Hearty and packed with spices, this simple weeknight chili is cooked in a skillet, covered with cheese and tater tots then finished in the oven. Cozy, vegan or Vegetarian Chili Tater Tot Hotdish feeds a small crowd, and travels and freezes with ease! vegetarian + gluten free with vegan option
Preheat oven to 400F (205c). Set oven rack in center of oven.
Into an oven safe 10" (25cm) skillet (I use cast iron), add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions and bell peppers. Cook on medium-low for about 9-10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occassionally. Charring is good.
To the skillet, stir in the jalapeños and garlic. Sprinkle in the chili powder, ground black pepper, salt and masa harina. Stir to coat vegetables, about one minute. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, broth, oregano, and beans. Warm to a simmer, then remove from heat. Taste for salt adjustment, reseason if needed.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top if using (or 1/2 the amount for those who may not want cheese), then arrange the tater tots on top of the cheese (or over the chili) in a circular pattern. Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 30 minutes, until tater tots are golden and crisp and the chilly is bubbling underneath.
Serve with avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, green onions, and/or sour cream. Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Freeze for up to two weeks.
*Find masa harina in the bulk bins or in the Mexican food isle in major grocery stores. The flavor and richness masa flour imparts takes this chili from ordinary to special. It can be omitted however and the chili won't be quite as thick. If so, reduce the vegetable broth by 1/4 C (56g).
**I generally use canned beans for this recipe. Black beans would be a good sub for either pinto and/or kidney beans. Look for cans without BPA lining and organic if possible.