Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole is a classic comfort food made with ground beef, tater tots, cheesy and a creamy beef sauce topped with cheese.

We love comfort food and this tater tot casserole is a classic comfort food favorite with no canned soups. Looking for more classic recipes we love Ultimate Sloppy Joes and Classic Beef Meatloaf.

Tater Tot Casserole
 BEST Tater Tot Casserole

Tater tots may not be the most reached for dinner item out of your freezer but this tater tot casserole is so easy it just may change that! We have almost a dozen tater tot casserole recipes on the site to choose from, so make the original, then get playful. Try a Big Mac Tater Tot Casserole or a Chicken Bacon Ranch one! See all of them here: Tater Tot Casserole Recipes.

Where did Tater Tot casserole come from?

Originally the dish was created in the midwest and was referred to as a hotdish. This version skips the frozen vegetables that the classic recipe calls for and sticks to just crisped tater tots and melted cheese and flavorful beef.

Tater Tot Casserole is a quick and easy casserole that is classically made using cream of chicken/cream of mushroom soups. While I could’ve used our homemade versions for chicken and mushroom, I went with an easy béchamel sauce with beef broth.

Tater Tot Casserole slice

Tater Tot Casserole with Cream of Chicken Soup is an old classic option. You can certainly use cream of chicken soup but with just the oil in the pan from the beef, some flour, beef broth and milk you can make a significantly more delicious homemade version.

FAQs and Cooking Alternatives:

Can you freeze Tater Tot casserole?

This recipe is so easy to make, and you can meal prep it for later with no adjustments! Just assemble as you would before putting it in the oven but wrap it and put it in the freezer. Add an additional 15 minutes of cook time and you’re good to go!

Can you prep the casserole ahead of time?

Assemble the casserole, bring to room temperature then cover and store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before baking.


Can you swap for other ground meats?

Absolutely you can swap ground chicken, turkey, pork or crumbled extra firm tofu. If you’d like to use another protein you can also swap it for a bean mixture (which is delicious with chili seasoning).

How long do you cook a Tater Tot casserole for?

The beef mixture is cooked first before baking, but once in the oven the casserole is in the oven for 45 minutes.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Add the ingredients as directed in the recipe. 
  • Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Tater Tot Beef Bake

Cheesy Tater Tot Bake

Tater Tot Casserole Flavor Variations:

  • Tater Tot Casserole with Veggies: If you’d like to add vegetables you can use frozen corn, carrots and peas and layer them on top of the beef but below the cheese. Add an additional 10 minutes of cooking time to account for the frozen vegetables.
  • Tater Tot Casserole with Corn: An easy addition, add the corn to the onions in the final couple of minutes to warm them through and bake the casserole as directed with no additional cooking time.
  • Mexican Tater Tot Casserole: Flavor the ground beef with a packet of Taco Seasoning. Add corn, beans, canned chilis and salsa to the top of the beef (quantities as desired) and bake for an additional 10 minutes of cooking time to account for the increased volume of food. For an even more flavorful swap use pepper jack instead of or in addition to cheddar cheese.
  • Tater Tot Casserole with Bacon: Cook the bacon separately and chop into pieces. Add the bacon to the beef mixture. Swap the milk for ketchup for a sweet and salty option or you can keep the milk if you prefer a more classic flavor.
  • Tater Tot Casserole Breakfast: Instead of beef and onions, mix 8 eggs and a 1/2 cup of milk to the 9×13 pan. Cover with bacon or sausage crumbles, cheese and tater tots and bake for 45 minutes.



  • Serve: Don’t leave at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: Once cooled, you can store it in the fridge. Kept in an airtight container it will stay good for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: This recipe can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Tater Tot Beef Bake in Pan

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe
Tater Tot Beef Bake
4.96 from 24 votes

Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole made with ground beef, tater tots, cheesy and a creamy beef sauce topped with cheese.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, cheese, comfort food, meat, potatoes, Tater Tot Casserole, tater tots
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 422 kcal
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 pounds ground beef , (80/20)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 32 ounces frozen tater tots


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper to a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes.

