Hot dish is a Midwest favorite and it's not hard to see why. Anything topped with tater tots is a winner, right? This venison hot dish version of the popular casserole uses ground venison, which makes it a great venison recipe to use up the deer meat in your freezer before hunting season opens.

While you do need about an hour to bake the venison hot dish, prep time is only about 10 minutes. Set your oven to 350ºF to preheat while you start the casserole. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onion in olive oil, then add a pound ground venison along with salt and black pepper for seasoning. When the meat is cooked, add the cream of mushroom soup and the frozen peas.

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This, my comfort. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Being a Midwesterner, I'm somewhat abashed to admit that I didn't grow up eating Tater Tot Hotdish. It just never was a thing in my household. Sure, we had our fair share of casseroles and condensed soup laden dishes, but this version never quite made it to our table. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ I actually didn't try Tater Tot Hotdish until I was out of college, and a coworker brought this in for lunch EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I was perplexed that this Minnesota specialty, primarily comprised of basic, non-exciting ingredients, could be enjoyed this often...and with so much enthusiasm. Some days, they would bring in extra because they wanted to share their love of TTHD with others. Being a brat, I didn't try it until blatantly forced to. And guess what? IT WAS FREAKING DELICIOUS. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Ground beef and veggies enveloped in a delicious creamy sauce, topped with cheese, and covered in TATER TOTS. What's not to love?! ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Oh yeah. The calories. The sloppiness. And again, the condensed soup crap that I did my best to avoid. But all these snooty preconceived assumptions were quickly put to rest when I realized two things: 1) it's not like I was eating this every day so YOLO, and 2) this recipe is EASY to lighten up.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ My Lightened Up Tater Tot Hot Dish is in the archives #ontheblog, and it comes highly recommended by anyone who I've made it for. So believe the masses, folks....this one's a keeper!⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀

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The mixture goes into a glass casserole dish and topped with shredded cheddar cheese. Line the tater tots on top of the cheese (and no, you don't have to thaw them out first). Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake the venison hot dish an extra 15 minutes to brown the tater tots. Call the family to the table and serve!

Ground Venison Hot Dish 

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour



  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups tater tots


Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 13x9-inch glass pan.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onion and cook 2 minutes. Add the venison, salt, and pepper, and cook until no longer pink. To the skillet add the cream of mushroom soup and the frozen peas. Pour the mixture into the glass dish.

Top the venison with the shredded cheese and line the tater tots on top of the cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an extra 15 minutes to brown the tater tots. Serve.


No need to thaw out your tater tots! Just add them in frozen. Make sure to use condensed cream of mushroom soup for this recipe.

Perfect Pairing

Serve this Venison Hot Dish with a shot of Bacon Infused Vodka.

Nutrition Facts
Ground Venison Hot Dish
Amount Per Serving
Calories 431 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 35%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 1281mg 53%
Potassium 531mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 31g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 4g
Protein 25g 50%
Vitamin A 18%
Vitamin C 13%
Calcium 1%
Iron 19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.