Food Quiz

Tater Tot Casserole: A Comfort Food Classic


A dish of mashed potatoes and vegetables on a table.


Tater Tot Casserole – a classic comfort food! Gather the ingredients for this dish: ground beef, condensed soup, and tater tots. Making it is easy! Here’s what you need:

Tater Tot Casserole A Comfort Food Classic
  • Tater Tot Casserole’s ingredients.

Tater tots

Tater tots are famous in the U.S. They often appear in Southern comfort food. These fried potato cubes make a great addition to dishes with meat, onions and cheese. Tater tots can upgrade a casserole into something special!

These tots are made from pre-cooked potatoes cut into two-inch cubes then fried. You can purchase different sizes, like regular or mini. No extra seasoning is needed – just grease your pan and spread them before baking.

Ground beef

Ground beef is the star in this classic tater tot casserole. It comes in fat/lean ratios and is labeled by percentage weight: ground chuck (80-85% meat/15-20% fat). Ground sirloin (90-95% meat/5-10% fat). Ground round (95-97% meat/3-5% fat). These percentages are the amount of lean protein. This recipe works with all of these.

For even lower fat content, use ground turkey or chicken. Or go vegan with veggie crumbles.


Onions are a key player in classic tater tot casserole. Slice, dice, or chop a yellow onion for a sweet, savory flavor. Sautéing in oil or butter brings out the natural sugars. Cook until translucent and slightly caramelized, then add to the casserole. For even sweeter onions, go for white or Spanish varieties. Softening and carmelizing adds an extra layer of flavor, making tater tot casserole even more delicious!


Garlic is essential for this tater tot casserole recipe. It has countless health benefits, like lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, staving off infections, and even cancer prevention. Furthermore, it adds flavor and texture!

Chop or mince the garlic before adding it to the mix. Make sure it’s at the beginning so the flavors have time to blend. For an extra punch of garlic-y flavor, roast the cloves beforehand. This will give a deeper, sweeter taste that makes this classic dish extra delicious!

Cheddar cheese

Cheddar cheese boosts the flavor of this dish. Pick a high-quality one with plenty of flavor. Sharp cheddar is best. When grating or shredding, don’t overwork it, else the texture won’t be nice. A cup of shredded cheese is usually enough. Not all cheddar cheeses are equal, so be careful when choosing.


Milk is key for any easy tater tot casserole. It adds creaminess and ties the flavors together. Buttermilk or sour cream work too. Pick full-fat dairy for the creamy, luxurious casserole. Opt for premium brands for a scrumptious result!

Worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a must for some recipes, like tater tot casserole. It’s dark and gives the dish more flavor plus a bit of sweetness. This sauce is made from anchovies, tamarinds, garlic, onion and chili peppers. It’s great for spicing up casseroles and marinating meat or adding flavor to stocks and soups.

To get the best out of it, let it simmer for a few minutes, so its tangy umami flavor can develop.

Salt and pepper

Salt and pepper are vital for the best tater tot casserole. Seasoned ingredients give it flavor and make it taste just right. For this recipe, use a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Taste the mixture after adding these ingredients. Too little salt can make the dish bland, and too much can overpower other flavors. Start small and add more until desired taste is achieved. Less salt may be needed if optional ingredients like cheese are salty.

Prepping the ingredients

Gather the ingredients for a tater tot casserole! You’ll need:

  • ground beef
  • onion
  • garlic
  • canned soup
  • tater tots
  • cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • black pepper

When you’ve got them all, it’s time to start cooking!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Adjust your oven rack to the middle and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Check for correct calibration too. Get an oven thermometer for accuracy.

Gather all ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • 1 (24 oz) bag tater tots
  • Don’t forget cooking oil/fat or butter

Now you’re ready to assemble your casserole!

Cook ground beef, onion, and garlic

Begin cooking the ground beef in a skillet on medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces. When it’s cooked and browned, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Stir every now and then until the onion and garlic are softened and fragrant. This will take about 5-7 minutes.

Then, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside. Now you are ready to make the comforting tater tot casserole!

Shred cheese

Shredding cheese for your Tater Tot casserole is a must. Choose hard cheeses such as cheddar, Colby, American or Swiss. Avoid ricotta and cream cheese.

To shred, use a grater, food processor or box grater. Wipe down the grater with a damp cloth between uses. Or, slice the cheese thin and then shave off smaller shreds with a sharp kitchen knife.

Tater Tot Casserole A Comfort Food Classic
Tater Tot Casserole A Comfort Food Classic


Tater Tot Casserole is a classic, comforting meal.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need and instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and get your pantry staples ready.
  2. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Mix together the ingredients.
  4. Top with tater tots.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Grease a 9×13 baking dish

Before you start to assemble your tater tot casserole, grease the 9×13 baking dish! Use butter or cooking spray. Make sure it’s evenly spread, so the whole dish is covered. This is key for getting it out of the dish easily. Don’t forget this step before you add the rest of the ingredients and start baking.

