Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is the Best Frugal Comfort Food Recipe!

Tater Tot Casserole

yield: 6 SERVINGS

prep time: 10 MINUTES

cook time: 30 MINUTES

total time: 40 MINUTES

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onions until no longer pink and cooked through. Drain excess fat, and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Now mix in the cream of mushroom soup.

3

Spread the beef mixture evenly over the bottom of a 2.5 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the top.

4

Arrange the tater tots evenly over the beef and cheese layer. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top.

5

Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until it's bubbly and the tater tots are browned as desired. Enjoy warm.

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If you’re struggling with an easy dinner idea for tonight, how about tater tot casserole? 😋

tater tot casserole on a spatula

Tater tot casserole is an easy and comforting hot dinner that the kids will eat!

I love this classic family favorite so much as it only requires a few simple main ingredients, and you’re likely to have most of them already on hand.

When I was first married and had no idea how or what to cook, this simple yet tasty casserole became a lifesaver. It’s not a fancy meal by any means, but a good tater tot casserole every once in a while is a winning cheap dinner recipe!

tater tot casserole in oven

The result is a warm and cheesy casserole that tastes like pure comfort in a pan! The mix of ground beef and creamy mushroom soup goes so well with the tater tots that get nice and crispy on the top.

serving tator tot casserole

Tips for making the best tater tot casserole:

  • You can use ground beef or ground turkey. Either one will come out perfect each time! I added some garlic powder, salt, & pepper for additional flavor, but feel free to season as desired.
  • You can add veggies if you’d like! I will sometimes throw in a bag of frozen mixed veggies with the meat mixture, or you can sauté some fresh mushrooms to include. Another pantry idea would be to add in a can of green beans.
  • This could be a perfect one-pan meal if you use a large cast-iron skillet to cook the meat and then add the tater tots and cheese to it to bake in the oven!
  • If you are bringing dinner to someone as a comforting gesture, this is one to consider as it’s easy, yummy, and travels well!
  • Meal Prep Idea: Compile the tater tot casserole a day ahead of time and have it all ready to go to put in the oven!

ingredients for tater tot casserole

pouring a can of soup in casserole

adding ground beef mixture to casserole dish

adding cheese to tater tot casserole before the tots

adding tater tots to casserole

tater tot casserole ready for the oven

tater tot casserole out of the oven

serving up tater tot casserole


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Tater Tot Casserole

yield: 6 SERVINGS

prep time: 10 MINUTES

cook time: 30 MINUTES

total time: 40 MINUTES

A classic hearty casserole topped with crispy tater tots. It's quick and easy to make!

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onions until no longer pink and cooked through. Drain excess fat, and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Now mix in the cream of mushroom soup.

3

Spread the beef mixture evenly over the bottom of a 2.5 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the top.

4

Arrange the tater tots evenly over the beef and cheese layer. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top.

5

Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until it's bubbly and the tater tots are browned as desired. Enjoy warm.

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

dishing up tater tot casserole

Some days the idea of diving into a pan of tater tot casserole sounds AMAZING!

Maybe you’ve forgotten about this oldie but goodie and are in the mood to make it again! Or maybe this could be a good intro to cooking for someone just learning. Either way, tater tot casserole is a great nostalgic meal to consider any day of the week.

woman holding a tater tot casserole

Serve it alongside a salad or veggie and you’ve got an easy meal to enjoy. YUM.

plate with tater tot casserole

If you make tater tot casserole a specific way, be sure to share in the comments so we can all get ideas! 


Add these other easy and delicious cheap dinner ideas to your rotation!


Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.


Join The Discussion

Comments 26

  1. Nicole

    Yum! Such an easy recipe and so many ways to change it up. I do a Mexican variation of this where I use salsa instead of the mushrooms soup and pour cornbread batter over the top instead of tots. Use taco spices and add veggies (chili powder, cumin, bell peppers, corn, etc).

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yumm!! I would love that – thanks for sharing Nicole 💕🙌

  2. laura-24

    Our family has enjoyed this for years. I use cream of chicken as I can’t stand cream of mushroom

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh cool to know it’s great with either! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kim

    We’ve also made this for quite some time. I add veggies – usually corn or green beans – to make it a one pan meal.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Perfect! Thanks Kim!

  4. Lily

    My newlywed neighbor just shared this recipe with me 😀 She just adds Celery soup instead. Will give it a try!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yum! How nice!

  5. Lisa

    We call our version of this Shepard’s Pie. I have no idea why but we always like leftovers because the leftovers always taste better the next day. No idea why. I like some of the suggestions above like the Mexican version. Will give that one a whirl.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Lisa! Yes, I love how everyone is nice enough to share their variations or ideas here! <3

  6. peachcraze

    We also make this at our house. I use cubed up baked potatoes, that I cook with a little butter on the stovetop, instead of tater tots. I know that may be more work for some but we almost always have left over baked potatoes in the winter I use in various things. It’s pretty yummy and I agree it’s just as good the second day!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    • starfarm

      We have potatoes from our garden. Thank you for sharing this baked potato idea. The recipe sounds delicious and I can use the potatoes that I have. Perfect.

  7. Annie

    nice

  8. Kris

    This is one of our staple meals and we love it! Love that all of the ingredients are so common that I usually have everything to make it on hand. We make a little creamier version by adding 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup milk and using cream of chicken instead of mushroom. Otherwise all other ingredients are the same!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh awesome! I will try that next time – thanks Kris!

  9. Butterbye8

    Anybody have any other suggestions besides cream of mushroom, chicken or celery soups? I’m allergic to mushrooms and I can’t see myself making it with cream of celery or chicken if I’m using hamburger. I’ve tried the cheese soup and it was just very salty 🤢

    • SuzanneH

      You can easily make a simple white sauce yourself. Melt butter over medium heat in a pan, whisk in enough flour to make a paste (start small, it usually only takes a couple of tablespoons). Let cook for a minute then whisk in milk and/or broth. Add slowly whisking the entire time. This will ensure no lumps and you can judge how much liquid you need based on how thick you’d like the sauce to be. Milk based will be creamier than broth based. This works with alternative milks as well (almond, soy, etc.). You can also add sour cream or cream cheese at the end if you really want it to be rich and creamy. I generally use a lactose free milk and broth mix. Add in some seasoning which can be anything depending upon what flavor profile you are looking for. That’s it.

  10. Jeangirl

    Thanks, Lina. I’m going to try it. I noticed you used the flat tater tots. How would it be with the regular oblong ones?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh pretty much the same. Honestly they were just out of the traditional ones at my store that day, so I used the rounds.

  11. Luann

    I sometimes make this with ground turkey or chicken and use a can or jar of gravy instead of cream soup. Almost always add a bag of frozen mixed veggies. Kind of like a pot pie, but with tater tots instead of crust.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh great call on the gravy! See you all have the best ideas 💕🙌

  12. Kate

    Anybody try this with frozen hashbrowns? I have those on hand, but not the tots. Thanks

  13. Julie

    I make this for my family. I layer tator tots on the bottom, put the meat, soup and cheese in the middle and layer tator tots on the top too! Delicious!

  14. Paul kincheloe

    Can i use the slow cooker for this recipe

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