BEST Tater Tot Casserole Recipe How We Make 2021

BEST Tater Tot Casserole Recipe How We Make 2021

Truly the BEST Tater Tot Casserole recipe around! Layers of amazing flavor combine for an easy and delicious dinner any night of the week! This fantastic casserole recipe will quickly become a family favorite! Love casseroles as much as we do? Make sure to try this Twice Baked Potato Casserole and Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole soon!

Best Tater Tot Casserole

Easy dinners are my favorite and  I’m a big fan of casseroles, as you well know 🙂 As a mom with two active boys, I’m all about fast and easy dinners that my boys will actually eat. The boys play sports year-round and with me or my husband always running in run direction or another with various practices, our family relies on recipes like this delicious and easy Tater Tot Casserole.

I love this easy tater tot casserole recipe because it takes only a handful of ingredients and most can be found in my pantry. I frequently have ground beef and tater tots in the freezer so this meal is one I can pull together quickly and easily.

You may have a Tater Tot Casserole before and chances are you were less than impressed. There are so many variations out there but I truly believe that this one is the best.

I make my tater casserole with green beans but if I don’t have those on hand, my second favorite is a tater tot casserole with corn. Both are delicious!

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1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 c. medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb. ground beef
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 c. grated cheddar, divided
1 1/2 c. frozen peas
1 1/2 c. frozen corn
1 lb. frozen tater tots
3 slices cooked bacon, cut into 1/2″ strips
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425º. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions and cook until softened, 3 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Add ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until no pink remains 6 minutes. Drain fat from skillet and return to heat.
  3. Add cayenne and flour and stir for 1 minute. Pour in broth, then bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Fold in 1 cup cheese, peas, and corn.
  4. Transfer meat mixture to a 9″-x-13″ baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese and scatter tater tots and bacon in a single layer over the beef filling. Bake until cheese is melted and tots are golden, 27 to 30 minutes.
  5. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes and garnish with scallions before serving.

What Ingredients Are In a Tater Tot Casserole

I start with really lean ground beef and brown it nicely before adding in diced onion and garlic. I season with salt and pepper and add some Worcestershire sauce before throwing it all into a prepared casserole dish. Now it’s time for the easy layers. A can of cream of mushroom soup goes on next. Please, use the “healthy” or “low-sodium” option. (This tater tot casserole with cream of chicken is also a good option.)

Next, a can of green beans and again, low-sodium works perfectly. Finally, lots of cheddar cheese followed by the frozen tater tots. It really is that simple.

Now, here’s the trick: season every single layer as needed. If you were serving green beans by themselves, you’d season them, right? So do it for the casserole too! The worst thing that can happen is taking a bite of a casserole and thinking it’s bland – yuck!

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I don’t add cheese to the top because I want those tater tots perfectly crisp and crunchy. It’s essential to the overall texture of this casserole. Season the tater tots when the casserole is removed from the oven and get ready to enjoy a delicious dinner!

What You Need To Make This Tater Tot Casserole

  • With all those layers you need at least a 2-inch deep 8 or 9-inch baking dish. Square, round, oblong – doesn’t matter!
  • You don’t want large pieces of garlic in this casserole so you can either buy minced garlic or use a garlic press. This is the one my husband bought me for Christmas and I love it!
  • I think freshly grated cheese makes the cheese melt so much nicer so grab a cheese grater and get to work!
  • When dinner is this is, I think clean-up should be too! Make sure to spray your baking dish with a good quality non-stick cooking spray before assembling your casserole.
Tater Tot Casserole
Tater Tot Casserole

What goes well with Tater Tot casserole?

What side do dishes go well with this casserole? All you need to turn this casserole into a whole meal is a salad and garlic bread or breadsticks. My skillet focaccia works well too! I like to serve it with my Easy Broccoli Salad, Perfect Caesar Salad, or Cucumber Tomato Salad.

How do I make my tater tots crispy?

I toss the tater tots with the melted bacon drippings and then give it a sprinkle of seasoned salt. They bake – or oven fries at a high temperature. I flip them over about halfway through cooking. They come out so crunchy and so delicious.

Where did Tater Tot casserole come from?

Tator Tot casserole or “hotdish” finds its origins in the Midwest United States. This casserole is also affectionately known by many as White Trash Casserole or Church Lady Casserole. It is said that there are as many different ways of making a Tater Tot Hotdish as there are Minnesotans that make it.

Can you cook Tater Tots in a skillet?

If frying, add tater tots in oil heated to 375 in small batches for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown. remove from oil and set on top of a paper towel.

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