Can anyone resist the temptation of tater tots? We say no way! This flavor-packed vegan tater tot casserole takes tots to the next level. With their crusty, crispy texture, pillowy potato insides, piled with chewy meatless crumbles, crunchy onion, juicy tomato, and silky plant-based cheese, we are helpless to refuse the rich, luscious layers.
This super simple recipe from the Epic Vegan Quick & Easy cookbook can be made in no time. All you need is an oven, pre-made potato tots, and a few tasty toppings. If you have extra time and a few added ingredients, you can create a couple of savory sauces to slather over the surface. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it.
Firstly, find those frozen tots in the freezer, preheat your oven, and let’s follow those directions. Three cheers for cheesy burger bites!
These terrific tots taste top notch without any other sides, but you may want to stretch this delicious dish into a supper-sized meal. Too much of a good thing can sometimes cause tummy troubles, so it might be best to balance things out with a bit of healthy, plant-based fare.
Actually, it’s a bit of a mystery! We know for sure that it contains celery salt, salt, red pepper, black pepper and paprika, but they also list “spices” as one of the main ingredients. Although some food lovers have suggested dry mustard, ground mace (or nutmeg), cinnamon, cardamon, allspice, cloves, and ginger as being part of the magical mixture, we may never know. Even Sherlock Holmes might be mystified by the illusive ingredients!
Note: It’s not a certainty, but it’s suspected that Old Bay contains MSG. In other words, if you are sensitive to this sinister seasoning additive, consider making your own. This recipe got rave reviews.
Vegan cheesy burger tater tots are best eaten right out of the oven. After a half hour, they lose their lovely crisp texture. If you have extra tots that you haven’t tasted, store them in a covered container in the fridge for a few days. To reheat, simply place the leftovers on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees until desired temperature and texture.
Better yet, if you have an air fryer, let them cook for 5 minutes at 400 degrees or until they’re as crispy as you like them. To freeze the remaining tots (I bet you won’t have many––or any!), place them in a sealed, freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Similarly, keep in mind that the vegan cheese might not reheat as well as the tots or vegan burger.
Want to take your Cheesy Burger Taters Tots to a whole new level? Pssst..the secret is in the sauce! Here are two simple, saucy recipes for a Thousand Island Dressing and Punk Cheddah Sauce to smother onto your tots and add a bit of sass.
This Thousand Island Dressing will bring back memories of trips to McDonald’s as you transform your tots into a bold, vegan Big Mac style dish!
In a bowl combine:
Drizzle the dressing over your team of tater tots instead of mustard or ketchup. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Next up is a smooth, velvety Punk Cheddah Sauce. If you prefer homemade to store-bought vegan cheese, then this recipe is for you! This silky sauce is very mild and very simple to make because it uses canned pumpkin for the base.
For Punk Cheddah Sauce, you’ll need:
To make the Punk Cheddah Sauce: Add the pumpkin, cashews, nutritional yeast, miso, water, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder to a blender. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. To store, place in a covered, sealed container. It should last for a few days in the fridge.
Dustin Harder is the creator of the vegan travel culinary series The Vegan Roadie. In addition, he works as a culinary instructor and is the head of culinary development at the Atlanta-based restaurant, Arden’s Garden.
His recipes have been featured in popular foodie magazines such as Eating Well, VegNews, Vegan Lifestyle Magazine, Chowhound, Vegetarian Times and Paste Magazine. Moreover, Dustin has appeared on Food Networks Girl Scout Baking Championship sharing his amazing vegan baking skills using girl scout cookies in February 2020.
Dustin is the author of three cookbooks, Epic Vegan Quick & Easy, Epic Vegan, and The Simply Vegan Cookbook. The Simply Vegan Cookbook has recently been added to Forbes’ list of “Best Vegan Cookbooks.”
If you try this vegan Cheesy Vegan Tater Tot Casserole recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more vegan recipe inspiration.
We want to thank our amazing recipe testers Annie Sparks & Tracey Ferren for helping us perfect this recipe!
This vegan Vegan Tater Tot casserole recipe was reprinted with permission from the Epic Vegan Quick & Easy: Simple One-Pot and One-Pan Plant-Based Recipes cookbook by Dustin Harder (Quarto Publishing Group, Co, 2021) Photography by Ashley Maddem @riseshinecook. Article written by Gina House and edited by Amanda Meth.