  3. Remove the ground beef and add in the onions, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until softened.

  4. Add in the flour and whisk for 15 seconds before adding in the beef broth, whole milk and Worcestershire sauce.

  5. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until thickened, add the beef back in and stir until combined.

  6. In a 9x13 pan layer the beef, then the cheese and finally line up the tater tots before baking for 45 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Tater Tot Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 422 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 110mg37%
Sodium 533mg23%
Potassium 397mg11%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 295IU6%
Vitamin C 1.3mg2%
Calcium 240mg24%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. This looks delicious. Its cooking in the oven right now. I added fresh parsley, garlic powder and a little paprika. I made my own sauce using roux, beef broth and a little half and half.

    I did the Mexican variation. I was wondering if this could be pre-made and frozen for a friend of mine who is expecting a baby soon. I want to load up her freezer with casseroles.

  3. This is our third time of making this. I left my 12 year old grandson do it this time. He loves it and enjoyed doing most of the work. Thanks for great recipes.

  4. This was really enjoyable. Made as written but may try the Mexican version as suggested sometime. The family loved it. I didn’t have the larger tater tots but I did have the smaller potato coins. Pre cooked those for 10 min on their own and then topped the casserole and baked for another 35. Yum!

  5. Didn’t have onions OR beef broth.. challenge accepted! Instead, I saved the liquid after browning the beef. Put the heat on simmer with the liquid in the pan and added onion powder and minced garlic, let the garlic cook. I added the flour and stirred until it formed a paste and then added amounts of half and half and the Worcestershire sauce in until it made a sauce. I turned the heat to medium for a few seconds just to let the sauce thicken. I followed the recipe after that point. It turned out super yummy. Great for a quick dinner once in a while, as its not the healthiest.

  6. Came here for the sauce… I didn’t have two can’s of Cream of Mushroom soup so I wanted to see how others did it. This is the only one that did’t ask for mushrooms so this is the one I am using.

    I like the traditional Tator tot hotdish so we use beans or a veggie mix in the ground beef.

    Thank you!

  7. Family really enjoyed this meal. It was fairly easy to put together and made enough for yummy leftovers. I added peas to mine before putting in the oven to add veggies.

    1. Glad your family enjoyed! Next time, I would add the veggies between the beef and cheese layer so they can soak up that yummy sauce and flavor 🙂

  8. made the tater tot casserole tonight for dinner for my family they really seem to enjoy it thank you for a great recipe

      1. I followed your recipe almost exactly except I had Tater Tot Crowns in my freezer, so I used those. That cut the carbs a lot. Plus, I tasted the beef mix before I put it into the bigger pan and thought it was a bit bland, so I added about a tsp of beef base. I loved that the recipe didn’t have cream soups and it tasted great!

  9. The best one I’ve tried yet. When EVERYONE in the family asks for seconds (including the SUPER picky eaters) – you know it’s a keeper!

  10. This is my second time making this recipe. It comes out really good! I don’t usually buy whole milk so I use half & half instead. I also add frozen mixed vegetables. And sub venison for beef. Easy to prepare and very tasty! This is like a much easier/quicker shepherds pie.

  11. Awesome recipe. Yes I did add a few extras (mushrooms, bacon and some herbs and spices). Very easy recipe to cook and family would of had seconds and thirds if I let them. Serviced with mixed veges.

  12. Made this tonight – delicious!!! I used ground chicken and chicken broth. I browned the chicken and onions together then added the flour and other ingredients. It was delicious! It disappeared in minutes! It is definitely going into my regular rotation. Quick, easy, tasty. Thanks.

    1. The beef is not drained! You are making a gravy with the flour and liquids. You need a fat to stir the flour into. That is what I surmised please correct me if wrong (to the creator of recipe)

    2. I’ve made this recipe twice now! It is sooo much better than recipes that use canned soups. It’s a hit for everyone and makes great leftovers 🙂

  13. I like my tots very crunchy. I toast them in the oven before starting the dish and add them in top before baking the whole dish.

Show More Comments