#CrockpotWednesday: John Wayne Casserole


Those guys — what’s-their-names — down in the GA/QC closet, try and make an impression with something called “John Wayne Casserole”. It’s got tater tots, so that’s got to be worth a try.


1 (32-oz.) bag tater tots (not thawed)
1 lb, ground beef
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 (1.5-oz.) pkg. taco mix
water (add the amount of water to the meat that the taco mix says to add, ¾ cup is what my packet said)
1 cup sour cream
1 (8-oz.) pkg. sharp cheddar cheese (divided, half in sour cream mixture and half on top at the end)
⅛ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. onion powder
diced tomatoes for servings (about 2 small tomatoes)


– Spray a 6-quart oval slow cooker with non-stick spray. Add the tater tots down in a single layer. Set aside.

– In a large skillet, set over medium high heat, brown the hamburger, onions and bell pepper. When the meat is browned, drain the fat. Add the amount of water the taco packet says to add to the meat (my packet said to add ¾ cup). Add the taco packet, and continue cooking and stirring until the meat and the seasoning has thickened.

– Pour the meat mixture over the tater tots in the slow cooker.
– In a medium sized bowl add the sour cream, salt, pepper, onion powder, and half of the cheese (this is about a heaping cup of shredded cheese, save the other half to top the casserole at the end.)

– Spread this sour cream cheese mixture over the meat mixture in the slow cooker.

– Cover and cook on LOW for 4.5 hours, without opening the lid during the cooking time. After the cooking time is up add the remaining cheese evenly over the casserole.
– Cover and let the cheese melt, this will only take about 5-10 minutes. To serve, top with diced tomatoes.

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