Tater Tot Casserole

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Tater Tot Casserole is a classic comfort food made with ground beef, tater tots, cheesy and a creamy beef sauce topped with cheese.

We love comfort food and this tater tot casserole is a classic comfort food favorite with no canned soups. Looking for more classic recipes we love Ultimate Sloppy Joes and Pepperoni Pizza Hamburger Helper too!

Tater Tot Casserole 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!

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 slice

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.

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.

Tater Tot Beef Bake

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.

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Cheesy Tater Tot Bake

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 pepperjack 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 1/2 cup of milk to the 9×13 pan. Cover with bacon or sausage crumbles, cheese and tater tots and bake for 45 minutes.

Tater Tot Beef Bake in Pan

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Tater Tot Casserole

  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Course: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: American
Tater Tot Casserole made with ground beef, tater tots, cheesy and a creamy beef sauce topped with cheese.


  • 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


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 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.

  3. Remove the ground beef and add in the onions, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until softened.

  4. Add in the flour and whisk for 15 seconds before adding in the beef broth, whole milk and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until thickened, add the beef back in and stir until combined.

  6. In a 9x13 pan layer the beef, then the cheese and finally line up the tater tots before baking for 45 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 servings, Amount per serving: 422 calories, Calories: 422g, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 110mg, Sodium: 533mg, Potassium: 397mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 5.9g, Vitamin C: 1.6g, Calcium: 24g, Iron: 14.8g

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  1. I’m sure you thought of this, but I’d cook the onion with the hamburger. When it’s done, sprinkle the mixture with flour until coated then add the broth, milk & Worcestershire sauce. It would be a bit easier & there would be one less dish to wash.

  2. This looks good will have to make it. Need to only do half or spoon half in another dish and freeze. There is only 3 of us, most dishes are more than we need for one time.

  3. Leaving a comment because it didn’t appear that anyone had actually made it. Lots of opinions, “this sounds great, I need to make it” and a five star rating. I will be the first to admit I’m not a fan of these kind of casseroles but this one really delivered. I needed something quick and simple on a busy night and this did the trick. I made the basic recipe and added a can of drained corn. It was really good, pure comfort food. I’ll make this again.

  4. This was the first tater tot casserole I have made. It was delicious. I used venison and added drained corn and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.

    Rating: 5
  5. I made this for dinner tonight. It was outstanding! The creamy beef sauce is so much better than a canned soup! Quick, easy, and delicious.

    Rating: 5
  6. I’m baking it in the oven right now,smells delicious and was pretty easy to put together, I want to eat it now but need it for a funeral tomorrow morning . I won’t have time to cook tomorrow so hoping it’ll reheat well. What temp should I use? 350… time? Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ll share pics and taste tests later ?

  7. So good. My son loved it. I cooked the onions with the beef. I drained the fat and sprinkled flour on top and added the milk and thickened. This will be a staple dinner in my house. Thank you.

  8. Fabulous comfort food. Nostalgic of poutine and shepherds pie but one of the easiest recipes I have tried ever. Made ahead and refrigerated before cooking which worked great. This one is a new regular.

  9. I made this today, and cut recipe in half as there are only 2 of us. I used almond flour, and skipped the milk. Added peas as suggested. This dish came out so good. I will plan to make again.