“This is how the vegans convert you. They lure you in with tatertots” - my uncle-in-law.
My husband says that this is one of the best dishes that he’s ever had - and he’s not wrong! I mean… how can anything involving tatertots not be good?
This recipe is very easy to make (hello, it calls for frozen veggies), and is a fun twist on a holiday dinner, or really dinner any night of the week! I find that the vegan sausage gets soggy, so I always leave it out. I’ve made it with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour, and it worked just as well (just make sure that you either omit the sausage or find a gluten-free one).
You can also make this earlier in the day, and then leave it in the fridge. Cover with foil, and top with the tots when you’re ready to bake it. I put it in the over while my oven is preheating and then start the timer once it’s ready.
The recipe is by Hot For Food and can be found below, or on their website here:
My notes are italicized.
2 C diced white onion (about 1 large white onion)
1 C diced celery (about 2 stalks)
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 Field Roast brand Apple Sage sausages OPTIONAL (If you leave this out, and swap out the flour, it makes it gluten free. I’ll often leave out the sausages because I find they get soggy and I don’t think they actually add much)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp fresh thyme (I’ve used 1 tsp of ground thyme and it totally works)
2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
2 tsp beef flavoured bouillon or 2 cubes (I use veggie bouillon cube. Any brand works)
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp vegan worcestershire (you can buy this at Whole Foods. You can use soy sauce or tamari instead if you can’t find this)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 C frozen veggies (corn, peas, carrots, green beans) (I use the Green Giant brand)
1/4 C flour (you can swap in Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free flour, no problem)
1 3/4 C nondairy milk (make sure you get unsweetened, and plain. I use Silk Almond Milk)
1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)
1 green apple, peeled and finely diced
4 1/2 C frozen tots
2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage, as garnish
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Heat skillet or stock pot over medium heat with 2 tbsp veg oil and brown the sausage for about 6 minutes. Remove browned sausage from the pot.
Add onion and celery and sauteé for 3 minutes. (Start at this step if leaving out the sausages!)
Add garlic, thyme, and sage and sauté for 3 minutes.
Add bouillon, mustard, worcestershire, ground pepper, and frozen veg and stir to combine well and sauté for another 3 minutes. If you don’t have vegan beef flavored bouillon you can use a vegetable one.
Add your browned sausage back in (if you used them) and then gradually add the flour a bit at a time while stirring to coat everything. Once it’s all incorporated gradually add the nondairy milk and stir frequently to combine the flour well. Also scrape the hardened flour on the bottom of the pan or stock pot with the nondairy milk to incorporate all the browned flour. Use a wooden spatula with a flat end to do this so as to not scratch the pan or stock pot!
Once all the browned bottom is well incorporated keep stirring while the mixture thickens over a simmer. Just as it starts to thicken and bubble remove from the heat and stir in the diced apple.
Taste it and see if you want to add another 1/2 tsp salt. Some people might think it's salty already. It will also depend on what kind of bouillon you used and if you swapped worcestershire for soy sauce which is generally more salty.
Transfer to an 8-inch x 11-inch casserole dish and top with the frozen tots and sprinkle with more fresh sage as garnish.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the tots are golden brown and crispy.
(The first photo is by Hot For Food).