This pumpkin, mushroom, and spinach tater tot casserole is a cozy fall dish that the whole family will love. It's the ultimate vegetarian tater tot casserole!
Casserole, hot dish, or whatever else you want to call it, is a meal that’s undeniably delicious, comforting and able to satisfy even the hungriest of appetites.
But unfortunately for my skinny jeans, it’s not necessarily the healthiest dish out there. So today, I’ve given this upper Midwest staple a makeover.
I’ve lightened up the ingredient list. And I’ve added a fall twist by incorporating pumpkin purée. It’s a new take on a classic that I think you’re really going to love.
And I bet after just one bite of my savory vegetarian-friendly pumpkin, mushroom, and spinach tater tot casserole, you’ll be hooked!
Making the Casserole
I can only remember eating tater tot casseroles a handful of times in my life. So I had to do a little bit of research when it came time for me to develop this recipe.
The basic formula, which is often assembled and cooked in a single dish, consists of a meat, canned soup, canned or frozen vegetable(s) and a starch.
So in my effort to re-vamp this casserole, I replaced the meat and canned/frozen vegetables with hearty brown mushrooms and fresh spinach, onion, garlic and thyme.
And I used a combination of pumpkin purée and vegetable stock to help create a base that would bind everything together and make for a deliciously savory pumpkin recipe.
The tater tot topping seemed kind of untouchable in my eyes.
And hello, tater tots are DELICIOUS so why would I want to mess with that?!?!
They provide the perfect crispy, crunchy final layer to this dish. So much so, that I had a hard time not picking them all off and eating them!
To keep the dish count low, I used an oven-proof skillet to first sauté the vegetables and create the base on the stovetop before adding the frozen tater tots and transferring everything to the oven.
If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, simply cook the base layer in any skillet, then transfer it all to a greased casserole dish, arrange the tater tots on top and bake until golden and bubbly.
There is no added wheat or dairy products in this meatless tater tot casserole recipe. So it's entirely vegetarian friendly.
In fact, as long as your tater tots are both vegan and gluten-free (just check the labels!), you’ll have a vegan friendly hot dish too!
If you love this vegetarian tater tot casserole, be sure to check out these other tasty recipes:
- 20+ Cheesy Vegetarian Casseroles
- Vegetarian Shipwreck Casserole
- Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
- Broccoli Cheddar Brown Rice Casserole
- Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups brown mushrooms sliced
- ½ cup onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves fresh
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups fresh spinach leaves packed
- 15 oz pumpkin puree canned or homemade
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 6 cups frozen tater tots
- Pre-heat your oven to 425°F.
- Warm the olive oil in a 9- or 10-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until they are softened and slightly browned.
- Add the garlic, thyme, salt and black pepper and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until it’s wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin purée and vegetable stock, stirring until everything is well combined. Remove the skillet from the heat. Taste and add additional salt and black pepper, if desired.
- Arrange the tater tots in a single layer over the base layer. Then transfer the skillet to your pre-heated oven. Bake the casserole for 25-30 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Maja Harder says
I seriously feel like you just combined all of my fav ingredients into a casserole. This I gotta try.
My husband and I made this tonight. It was a hit with all of us, including our 8 and 10 year old kids! Talk about delicious fall comfort food! This one's going into our regular rotation! Thank you.
Katie Trant says
Woot! So great when you find a recipe that the whole family loves. Thanks, Charmaine!
Healthy Language says
Got to try this one! Looks healthy and delicious!
Wendy Bullivant says
The Pumpkin, Mushroom & Spinach tater top casserole sounds great but, as an English person, what is a tater top? Could we use Squash in place of Pumpkin/pumpkin puree? Thanks and happy new year. Wendy
Tater tots are mini fried potatoes, kinda like bite-sized hash browns (they're called "tots" because they are tiny c: ). And I'm pretty sure other types of squash can be used since pumpkins themselves are squashes if I'm not mistaken ~.
Katie Trant says
Hi Wendy, tater tots are sort of like potato nuggets. They're usually found frozen in bags, and then baked in the oven - and they're delicious! You can certainly use squash in place of the pumpkin.
My whole family of 8 LOVE THIS, even the ones that claim they don’t eat mushrooms. I added cannellini beans and rosemary. We’ll be keeping this in our winter rotation.