Cozy Up to These 5 Potato-Topped Casseroles

By

Casserole — the meaty, creamy flavor landscapes that grace our tabletops in many different forms — can be topped in endless, imaginative ways. No one has ever argued against a sprinkling of grated cheese, and crunchy breadcrumbs certainly deserve an honorable mention. But have you ever tried using potatoes? Mashed, pulsed to a crumb or sliced into thin rounds — the more we test our options, the more we come to believe there’s no better way to finish off a casserole, no matter the filling. Here are the five potato-topped casseroles we’ve had on our minds lately.

30-Minute Shepherd’s Pie

This traditionally English casserole was once prepared as a method for using up leftover pot roast. Rachael Ray simplifies the process by using ground beef, which browns quickly in a saute pan. The main attraction is the heap of buttery mashed potatoes on top, which turn golden after a quick stint under the broiler. You can save even more time by using leftover mashed potatoes.

Shortcut Shepherd’s Pie

No time to make mashed potatoes from scratch? Try using potato tots instead. Not only will it save you time — it also makes for a crispy topping that contrasts the tender beef filling really nicely.

Corned Beef-Hash Brown Casserole

The chefs in Food Network Kitchen prepare this hearty corned beef casserole in a similar vein as the previous dish — with an ample dose of crisp, browned potato tots on top and on the bottom. In the center, you’ll find an eggy, almost custardlike filling studded with corned beef, sweet browned onions and colorful bell peppers.

Chicken and Tater Tot Casserole

For an ultra-crisp topping more akin to breadcrumbs, try pulsing some tots in your food processor until they reach a crumblike consistency. Sprinkled over this creamy chicken casserole, it’s out of this world — like a chicken pot pie, but with crunch.

Breakfast Casserole

Break out your mandoline for this sausage, egg and cheese casserole topped with paper-thin rounds of red potato. To make sure it’s ready in time for breakfast, assemble the dish the night before, then pop it in the oven half an hour before you plan to serve it.