This vegan and gluten free tater tot casserole is an easy-peasy and delicious dinner that your entire family will love. This is one of those dishes that looks more complicated than it is. It is also a delicious way to introduce lots of vegetables because they are all hiding under those golden tater tots!
I did not know about tater tot casserole until a few months ago. I remember thinking how did I miss this? Being a fan of tater tots and having lived and worked in the mid west, I never came across this dish. Not sure if that’s because its more of a home cooked dish or my head simply skipped over it since most versions contain meat. I tried reading up more about it and was glad to see there are many recipes for vegan versions available as well.
I had picked up a bag of cauliflower tater tots from Costco(where else!) a few months ago.Initially had plans to enjoy them as a snack but I suddenly remembered the casserole and it’s been at the back of my mind since. Finally got round to putting it to good use this week. I will be honest- I had no clue how this would turn out. Having never eaten it, I also was not sure what to expect. Let me tell ya, this was so good that even my husband who is not really a fan of tater tots polished it off. The flavors come from simple spices and also did I mention – it is completely vegan and gluten free! So here is my take on this fun and tasty dish. Hope you enjoy!
Ingredients required for the tater tot casserole
- Veggies – I love that I could fit in a variety of veggies in here. I chose carrots, beans, potatoes, bell peppers, king oyster mushrooms, shallots and peas.
- Tater Tots– I mentioned earlier that I used cauliflower based tater tots. These are nothing like potato tots. You won’t get the same golden crispy exterior but I would recommend them if you are watching your carb intake. I will point out though they are not low- carb (just lower carb) or keto. Feel free to sub with regular tots.
- Extra Firm Tofu – I usually get mine from Trader Joe’s. I cubed and marinated them before air frying. Its make a world of difference.If you have not liked tofu or can’t get them to firm up, give the air fryer a try.
- Aromatics – Whole garlic cloves, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and coconut aminos.
- Plant milk – I used oat milk because that’s what I prefer for its creaminess but you could coconut milk, almond or cashew milk.
- Rice Flour – We need flour to create a roux/sauce along with the milk. I decided to go with rice flour to keep the dish gluten-free. You can of course use AP flour or any other gluten-free flour as well.
I initially started by marinating the tofu cubes in a couple of spoons of coconut aminos, salt and garlic powder. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Start with a large deep pan and saute shallots and garlic. Follow this by adding in the other vegetables giving each of them a couple of minutes to cook a little. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
Once all the vegetables are in the pan, let them cook for 4-5 minutes. Mix in the red pepper flakes, a part of the garlic powder and a little bit of coconut aminos. While the vegetables are cooking, place the tofu cubes on a sheet pan or basket and airfare at 400 deg F for 10-12 minutes. If you don’t have an air fryer, just pan fry until the outside of the tofu cubes turn crispy and toasty brown. Keep aside.
Mix in the rice flour in to the vegetables and coat them well. Now add the milk and mix well. Add a little bit of extra milk if required. Add the remaining garlic powder and coconut aminos. Let this mixture cook for 3-4 minutes. Finally mix in the tofu.
Pour the mixture in to an oven safe pan (I used a 9×13 inch pan). Top with frozen tater tots. Depending on which dish you putting in to the oven, you can arrange the tater tots in a specific pattern to make it easier on the eye( tots will be easy on the eye any which way!). Just pop it into the oven at 350 deg F for an hour and serve hot. It was so good that I wish I had made a second one which I could have popped it in to the freezer. No worries! I will be making it again soon 🙂
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Tater Tot Casserole
- Air Fryer (optional)
- 3 cup Frozen Tater Tots
- 2 cup Tofu cubed
- 1 Shallot chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 2 medium King Oyster Mushrooms cut into thick slices
- 2 medium Carrots diced
- 2 cup Green beans chopped
- 1 medium Bell Pepper diced
- 3 small Potatoes diced
- 1/2 cup Rice Flour
- 1 1/2 cup Plant Milk (I used Oat milk)
- 1 cup Green peas (I used frozen)
- 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
- 1 sprig Rosemary & Thyme
- 1/2 tbsp Chilli Pepper Flakes
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder Reserve 1/3 of it to marinate the tofu
- 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos Reserve 2 tbsp to marinate the tofu
- 2 tbsp Avacado Oil
- Salt to taste
- Marinate the tofu with salt, reserved garlic powder and coconut aminos for 15 minutes
- In the meanwhile, heat a deep wide pan and add the avacado oil. Saute the shallot and garlic until golden brown.
- Add the carrots and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. During this time, place the marinated tofu in the airfryer at 400 deg F for 12 minutes. You can also pan fry the tofu till the outside is crispy and browned.
- To the carrots, add potatoes and let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the sprig of rosemary and thyme and mix well. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Add the bell pepper and cook for a couple of minutes before mixing in the mushrooms. Add the red pepper flakes and mix well. Season lightly with garlic powder and some of the coconut aminos.
- Add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice flour and mix well.
- Now mix in the oat milk. Season with more garlic powder and the remaining coconut aminos. Add more salt if required. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the airfried tofu to the mixture and turn off the stove.
- Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Pour this mixture in to an oven safe pan (I used a 9×13 in one). Top with frozen tater tots.
- Place in oven for 1 hour. You will see the gravy bubbling. Remove and serve while still hot.
- If you are planning to freeze this dish, I would suggest putting the gravy and vegetables in a freezer safe container. On the day you want to cook it , let the gravy thaw in the fridge overnight. Place in the oven safe dish, top with tater tots and cook according to the recipe.
- If you don’t want to use tofu, feel free to use tempeh or any plant based “meat”. I would marinate tempeh the same way as the tofu for added flavor.