Tater Tot Casserole is a classic comfort food made with ground beef, tater tots, cheesy and a creamy beef sauce topped with cheese.
BEST Tater Tot Casserole
Tater tots may not be the most reached for dinner item out of your freezer but this tater tot casserole is so easy it just may change that! We have almost a dozen tater tot casserole recipes on the site to choose from, so make the original, then get playful. Try a Big Mac Tater Tot Casserole or a Chicken Bacon Ranch one! See all of them here: Tater Tot Casserole Recipes.
Where did Tater Tot casserole come from?
Originally the dish was created in the midwest and was referred to as a hotdish. This version skips the frozen vegetables that the classic recipe calls for and sticks to just crisped tater tots and melted cheese and flavorful beef.
Tater Tot Casserole is a quick and easy casserole that is classically made using cream of chicken/cream of mushroom soups. While I could’ve used our homemade versions for chicken and mushroom, I went with an easy béchamel sauce with beef broth.
Tater Tot Casserole with Cream of Chicken Soup is an old classic option. You can certainly use cream of chicken soup but with just the oil in the pan from the beef, some flour, beef broth and milk you can make a significantly more delicious homemade version.
FAQs and Cooking Alternatives:
Can you freeze Tater Tot casserole?
This recipe is so easy to make, and you can meal prep it for later with no adjustments! Just assemble as you would before putting it in the oven but wrap it and put it in the freezer. Add an additional 15 minutes of cook time and you’re good to go!
Can you prep the casserole ahead of time?
Assemble the casserole, bring to room temperature then cover and store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before baking.
MORE TATER TOT CASSEROLE RECIPES:
Can you swap for other ground meats?
Absolutely you can swap ground chicken, turkey, pork or crumbled extra firm tofu. If you’d like to use another protein you can also swap it for a bean mixture (which is delicious with chili seasoning).
How long do you cook a Tater Tot casserole for?
The beef mixture is cooked first before baking, but once in the oven the casserole is in the oven for 45 minutes.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Add the ingredients as directed in the recipe.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
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Tater Tot Casserole Flavor Variations:
- Tater Tot Casserole with Veggies: If you’d like to add vegetables you can use frozen corn, carrots and peas and layer them on top of the beef but below the cheese. Add an additional 10 minutes of cooking time to account for the frozen vegetables.
- Tater Tot Casserole with Corn: An easy addition, add the corn to the onions in the final couple of minutes to warm them through and bake the casserole as directed with no additional cooking time.
- Mexican Tater Tot Casserole: Flavor the ground beef with a packet of Taco Seasoning. Add corn, beans, canned chilis and salsa to the top of the beef (quantities as desired) and bake for an additional 10 minutes of cooking time to account for the increased volume of food. For an even more flavorful swap use pepper jack instead of or in addition to cheddar cheese.
- Tater Tot Casserole with Bacon: Cook the bacon separately and chop into pieces. Add the bacon to the beef mixture. Swap the milk for ketchup for a sweet and salty option or you can keep the milk if you prefer a more classic flavor.
- Tater Tot Casserole Breakfast: Instead of beef and onions, mix 8 eggs and a ½ cup of milk to the 9×13 pan. Cover with bacon or sausage crumbles, cheese and tater tots and bake for 45 minutes.
MORE GROUND BEEF CASSEROLES
HOW TO STORE TATER TOT CASSEROLE
- Serve: Don’t leave at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: Once cooled, you can store it in the fridge. Kept in an airtight container it will stay good for 3-4 days.
- Freeze: This recipe can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 2 pounds ground beef , (80/20)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
- 32 ounces frozen tater tots
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the ground beef, salt and pepper to a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the ground beef and add in the onions, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until softened.
- Add in the flour and whisk for 15 seconds before adding in the beef broth, whole milk and Worcestershire sauce.
- Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until thickened, add the beef back in and stir until combined.
- In a 9x13 pan layer the beef, then the cheese and finally line up the tater tots before baking for 45 minutes.