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Plant-Based Tater Tot Hotdish Recipe (Healthy!)

kayla beyer | 03 November, 2021

            Plant-Based Tater Tot Hotdish Recipe (Healthy!)

Fall is by far my favorite season. The colors are phenomenal, the air is cold, but not super cold, and it just reminds me of some of my favorite comfort foods. Comfort foods that help keep me warm on those chilly fall evenings, and comfort foods that I can enjoy without my stomach acting up.  

Deeply Rooted Farms is taking a unique spin on the classic Tator Tot Hotdish by using plant-based protein crumbles (GASP!)

Don't worry, if you get it in the oven before the kids and hubby get home, nobody will know you used our best Zesty Italian Hearty Starters.

Before we dig into how healthy it is to eat plant-based meat, I would be remiss if I didn't ask the most frequently asked question:

Is Tater Tot hotdish or casserole?

This is always a fight in our house. To answer the question, we have to display this map, courtesy of Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham):

american map of hotdish v. casserole


So as you can see, the answer becomes very clear, it's tater tot hotdish.

All joking aside, let's dig into why we're using plant-based protein crumbles instead of greasy beef.

Why use plant-based protein crumbles?

Quite simply because they are delicious, nutritious, and eco-friendly!

Plant-based proteins are becoming more popular because of the health benefits that come along with them. A lot of people struggle with the idea because they are not vegan, vegetarian, or even flexitarian. They just enjoy delicious healthy food, and who doesn't want to be able to increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains?

What are some of the health benefits?

-great source of fiber

-lower risk of cardiovascular disease

-lower in saturated fats than other meats

-no added hormones or antibiotics

-less expensive than other meats/protein sources

-great alternative to processed soy

-100% vegan/vegetarian

Plant-based proteins are a great solution for those people who experience stomach issues, gas, bloating, etc from foods like chicken and beef. It is common for those with "meat sensitivities" -which I know a few of my friends have- to be able to enjoy plant-based proteins without any side effects.

Now you're going to tell me they taste just as good as animal protein...right?

Heck yeah they do!

That's why we use them in our recipes, and they are the perfect solution for this Tater Tot Hotdish.

We have several different varieties of plant-based protein crumbles including:



-Korean BBQ

Aren't plant-based protein crumbles more expensive?

Our Hearty Starters come in at about $6.99 per 4.7oz bag, which is a great price for organic food items!

With this recipe, I was able to make 12 servings for about $1.17 a serving! That's even cheaper than a beef hotdish. Besides the protein crumbles being lower in unnecessary fillers and preservatives and an awesome source of plant-based protein, they are also a great economical option!

So let's get to the Plant-Based Tater Tot Hotdish recipe...

Plant-Based Tater Tot Hotdish


Tools required: 9x13 baking dish, mixing bowl, knife, cutting board


2 pouches Zesty Italian Meatless Hearty Starters

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 cans (15 oz each) green beans, drained

2 cans (10.75 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (Or skip if you're vegan!)

4 cups frozen tater tots

salt and pepper to taste



  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
  3. Prepare 2 pouches of Zesty Italian Meatless Hearty Starters in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Follow directions on the package.
  4. Add the diced onions to a pan and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until translucent, careful not to brown.
  5. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.
  6. Mix the onions, garlic, and Worcester sauce into the meatless crumble mixture. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spread an even layer of the meatless crumble mixture in the 9x13 baking dish.
  8. Spread a layer of cream of mushroom soup over the meatless crumble mixture.
  9. Spread a layer of green beans over the mushroom soup, sprinkling with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  10. Add a layer of cheddar cheese. (Or skip if you're vegan!)
  11. Top with tater tots.
  12. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until tater tots are crispy & golden brown and cheddar cheese is melted.
  13. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Can I freeze Tater Tot Hotdish?

If you want to save this hotdish for a later time, prepare everything leading up to throwing it in the oven and instead, cover it firmly with aluminum foil and set it in the freezer. It lasts in a freezer for up 30 days and is ready for use when ready. Let it thaw overnight and bake it according to original instructions. And never forget to add the extra shredded cheese at the end of the last minute of the cooking time.

What to serve it with

Tater tot hotdish is such a delicious one-pan lunch that you will not need to fuss about side dishes. A salad will offer some welcome freshness and crunch while carving down the sweet richness of the hotdish.

Are you looking for more hotdish recipes?

Tater Tot Hotdish is a quick and easy comfort food recipe throughout the Midwest. This recipe is filled with filling Hearty Starters Zesty Italian meatless crumbles, vegetables, cheese, and baked with tots for a scrumptious meal! Let us know in the comments below what other hotdish recipe you would like to see made using our Hearty Starters plant-based protein crumbles.

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