain any visible fat.
Add a can of cream of mushroom soup. (again, want healthy go for the Fat free or reduced fat soup) Bring to a simmer and add half a bag of Tater tots. Stir to combine and let it come up to a simmer. Spoon into 13x9 baking dish and top with remaining tater tots. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes or until hot.
Sometimes I "GO GOURMET" and get the tater crowns and top the casserole with those rather than regular tater tots. My sister puts a bag of frozen veggies in with the soup. That just goes to show you that if you have a room of 20 Mormon Moms, you are going to get at least 20 different recipes for Tater Tot Casserole.
A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.