Tasty Food

Hot Dish: An “anything goes” one-dish meal (Fun story & recipe included!)

Hot Dish: An “anything goes” one-dish meal, commonly known in the upper Midwest.

What in the world right? That’s pretty vague. I did some more research and outside of the Midwest it would be considered a casserole. HOWEVER– the reverse is not true. A casserole isn’t considered a hot dish. We still call green bean casserole, green bean casserole- not green bean hot-dish.

Or wait.. I mean that would just mean its a freaking hot dish.

These suckers are typically called just that– A hot dish. Not spaghetti hot dish, not tater tot hot dish, not whatever-I-wanted-to-put-in-this hot dish. JUST…hot dish. It typically contains a starch, a meat, and a canned or frozen vegetable mixed with canned soup. The only time I’ve seen it referred to any specific ingredient (forgive me if I’m wrong) is when I look up “hot dish recipe” on Pinterest.

Here’s another true story:

The first time I ate hot dish was when I was visiting my boyfriend’s (now husband) family and his mom made it for dinner. I didn’t question it. She pulled it out of the oven and it looked to me like baked spaghetti. “Cool! I can do this, I like spaghetti“, I thought. It was delicious! So a few days go by, we go to his sister’s house who had just had a baby, and she offers up some hot dish that a neighbor brought over as a kind gesture. She says its in the fridge. Score! More baked spaghetti! 


I open this fridge and I’m looking all over, moving things, don’t see it. So I ask where it is. She tells me where, and what its in, so I pull it out to pop the lid off and put it in the microwave. But before I do that, I [naturally] look at it. What is this?! I mean it looks good, but it’s definitely not baked spaghetti (this time its creamy, with tater tots, and pasta). “What’s this?”, I ask.

Hot Dish“, she replies.


So moving on… Last night I was able to start dinner without a toddler pulling my pants down and wanted to find a quick, easy recipe with the few ingredients I knew I had. So what did I do? I went on Pinterest and searched “hot dish recipes“. And what do you know? To my surprise, not every recipe was labeled only hot dish (>.<). I found one called an Amish Hot Dish (click to see actual recipe). Seemed a little bit on the random side, but isn’t that what a hot dish is? Dinner Roulette? It shows the ingredients in grams (and I can’t figure that stuff out) so I used Google’s conversion calculator.

I’m also someone who doesn’t measure anything when I cook (unless its to make cookies…. then I just don’t follow the baking time, like I say here). So this is how I modified it (the main ingredients are what makes the flavor so delicious anyway), and maybe I’ll do it the right way, but until then, my rendition was delicious! Make sure you follow it step.by.step! I hope you enjoy it!


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