March 15, 2020
Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Hotdish
Hangry Diaires Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Hot Dish

There is something that I need to get off my apron before we really dive into this week’s Buffalo Chicken Tatertot Hotdish recipe. Just a small confession – Ready? Okay, here it does…. my dachshund dog, Tater, is actually named after the infamous potato starring in this dish. There, I said it and I’m not ashamed – Now let’s move on because I have something more important we need to talk about.

Hotdish or Casserole?!

First order of business, is it a hotdish or is it a casserole? This is the age old debacle, isn’t it? The east coast in me screams, “casserole, duh!” But, living in the Midwest for the last four years, my Iowa heart expresses, “hotdish, of course!” Can someone please shine some light on this debate? Is there actually a difference? Is there a history to a hotdish? Where did the term “hotdish” actually come from? Please, I am begging you, feel free to contact me below to help me solve this one and for all.

The one thing I will say, is that I absolutely love reading the various versions of these hotdishes/casseroles written in the old spiral-bound cookbooks you can find at the thrift store. These books are time capsules of different church groups, women’s groups, and 4-H clubs. They hold the secrets of geographical culinary differences and they tell the stories of the people who came before us and how particular casseroles have morphed and changed over the years. 

Why THIS Hotdish

However, this Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot hotdish was inspired by my pregnant, at the time, friend. She has since given birth to a beautiful baby boy; But, this all started because her favorite dip is the classic buffalo chicken dip. And, everytime she and her husband come over, Tater always somehow gets into the buffalo chicken dip. No, I am not kidding, but I wish I was. As a result, we have mashed some of our favorite things together into one recipe that gets consumed on a dinner table and not a coffee table – thank you, Tater. The celery and ranch cool off the heat from the buffalo sauce, while the blue cheese adds a nice tang. The crispy tater tots add a much needed crunch. So go ahead and make this casserole… or hotdish… for yourself.

Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Hotdish

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Casserole, Dinner, Hotdish, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baked, Buffalo, Casserole, Chicken, Easy, Gluten Free, Healthy, Hotdish, One Pot Meal, Recipe
Servings: 6
Author: Jessie Woodward


  • 4 cups of cooked shredded chicken
  • ½ cup creamy buffalo hot sauce
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup ranch dressing
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 5 cups tater tots – thawed
  • 3 stalks of celery sliced + leaves
  • 4 green onions chopped


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the cheddar cheese, chicken, hot sauce, soup, and half of the celery. It is important to note that you can add more hot sauce if you like it super spicy, so taste and season accordingly.
  • Pour chicken mixture into a greased 9”x9” pan and top with the thawed tater tots.
  • Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
  • Drizzle the blue cheese dressing on top of the tots, sprinkle with blue cheese, green onions, celery, and celery leaves. Serve with more buffalo sauce if desired.


If you are in a pinch, you can use a few cans of canned chicken. I know it sounds weird, but I’ve done it before and it turns out just as good without all of the extra work!

I want you to cook along with me! Be sure to tag me on your social media channels and use the hashtags #TheHangryDiaires & #GetHangry.

This recipe was also published in my food column, The Driftless Foodie in The Driftless Journal newspaper.