08 July 2020

Get This Wagon Train A-Movin'

As we have all found ways of coping with the pandemic, Disney has done their best to provide at home projects and things to lighten the heaviness of the disease ravaging our population. One of the ways they have done this is through releasing recipes of some of their dishes that have been scaled down, and in some cases modified, for home consumption. Among these are some tried, true, and well-known recipes, such as Tonga Toast or the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. One newcomer to Walt Disney World, and to the collection of official recipes, is the Totchos from Woody’s Lunch Box. A fairly straight-forward and simple recipe, we decided to give it a go in our kitchen.

To start with you have to create the Chili with Beans and the Queso Sauce. The Chili with Beans, like any good chili, takes a while to come together, but it can also rest on a warm burner while you prepare the remainder of the dish. The Queso Sauce is an easy component to throw together and can be completed while you’re baking your tater tots.

I’m also going to say right now I have trouble using the Disney phrase ‘potato barrels’ when I’ve known them my whole life as, and the bags at the grocery store are listed as, tater tots. For that reason, you’ll see a lot of ‘tater tots,’ not ‘potato barrels’ in this recipe, but you’re free to call them what you like.



1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
1 Medium Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Can Crushed Tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
1 Can Tomato Sauce (15 oz.)
1 Can Kidney Beans (15 oz.; drained)
2 Tbsps. Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp. Coarse Salt
Black Pepper (to taste)
Ground Cayenne (to taste)


Brown ground beef in a 5-6 quart Dutch oven, or large pot, over medium heat until fully cooked.
Drain off excess grease.
Add onion and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, chili powder, and cumin. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt.
Add black pepper and cayenne, as needed.
Keep warm until ready to serve.



2 Cups Jar Cheese Sauce
1 Can Diced Tomatoes with Chilies (10 oz.)


Place cheese sauce and diced tomatoes with chilies in small saucepan.
Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, until warm.
Keep warm until ready to serve.

The chili itself is pretty similar to my own chili, with a couple of changes, but I knew the flavors I was dealing with. As you can see in the photo above, this makes a hearty, chunky chili, not a soup or stew. This consistency is key to the Totchos. We actually had many of the ingredients already in our house, and I imagine many of you do as well, making this an easy dish to throw together. One of the few items we actually had to get was the jar of cheese sauce. Now, on to the main attraction!



1 Bag Frozen Tater Tots (2 pounds)
 Cups Corn Chips
Chili with Beans
Queso Sauce
¾ Cup Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
6 Tbsps. Sour Cream
2 Tbsps. Green Onions (thinly sliced)


Cook Tater Tots according to package instructions.
Divide tots into 6 bowls.
Place ¼ cup each of corn chips, chili with beans, and queso sauce on top of each bowl of tater tots.
Top each bowl with 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1 teaspoon green onions.

The directions are for a serving size of 6, but both the Chili with Beans and Queso Sauce keep just fine in the fridge for several days, so don’t worry if you aren’t serving 6 people at once. Also, only make enough tater tots for those you are serving the Totchos too. Last note, while they give you specifications for shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions, you know your palate, use these toppings as you would like.

This is a hearty meal that will fill you up and then some. Depending on your use of cayenne and chili powder, as well as the heat level of the jar of cheese you use, there is a definite kick to the Totchos. It wasn’t sweat inducing to me, but just they way I like to get a kick in the taste buds. The creamier components soften up the corn chips and mush up with the tots, but the different textures and flavors just give this a fun feel to me.

The Totchos would be perfect on a chilly autumn night by the fire or for a warm summer backyard campout. With all of the ingredients, it also allows for personalization and can get the little chefs, or favorite deputies, in your house in on the fun. I hope you put on your favorite Toy Story movie or soundtrack and give this little dish a try!

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