The Washington Post

Chicken Pot Tot Hotdish

Chicken Pot Tot Hotdish 6.000

Jennifer Heffner for The Washington Post; food styling by Nicola Justine Davis for The Post

Nov 3, 2017

There is something comforting and wonderfully retro about this Tater-Tot-topped casserole, with its well-seasoned sauce and vegetables. The original recipe mentions ketchup, for serving. But we like this hotdish just as it is.

Active time: 30 mins; Total time: 1 hour

To read the accompanying story, see: One nation, in all its flavors, captured on these pages.

Make Ahead: This casserole can be assembled, wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate for up to 4 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
  • 1 large yellow or white onion (9 ounces), chopped
  • 3 carrots, scrubbed well and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Fine salt
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon concentrated chicken bouillon, such as Better Than Bouillon brand
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 ounces frozen Tater Tots


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

In a large saute pan or deep skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Once its foam subsides, stir in the onion, carrots and a pinch of the salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times, until the onions and carrots have softened.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir to incorporate, then gradually pour in the milk while stirring, until the sauce slightly thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken bouillon base, peas, chicken pieces, thyme and a few grinds of pepper, stirring to blend well. Once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Taste and add salt and/or pepper, as needed.

Lightly grease an 8-by-11-inch baking dish or a casserole with a 3-quart capacity. Transfer the mixture to the dish and use the Tater Tots to cover the surface of the hotdish, arranging them snugly and neatly. Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cool for about 3 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source

Adapted from a Molly Yeh recipe in “America the Great Cookbook: The Food We Make for the People We Love From 100 of Our Finest Chefs and Food Heroes,” edited by Joe Yonan (Weldon Owen, 2017).

Tested by Anne DiGuilio.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 490

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 23g 35%

Saturated Fat: 9g 45%

Cholesterol: 135mg 45%

Sodium: 1000mg 42%

Total Carbohydrates: 40g 13%

Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%

Sugar: 11g

Protein: 31g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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