foods and cuisines

Hotdish | The most hearty, flavorful, and satisfying dish you’ll ever eat


A hotdish is a casserole dish that typically contains a starch, a meat, and a canned or frozen vegetable mixed with canned soup that must be served hot or warm. A classic example is made with ground beef, topped with tater tots, and flavored with thick condensed cream of mushroom soup sauce, but some versions in Minnesota use the official state grain wild rice, or even macaroni, in place of the potatoes.[1] The dish originates in the Upper Midwest region of the United States, where it remains popular, particularly in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and eastern Montana. Hotdish is cooked in a single baking dish, and served hot (per its name). It commonly appears at communal gatherings such as family reunions, potlucks, and church suppers.

Hotdish Ingredients

Tater tot hotdish from the Saint Paul, Minnesota Winter Carnival

Typical ingredients in hotdish are potatoes or pasta, ground beef, green beans, and corn, with canned soup added as a binder, flavoring and sauce. Potatoes may be in the form of tater tots, hash browns, potato chips, or shoe string potatoes. The dish is usually seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, and it may be eaten with ketchup as a condiment. Another popular hotdish is the tuna hotdish, made with macaroni or egg noodles, canned tuna, peas, and mushroom soup. Also common is a dish known as goulash, though it bears no resemblance to the familiar Hungarian goulash. Minnesota goulash is usually made with ground beef, macaroni, canned tomatoes, and perhaps a can of creamed corn.

Cream of mushroom soup is so ubiquitous in hotdish that it is often referred to in such recipes as “Lutheran Binder,” referring to hotdish’s position as a staple of Lutheran church cookbooks. The soup is considered a defining ingredient by some commentators.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add the oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the beef to the onions and cook until the meat is brown, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet to release the yummy brown bits, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer the beef and onion mixture from the skillet into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Scatter the green beans and corn evenly on top. Spread the cream of mushroom soup over top and top with frozen potato tots. Bake uncovered for 1 hour; the potato tots should be golden brown. Serve.

Why is it called hotdish?

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a hot dish was literally a serving dish that was heated to keep food warm. Later, food writers and homemakers used the term to refer to a meal’s warm entree, said food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey.

What is the meaning of hotdish?

A hotdish is a casserole dish that typically contains a starch, a meat, and a canned or frozen vegetable mixed with canned soup that must be served hot or warm.

What state is known for Hotdish?

If you grew up in the Midwest or even if you’re new to the area, chances are you’ve heard about the Minnesota tater tot hotdish. Hotdish is the unofficial state cuisine of Minnesota and a go-to for busy families.

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