Spread tater tots in baking dish

Split the tater tots in two. Put half in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread them out evenly. If you find any big clumps, break them up with your hands. Make sure the full area is covered with tots. Then, you can move on.

Top tater tots with ground beef mixture

Once the ground beef is cooked, strain and discard any extra fat. Add onion and garlic powder. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the beef over the tater tots, making sure it’s spread evenly.

If you have extra tater tots, break them into smaller pieces. Scatter them over the top for a more even layer. This will prevent burning/drying out during baking.

Sprinkle with cheese

Add ingredients to the casserole dish. Generously sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Use all sorts of cheese like mozzarella, cheddar and Monterey jack. It’s all up to you! Mix different kinds of cheese or use one type. Spread the cheese evenly over the casserole. Make sure each tater tot is covered for maximum cheesy deliciousness!


Nothing’s tastier than a scrumptious tater tot casserole cooked to perfection in the oven! This timeless classic is easy to make and always a hit. We’ll show you how to craft the ideal tater tot casserole.

From gathering ingredients to prepping the dish, we’ll assist you in making a delightful and hearty meal:

  1. Gather the necessary ingredients: ground beef, tater tots, cream of mushroom soup, onion, garlic, cheese, and seasonings.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. Brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet.
  4. Stir in the cream of mushroom soup, seasonings, and half of the cheese.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  6. Top with the tater tots and the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown and the cheese is melted.

In a bowl, mix together milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper

Mix 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until blended.
This is the base for your tater tot casserole.

Add 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 stalks diced celery, and 1 large diced onion. Mix until everything is even.

Now it’s time to assemble your casserole. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Get ready to bake!

Pour milk mixture over tater tot casserole

Making the milk mixture for your tater tot casserole is easy! Combine 2 1/2 cups of whole or 2% milk, 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of onion powder. Whisk it all together. Pour this mixture over the casserole. You can adjust the butter and seasonings according to your taste.

Then, bake the casserole in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes – or until it’s golden brown. Ready to eat!

Bake for 40 minutes

Assemble the tater tot casserole and pop it in the oven! Bake for 40 minutes. Rotate the dish two-thirds of the way through. Bake for 10 more minutes. Check for doneness. Insert a sharp knife in the center and pull back. If the knife has creamy filling, it needs more time. Press lightly with your finger on top. It’s done when it feels firm and springy.

After 40 minutes (or when cooked) remove from oven. Let it cool before serving. Enjoy!


Tater Tot Casserole is ideal! Perfect for a family dinner, potluck, or weekend cookout. Super easy to make and serves many. This classic comfort food can be served as a main, side, or snack. Let’s explore how to serve this yummy dish!

  • As a main dish, serve with a side of vegetables.
  • As a side dish, serve with grilled meats or fish.
  • As a snack, serve with your favorite dip or condiment.

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving

Let the tater tot casserole cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. To make it look nice, add fresh chives or parsley. Use a spatula to get individual portions from the baking dish.

Serve warm with a salad or veggies. Or, have it cold for lunch the next day!

Your tater tot casserole is ready! A few tips to ensure its best:

  1. Heat it up in an oven or slow cooker before serving.
  2. When reheating leftovers, add milk/cream to prevent drying out.
  3. For flavor & aesthetic appeal, add fresh herbs like chopped parsley & chives + sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  4. Distribute added ingredients throughout the top layer before heating.
  5. Serve in shallow dishes to retain heat & keep casserole warm.
  6. If you’ve cooked a large portion, reheat quickly & evenly to enjoy it at its full potential!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What ingredients do I need for a tater tot casserole?

A: You’ll need a pound of ground beef, 1/2 cup of chopped onion, 1 (10.75 ounce) can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 (16 ounce) package of frozen tater tots, and 1 (8 ounce) package of shredded cheddar cheese.

Q: How do I make a tater tot casserole?

A: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat. Drain off any fat and then stir in the cream of mushroom soup. Spread the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread the tater tots over the top of the beef mixture, and then sprinkle the cheese over the tots. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tots are golden brown.

Q: Can I freeze a tater tot casserole?

A: Yes, you can freeze a tater tot casserole. After baking, let the casserole cool completely and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then bake it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until it is hot and bubbly.

Penelope Rossi
Penelope Rossi

Hello! I'm Penny, a creative recipe developer and food stylist with a love for vegetarian and plant-based cuisine. When not gardening or hiking, you can find me in the kitchen, transforming classic dishes into healthier, veggie-packed versions. Let's embark on a delectable journey of colorful, plant-based delights together!