Recipe courtesy of Catherine McCord

Cheesy Chicken and Tater Tot Casserole

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
This spin on a classic Midwestern ''hotdish'' taps into taco seasonings and ingredients and builds them into a satisfying skillet casserole. Potato tots and lots of luscious cheese make it a crowd-pleaser.



  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a large bowl. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture and the chicken to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside and has released some juices, about 5 minutes (the chicken will finish cooking in the oven). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a medium bowl; leave the juices and as much oil as possible in the skillet.  
  3. Add the bell peppers, onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir to combine. Once the mixture looks sandy, add the broth and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cream cheese and stir until smooth. Fold in the beans, corn, chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Sprinkle the top with 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Remove from the heat.  
  4. Add the potato tots to the bowl with the remaining 3 tablespoons spice mixture and toss to coat. Arrange the tots over the chicken mixture in a single layer in concentric circles. Sprinkle with any spice mixture left at the bottom of the bowl and the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Bake until the tots are crispy and the casserole is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve garnished with guacamole, sour cream, salsa and cilantro, if desired.