Healthier Crack Potatoes

Healthier Crack Potatoes

I absolutely had to share this one.  I create something I’m calling “Healthier Crack Potatoes,” and I’m still not sure if I’m proud or mortified, until this moment:

Directly from my 14-year-old:  “Mom you need to make this every other night.”

This was a huge hit.

Yes, it’s a little shy on the veggies.  Yes, you will want to serve it with a big side of something green.

But with a name like “Crack Potatoes,” what can you expect?

So, how this came to be.  I had dinner planned for last night, but then had to add a late-afternoon appointment.  I needed a make-ahead meal that my middle child could help me with.  Meaning:  all I needed him to do was:

  1. Turn on oven.
  2. Take pan from refrigerator.
  3. Put pan in oven.

(As it turned out, he did #1 but not #2 or #3, I found out on the way home from the appointment…  Thankfully all that meant was that dinner was a half-hour later than planned!)

I already had ground turkey I was planning to use, so I needed a recipe that called for ground turkey.

I discovered a recipe that had awesome reviews with quotes like “my family inhales this” and “so quick and easy” and “it’s called crack for a reason.”

But then I looked at the ingredients:  condensed soup and sour cream.  Not my favorites.

So, I tweaked it.  I made a cheese sauce from scratch, ditched the sour cream altogether, and added an onion.  Yeah, I know.  An onion isn’t exactly a ton of veggies, but hey… maybe next time I’ll toss in another veggie.  I’m thinking sautéed sweet peppers.

And guess what?  My family inhaled it, and it was still pretty easy.  Oh, and that 14-year-old?  Another exact quote: “I totally get why it’s called crack potatoes!”  (And then my daughter:  “Why are we talking about crack?!  Isn’t that a bad thing?!”)

Suffice it to say: there weren’t any leftovers.

And yes, I served with lots of green veggies.

This took about 30 minutes start-to-finish to prep, and can easily be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a day.

Makes six generous servings.

Ingredients: 

Meat mixture: 
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 pound uncured turkey bacon, cut into bite size pieces (I like Applegate)
1 bag frozen tator tots
1 sweet onion, diced
1 T olive oil
Cheese sauce:
1 T butter
1 T flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose)
1 t ground mustard
1/2 t nutmeg
1 c 2% milk
2 c shredded cheddar

Directions:

In large skillet, brown bacon over medium-high heat.
Add in diced onion and olive oil, sauté until onion is soft and translucent.
Add in ground turkey, brown turkey.

In medium pot, melt butter over medium heat.
When butter is melted, add flour, stirring constantly to break up, for about one minute.
Slowly add milk, stirring gently as you do.
Add mustard and nutmeg, stir.
Bring heat to medium-high, stirring regularly.  Bring to a gentle boil.
Add shredded cheese, stir until melted in.

In a large bowl, place meat mixture.
Add frozen tator tots.
Pour cheese mixture over.
Stir well.
Add entire mixture to a 9×13 glass pan.  Cover with foil.

Bake, covered, in 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes or until heated through.

This can also be made ahead, and placed in refrigerator.  If you start with it refrigerated, just place it in the oven when the oven preheats, and add five to ten minutes of cooking time.

Serve with a big green salad, a side of asparagus or broccoli, and maybe some hot sauce if you’re a fan.

 

 

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