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These ground venison tater tot nachos are a dinner dream come true! Made on a bed of tater tots instead of tortilla chips they’re loaded with melty cheese, perfectly seasoned ground venison, and all the fun nacho toppings you love! As a bonus, you can make them outside on the grill or inside in the oven.
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These totchos (tater tot nachos) are another ground venison recipe in a long line of winners that I’m absolutely in love with! Obsessed even? They’re right up there with my venison tacos, venison meat sauce, and venison enchiladas.
I won’t claim to have invented tater tot nachos, but I might be so bold as to say I’ve perfected ground venison nachos! Because they’re not only ridiculously delicious but also incredibly easy!
Ingredients for this recipe
- Ground Venison
- Tater Tots
- Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
- Taco Seasoning
- Hot Sauce
- Cheese – two kinds!
- Bell Pepper
- Red Onion
- All the nacho toppings – like tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, and fresh lime!
Making Venison Nachos
- Bake the tater tots. I did this on the propane gas side of our Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Combo Charcoal/Gas Grill.
- Prepare the ground venison topping. It’s easy to do this on the propane side burner of the grill!
- Assemble the nachos. We’re layering cheese, the venison, some fresh veggies, and more cheese on the tater tots!
- Bake until melty. A hot grill is a great way to get all that cheese to melt perfectly.
- Add your favorite toppings and enjoy! These tater tot nachos, like all nachos, are totally customizable.
Stovetop and Oven Instructions
While I love making this recipe on the grill, it can absolutely be made using your stovetop and oven.
- Bake your tater tots in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the ground venison topping on the stovetop.
- Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees and layer the cheese, meat, and toppings on the tater tots as instructed in the recipe card.
- Bake until melty!
It might seem a bit odd to some people to make nachos on the grill, but it’s such a fun way of making them!
Not only does it keep my kitchen cleaner and cooler, but it helps to flex a culinary muscle and help it build strength.
If you’re new to grilling, like I was (slash, still am!), I can’t recommend a gas grill enough! It’s easy to light, control the temperature, and is very user friendly.
The most important thing to remember is that you’re generally closer to your heat source on a grill, so while it may be tempting to really crank up the flame to reach 425 degrees quickly, you risk scorching the bottom of your tater tots!
Set the flame between medium and medium-low, letting the grill slowly come up in temperature and holding it there for perfectly golden brown and crispy tater tots!
Taco Meat – Might I suggest using some leftover venison taco meat to make a fabulous pan of these nachos.
Cheese – Be really decadent and forgo the shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese for a thick pour of white cheese queso!
Chips – Obviously, this recipe can easily translate into being built on a bed of corn tortilla chips. That’s how my BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos get made! (Pssst…those could also be made on the grill and would be FANTASTIC!)
Toppings – Mix and match your favorite veggies from the ones I’ve listed or add more! Black beans, corn, black olives, or whatever your heart may desire. The world is your oyster and these are your nachos.
Ground Venison Tater Tot Nachos
- Gas Grill
- Cast Iron Pan
- Rimmed Baking Sheet
- 32 ounces frozen tater tots
- 1 pound ground venison
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tsp. hot sauce optional
- 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup diced orange bell pepper
- ½ cup diced cherry tomatoes
- Sliced Jalapeño, for serving
- Avocado, for serving
- Sour Cream, for serving
- Cilantro, for serving
- Lime, for serving
- Light the propane side of your Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Combo Grill, adjusting the flames to be between medium-low and medium. Allow to preheat to 425 degrees.
- While grill preheats, line a baking sheet (that you’re certain will fit in the grill) with foil and spray with baking spray. Spread the frozen tater tots into an even layer.
- When grill is preheated, add the pan of tater tots and close the lid of the grill. The tater tots will bake for approximately 20 - 25 minutes, total.
- Meanwhile, set a cast iron pan on the side burner of the grill over medium-high heat. Add 1 pound ground venison and cook, breaking the meat up into small bits, until nearly browned, about five minutes. When meat is almost browned, add 1 packet of tacos seasoning, 14 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies, ¾ cup water, and a few shakes of hot sauce, if desired. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has reduced and is thick enough to coat the meat, about 10 minutes.
- While the sauce thickens, give the tater tots a gentle shake and rotate the pan to ensure they’re baking evenly.
- Once the meat is finished and the tots are golden brown, reduce the grill’s heat to low. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese on top of the tater tots, followed by the prepared venison, ½ cup diced red onion, and ½ cup diced orange bell pepper. Top with the remaining cheese.
- Close the lid of the grill and bake until cheese is fully melted, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from grill and immediately top with diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, sliced avocado, a drizzle of sour cream, a sprinkle of cilantro, and a squeeze of lime to serve.
- See post for notes on baking these nachos in the oven.