The Ultimate Tater Tot Casserole [video]
Tater Tot Casserole is a classic dish made with the favorite potato bites, ground beef, and loaded with cheese. It has layers of amazing flavors stacked together in every single bite. An easy meal that is also perfect for potlucks, game days, or parties!
Easy dinners are my favorite, and I am a big fan of homemade casseroles. They are hearty, delicious, and ideal to feed a crowd. For more fast and easy dinner ideas, try my Mashed Potato Casserole, Cheesy Chicken Casserole, and Mac and Cheese Casserole.
If you are looking for a classic comfort food recipe that everyone loves, this Tater Tot Casserole should definitely be on your list. Every bite is simply delicious, creamy, loaded with cheese and ground beef. Even picky eaters will love it!
As the name suggests, it has a potato product as the main ingredient which has been popular since the 1950s. This recipe has been in the family’s menu rotation throughout the years, and this time, I am sharing it with you!
What makes this specific dish even better is that it only has 12 basic ingredients, and is ready in no time. Also, it is also packed with protein, carbs, and fiber – basically a complete meal on its own. You can even make this as a freezer meal, and reheat it when needed, which makes it a good option for a quick dinner. Give it a try, and see why this dish is our family favorite recipe!
What are tater tots?
They are made of mashed potatoes that are formed into small logs. You can find frozen ones in grocery stores and deep-fry or bake for optimum crispness.
It is an all-time favorite American snack and side dish. This time, we will turn it into a hearty meal with this recipe.
This dish requires simple ingredients. Here is the list;
- Meat – I use lean ground beef, about 85-90% lean.
- Veggies – Mushrooms, onion, garlic, green beans.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Olive oil
- Heavy cream and sour cream
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Frozen tater tots – You can easily find them at your local grocery store. Also, learn how to make the best homemade tater tots from scratch.
- Salt and black pepper.
How to make a tater tot casserole?
This is an easy dish to follow. Also, please watch the recipe video attached. The general steps are as follows:
- Prep the oven: Preheat it to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Cook the ground beef mixture: Place the ground beef in a large skillet and cook it over medium-high heat. Once it is no longer pink, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Drain any excess fat.
- Cook the mushrooms mixture: Then, sauté the diced onions, mushrooms, and garlic together. Season with salt, pepper, and add the Worcestershire sauce. Mix in the flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the heavy cream slowly. Add more salt or pepper to taste and stir in the sour cream.
- Assemble: Next, in the baking dish, spread out the beef mixture, followed by the mushrooms mixture. On top of this layer, distribute the green beans and cheddar cheese. Add more salt or pepper to taste. Add another layer, this time, with the tater tots. Top with another layer of shredded cheese.
- Bake: Pop it in the oven, and bake uncovered for about 35 to 40 minutes until the tots crisp up and the cheese melt.
- Other Meats: Feel free to swap the beef with ground turkey, ground chicken, or even sausage.
- Cream: To make it even creamier, you could add 1/2 cup of cream of mushroom soup, or cream of chicken soup. This will add extra moisture and creaminess to it.
- Veggies: Use other veggies as well. Some great addition would be broccoli, green peas, green bell pepper, green onions, etc.
- Seasoning: For extra flavor, add some chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, or ranch seasoning.
Other Possible add-ins:
Add more ingredients according to your liking. Here are some suggestions:
- red chili pepper flakes
- crispy bacon bits as they go so well with cheese
- red bell peppers and tomatoes for extra flavor and texture
- sausages to make it meatier
- alfredo sauce – for dipping it works great!
How do you make tater tot casserole without condensed soup?
Follow my recipe! A lot of other recipes out there instruct you to use the commercially available condensed soup. However, most of them have high sodium content. So, it is either you buy the low-sodium ones, or simply follow my homemade recipe as a healthier option.
How do you make a vegetarian tater tot casserole?
Good news for vegetarians! This recipe is versatile, and you can make it with no meat.
Basically, just follow the same recipe but leave out the meat. Instead, add in more vegetables of your choice.
Can you make this dish in the slow cooker?
Absolutely! Making it in the slow cooker is equally easy and delicious! Follow these steps:
- First, brown the beef in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Next, add the veggies to the meat mixture.
- Lightly grease the slow cooker pot with nonstick spray.
- Then, spread in a single layer the tater tots onto the bottom of the pot. After, add the ground beef mixture, and then top it with the remaining tots.
- Close the lid and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.
- Garnish with shredded cheese during the last 30 minutes of the cook.
It’s that simple! Don’t forget to add this slow cooker version to your list of easy dinner recipes!
- Make it in advance: First, assemble everything in the casserole dish, according to the steps below. Then, freeze it. Just bake it when needed. You can keep it frozen for up to 48 hours. But of course, the earlier you can cook it, the better it will taste.
- Freeze Leftovers: Or, if you have leftovers, simply transfer them into single-portion freezer bags. They can last for up to 3 to 4 months. You can bake them again at the same temperature you initially cooked them at.
- Refrigerate: Aside from freezing, you can simply refrigerate it and it will stay good for up to 4 days.
More breakfast recipes:
- You could cook the dish covered in aluminum foil. However, to get crispy tater tots, I highly recommend baking it uncover.
- During the last minutes of baking, set the oven to broil mode to crisp up the top. Or, you may also opt not to put the cheese on top to crisp up the tots.
- Also, it is important that you season with salt and pepper as you layer to have a uniformly seasoned dish.
- Feel free to use other meat like lamb or pork or turkey instead of the beef.
Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cans (15 oz each) green beans drained
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 32 oz frozen tater tots you will not use all
- Salt and pepper to taste
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- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and add Worcestershire sauce.
- Drain excess fat and transfer cooked beef to the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Distribute evenly.
- Add the onions and mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional minute.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add flour and stir to combine to make a roux.
- Add heavy cream little by little and stir to combine. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream. Remove from heat and spread the mixture on top of the beef.
- Top with 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Top with green beans and another 2 cups of cheddar cheese.
- Finally, top with frozen tater tots arranging them one next to each other over the whole surface of the casserole.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until tater tots are golden brown and cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.