I don’t know about y’all, but when I was a kid condensed cream soup casseroles were very popular. You know the kind, one of the many flavors of condensed soup mixed with a variety of things then put in the oven. A mixture of protein, veggies and condensed soup all poured into a lasagna pan then topped with cheese or breadcrumbs. I have had so many in life, at church functions or funerals, that have the texture of a thick paste and taste like salt has never even gone near it. When not seasoned, these blocks of goo can be the worst thing you have ever put in your mouth. Don’t get me wrong, some were/are really tasty. As an adult, I have come to really like some because they are quick and can be warm-the-bones good. Some, however, should be banished from the planet. I can just imagine thick, under seasoned bricks of casserole floating through space.
There were some of these casseroles that I liked, but when I started cooking gluten free those casseroles kind of fell off my radar. Condensed soups contain gluten. I could no longer just pick up a can at the store. It wasn’t really an issue until the holidays came around and I needed to find a new way to make the time honored green bean casserole. That’s one of them that I liked, but without using the canned soup I was not sure how to pull it off. I tried several different ways, but none lived up to the green bean casserole I was used to. Then I came across a recipe online that was supposed to mimic condensed soup. I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised. It needed some adjustments, but it was a base for something good. Once I played with it for a while, I was able to make a green bean casserole that no one was the wiser about.
A few years ago, my other half, was wanting Tater Tot Casserole. I had never heard of it. She is from the Midwest and her mom used to make it for her when she was growing up. I called her mom up to ask for the recipe and was told it was the easiest thing to make. I followed the recipe and found I really liked it. It is a regular in our house and has become a comfort food for us both. I use the condensed soup recipe and Ore-Ida brand tater tots as they are marked gluten-free. It’s yummy!
Gluten-Free Condensed Cream Soup
1 cup Cold Milk
2 T Corn Starch
1 t Chicken Bouillon (gluten-free)
1 ½ T Butter
2 t Bragg Liquid Aminos*
½ t Salt
Dash Black Pepper
In saucepan whisk milk and corn starch together until well blended. Stir in butter, liquid aminos, bouillon, salt and pepper. Heat to boil, stirring frequently.
Simmer on medium-low for 2 minutes (or more if needed) to thicken.
** For Cream of Mushroom stir in drained can of mushrooms, diced
** For Cream of Chicken stir in ½ cup of diced cooked chicken
** For Cream of Celery stir in ½ cup sautéed chopped celery
*I use the Liquid Aminos to add umami (earthiness) to the mixture. I think it adds a great layer of flavor.
Tater Tot Casserole
1 recipe Condensed Cream of Mushroom recipe, already prepared
2 cans French style Green Beans, drained
1 pound Ground Beef, cooked
1 Bag Gluten-Free Tater Tots
In a mixing bowl mix together cream of mushrooms soup, beef and green beans, until mixed well. Pour mixture into baking dish. Cover top with one layer of tater tots. Cook at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!