The perfect make-ahead tater tot bacon cheeseburger casserole

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Why would you use tater tots when craving a bacon cheeseburger? Because, as the recipe below points out, it's delicious. And using tater tots in place of a bun fits all of those delicious flavors neatly on a fork. But this dish is also a time-saving make-ahead meal. You can make it on a Sunday and freeze it until later that week when you need a quick and easy dinner.
This yummy dish starts with ground beef and bacon pieces spread throughout frozen tater tots. A delicious béchamel sauce is poured on top and cheese gets stirred throughout the entire mixture. After pouring it into a casserole dish, you can stop prep there, wrap it in foil and freeze. Or bake it and enjoy it right away. Whenever you decide to enjoy it, you'll be happy you did.
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Tater Tot Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole
6
15 minutes
45 minutes
60 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 32-ounce package frozen tater tots
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9-by-13 casserole dish.
Preheat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl.
While the beef is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until there are no lumps.
Allow the flour to cook out for about 2 or 3 minutes. Whisk in onion powder and garlic powder.
Slowly whisk in the milk, breaking up lumps. Season milk mixture with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 ground black pepper. Whisk and continue cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until it thickens slightly.
Add the tater tots, crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream and béchamel mixture to the bowl with the ground beef. Stir to mix all ingredients.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the entire mixture is bubbly and the cheese has fully melted.
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