This easy tater tot casserole also called a tater tot hot dish is a family-friendly casserole made with a base of lean ground beef, cheese, and corn smothered in a delicious sauce then layered with more shredded cheese and topped with golden crispy tater tots.
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A Family Favorite Meal
This recipe for tater tot casserole is a throwback recipe that never goes out of style. It’s as timeless as macaroni and cheese or my frito pie recipe, and just as easy and comforting too!
If you’ve ever had my tater tot breakfast casserole, you’ll know what a fun addition tater tots are to any casserole dish. They are potato-y with tons of flavor, but they’re also crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and come conveniently frozen.
Kids love it, which is great because it’s an easy recipe to sneak in some extra veggies in between the layers! Throw this together for any weeknight dinner, bring it to a potluck, or serve it at your next family gathering.
This simple comfort food is the exact kind of meal to share when your loved ones are gathered around the table!
Why This Recipe Works
- Homemade and still easy! Homemade but not exactly from scratch which means it’s almost effortless. Thank you cream of mushroom soup!
- Feeds a crowd. This recipe serves 6 but you could easily double it and make 2 batches of hamburger tater tot casserole.
- Can make it ahead. Prep it up to 24 hours ahead, if you’re short on time, and pop it in the oven when you’re ready to serve it.
- Budget-friendly. Using inexpensive ingredients makes this meal accessible. It’s also flexible enough to customize some of it to what you’ve got on hand.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Ground beef: Use lean ground beef, 80/20 if you can.
- Onion & garlic: Aromatics that will flavor the beef mixture nicely.
- Cream of mushroom soup: Adding this to the beef gives it a creamy texture and delicious flavor.
- Sour cream: Also adds to the richness as well as provides that bit of tangy flavor. The sour cream helps to lighten up the condensed soup.
- Corn: I love adding corn to my easy tater tot casserole, but you could easily add sliced mushrooms or cut-up green beans instead.
- Cheddar cheese: Freshly grated cheddar cheese gets added to the creamy beef mixture and a layer on top!
- Worcestershire sauce: More flavor to the base of the casserole giving it a salty, savory, umami element.
- Salt & pepper: To taste.
- Frozen tater tots: No need to thaw them first, add them as is.
- Scallions: Optional garnish for serving.
If you think this dish sounds a bit like a cross between hamburger casserole and cheesy potatoes, you’d be right! There are elements from both that make this the best tater tot casserole recipe!
However, there is plenty of room to make it your own, and still, have it turn out *chef’s kiss* amazing!
- Use ‘cream of’ whatever! Swap the cream of mushroom for the cream of chicken soup or cream of celery, if preferred.
- Different meat. Use ground turkey, diced leftover ham, or spicy Italian sausage instead of ground beef. Or you could easily turn this into a breakfast meal, by using breakfast sausage or bacon!
- More veggies. Layer extra veggies in like sliced mushrooms or green beans. You can add bell peppers to the meat as it browns in the skillet.
- For heat. Add a few jalapeno slices on top of the beef mixture.
- Different crust. You can even make this with a thinner potato crust by using hash browns instead of tater tots.
How to Make Tater Tot Casserole
- Prepare the beef mixture. The entire base of the casserole comes together in one large skillet. First, you’ll brown the beef and drain the excess grease, then add the onions to sauté for 5 minutes before adding the garlic. Then, stir in the cream of mushroom, sour cream, corn, 1/2 cup of cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Assemble. Transfer the ground beef mixture from the skillet to a prepared 9×9 baking dish. Spread it across the bottom, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Arrange the tater tots in a single layer over the cheese.
- Bake. Place the easy tater tot casserole in a preheated 375°F oven for 35 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown, the cheese has melted, and the sides are bubbling up.
- Serve. Sprinkle chopped scallions on top and serve this classic comfort food with a side salad!
- Spray your dish well. You don’t want anything sticking to the bottom.
- As well, be sure to use one deep enough. There are a few layers to consider, so use one that you might use for lasagna.
- You can use garlic powder if you don’t have any fresh garlic.
- Freshly grated cheese from a block is recommended over prepackaged shredded cheese.
- For an extra crispy topping, place the dish under the broiler for a couple of extra minutes. Watch it carefully so that it doesn’t burn.
No. Once you thaw tater tots, they become soggy. Baking them from frozen is not only easier but also helps to keep their shape.
This full and hearty dish is a meal in itself, so I would suggest you don’t need much more than a simple side salad or fruit salad.
Certainly. Bake it and allow it to cool completely. Wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it in the fridge overnight until you’re ready to bake it the next day.
Keep any leftovers of this easy casserole recipe in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the oven or the microwave. The oven is the best way to get back some of the crispy texture of the tater tots.
Need more hearty casseroles? Try this chicken and rice casserole, million dollar spaghetti casserole, or a loaded baked potato casserole.
More Easy Comfort Food Recipes
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Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ onion , diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 cup corn
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt , more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper , more to taste
- 2 cups frozen tater tots
- Sliced scallions , for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish (at least 2 inches deep) with nonstick spray.
- In a skillet, brown the beef over medium-high heat. Drain excess fat. Stir in the onions and sauté 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute more. Stir in cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, corn, 1/2 cup cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium-low heat for a few minutes. Season to taste.
- Spread beef mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and line the tater tots evenly over the top.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until tots are golden brown and cheese is bubbling. Top with sliced scallions.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
I love the layer of the tots on top because they got nice and crispy! thank you so much for sharing this recipe
It’s Tattor Tot “Hotdish” !! Call it by it’s correct name.