If you’re looking for a way to splurge, these waffles are a great way to do it!As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I keep running into tater tots in a number of the restaurants that I visit. They come in many different iterations- fancy versions with truffled ketchup, hearty options loaded with cheese and bacon, and much more. When I wrote about them last, I was sharing my healthy spin on them- Baked Cauliflower Tots. Today’s recipe is about as opposite that recipe as is possible.
I actually made the final version of this dish a couple months ago when we were still surrounded in the cold and gloom of winter. With another weekend of freezing temperatures and falling snow, I decided to spend Sunday afternoon at home with full laziness on the schedule. Eat indulgent food. Watch TV. Enjoy some wine.
I’d been playing with the tater tot idea for a while. Making my own was an option, but I really didn’t think I’d be able to mimic the flavor of real Tater Tots well enough. That doubt led me in a different direction- transform the store-bought version into something new. Why let tater tots be tater tots when you can turn them into a waffle?!
Once I had the waffle idea, the rest followed quickly. Hearty meat sauce and melted cheese seemed like the best way to make this a finished dish. Be warned. This is not a light snack; it’s a meal trying to pretend to be an appetizer. That is what makes it perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. No need for lunch or dinner, just have this loaded tater tot waffle and you’re set!
For my recipe, I made homemade marinara that was heavy on meat. It was a lazy Sunday after all, so I definitely was going to take the time to make everything (except the tater tots) from scratch. Feel free to purchase jarred sauce, if that’s more to your cooking style. No judging here.
- 1-½ cup cooked 90% lean ground beef
- 1-½ cup basic pasta sauce
- 4 cups tater tots, defrosted
- Sour cream, optional
- Scallions, optional
- Cook hamburger in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
- Combine pasta sauce and cooked hamburger in a saucepot over medium-low until warm.
- Preheat broiler.
- Spray bottom of 2 9-inch cake pan with nonstick spray.
- Place approximately 2 cups tater tots in prepared waffle maker, pressing down gently.
- Cook following manufacturer’s instructions until crispy.
- Transfer tater tot waffle to cake pan.
- Top with a layer of sauce and a layer of cheese.
- Broil for about 1 minute.
- Garnish with sour cream and/or scallions, if desired.
- Apparently I haven’t posted my typical pasta sauce recipe. Choose one to your liking, or come back to Think Tasty in a few weeks when I share mine.