What is a hotdish, you ask? In this case, it’s a creamy, spicy vegetable mixture topped with crispy sweet potato tater tots. It’s basically the ultimate vegan sweet potato tater tot casserole.
I recently learned that there is something called a hotdish that’s basically a pot pie with tater tots on top. Did any of you know about this? And if so, why were you keeping this information from me?
I left for the grocery store about 4 minutes after being awakened to this concept and I continue to have no regrets. Y’all know how much I hate making pie crust, and how much I simultaneously love potatoes. There couldn’t be a more perfect casserole for me.
I’ll share a “classic” hotdish with regular tots someday soon, but one of my favorites that I’ve been playing around with is this vaguely Southwestern sweet potato tater tot hotdish. I modified it heavily from a recipe I saw on Pinch of Yum. While their recipe was mostly based around cheese for flavor, I upped the spices, hot sauce, lime juice, and obviously circumvented the mushrooms. In this rendition I added plantains, but I see this as a mix-and-match veggie of your choice!
This spicy sweet potato tot casserole would also be great with spinach or kale cooked into the filling, so you can pack plenty of nutrition into this dish. If you can get your hands on the right variety of sweet potato tots, the recipe is also gluten-free and without added sugar. I have trouble finding anything other than Alexia brand, which are delicious but do have a bit of cane sugar in them. Not my preference, but neither is making sweet potato tots from scratch :D.
With smoky paprika, chili powder, hot sauce, peppers, onions, garlic, black beans, and corn – and of course, the tater tots! – this is a super hearty, nourishing and flavorful cold or warm weather casserole. You can do the sauteeing and the baking both in the same cast iron skillet, so cleanup is easy. Optional, but I serve it with a big ole’ dollop of guacamole and salsa. Enjoy!
Southwest Sweet Potato Tater Tot Hotdish
If you've never tried hotdish then you're in for a treat with this sweet potato tater tot version. Onions, peppers, black beans, and veggies are cooked in a cheezy vegan chili sauce and then baked in a cast iron skillet with a layer of tater tots on top. Pure heaven.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 bell peppers diced (any color, or a mix)
- 1 to 2 jalapenos diced (to taste)
- 1 ripe plantain cubed (or other veggie, see notes)
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder (taco seasoning works too)
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch (see notes)
- 2 tsp mustard powder (see notes)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 3/4 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp tabasco sauce (or other vinegar-based hot sauce)
- 1 cup cooked corn (frozen is fine)
- 1 and 3/4 cups cooked black beans (1 14-oz. can)
- 20 oz. sweet potato tater tots
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat the olive over medium high heat in a large cast iron skillet (9 to 11 inch). Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeno; saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the plantains and cook for another 2 minutes.
Whisk together the cumin, chili powder, tapioca starch, mustard powder, salt, and nutritional yeast if using. Add these dry ingredients to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant and starting to dry out. Add the non-dairy milk, lime juice, and tabasco sauce, and stir. Continue to cook while stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and gets a little stretchy.
Stir in the corn and black beans, and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and lime juice if desired. Place the frozen sweet potato tater tots in a layer on the top of the skillet. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the sweet potato tots are crispy and cooked through.
Let stand for a few minutes before serving, with toppings if desired: guacamole, salsa, red onion, jalapeno slices, cilantro, etc.
VEGETABLES: I love plantains in this. You could also try using another veggie instead, like zucchini, mushrooms, or just omit it, if plantains aren't your thing.
TAPIOCA STARCH: This specific starch is what gives this vegan casserole a "cheesy", stretchy texture. It is made from cassava, a root vegetable. It's available at more and more stores lately. You can also substitute potato starch, arrowroot starch, or even cornstarch or plain flour if needed, but tapioca starch definitely works the best.
MUSTARD POWDER: Also not essential; you can instead add 1 tsp of prepared wet mustard at the same time as adding the beans and corn, if desired.
Other Mexican-inspired dishes from the blog: