Layer flavorful ground beef, veggies, cheese, cream of chicken soup, and tater tots until hot and bubbly for tater tot casserole the whole family will love!
Depending on where you live, Tater Tot Casserole may also be called Tater Tot Hotdish. No matter what you call it, it’s a family favorite, kid-friendly, weeknight meal that comes together simply and quickly for dinner. It’s easy, creamy and and oh so yummy!
The best part is, this tater tot casserole is so versatile depending on what is in your fridge or pantry! Although, our family loves it with ground beef, canned veggies, cheddar cheese, and tater tots!
Because tater tots are used, preparation is so much faster than if you use homemade mashed potatoes. It’s just pure comfort food at it’s finest.
Tater Tot Casserole Ingredients
One of the great things about this tater tot casserole is the protein, starch and vegetable all cook together. As a result, you do not need to find additional sides to serve with this dish.
For easy fry preparation, I use frozen Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Tater Tots. I love the convenience of using frozen tater tots. Additionally, this tater tot variety has great texture and flavor. Plus, I find they tend to stay crispier than other brands.
Typically, our family will only add one type of vegetable to this casserole. Although, you could also mix and match them like I did with the peas and carrots. Other veggie ideas include:
- Green Beans
Additionally, you can use fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables! To really keep this pantry friendly, we love using fresh or frozen vegetables, especially because it makes preparation even faster.
Even if you decide to use fresh vegetables, there is no need to pre-cook them. Instead, dice them fairly small and they’ll cook through in the oven.
Cream of Chicken Soup
So, why this casserole is so comforting? It’s because of the cream of chicken soup. Basically, it’s the key ingredient that ties everything together. Plus, it gives it a creamy texture and depth of flavor. I mean, would it really be a casserole without condensed soup?
TIP: Check for the case lot sales at your local grocery store, and stock up on cream of chicken soup when it’s on sale!
To bring everything together, the cream of chicken soup to is added to the beef/veggie mixture and on top of the potatoes. This keeps the beef moist as it cooks, and it adds flavor to the tater tots.
Tater Tot Casserole Preparation Tips
For this recipe, I recommend 2.5 Quart Casserole Dish. This size allows all the Tater Tot Casserole ingredients to spread out and cook evenly.
This may be obvious, but be sure to cook your spices with the ground meat. If you want to add the spices later, the flavor will not be as strong. In fact, once I learned this from my dad, I always add spices while my ground beef is cooking instead of after the fact.
To stretch the meal even further, feel free to add additional vegetables to the ground beef mixture. Plus, this will add even more nutrients to the meal.
To ensure you have crispy tater tots, be sure to add them in a single layer. If you stack the tater tots, they may turn mushy underneath. So, be strategic about your placement, and you’ll be able to fit them all in a single layer.
Want More Easy Casserole Recipes?
Growing up, this was one of the first ways my parents found to encourage me to eat vegetables. And, it would be a great way to encourage yours to eat them too. Plus, your kids could help you layer the tater tots on top of the casserole. How fun would that be? I hope this tater tot casserole becomes a family favorite for you too!
If you love this casserole, you should check out some of my other tried-and-true recipes:
- Dad’s Beef Spanish Rice (one of the most popular recipes, to date!)
- Dinner in a Pumpkin (Pumpkin Casserole)
- Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake (a. k. a. Chicken Harris)
Or check out all my other main dish recipes here.
Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, Ground
- 10.75 oz Cream of Chicken Soup (1 can)
- 12 oz Frozen Pea and Carrots
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese Grated
- 16 oz Tater Tots (Ore Ida)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a 12" skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper until beef is browned. Using a colander, drain any excess grease.
- Mix vegetables and 1/2 of the canned cream of chicken soup with the ground beef.
- Add the ground beef mixture to the bottom of a casserole dish in an even layer.
- Add 1/2 cup cheese over the ground beef and vegetables.
- In a single layer, layer tater tots on top of the cheese. Spread the remaining cream of chicken soup on top of the tater tots.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Add remaining cheese on top of the casserole, and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and starts to bubble on the outer edges.