Go Back
+ servings
A spoon scooping up Tater Tot Casserole from a skillet with crispy tater tots and ground beef with corn.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 ratings

Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole is a classic comfort food made with a flavorful beefy base, canned or frozen vegetables, cheese, and crispy tater tots. Make it with or without canned soup!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced- any color
  • 2 teaspoons Ketchup
  • 3 teaspoons Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 ½ cups Cheddar Cheese, separated
  • 32 oz. Tater Tots, frozen

For the Gravy/Sauce:

  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Optional

  • 10.5 oz. low sodium cream of mushroom soup

Instructions

Prep Work:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine the gravy/sauce ingredients and set aside. (2 c. beef broth, chicken bouillon, 1 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. onion powder, and ½ tsp. garlic powder.) Set aside.

Prepare the Beef Mixture:

  • Cook/crumble the ground beef with the onions over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Add minced garlic and bell peppers. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain grease well.
  • Season lightly with salt/pepper, ketchup, yellow mustard, and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle flour over the meat mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, until you can no longer smell flour.
  • Add the beef broth mixture in small splashes and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pot, as this will add more flavor to the sauce. Don’t add the liquid too quickly in order to keep the base nice and thick.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Let it thicken and reduce for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Optional: Spread cream of mushroom soup over the top of the beef if preferred.

Assemble Casserole/Bake

  • If your skillet isn’t oven safe, transfer to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with corn, then with 2 cups of the cheese.
  • Top with an even layer of frozen tater tots.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and add additional ½ cup cheese. Bake 5 more minutes.
  • Optional: Garnish with chives and crispy bacon or bacon bits prior to serving.

Notes

Pro Tips
  • Don't bake this any higher than 375°, otherwise the base gets too hot/bubbly and the tater tots sink down into it. (Trust me. 🥴)
  • To control the sodium: Use low sodium broth and soy sauce. The bouillon can be omitted as well, but it does add a nice depth of flavor.
  • Bell Peppers aren't traditionally included in tater tot casserole but they add a nice flavor and texture to the recipe. Feel free to omit if preferred.
  • Canned or frozen green beans or mixed vegetables can also be used instead of corn.
  • Ground turkey can be used instead of ground beef.
  • A variety of cheeses work well in this recipe. Feel free to experiment. Monterey Jack would be an excellent choice as well as some Parmesan or Mozzarella.

Make Ahead Method
Refrigerator (up to 2 days ahead):
  • Prepare the filling, add the vegetables, and add the cheese. Don't add the tater tots. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Cover and bake it at 375° for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add frozen tater tots.
  • Bake it uncovered for 40 minutes. Sprinkle additional 1/2 cup cheese, bake for 5 more minutes. Serve.
Freezer (up to 3 months ahead):
  • Prepare the filling, add the vegetables, and add the cheese. Don't add the tater tots. Cover, label, and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Let it thaw overnight in the fridge. Cover and bake it at 375° for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add frozen tater tots.
  • Bake it uncovered for 40 minutes. Sprinkle additional 1/2 cup cheese, bake for 5 more minutes. Serve.
Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or baked at 350 in a lightly greased/covered casserole dish until heated through. (Amount of time depends on serving size.)

Nutrition

Calories: 627kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 1412mg, Potassium: 962mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1308IU, Vitamin C: 47mg, Calcium: 384mg, Iron: 4mg