Chicken Pot Tot Hotdish 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nov 3, 2017

There is something instantly comforting and wonderfully retro about this Tater-Tot-topped casserole, with its expertly seasoned sauce and vegetables cooked to a nice texture.

The original recipe mentions ketchup, for serving. But we like this hotdish just as it is.

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

Make Ahead: This casserole could be assembled, cooled and wrapped for the freezer; freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.


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
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots (trimmed), scrubbed well and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • About 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


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan or deep skillet over medium heat. 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 they have softened.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir to incorporate, then gradually pour in the milk while you are stirring, forming a sauce that is thickening. Then add the chicken bouillon base, peas, chicken pieces, dried thyme and a few grinds of pepper, stirring to blend well. Once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and/or pepper, as needed.

Transfer this filling mixture to an 8-by-11-inch baking dish or casserole with a 3-quart capacity. Use the Tater Tots to cover the surface of the hotdish, arranging them snugly and neatly. Bake (middle rack) for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cool slightly before serving.

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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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