Lunch Lady Delight–an easy and delicious Instant Pot (or oven) casserole recipe that tastes like bacon cheeseburgers and tater tots.
Lunch Lady Delight (Instant Pot Recipe)
Lunch lady delight is a one pot meal recipe that has the flavor of a bacon cheeseburger with tater tots. We ate this in about 5 minutes flat. It was so tasty!
This recipe will bring you back to the school lunchroom on the day they’d serve hamburgers and tater tots. I always loved looking at the hot lunch calendar and circling the days that I wanted to eat hot lunch. The hamburger and tots day was always one of those days. Although if I was to go back as an adult and eat that same school lunch I hardly think it would taste as great as I remember. My palate has definitely changed over the years. Regardless if you’re a kid or adult you’ll love this lunch lady delight!
What you’ll need to make Lunch Lady Delight:
- Lean ground beef. You can also use ground turkey.
- Onion. I like to use frozen diced onions when I’m in a pinch for time. Look for them in the frozen section at the grocery store by the other vegetables.
- Montreal steak seasoning. For seasoning the beef. You can use another type of seasoning if you prefer.
- Beef or chicken broth. I like to use 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon Beef Base.
- White rice. Only a small amount is needed (3 tablespoons). It is used for thickening the casserole.
- Tomato sauce. To give it that ketchup flavor.
- Ground mustard. This is not yellow mustard that you squirt on your hot dogs. It’s a spice that you can find next to the other spices at your grocery store.
- Velveeta cheese or cream cheese. To give it a creamy texture. I used Velveeta and it melted beautifully and doesn’t curdle when pressure cooked.
- Worcestershire sauce. For unami flavor!
- Shredded cheddar cheese. Grate it off the block for best results (as opposed to buying pre-shredded cheese).
- Bacon. I used real crumbled bacon from Costco. It’s easier for me than cooking up bacon on the stove, although that would be super tasty as well!
- Ore-Ida extra crispy tater tots. I’ve noticed a big difference between store brand tots and name brand tots. It’s one of those items that’s worth spending more money on. I personally like the Ore-Ida brand and specifically the extra crispy variety.
- Diced tomatoes and pickles. To give it some color and lots of bacon cheeseburger flavor!
How to make Lunch Lady Delight in the Instant Pot:
- Brown the beef: Start the recipe by browning up ground beef and onions together on the sauté setting (MORE) of your Instant Pot. Drain off any excess grease and then stir in the steak seasoning.
- Deglaze the pot: Prevent the burn error message by pouring in the broth and scraping the bottom of the pot so that nothing is sticking. Turn off Instant Pot.
- Add in other ingredients: Sprinkle in the rice. Dump tomato sauce, ground mustard, Velveeta and Worcestershire on top. Don’t stir to prevent the burn error message.
- Pressure cook: Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 5 minutes on high pressure. When time is up let pot sit for 3-5 minutes and then move valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Stir well: Stir in the cheese and bacon.
- Cook the tots: Unplug Instant Pot. Add tots on top in a single layer. Place air fryer lid* on top of pot and cook at 450° F for 10 minutes, or until tots are cooked through and crispy. If you don’t have an air fryer lid you can start the recipe by cooking the tots according to the package directions. They usually take around 25 minutes to cook in the oven.
- Serve and enjoy: Top with tomatoes and pickles. Scoop onto plates and serve.
You’ll also like…
Instant Pot Cheeseburger And Fries Casserole
Instant Pot Tater Tot Casserole
Instant Pot Napoleon Dynamite Soup
Instant Pot Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole
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Lunch Lady Delight
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
An easy and delicious Instant Pot (or oven) casserole recipe that tastes like bacon cheeseburgers and tater tots.
- 1 pound lean or extra lean ground beef
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/2 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
- 1 cup beef or chicken broth
- 3 Tbsp white rice
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- 4 oz Velveeta cheese or cream cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 bacon strips cooked and crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 pound Ore-Ida extra crispy tater tots
- For topping: diced tomatoes and pickles
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Turn Instant Pot to the sauté setting. When display says HOT add in the beef and break it up. Add in the onions. Brown the beef for about 5 minutes. Drain off any excess grease. Stir in the steak seasoning.
- Pour in the broth and scrape bottom of pot so that nothing is sticking. Turn off Instant Pot.
- Sprinkle in the rice. Dump tomato sauce, ground mustard, Velveeta and Worcestershire on top. Don’t stir.
- Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 5 minutes. When time is up let pot sit for 3-5 minutes and then move valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Stir in the cheese and bacon. Unplug Instant Pot.
- Add tots on top in a single layer. Place air fryer lid* on top of pot and cook at 450° F for 10 minutes, or until tots are cooked through and crispy. Top with tomatoes and pickles. (If you don’t have an air fryer lid you can cook the tots in the oven according to package directions).
- Scoop onto plates and serve.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add in the beef and onions. Brown for about 5 minutes. Drain excess grease. Stir in the steak seasoning, tomato sauce, ground mustard and Velveeta until all Velveeta melts.
- Pour the mixture into a 9×9 inch pan.
- Sprinkle with cheese and bacon.
- Lay tater tots on top in a single layer.
- Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until bubbly. Top with tomatoes and pickles and serve.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Instant Pot/Oven/Air Fryer Lid
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
If I’m making this in the oven I see the rice was not mentioned in a step – is that only needed for IP liquid that doesn’t happen on the stove/oven?
Yes you are right…it’s not needed in the oven
I made it last night on the stove/oven since I haven’t yet ordered the air fryer top for my Instant Pot. It was super easy to make, super easy to clean up, and best of all – it was delicious and like a comfort food! I was being lazy and used frozen onion (which added more liquid to drain off) and just spooned some sweet relish on top of mine. I didn’t bother with the tomatoes although I can see that adding to it so I’ll plan better the next time I make it. Thanks so much!
Thanks for the 5 stars Wendy! I’m so glad to hear you liked it! The frozen onions are a great time saver!
Karin Wynn says
Is the rice just put in to soak up liquid? There isn’t very much and was wondering about adding more and possibly more liquid? I think it would be good with more, thoughts? going to make this tomorrow night for my family dinner.
Yes, that’s what I added it for. And yes you could surely do that!
Can the rice be omitted or will the dish become too soupy or liquidity?
You can omit it. You may want to add a cornstarch slurry if it’s too runny.
Janis Olson says
This looks super yummy. I have most of the ingredients on hand. It will be added to my rotation of your recipes. I will probably make this over the weekend! I’ll comment again when I make it!
Tonight I’m using your French onion casserole recipe as a guide for making a Korean BBQ roast. I didn’t want to cut mine up, so your FOC works quite well as a sub for all the other Korean BBQ recipes that say to cut the meat up in chunks. I did sauté onions before putting in the marinated roast!
Thanks for being our IP/Pressure cooker guide. ☺️
I bet that was so tasty! I’m glad I was helpful to you!