Dairy-Free Tater Tot Casserole Made Easy with Simple Swaps

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I’m always on the lookout for quick weeknight meals, especially during the busy spring season. If a recipe is easy enough for my kids to make for dinner, that’s even better. One classic casserole I’d never tried making dairy-free was Tater Tot Casserole (or Tater Tot Hotdish, depending on where you are from). After a few attempts, I’m happy to say I have an easy Dairy-Free Tater Tot Casserole recipe to share.

Dairy-Free Tater Tot Casserole Recipe - easy weeknight dinner / meal with gluten-free, allergy-friendly, and vegan options. Family friendly and older kids can help cook!

Dairy-Free Tater Tot Casserole Made Easy with Simple Swaps

I made some adjustments to the recipes I found to make this casserole dairy free and optionally vegan. Tater tot casseroles often have a cheese layer between the meat and tater tots. After taste testing, I decided a dairy-free cheese layer didn’t really add anything to the casserole (except additional cost!), so I eliminated it.

Go Dairy Free - The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free LivingInitially, I thought a vegan ground meat substitute made the most sense as a meat substitute. I discovered that simply replacing the ground meat with a variety of vegetables works well, too. The flavor reminded me of a vegetable shepherd’s pie. Either vegan substitute works well.

Any vegetable you like can be used for the meat version. In the casserole photographed here I added frozen corn because that’s what I had on hand. I usually add frozen or canned green beans. Peas or a frozen mixed vegetable medley are good, too.

For the “cream of” soup in the filling, I’m partial to Alisa’s Classic Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Healthy Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup from Go Dairy Free: The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook. But I’ve also provided an online recipe option in the notes.

Dairy-Free Tater Tot Casserole Recipe - easy weeknight dinner / meal with gluten-free, allergy-friendly, and vegan options. Family friendly and older kids can help cook!

Special Diet Notes: Tater Tot Casserole

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, optionally nut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, and optionally vegetarian.

Dairy-Free Tater Tot Casserole
 
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Cook time
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This is a great make-ahead recipe that you can even freeze in advance. We keep it simple, but feel free to make it your own with additional seasonings, vegetables, or even dairy-free cheese. If using a cheese alternative, I recommend sprinkling it on top of the meat mixture, under the tots.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef, turkey, or vegan ground “meat”
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups cooked vegetables, such as frozen or canned green beans,
  • corn, peas, or a combination
  • 1¼ cups prepared dairy-free condensed soup (see below)
  • 1 pound frozen tater tots
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish or pan.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the onion and meat together until the meat is cooked through and the onions are softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Season the mixture with the salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the vegetables and the prepared cream soup into the meat mixture until combined.
  5. Evenly spread the casserole filling into your prepared baking dish.
  6. Lay the tater tots on the top of the casserole in a single layer. There may be a few tater tots left over.
  7. Bake the casserole uncovered until the filling is heated through and the tater tots are golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve hot.
  8. Cool, cover, and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 2 days.
Notes
Dairy-Free Cream of Soups: I use Alisa's dairy-free Classic Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe or Healthy Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe from Go Dairy Free: The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook, on pages 290 and 291. But she also has an Instant Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe online that works well.

All-Veggie Option: For a vegan option without a meat alternative, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. And increase the vegetable mixture in the recipe to 4 to 5 cups.

For More Family-Friendly Recipes, Get Go Dairy Free!

Go Dairy Free - The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free Living

About Author

Sarah is the Associate Editor for Go Dairy Free. She also shares food and daily dilemmas as a milk allergy mom via her blog, No Whey, Mama. Sarah’s previous experience includes work as a copy editor at Thoroughbred Times magazine, a content writer at Travelago.com, and an intern at Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

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