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Freezer Meal: Cheesy Chili Tots
Cheesy Chili Tots is one of those Make once, eat twice meals. Make one for dinner tonight and while your at it, make a second one to stick in the freezer for another time.
I love freezer meals that are not only quick to put together but are filled with ingredients the whole family loves. I also love how adaptable this recipe is to suit your own individual taste.
This recipe makes Two 8 inch x 8inch square pans, or One 9 x13 pan if you have a large family. (double this if you want two large 9 x 13 pans.)
Cheesy Chili Tots:
2 pounds ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, sausage,etc)
2 cans (15 oz. each) Chili Beans
2 cans (8 oz.) chili seasoned tomatoes or plain tomato sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided in half
2 (32 oz.) packages frozen tater tots.
1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced olives
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chili's
diced onions, green peppers
hotdogs/kielbasas sliced into bite sized pieces
Jan's tip: If you want to make this even quicker substitute out the meat, tomatoes, and chili beans for cans of store bought chili such as our favorite; Hormel's 98% fat free turkey chili.
In large skillet cook ground meat over med. heat till cooked through and no longer pink. Drain. Sti in the chili beans and tomatoes (or sauce ) Stir in any optional ingredients at this time too.
Divide mixture evenly between two 8 x8 inch baking dishes. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over each casserole.
Top the casseroles with the tater tots. I stick them straight up on their bottoms to fit as many tots as possible in each dinner. (Believe me you'll be glad you did!)
Cover and freeze one for up to 3 months.
To bake the other immediately for dinner: Bake at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes till heated through and tots are brown and crispy.
** Please note the baking times are different for the frozen caserole from the freshly made casserole**
To bake frozen casserole: Remove casserole about 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw completely or the tots will get crumbly) Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours (You'll need the extra time since it is semi frozen) till heated through and tots are browned and crispy