This classic comfort food has a super creamy filling loaded with lots of beef, vegetables, cheese, and is topped off with golden, crispy tater tots. It's cheap, it's easy, it's Tater Tot Casserole.
Why you'll love this recipe
Let's take a moment to appreciate how this is the best weeknight dinner (especially for busy nights). This recipe takes less than one hour- and 30 minutes of that is in the oven! It also has the three main food groups: protein, vegetables, and cheese- you won't even need a side dish!
What makes this recipe truly great is the simple ingredients. No chopping, no peeling, no shredding, just brown the beef and mix it up.
Love easy and cheesy like I do?? Check out Cheesy Hash Browns and Mom's Lasagna!
Like all things great, this casserole, or hotdish, started in the Midwest- Minnesota to be exact. Dating back to the 1930s, this dish started out as a starch, meat, and vegetables (macaroni, hamburger, and peas). It has since evolved into something much greater- a memorable dish that's passed down for generations.
Check out these other great Midwestern recipes like Maid-Rites, Buckeyes, and Beer Cheese Dip!
For this cheesy tater tot hotdish recipe, you'll need these super simple and easy to find ingredients:
- Ground beef
- Tater tots
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Green beans
- Minced onion
- Salt & pepper
Begin this recipe by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook the ground beef. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the beef, corn, green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and seasonings.
Some recipes call for layering the beef, vegetables, and soup. By combining all of the ingredients, you're left with a more flavorful, creamier casserole.
Spread this mixture into a 9 x 13, or 3-quart, baking dish. Cover with shredded cheese and arrange the tater tots on top. Pack on as many tater tots as you can- we can't skimp on the golden, crispy tots!
Pro Tip: Put the tater tots on top of the cheese, so they get nice and crispy! This also helps the cheese stay extra gooey.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until hot and the tater tots are crispy. The tater tot packaging may have a different oven temperature- don't be tempted to increase the heat! We want the inside to heat up well while crisping up the tater tots.
If the tater tots do not crisp up enough, broil the casserole. Do not leave it unattended! I set my timer for 1 minute and check it often. I've over-broiled a few things and they did not turn out pretty!
- To make this cheesy casserole even cheesier, swap out one or both cans of cream of mushroom soup with condensed cheddar cheese soup.
- Cream of celery, cream of chicken, or cream of bacon (if you can find it) would make great alternatives.
- Canned corn and green beans can be substituted for frozen corn and green beans.
- Shredded Colby Jack is also great for this dish.
Make it ahead of time
One of my favorite things about casseroles is that most of them can be made ahead of time. Prepare the filling, add the cheese, but don't add the tater tots.
Cover tater tot casserole and refrigerate for up to two days. When you're ready to bake it, let it sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. Add the tater tots and bake as directed.
Tips & tricks
Make sure the veggies are thawed. The corn and green beans should be fully thawed, otherwise, it can throw off the bake time and you'll be left with still-crunchy veggies. Bleh!
Thaw them in the microwave (if the package is microwave safe) or put the bags in your refrigerator overnight. Oftentimes, I'll put the veggies in a strainer and run them under cold water for a few minutes. Does the trick every time!
- Baking Dish. This casserole fits so well in the larger size dish!
- Rotary Cheese Grater. Quickly and easily shred fresh cheese with a rotary cheese grater. No more sliced knuckles!
Storing and reheating
Refrigerator: Cover with foil or store in an airtight container for up to five days.
Freezer: Freeze in an airtight container for up to three months.
Thaw: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Reheat: Get your portion, cover, and microwave until hot.
More easy casseroles
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Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 lb ground hamburger
- 2 10.5-oz cream of mushroom soup
- 1 teaspoon minced onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 12 oz corn thawed
- 12 oz green beans thawed
- 16 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 32 oz frozen tater tots
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Brown the beef. Combine beef, corn, green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and seasonings.
- Spread in a 9 x 13 (3-quart) baking dish.
- Cover with shredded cheese and arrange tater tots on top.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until hot and tater tots are crispy.
The nutritional information provided is only an estimate. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
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