Food · Lifestyle · Personal

Love From Minnesota

As some of you know, I am currently out of town visiting my family in Minnesota for the holidays.

This area has some brutal winters, and as a result, hot, filling, hearty comfort foods are a really huge hit up in these parts. One of the first things that come to mind when I think of Minnesota food is Hotdish. I briefly alluded to this wonderful Minnesota favorite in my blog post The Food Train to Happy Town, but I wanted to expand upon that since I am here in the place where my love for this awesome food began, in my mother’s Minnesota kitchen.

There's nothing like love that's warm from the oven

What is Hotdish you ask?

Here is what Wikipedia has to say on the subject: “A hotdish is a casserole which typically contains a starch, a meat, and a canned or frozen vegetable mixed with canned soup. The dish originates in the Upper Midwest region of the United States, where it remains popular, particularly in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. 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.”

There are many many different ways to make Hotdish. Some are very common, others are passed down from family member to family member. These dishes are simple to make, and use mainly canned ingredients, making them something that is easy to make when you are low on fresh ingredients, or you need to assemble something ahead of time and cook later. They tend to have very simple flavor pallets, making them very family and kid friendly. These filling dishes are, in my opinion, the warm fuzzy hugs of the food world. Love in a baking dish.

I thought I would share my favorite hotdish recipes with you!

Layered Hotdish (also called Minnesota Sheppard’s Pie)

  • 1 can sliced new potatoes, drained (or, two large russet potatoes, sliced with the skin still on)
  • 1 can sweet corn (drained)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb ground beef (browned with Worcestershire sauce)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. In a square baking dish layer your potatoes in the bottom, then your corn, salt and pepper, then your cheese, then your beef. Finally, spread the cream of mushroom soup to cover. Cover the dish with foil, and bake at 350° for 1 hr 30 mins until hot and bubbly.

Raw Rice Hotdish (also called Mock Chow Mein)

  • 3/4 cup raw white rice
  • one onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • diced bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 lb ground beef (browned)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • Crunchy Chow Mein Noodles (optional; for topping)

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT chow mein noodles in a 9 x 12 baking dish or a large casserole dish. Stir until mixed well. Cover. Bake at 350° for 1 hr 30 mins. Top with chow mein noodles if desired and serve. ***This can also be made with diced raw boneless skinless chicken breast instead of ground beef. Just dice your thawed chicken and mix it in raw, it will cook fully as your hotdish bakes***

Well, there you have it, a little love from Minnesota to you! I hope you enjoyed my post!

Is your home state/country known for its own unique dishes? I would love to hear what you picked up in your mother’s kitchen!

Are you a hotdish fan? I would love to hear your favorites, or any you or your family have created in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Food from my childhood





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