31 Tater Tot Casserole Recipes So Easy and Delicious, You'll Want to Make Them All
Let's talk tater tots! They’re awesome on their own, but in a casserole, they're otherworldly.
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We’re going to go ahead and declare tater tots one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. These little barrels of fried potato fun have been celebrated in school cafeterias and on American dinner tables since the 1950s. Crispy on the outside with soft potato on the inside — all without the need for a deep fryer: brilliant. Not only have tots been keeping kids happy (adults, too), but they're also an example of making use of food scraps to reduce food waste. They were originally designed to use up the bits of potato left over from cutting french fries. We think you might agree that leftovers have never tasted SO good.
In the past few years, tater tots have gotten more prominent on bar menus — either on their own or in a magical mixture. One bar in San Francisco even serves bacon-wrapped tot poutine. But we all know the tot shines brightest as a main course or a side dish on home tables across America. In fact, there may be no comfort food more comforting than a tater tot casserole, crispy and golden with the little tots, and loaded up with goodies like melty shredded cheese, ground beef, bacon, eggs, and a variety of other ingredients that your heart and palate desire.
Are you hungry yet? If you are, stick around for inventive tater tot dinner recipes that will have your loved ones begging for seconds. Whether main dishes or sides, these tater tot casseroles are sure to become family favorites.
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Tater tot casseroles with ground beef
This category showcases the little barrels in the classic way: cheesy tater tot casseroles with ground beef (plus a couple of recipes using beef in other forms, for good measure). The tots top the meat mixture and bake together for cheesy, crispy goodness.
How do you make tater tots casserole? Here’s the recipe at its most basic and family-friendly. You’ll need meat, cheese, cream of mushroom soup, and the tater tots — just four ingredients. Brown the ground beef on the stove before mixing in the soup and cheese. Put the mixture in a casserole dish, top it with tots, and it's ready to bake. If you want to save on cooking time and dirty fewer dishes, you can brown the meat in a large skillet made of cast iron and let it double as the baking dish.
This recipe sees the classic recipe ingredients and raises them an onion, 2 cloves garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and mixed vegetables. While the classic wins for its ease and simplicity, this one wins for the balance that the vegetables lend it. The recipe calls for canned vegetables, but you could also go with frozen.
If your idea of the perfect tater tot casserole includes garlic powder, black pepper, sour cream, and cream of mushroom soup along with lean ground beef for something reminiscent of beef stroganoff, here’s the recipe for you.
For another variation on the classic recipe, opt for store-bought meatballs instead of regular ground beef, but take a few minutes to create a homemade white sauce instead of opening a can of cream of mushroom soup. If mushrooms aren’t your thing, this might be just the recipe you're looking for.
Though the ingredients for this one are similar to the classic tater tot casserole recipe, the blogger wanted to create a cheeseburger experience. Instead of soup to season the ground beef, the beef is mixed with ketchup and mustard. It's then layered in a baking dish with onion, cheese, and tots, and baked. When the tots have achieved a beautiful golden brown on top, the casserole is ready for pickles, lettuce, and diced tomatoes for serving.
Imagine a taco in tater tot casserole form. The ground beef mixture calls for taco seasoning along with enchilada sauce, but the spice is tempered by black beans and corn. Top your taco tater tot casserole with — yes — tots and cheese, and off to the oven it goes.
There's one thing a Texas tater tot casserole has that the others don't: brisket. Of course, no one would expect you to make a brisket just so you can make this casserole. Rather, it's a way to incorporate leftovers (or store-bought cooked brisket) into a spectacular meal.
The Pioneer Woman says "hotdish" is Minnesotan for "casserole." This recipe is a bit more involved, so it may graduate from weeknight dinner to weekend feast. For the Pioneer Woman tater tot casserole, chopped top sirloin is complemented by yellow onions and peppers, spiced with poblano and jalapeño chilies, and combined with a potpourri of vegetables, sauces, plenty of sour cream and cheese, and yes, tots. This hot number is so flavorful, half a teaspoon of kosher salt is all you need to seal the deal. It's Pioneer Woman-approved, so you know it's worth the work.
If you're looking for a calcium-rich dish, you can milk this one for all it's worth because it's an extra cheesy tater tot casserole, which, of course, also makes it higher in cholesterol (but worth it!). A healthy dose of fresh garlic packs a bit of a punch, while sweet corn takes the edge off. Say "howdy" to a melty, comforting experience.
More beef tater tot casseroles:
Tater tot casserole breakfast recipes
Start your day the tater tot way! As carbohydrates go, potatoes are a good source of potassium, and if you're a fan of hash browns with your eggs, you'll love an egg tater tot casserole.
