Jill Duggar Has Something In Common With This Democratic Presidential Candidate

When it comes to politics, Jill Duggar and Amy Klobuchar probably don’t have much in common. Klobuchar is a Democrat from Minnesota who’s seeking her party’s presidential nomination, while the former Counting On star comes from a conservative southern family that’s active in Republican politics. (Her younger brother Jed is even running for Arkansas state representative.) 

But the two women do share one thing: an affinity for casserole-like dishes made with tater tots. 

The Duggars love tater tot casserole 

While the Duggar family has come in for plenty of criticism since they made their TV debut in 2004, one thing that particularly irks some viewers is the way the Duggars eat. With a family of nearly two dozen and a limited budget, they could often be seen eating affordable, easy-to-make dishes like tuna casserole, Frito pie, and tater tot casserole.

Those dishes might have been cheap and simple to prepare, but they’re not the healthiest. They tend to have lots of processed ingredients and be high in fat, salt, and carbs. Fortunately, the older Duggar kids seem to have expanded their palettes since moving out and starting families of their own. However, they still sometimes return to childhood favorites. 

Jill still enjoys tater tot casserole 

Jill Duggar's Tater Tot Casserole
Tater tot casserole | jillmdillard via Instagram

On Jan. 29, Jill Duggar shared a link in her Instagram Story to the recipe for tater tot casserole. “Had this goodness last night,” she wrote. On her blog, she calls the dish a “family favorite,” though she concedes that “it’s not the healthiest.” 

Her dad Jim Bob Duggar has referred to the meal as “mouth-watering.” However, in an episode of Counting On, the kids admitted that they ate it so much growing up that they got sick of it. 

While this casserole recipe has been dubbed “disgusting” by some, the Duggars aren’t exactly unique in their love of combining ground meat, tater tots, and canned soup in a casserole dish. 

Tater tot hot dish is a Minnesota specialty 

hot dish competition
The 2019 Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Jill’s tater tot casserole recipe bears more than a passing resemblance to a dish familiar to most Minnesotans: tater tot hot dish. Hot dish is typically a combination of meat, starch, vegetables in a creamy sauce (usually a can of “cream of” soup) and baked. It’s often served at potlucks and get-togethers in the upper Midwestern state. While there are many varieties, tater tot hot dish is among the most common.

Hot dish is so strongly associated with Minnesota that the state’s congressional delegation holds an annual hot dish competition where the state’s representatives and senators share their best takes on the comfort food.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has also made her hotdish part of her presidential campaign, hosting Hot Dish House Parties where her Taconite Tater Tot Hot Dish is served. In a 2018 tweet, she called hot dish the “quintessential home-cooked MN dinner .”

Klobuchar’s hot dish recipe, which she shared with the New York Times, calls for ground beef, cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup, garlic, onion, shredded pepper jack cheese, and tater tots. 

That’s similar to Jill’s recipe for tater tot casserole, though her dish doesn’t have cheese and adds milk. She also suggests using ground turkey rather than beef, though other versions feature beef. However, neither recipe includes any added vegetables, a typical hot dish ingredient. 

Whether you call it hot dish or casserole, it seems that a love of convenience (and carbs) crosses political boundaries.