Is it casserole season yet? We’re heading into September and the temperatures are still warm here in Phoenix, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a yummy casserole every now and then. Many of y’all are familiar with tater tot casserole – ya know the one with ground beef … but this Loaded Tater Tot Casserole is full of bacon, chicken, cheese and scrumptious from-scratch chicken gravy!
I got this idea from my bloggy friend, Sheena over at Hot Eats and Cool Reads. I immediately knew my family would LOVE this. The only thing I did different to the recipe was to add the gravy – because who doesn’t love gravy?! 😉 If you’re pressed for time, you could substitute jarred gravy if you would like – or you can even omit it completely like Sheena did.
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 quart (32 oz. container) chicken stock (or use homemade)
⅓ cup heavy cream, half and half or milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 lb. bag (32 oz.) frozen tater tots
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups leftover chicken, chopped
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream, for serving (optional)
Thinly-sliced green onions, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Arrange the tater tots in the bottom of a 9×13-in. baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and allow to cook until the mixture turns a deep brown color – about 10 minutes. Gradually add the chicken stock while whisking. Allow to come to a low boil and continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens a bit – about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Top the baked tater tots with the chicken gravy. Add the bacon, chicken and cheese. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through. To serve, top individual portions with sour cream and green onions, if desired.
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