This Easy Tater Tot Casserole with ground beef is great for busy weeknights. It’s comfort food at its best that the entire family will enjoy.
This Tater Tot Casserole recipe is layers of flavor that everyone loves, even those picky eaters. Casseroles are classic comfort food that makes the perfect weeknight meal. This recipe serves eight and costs about $13.61 to make, that’s just $1.70 per serving.
Easy Tater Tot Casserole
Growing up, Jess’s mom broke 12 ribs (ouch!) and was on bed rest. Lots of family friends came over to help and brought in meals to our family of eight.
One of the most popular meals brought was a Tater Tot Casserole dish made with ground beef. We had a freezer full! To be honest, this dish was not my favorite. There did not seem to be a lot of flavors within the casserole.
A Tater Tot Casserole is so easy to make, though, so we knew we could put our twist on this classic dish and bring it back to life! We use simple ingredients that are packed with flavor to create a satisfying and quick meal that will quickly become a family favorite.
This Tater Tot Casserole is full of cheesy, savory goodness that friends will LOVE to be given and will give rave reviews over the dish. Your kids will grow up loving this casserole and not moan when you tell them what is for dinner!
Where did Tater Tot casserole come from?
Tater Tot Casserole, known initially as “hotdish,” has its origins in the Midwest, United States. The Midwest is known for some serious comfort foods, so it is no surprise this dish first came from there.
Many still refer to this dish as Cowboy Casserole, White Trash Casserole, or Church Lady Casserole. Either way, we call it delicious!
Can you freeze Tater Tot casserole after you cook it?
Our preferred method of freezing this dish is to prepare as directed in the recipe card up until placing it in the oven. Instead of baking it, wrap it securely with plastic wrap and then tin foil.
Doing this helps avoid freezer burn. Then simply place it in the oven directly from the freezer after removing the plastic wrap and foil to bake.
What can I use if I don’t have a casserole dish?
You do not need to have a casserole dish to make this recipe. You can use a baking pan as an alternative and achieve the same delicious meal.
How much will this Easy TaterTot Casserole recipe cost to make:
RECIPE COST: $13.61
PRICE PER SERVING: $1.70
To find out more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained.
- 2 lbs lean ground beef – $6.02
- 1 yellow onion – $0.62
- 2 garlic cloves – $0.10
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – $0.06
- 1/2 teaspoon salt – $0.01
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper $0.02
- 1 10.75 oz can condensed cream of celery soup – $0.84
- 1 cup sour cream – $1.44
- 16 oz frozen mixed veggies – $1.00
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese – $1.92
- 4-5 cups frozen tater tots – $1.58
How to make Tater Tot Casserole with Ground Beef recipe:
STEPS ONE AND TWO: First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and then grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set the dish aside.
STEPS THREE AND FOUR: Next, brown the ground beef in a large skillet. After browning it, drain the excess fat. Then add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Then stir in the Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Now, transfer the ground beef mixture to the baking dish and spread evenly. After that, mix the condensed soup and sour cream.
STEPS FIVE AND SIX: Spread the mixture over the ground beef, followed by the frozen mixed veggies.
STEPS SEVEN AND EIGHT: Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Top with tater tots.
STEPS 9 AND 10: Finally, bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve immediately.
The Flavor and Recipe Variations
Instead of ground beef, you can use shredded or ground chicken, or ground turkey.
Feel free to use any variety of frozen vegetables. Just make sure you about 16 ounces.
If you’re looking for Southwest flavors, then this Tex-Mex Tater Tot Casserole is a must-try!
How long is it good for:
Serve: As with most recipes with dairy products in them, you shouldn’t leave this casserole out for longer than 2 hours.
Store: Leftover will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Freeze: Because of the sour cream used in the casserole, we do not recommend freezing this casserole. You can, however, use 2 cans of condensed soup instead of 1 can plus 1 cup of sour cream, and then it will be freezer-friendly!
How to get the kids involved with this recipe:
Ages 2-3: Let them help spread out the tater tots on the top layer. They can also help sprinkle on the cheese.
Ages 4-5: Have your kiddo help mix the condensed soup and sour cream together. They can then help spread this over the ground beef.
Ages 6-8: Teach them how to cook and brown the meat.
Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe.
Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!
More Easy Main Dish Ideas:
- American Goulash
- Copycat Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo
- Crockpot White Chicken Chili
- Easy Beef Chili
- Foolproof Grilled Recipes
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts
- Ground Beef and Broccoli Teriyaki
- Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Inside Out Chicken Pot Pie
- Machaca Burritos
- Meatball Subs
- Mexican Chicken Rice Bowls
- One Pan Cheesy Broccoli Chicken
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Slow Cooker Italian Harvest Soup
Tater Tot Casserole
- 9x13-inch pan
- large skillet
- Medium bowl
- Wooden spoon
- mixing spoon
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 10.75 ounces can condensed cream of celery soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 16 ozs frozen mixed veggies thawed
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 4-5 cups frozen tater tots
PREP OVEN AND PAN:
- Move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
MAKE MEAT LAYER:
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and then drain excess fat.
- Add the onion and cook until the onions are translucent for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook while constantly stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.
- Transfer ground beef mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
- In a medium bowl, combine condensed soup and sour cream. Spread over the beef mixture, followed by frozen mixed veggies, followed by the cheddar cheese.
- Finally, top with tater tots.
BAKE AND SERVE:
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until tater tots are golden brown and cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.
This Easy Tater Tot Casserole is great for busy weeknights. It’s comfort food at its best that the entire family will enjoy.