Taco Tater Tot Casserole is a weeknight dinner the whole family will love! Taco meat casserole with crispy tater tots and smothered with cheddar cheese.
Easy one dish casseroles are among the most popular Dinner Recipes on the internet because of their ease to make and their easy cleanup. This recipe puts a delicious southwestern spin on Tater Tot Casserole that your kids won’t be able to resist!
TACO TATER TOT CASSEROLE
If you are craving Mexican food but want the simplicity of a casserole dish, this Taco Tater Tot Casserole is the easy recipe for you! In the oven in minutes and with flavors your family loves, this Mexican food inspired main dish is sure to be a favorite weeknight meal you’ll be making all the time.
The best part about Tater Tot Casseroles, besides the crispy tots, is that you can easily change ingredients up for whatever you are in the mood for. You can use other ground meat instead of ground beef, load it with your favorite toppings, or even swap tater tots for hash browns.
This Taco Tater Tot Casserole is such an easy recipe with just ground beef, Homemade Taco Seasoning, frozen crispy tater tots, and shredded cheddar cheese. You can top it with all your favorite taco toppings like Guacamole, diced jalapeños, Salsa, and sour cream.
Make this dish for potlucks, weeknight dinners, or freeze ahead for a casserole whenever you need a quick meal. This is an easy recipe to double, or make one version like the recipe and a second with one of the many variations below. It freezes really well or can be store in the refrigerator a few days before you need to bake it.
For a full Mexican dinner feast, serve your Taco Tater Tot Casserole with a side of Black Beans and Spanish Rice. To make a saucier version of this casserole mix in a cup of Enchilada Sauce to your ground beef mixture and serve a little extra sauce on the side.
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HOW TO MAKE TACO TATER TOT CASSEROLE
- Tater Tots: You can do one layer or two, we use one as the bottom layer will get mushy. Toss your tots with a bit of oil and seasoning to add extra flavor too!
- Beef Filling: You can add extra bulk here with beans or other vegetables if you’d like. Just be sure to keep the filling saucy so it doesn’t dry out in the oven.
- Toppings: Don’t add your toppings until you’re ready to serve or the tots will become soggy.
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VARIATIONS ON TACO TATER TOT CASSEROLE
- Meat: Instead of ground beef, you can use other meat like ground turkey or ground chicken. For a healthier taco casserole, try grilled chicken simmered in the taco seasoning.
- Potatoes: This recipe uses frozen tater tots, but you can also use hash browns or veggie tater tots. You can top it with chopped corn tortillas or corn chips, just bake the taco meat for about 20 minutes before adding the tortillas or chips so they don’t burn.
- Cheese: Use your favorite shredded cheeses like Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or a Mexican cheese blend. For more cheesy goodness, drizzle with melted Nacho Cheese when serving.
- Veggies: Add a layer of canned Mexican corn or your favorite sautéed fajita veggies like bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes before adding the tater tots.
- Beans: Make this a vegetarian Mexican casserole by using black beans and corn instead of ground beef. Or spread a thin layer of black beans on bottom of the casserole dish before adding beef mixture for a heartier meal.
- Spicy: There are a few ways to bring heat to this Taco Tater Tot Casserole. Add diced green chiles, cayenne pepper, or fresh diced jalapeños to the beef mixture to really give it a kick.
Can you make Taco Tater Tot Casserole Ahead?
To make this dish ahead of time, cook the taco meat per the recipe instructions and spread in the casserole dish. Cover with tater tots and shredded cheddar cheese. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 2 months, tightly sealed with plastic wrap and foil. Remove plastic wrap and bake at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes longer than recipe calls for.
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HOW TO STORE TACO TATER TOT CASSEROLE
- Serve: This dish can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Cool your Taco Tater Tot Casserole completely before storing.
- Store: Keep your tater tot casserole in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
- Freeze: Freeze Taco Tater Tot Casserole for up to 2 months wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and covered with foil.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons taco seasoning , or 2 packets taco seasoning mix
- 2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 package frozen tater tots , 16 ounces
- Preheat an oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until completely browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Whisk the water and 3 tablespoons of the taco seasoning together and add to the pan, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes until most of the water is gone.
- Put the meat mixture into the bottom of your casserole dish.
- Toss the tater tots with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and the remaining taco seasoning sprinkled over them evenly.
- Cover with the meat mixture with cheese, then line up the tater tots on top in rows.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown.