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Chili in a skillet covered in tater tots.

Vegetarian Chili Tater Tot Hotdish Recipe

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! This recipe is vegetarian, easily gluten free and easily vegan option  [ see VIDEO below! ]
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword Vegan Chili Casserole, Vegetarain Tater Tot Hotdish, Vegetarian Tater Tot Casserole
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 512kcal
Author Traci York | Vanilla And Bean


  • 1 1/2 tsp Vegetable Oil I like coconut or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 C (190g) Purple Onion chopped, about one medium
  • 1 C (125g) Green Bell Pepper chopped, about one medium
  • 1 Tbs Pickled Jalapenos diced small
  • 1 Tbs Garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Chili Powder I use Frontier Co-op, organic
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper ground
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Masa Harina *see note for sub and more info
  • 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 1 C (245g) Fire Roasted Tomatoes + juice diced, freeze the leftovers
  • 1 1/4 C (280g) Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Tbs Dried Oregano
  • 2 C (425g) Pinto Beans** (see note) cooked, drained (one can)
  • 2 C (425g) Kidney Beans cooked, drained (one can)
  • 20 oz (567g) Prepared Tater Tots
  • 1 1/2 C (115g) Cheddar Cheese shredded, optional


  • 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 occasionally. 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 Flour in the Mexican food or flour section of the grocery store. If unavailable, grind up a small handful of corn tortilla chips in a food processor or crush fine - and use 2 Tbs of ground chips in the place of masa flour. It's not as flavorful as masa, but it will aid in thickening. It can be omitted all together however, the chili won't be quite as thick. If omitting, reduce the vegetable broth by 1/4 C (56g). 
More Recipes Featuring Masa Harina:
**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. 


Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 1183mg | Potassium: 985mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1470IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 5mg