Tater tot casserole is a staple in our house. Since I can keep the ingredients on hand we often have it when I haven’t planned anything else or forgot to put something in the crockpot. But I have to admit that I, the person who puts almost everything in the slow cooker, have only ever made it in the oven. But I know people make it in the slow cooker all the time so I knew it was time to finally give it a try. But if I’m going to try something new I might as well really try something new, right? So instead of plain tater tot casserole I went for a Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole. The verdict? Success!!
And in keeping in line with making just a little more of the meal from scratch (like with these Slow Cooker Cheesy Beef Tacos) I did not use any canned soup. Instead I made a creamy ranch sauce from scratch, and wow did that taste so much better than anything you could get from a can! And I promise it’s much easier than you think!
Want to have your own homemade ranch mix on hand? Try my homemade version!
For this recipe you will need to brown up your ground chicken in the skillet before it goes in the crock. Or better yet, use a multi-cooker and only have one pot to clean! So once it’s fully cooked you will sprinkle some flour in, simmer in some chicken broth, thicken it all up with some cream (or buttermilk) and add some yummy seasoning. It might take a few more minutes than opening up a can but I promise it’s worth the effort!
Assemble in the crock with some optional veggies and you are all set!!! I had this going all day when we ended up making plans to head over to Grandma’s for dinner and to swim. So I just packed up the crockpot and took dinner along! Plugged it it to keep it warm while we were at the pool and came in to dinner already done. What more can you ask for on a hot summer day? 😉
Need a slow cooker to use for this recipe? Here is the one I bought and have been using all year and love! Perfect for chili or meat or most any recipe and comes in several sizes. I use the 4 quart for most of my meals.
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- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup flour
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup cream, buttermilk, or milk
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 32 oz frozen tater tots
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup buffalo wing sauce
- ½ cup shredded carrots (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped celery (optional)
- 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
- ¼ - ½ cup blue cheese (optional, depending on taste)
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat
- Add ground chicken and cook (breaking up with spatula) until no longer pink
- Sprinkle in flour and stir to coat cooked chicken
- Slowly stir in chicken broth and bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken and reduce sauce
- Stir in cream (or buttermilk or regular milk)
- Add dried seasonings and salt and pepper and stir all to combine
- Let cook an additional 2-3 minutes until sauce is nice and thickened up
- Melt butter in microwave in large microwave safe mug or cup
- Add buffalo sauce and stir to combine
- Spray crock well with nonstick spray
- Add ½ of the tater tots
- Drizzle with ½ of the buffalo sauce/butter mixture
- Cover with the meat mixture
- Top with carrots, celery and blue cheese if desired
- Add remaining tater tots and drizzle with remaining buffalo sauce
- Top with shredded cheddar cheese
- Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours
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