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Easy Tater Tot Casserole

This easy tater tot casserole is layered with a creamy ground beef sauce, melted cheese and crispy tater tots. This simple comfort food dinner is a family favorite!

A hearty casserole recipe is such a satisfying meal! Along with this tater tot hot dish, we love baked macaroni and cheese and chicken and rice casserole, too!

Tater tot casserole in a glass dish with a spoon.
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A Family Favorite Meal

This tater tot casserole is loaded with fluffy tater tots, savory ground beef, cream of mushroom soup and gooey melted cheese. The best part is how easy it is to throw together – it’s a great weeknight dinner recipe when you need simple comfort food.

If you’ve had my tater tot breakfast casserole, you’ll know what a fun addition tater tots are to any casserole. Kids love it, which is great because it’s an easy recipe to sneak in some extra veggies just like with chicken divan casserole.

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.

Recipe Ingredients

Tater tot casserole ingredients on the counter.

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 and sour cream: Adding both to the beef gives it a creamy texture and delicious flavor.
  • Corn: I love adding corn to my easy tater tot casserole, but you could easily add sliced mushrooms, peas or carrots.
  • Cheddar cheese: Freshly grated cheddar cheese gets added to the creamy beef mixture and a layer on top!
  • Worcestershire sauce: Adds more flavor to the base of the casserole giving it a salty, savory, umami element.
  • Frozen tater tots: No need to thaw them first, add them as is.

Substitutions and Variations

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!

  • 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 Easy Tater Tot Casserole

Showing how to make tater tot casserole in a 4 step collage.
  • Prepare the beef mixture. Brown the beef and drain excess grease, sauté onions and garlic. Stir in the cream of mushroom, sour cream, corn, 1/2 cup of cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper then bring to a simmer.
  • Assemble. Transfer 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 tater tots in a single layer over the cheese.
  • Bake. Place 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!

Expert Tips

  • 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.
Tater tot casserole in a glass baking dish.

Recipe FAQs

Should I thaw the tater tots first?

No. Once you thaw tater tots, they become soggy. Baking them from frozen is not only easier but also helps to keep their shape.

Should I cover the casserole dish with foil?

No, it’s not necessary unless you feel like your tater tots are drying out.

What to serve with easy tater tot casserole?

This is a full and hearty easy dinner recipe in itself, so I would suggest you don’t need much more than a simple side salad, sauteed green beans or fruit salad.

Can I make this ahead?

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.

Storing

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 for easy dinners. The oven is the best way to get back some of the crispy texture of the tater tots.

Easy tater tot casserole in a glass dish with spoon.

Need more comfort food recipes? Try homemade meatloaf, beef stroganoff, hamburger helper or goulash!

More Easy Casserole Recipes

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Easy tater tot casserole in a glass dish with spoon.

Easy Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

5 from 11 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This easy tater tot casserole is layered with a creamy ground beef sauce, melted cheese and crispy tater tots. This simple comfort food dinner is a family favorite!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Video

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Vegetables: This dish is easy to sneak in more vegetables. You can add a layer of green beans before you add the cheese. You could also add in sliced mushrooms, or cook a diced bell pepper with the onions. 
Make ahead: This dish can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Simply cover and refrigerate before baking. This also makes a great dish to bake and serve throughout the week. 
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1278mg | Potassium: 656mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 871IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 315mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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