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The Best Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

Do you love cheeseburgers and tater tots? Well, then you will love this delicious casserole made with simple ingredients.

The easy and best tater tot casserole recipe is the perfect weeknight meal–an easy dinner to make, a family favorite, and kid-friendly. (Got picky kids? They will love this).

Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover hamburger meat.

So give this casserole a try–I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Easy Weeknight Dinner For The Whole Family

Tater tot casserole in a dish and on a plate

This is the best cheeseburger tater tot casserole recipe out there. It’s easy to make, will feed the entire family, and everyone will love it.

If you add veggies to the lineup, you’ve just about hit every food group in one dish. 

And, did I mention it’s a super easy casserole recipe? It’s a simple and hearty casserole.

Casseroles – Classic Comfort Food

Casseroles are easy to make and we make a lot around here, and this cheeseburger tater tot casserole is always devoured by both of my kids and husband.

We crave the main dish on a regular basis.

Hamburger tater tot casseroles are perfect for when you’re running around picking up kids, as well as going to tutoring, music lessons, or after-school sports because you can make the meal ahead of time, add the tater tots right before cooking, and have dinner ready in less than an hour.

Making this tater tot casserole recipe will keep you out of the kitchen on those nights when you’re tired or short on time.

And, you’ll love it so much that you’ll want to add this great recipe to your dinner rotation.

What Ingredients Do I Need To Make The Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole?

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card

  • Oven
  • 9″ x 13″ casserole dish
  • Butter
  • Ground beef
  • 1 bag of tater tots
  • Onion
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Milk
  • Sour cream
  • Garlic salt
  • Skillet
  • Stovetop
  • Large bowl
  • Large spoon for mixing
  • Non-stick spray
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Optional Ingredients

If you want to change the flavor now and again here are a few additional ingredients.

  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Garlic powder or freshly minced garlic
  • Onion powder (if you don’t have any onions on hand to dice)
  • Cayenne pepper for a little spiciness.
Tater tot casserole in a casserole dish

How Do I Make The Best Tater Tot Casserole?

  1. Heat oven to 350-degrees.
  2. Add a tablespoon of butter to a saucepan and allow it to melt.
  3. Next, add the fresh onions and cook until they are golden brown. Add the ground beef and cook until done. Drain the grease.
  4. Once drained, add the ground beef and onions to a large bowl.
  5. Next, add the salt, pepper, garlic salt, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, shredded cheddar cheese, and milk. Mix well.
  6. Pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ casserole dish.
  7. Top with an even layer of tater tots.
  8. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Tater Tot Casserole With Ground Beef

Meat cooking in a cast iron skillet with onions

Begin by adding a tablespoon of butter to a large skillet, on medium heat. Next, add the onions and cook until they are golden brown.

Then, add the ground beef and cook until done.

If you want to make things a little less fattening, you can use extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey for the recipe.

Cooked meat in a large glass bowl

Drain the grease off of the meat and transfer the meat to a large heat-safe bowl.

I used a super large mixing bowl for this recipe so I wasn’t knocking stuff out of the side when mixing everything together.

Ground beef in a large glass bowl with sour cream

Add the salt, pepper, garlic salt, and the sour cream to the bowl.

Ground beef, cream of chicken soup, and sour cream in a large glass bowl

Now, add the cream of chicken soup.

If you are like me and forget certain items at the store, here’s a great homemade recipe for condensed cream of chicken soup. 

Shredded cheddar cheese, ground beef, cream of chicken soup, and sour cream in a large bowl.

The shredded cheddar cheese is next.

I like to use sharp cheddar cheese, but you can use mild as well.

And, if you love cheese, feel free to add lots of cheddar cheese. (You can never have enough in my opinion).

Milk being poured into a bowl with ground beef casserole ingredients.

Pour the milk into the bowl.

Ground beef casserole mixed up in a large glass bowl

Mix the ingredients.

If you’d like to add vegetables to the dish, now is the time.

One to two cups of frozen veggies will be plenty. We’ve added mixed veggies or just green peas to the dish for more nutritional value.

