One Pot Tater Tot Casserole is easy to make, delicious and filling. This casserole is perfect for those cold nights when you want something warm and filling. Try this recipe today for a flavorful casserole with few leftovers.

How To Make Tater Tot Casserole With Ground Beef

Tater tot casserole with ground beef is one of the more common ways to make this delicious casserole. It is probably the simplest way as well. While chicken and other meats could be used, ground beef and beef in general just goes really well with tater tots. The biggest thing about making tater tot casserole with ground beef is making sure the meat is fully cooked and browned before you add it to the casserole. When I make this dish, I like to brown the meat with the onions and garlic because I think it helps to add to the flavor of the meat. I also add salt and pepper while the meat is browning. Be careful with the salt though as you can always add more salt later. Because the cheese and soup have a lot of salt in them go easy on the salt until you have all the ingredients together. A casserole that is too salty will end up with leftovers that never get eaten.

How To Make Tater Tot Casserole In One Pot

I could also title this section “How To Make Tater Tot Casserole Outdoors”. Most people make casseroles using a casserole dish. I, however, prefer a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet. The reasons for using cast iron include, that I can start the casserole on the stove and finish it in the oven in one pan. The other major reason is that if I want to make this dish outdoors, I can do so in cast iron. As long as the skillet as a cast iron lid (many Dutch oven lids work on skillets of the same size) then you can make this outdoors using coals. You could also make tater tot casserole the grill using indirect heat at about 350 degrees F. Again for any of these techniques, brown the meat first, then make sure when it is baked, the tater tots are golden brown.

How To Make Tater Tot Casserole Without Meat

To make tater tot casserole without meat, you will need to find a meat substitute such as scalloped potatoes or mushrooms. I am partial to mushrooms since they absorb a lot of the flavor and have a great meaty texture. This is especially true of portobello mushrooms. Besides, the casserole already has potatoes in it, why use more when you can splash it up a bit with some delicious mushrooms. Some of the recipes I found out there for meatless tater tot casserole seemed pretty boring, not much to them other than the tater tots. I think you can make a really great casserole with broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflower, or any stiff vegetable that can add flavor and texture to the dish.
Delicious tater tot casserole served with a cold beer.

Cold beer and a lot of tater tot casserole.

What Is Good With Tater Tot Casserole

I do not think tater tot casserole needs a side dish. If you add vegetables and cheese to the casserole, it becomes an awesome one pot meal that has everything. But if you want to serve a side, some fruit or a nice salad works very well with this dish. I think garlic bread would go nicely with it as well but, considering all the carbs already in the taters, bread might be a little heavy for some people.
A delicious bowl of tater tot casserole served with fresh green onions.

A delicious bowl of tater tot casserole served with fresh green onions.

What Temp For Tater Tot Casserole

Generally, tater tot casserole is already mostly cooked by the time you place it in the oven. Your goal when you bake the casserole is to cook the tater tots and melt the cheese. The tater tots need to be a golden brown and crispy. My package of tater tots called for baking them at 350 for about 20 minutes. This did not seem long enough so I continued cooking for another 15 minutes. The tater tots turned a gorgeous golden brown at this temperature and a total time of 35 minutes. A 35 minute cooking time also ensured that the inside of the casserole was fully cooked and the cheese on the inside was properly melted.
A lovely skillet of homemade tater tot casserole served with a beer.

A lovely skillet of homemade tater tot casserole.

How Long Is Tater Tot Casserole Good For

Basically, if the casserole has meat in it, it will only be good for as long as the meat will keep without spoiling. Since this recipe calls for ground beef, I would not recommend keeping it in the fridge for more than about 4 days. As always, smell it. If it smells bad, toss it, and when in doubt through it out. Food poisoning is never fun and can be deadly. For meatless, you could probably keep it a bit longer, but again, its a judgment call. If it smells bad or there is mold, toss it.
A cheesy bowl of tater tot casserole.

A cheesy bowl of tater tot casserole.

Cowboy Casserole

My original post for tater tot casserole posted back on Dec 27, 2013, I named it Cowboy Casserole. I have renamed it for this update because first, I wanted to make sure search engines could find it, and second, I wanted to make sure I could find it. While cowboy casserole sounded great for my book, The Culinary Camper, it is not so friendly a name for someone search for tater tot casserole. So here is the update. I hope you like it and make it your own. This is an updated version of the original I think is better. The optional ingredients, while optional, really make it a great one one-pot meal.

How To Make Tater Tot Casserole Step By Step

My version of this recipe uses a lot of cheese because I think almost all casseroles should have at least some cheese in them. This recipe is almost like a cheeseburger casserole with all the meat and cheese. Here is my recipe, I hope you like it as much as I do.

Delicious tater tot casserole served with a cold beer.

Tater Tot Casserole

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Barbara Tidwell

Tater Tot Casserole is easy to make, delicious and filling. This casserole is perfect for those cold nights when you want something warm and filling. Try this recipe today for a flavorful casserole with few leftovers.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 c milk or cream
  • 1 c fresh sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 c broccoli florets (or other optional vegetable)
  • 1 c onions, sauteed
  • 2 c tater tots (or enough to top the casserole)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 2 c cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp basil (optional)
  • 1 tsp oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or large cast iron skillet, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another few minutes.

    Sauteeing onions for tater tot casserole.
  2. Add the hamburger to the same pan with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is browned.

    Browning ground beef with Mexican spices and onion to make tater tot casserole.
  3. Add any optional vegetables and cover the mixture to cook for a few minutes. The vegetables just need to be slightly cooked.

    Broccoli cooking down before adding the rest of the ingredients for tater tot casserole.
  4. Remove from heat and add milk, both cans of soup, to the pan.

  5. Next, add the cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cheese. Mix well.

    The casserole mixture after adding all the ingredients. It's ready for some tater tots now!
  6. Top with a single layer of tater tots.

  7. Sprinkle lightly with parmesan cheese if desired.

  8. If baking in an oven, place in oven at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until the tater tots are a golden brown. If using a Dutch oven, cover and cook at 350° with 25 coals, 17 on top and 8 on the bottom for about 35 minutes or until tater tots are golden brown and crispy.

    Delicious tater tot casserole served with a cold beer.
  9. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.