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Snow Day? Make Tater-Tot Hotdish


I feel like there are few things more synonomous with being from Minnesota than loving hotdish. It may just be this author’s experience, but as hotdish was at every holiday, family picnic and gathering of more than five people growing up I can’t imagine it escaped the fond memories of many others as well. Heck, its even achieved “on a stick” status at the State Fair.

Hotdish is simple comfort food, the best kind. Grab some frozen veggies, brown a little beef and add some starch and you’ll be ready to brave another winter day. While I haven’t experienced many Minnesota-like winters since moving to Missouri, I have almost a Pavlovian craving for hotdish at even the slightest chances for snow in the forecast.

My mom used make it in huge batches, filling our large roasting pan and feeding us for days. Her version was more traditional, using both cream of celery and cream of mushroom soups and cheddar cheese. It was super creamy, and I wanted to capture that while still getting as close to being Paleo as possible. While it’s not perfectly Paleo, it is both dairy and gluten-free.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup almond flour (or other GF flour/mix)
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water
3 cubes beef bouillon
2 teaspoons arrowroot + 3 tablespoons water (thickener)
Seasonings of choice to taste (Italian seasoning, garlic salt, etc.)
1 package frozen mixed veggies (it’s gotta be the mixed bag with the lima beans to be legit)
1 large package of Tater Tots (We used Cascadian Farms Spud Puppies)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef, onions, and garlic in a skillet (seasoning to taste as you cook). Drain off the grease and return to skillet.
  3. Add the almond flour and mix until the flour is well incorporated. Then add almond milk, water, beef bouillon and more seasonings if desired to taste. Stir until well mixed and bouillon is dissolved. Add the arrowroot and water slowly while continuing to stir, and continue stirring until sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Add frozen veggies and stir again until incorporated.
  5. Place mixture in a casserole dish and spread until evenly distributed. Cover the top with Tater Tots.
  6. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes until heated through and Tater Tots are browned.

Makes 4-6 servings, depending on your appetite.


So so perfect. And even better on the second day. I won’t lie though, I did miss the cheddar cheese my mom used to sprinkle over the top just a tad. Feel free to add it back in if it suits you.

Do you have a favorite “hotdish”?