This recipe should be called "Breakfast FTW" because it will win over everyone in the family with just one bite. The method is similar to a savory bread pudding, but instead of bread, you use tots accompanied by cheese, green onions, and, of course, bacon.
This one had us at "loaded" because that's just a way to wrap sour cream, cheddar cheese, and potatoes into one word. But the recipe isn't just spuds and dairy — it also mixes in bacon and sausage. It's definitely a special occasion casserole, but it might also be a contender for your family’s next breakfast for dinner meal.
Here's a hearty frittata-like dish that's sure to brighten your morning. It boasts not one, but two colors of fresh bell peppers, a whole bunch of scallions, plenty of cheese, thick-cut bacon, and sausage links. Your family will scramble to the table as soon as they get a whiff.
This breakfast beauty for veggie lovers comes together quickly and is perfect for a busy parent. It's nutritious and designed for planning your meals in advance — so much so that it makes for a great lunch or dinner option, too.
Bonus: more tater tot recipes with bacon!
Chicken and turkey tater tot casseroles
What goes in a tater tot casserole? Sometimes, the answer is chicken (or ground turkey) rather than the classic ground beef. If you're looking to beef up your tater tot repertoire, a bird in your dish might be better than ground beef.
While tater tots are the star of this casserole, rotisserie chicken and cream of chicken soup are the supporting ingredients that call you back for seconds. Prep time is minimal and it doesn't require a lot of effort to create an easy dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Sometimes, comfort food means the total time is takes to prep is five minutes, and that's all this recipe requires. There's not much to it — cooked chicken, tots, ranch seasoning, buffalo sauce, sour cream, and cheese.
Here's another quick tater tot casserole recipe featuring ground turkey. It's as straightforward as its name, with cream of mushroom soup, cheddar cheese, and naturally tots in addition to the turkey.
Tater tot casseroles with sausages and hot dogs
What else goes with tater tots? Why, sausages and hot dogs, of course. That's just how versatile a tater tot casserole is. Check out these options for a taste of what's possible — and let your imagination run wild.
Two all-American crowd-pleasers are twice as good as one, but this match made in heaven is much more than the sum of its parts: Italian sausage, pepperoni, pizza sauce, lots of mozzarella cheese, and tots, of course.
This dish is great for kids. They love to eat it, and it's so easy they can make it themselves (with supervision, of course). All the ingredients are in the title (except for cheese) and if the kids are cooking they'll just need the sous chef — Mom or Dad — to step in to cut up the hot dogs and work the oven.
This recipe was designed for family meals — it's a dish so wild you just have to share it. It starts with a layer of sauerkraut followed by one of sliced brats, then tots and cheese. This casserole is a must-make because it's so easy and unique.
If you're searching for a way to get your kids to eat broccoli, Yummly’s got your back. With cheesy dogs and tots, they'll be asking for seconds, and frankly speaking, sneaking a green vegetable into a fun and tasty dish is just good parenting, even if you're feeding grownups.
Vegetarian and vegan tater tot casserole recipes
Looking for a vegetarian tater tot casserole experience in its crispy, creamy totality? You’re in luck, because tater tots lend themselves perfectly to veggie-based recipes. No dairy for you? We have some yummy vegan options as well.
Word to the wise: If you're looking for a short-cut, the nutritional content of frozen vegetables can be higher than fresh, especially when it comes to vitamin C.
Craving tater tots with all the health benefits of a nutritious veggie meal? Few foods are as good for you as Brussels sprouts, so this tasty dish is a model tater tot casserole.
This tater tot casserole amounts to a spicy hill of beans, bell peppers, squash, and other nutritious ingredients. It's healthful comfort food — talk about a winning combo!
Here's a great round-the-clock, easy-to-portion breakfast option if feeding your family efficiently is your cup of tots. You'll need to keep your nonstick cooking spray handy to make sure each batch of cup-tots turns out perfectly.
This tater tot dish boasts an impressive range of ingredients and is easy-peasy to cook. It features roasted veggies and mushroom sauce. The most interesting part is you get to make cashew milk from scratch.
If you're in the mood for an all-veggie tater tot casserole without vegan "meat," accept no substitutes. This recipe involves making mushroom sauce with almond milk and vegetable stock and mixes it up with red lentils and green beans, among other veggies. Tots on top fit in organically. Bake covered until tender, then uncover to crisp.
Explore more comfort food recipes
Tater tot recipes are just the beginning when it comes to all the ways we love comfort food at Yummly.