Tater tot casserole spread out in a casserole dish

Pour the cheesy tater tot casserole into the dish and spread it out.

I used some non-stick cooking spray before adding the casserole to the dish to keep it from sticking.

Tater tots on top of ground beef in a casserole dish

Top the ground beef mixture with the bag of tater tots.

I pretty much had the perfect amount of tater tots from one bag to add to the top of the casserole dish.

You don’t have to line these up, either.

I did it to make it look pretty, but most of the time, I just dump them on and spread them out so they aren’t sitting on top of each other while they cook.

Baked tater tot casserole in a casserole dish next to a red plate

Place the easy tater tot casserole into the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until the dish is bubbly and the tater tots are golden brown.

If you’d really like to have toasty tater tots, you can turn the oven to broil for the last five minutes.

But, watch closely because they can burn fast.

Optional Vegetables To Add To The Easy Recipe (Or As A Side Dish)

  • Green beans
  • Corn
  • Diced bell peppers
  • Green onions
  • Mixed veggies

How To Store The Casserole

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Covering with Saran Wrap or aluminum foil will work as well as an airtight container (just don’t reheat in the microwave with the aluminum foil).

Freezer Meal

One of the things I like about this casserole recipe is that you can make it and freeze it for a couple of months.

When you’re ready, take the dish out of the freezer, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for at least 10-12 hours.

Then, add the tater tots on top and bake as usual.

What Food Goes With Tater Tot Casserole?

There are a dishes that go well with this dish. You can add vegetables to the dish, or eat them on the side. Green beans and bacon, roasted vegetables, salad, and roasted baby carrots are some great choices.

How Do You Make Tater Tots Extra Crispy?

After the recipe has cooked for the allotted time, turn the oven on broil for the last few minutes. Cooking on broil will get the tater tots crispy. Just be sure to stay close, as they will crisp very fast and you don’t want them to burn.

Where Did Tater Tot Casserole Come From?

I’ve heard that tater tot casserole came from the Midwest region. But, we sure love it in the south, or anywhere for that matter.

A large scoop of tater tot casserole on a red plate

This is one of my favorite dishes because it’s so simple to make and very flavorful.

It’s a great dish for a crowd or teenagers. I have two teenage boys and we ate plenty and still had leftovers.

And, the recipe is fantastic reheated the next day, as well.

If you’re not a big fan of cheese, then leave out the shredded cheese and opt for good old fashioned hamburger tater tot casserole.

Tater tot casserole on a red plate next to a casserole dish

More Dinner Casseroles That You Will Love

Casserole recipes are always a great choice for busy nights.

You can make them ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze them, and then cook them when you’re ready on those busy weeknights.

Plus, they are versatile and you can adjust them for your picky eaters.

Tater tots and meat on a plate.

Easy Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

You can never go wrong with a classic tater tot casserole.

This family favorite is easy to make and satisfies the taste buds of all ages.

Whether you’re looking for easy dinner recipes or something to bring to your next potluck, this dish will be sure to please everyone.

Get our tater tot casserole recipe here, grab your handful of ingredients, and get started!

Tater tot casserole in a casserole dish

Tater Tot Casserole

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This is the best tater tot casserole recipe out there. It's easy to make, will feed the entire family, and everyone will love it. If you add veggies to the lineup, you've just about hit every food group in one dish. 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • pinch salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 10.5 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 28 ounce bag frozen tater tots

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350-degrees and grease a 9" x 13" casserole dish.

  1. Add the butter to the skillet, on medium heat, and let it melt. Now, add the diced onions and cook until they are golden brown.
  2. Next, add the ground beef and cook until done. Drain the grease and add to a large bowl.
  3. Now, add the salt, pepper, garlic salt, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, shredded cheddar cheese, and milk. Give it all a good stir.
  4. Pour ground beef mixture into the greased casserole dish and spread to the edges.
  5. Top with the entire bag of tater tots.
  6. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown.

Notes

To get extra crispy tater tots, turn the oven on broil for the last five minutes. You'll have some delicious golden tater tots.

Keep leftovers in an airtight container, or cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 533Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1177mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 26g

Nutrition is approximate.

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