Hot, Hot, Hot! (Minnesota Hot Dish that is!)

September 26, 2019

Hot, Hot, Hot!
(Minnesota Hotdish that is!)


Introducing myself to the fashionable Hotdish Girl at the Minnesota State Fair.
This polka dot-clad cook was created by Minneapolis artist, Adam Turman.

A big thank you to Trevor for helping me “stylize” this photo!
To read more about my September 1, 2019 visit to the state fair, click here.

Minnesota Hotdish?!?  

What in the world is Minnesota Hotdish, you ask?  To put it simply, Minnesota Hotdish is a comfort food. Think casserole, but Minnesota-style!

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Hotdish Girl proudly shows off her culinary creation in this unique design,
 original screen print by artist Adam Turman.
You can purchase this print, here, or in tea towel form here.
(The tea towel is on my wishlist!),
or go to .

For other Turman merchandise, click here, or go to

A big thank you to Adam Turman for his permission to use his
Hotdish Girl image here!

Update photo March 2020-Got one of these beauties of my own in December!


Hotdish is a regional culinary treat usually consisting of a some sort of meat (often hamburger), a canned soup (often Cream of Mushroom), a vegetable of choice, (plus any other assortment of ingredients that the cook desires to put into the mix), and is often topped off with a crisp layer of tater (potato) tots.  

In fact, some consider the crispy top layer of crunchy tater tots the real star of this dish.  Me, included!  

Crispy tater tots are often offered as a yummy side at many-a-Minnesota restaurant.
These crunchy golden “barrels” were gobbled up at Psycho Suzi’s, in Minneapolis.
September 2, 2017

It was not until I sampled tater tots in Minnesota (a few years ago), in their preferred crusty, crunchy state, that I fully appreciated the epicurean potential of this cylindrical-shaped potato product! Unlike the lackluster, and soft potato bites that I had eaten in the past, the Minnesota variety is prepared with a solid golden brown exterior, surrounding a soft (grated) potato interior. 


Some consider the crispy layer of crunchy tater tots the star of Minnesota Hot Dish.
Me, included!

Minnesota Hotdish the “Movie”

While researching Minnesota Hotdish for this blog post post, I happily came upon a
gem of a program called Minnesota Hotdish: A Love Story from Maria Bartholdi.
This program light-heartedly explains all that you ever wanted to know about
Minnesota Hotdish, and then some!


A “vintage” recipe card

Maria has graciously allowed me to share her program with all of you, below. :o).
Beware!  Watching this program may make you hungry!
With that in mind, I have included a special hotdish recipe (below), to counter any hunger pangs that you may encounter while viewing this program.  :o)

Thank you to Maria Bartholdi for permission to share her fun and informative Minnesota Hotdish: A Love Story video!
To watch,
click on the picture above, and then click on the white arrow
on the bottom left-hand corner,
click, here.

So Many Hotdishes to Choose From!

Google “Minnesota Hotdish recipe” and over 400,000 responses pop up! So many recipes
to choose from!  There are Minnesota Congressional Minnesota Hotdish recipes
view some of those here), there are church ladies’ hot dish recipes, there area grandmas’ hot dish recipes, and many, many more.


My first attempt at Minnesota Hotdish was yummy,
although, I did not take the time to neatly line up the tater tots in a straight-line,
as directed. I was hungry, and in a hurry!  :o)

My recipe of choice hails from 2018 and Super Bowl LII /52 in Minneapolis, by way of talk show host Jimmy Fallon. Planning his first trip to the Gopher State, while attending football’s biggest game of the season, Fallon challenged his Minnesota viewers to send in their entries inviting him over for a home cooked meal. After sorting through over 15,000 submissions, Fallon chose to visit the Salzer family in Champlin.  You can read about that smile-inducing visit here, and watch it here


Super Bowl LII made the hotdish recipe, below, famous.
Wouldn’t this football-shaped ice cream cake be a yummy addition to any
Minnesota Hotdish meal?

The recipe for the Minnesota Hotdish served to Fallon is easy to find on the Internet.
I found it, here, and I share it below, with my comments in parenthesis and clarifications (mostly for myself) in brackets.  This dish is a good one.  It is easy to prepare, uses simple ingredients, tastes yummy, and feeds a group.

Preparing Tater Tot Hotdish


No fancy ingredients needed to prepare Minnesota Hotdish.


I recommend using Extra Crispy Tater Tots to top off this recipe.
No, I am not an Ore-Ida paid spokesperson.  :o)


Tater Tot Hotdish



1.5 pounds ground beef
(I used about 1 pound.)

1 small yellow onion, minced
(I diced mine.)

2 cans (10.5 ounce each) cream of mushroom soup, or cream of celery soup
(I used Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, the 98% fat free variety.)

1/2 cup milk
(I used skim milk.)

2 cups frozen corn

1 package (32 ounces) Tater Tots
(I used the “extra crispy” variety.)

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
(I used the 2% fat variety.  Also,
I only had about 3/4 cup of the reduced fat cheddar in my fridge,
so I supplemented it with a few cut-up slices of 2% fat American cheese.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the diced onion in skillet over medium heat.
Add[ing] ground beef, and sauté until cooked and onions are translucent.
Drain grease.

Grease (I used PAM cooking spray.) a 9-by-13 inch Pyrex (glass) pan.

Pour the cooked meat and onions into prepared pan.

Mix together [in bowl] the soup, [frozen] corn, and milk, and spread evenly over the top [of meat mixture].

Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese.

Place the Tater Tots on top of the mixture in straight lines.
(I did not worry about the straight lines.
I did make sure, however that I had a only single layer of tots on top of the hotdish. )

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until Tater Tots are golden brown and crisp.
(I baked mine about 45 minutes, and think it could have used another 5-10 to crisp up the tots.)

Let cool and enjoy.
(I let mine cool 5 minutes.)

Serves 6-8

Annette’s notes
I used about one half pound less hamburger meat than directed.

I diced, rather than minced, my onion for this recipe.

I used Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, the 98 % fat free variety.

Reaching into my refrigerator, I found that I only had about 3/4 cup of the reduced fat cheddar in my fridge, rather than the cup needed  (I thought that I had another package.), so I supplemented it with a few cut-up slices of 2% fat American cheese.

I used the “extra crispy” Ore-Ida Tater Tots)

I did not take the time to neatly line up the tater tots in a straight-line,
as directed, but I did make sure that I had a only single layer of tots on top of the hotdish.

I baked mine about 45 minutes, and I think it could have used another 5-10 to crisp up the tots, more.

I would make this again!  :O)

Other Fun Minnesota Blog Posts

Family Fun at the Fair, and other Minnesota Stuff, September 2019, here.

Minnesota Nice=a Very Nice Family Reunion, July 2018, here.

Happily Eating My Way through the Minnesota State Fair, September 2017, here.

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup, October 2015, here.

Minnesota Nice, October 2015, here.

Mall of America, Mickey’s Diner, and other Midwestern Sites of Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2013, here.


Thank you for reading,

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I’m Annette Stuff



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IMG_6951 2.jpeg

My Tater Tots of choice for this recipe.

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2 Responses to Hot, Hot, Hot! (Minnesota Hot Dish that is!)

  1. Pingback: Family Fun at the Fair, and other Minnesota Stuff | I'm Annette!

  2. Pingback: Tater Tots, Truffles, and Turkeys | I'm Annette!

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