Cheesy Tater Tots Casserole Recipe

This cheesy tater tots casserole is the ticket if you're craving the ultimate comfort food. Not only does this recipe feature the crispy, golden brown tater tots that we all know and love, but it also boasts plenty of other layers of goodies like cheddar cheese, ground beef, corn, and cream of mushroom soup, just to name a few. This dish would be great as a main course, and certainly works as an appetizer for game day or any other event. Truth be told, it's always a good time to nom on some tater tots! 

Recipe developer Erin Johnson created this fantastic casserole that kids and adults can gather 'round and enjoy. "One of the things I love about this dish is how versatile it is. You can season the meat with anything you'd like to change the flavor profile," Johnson raves. "You can use ground turkey or chicken, [or] the corn could be [subbed with] green beans." We love how you can mix and match according to your preferences.

Keep reading for the deets on how to make this stellar dish. 

Gather the ingredients for cheesy tater tots casserole

Start by making a list and heading to the grocery store. You'll need lean ground beef, an onion, salt, pepper, garlic cloves, a can each of cheddar cheese and cream of mushroom soup, milk, corn, shredded cheddar cheese, and a bag of frozen tater tots.

Once you have those items, you can make this cheesy tater tots casserole.

Preheat the oven and brown the ground beef

Go ahead and preheat your oven to 375 F and prep a casserole dish by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.

While you wait for the oven to get nice and toasty, grab a large skillet and place it on your stove. 

Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until browned. Be sure to drain off any excess oil once you finish cooking. And if you're looking to change up the protein, Johnson notes that you can also use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.

Cook the onions and seasonings with the beef

Keep the meat in the skillet because you still need to add a few more things to this layer of the casserole. Toss in the diced onions and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue cooking until they're softened.

Next, toss in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Then, transfer the contents of the skillet into the prepared casserole dish.

Mix and add the cheesy, creamy laters

Take out a clean bowl and add the cheddar cheese soup and milk. Stir until combined, then pour the mixture over the beef layer in the casserole dish. Spread it around to ensure it covers all the beef. "I add cheddar soup to the casserole to add an extra layer of cheese flavor," Johnson explains.

Then, add the cream of mushroom soup over the cheese layer and spread it out as evenly as possible.

Keep layering the corn, cheese, and tater tots

Keep adding those layers! Spread the corn on top of the cream of mushroom soup, followed by the shredded cheddar cheese. "Tater tot casserole is traditionally made with cheddar, but you can substitute any variety you like," Johnson explains of her cheese choice.

The last thing you need to add is the dish's star — tater tots! Simply add them in a single layer across the top of the casserole.

Bake and serve

Pop the casserole into your preheated oven and cook for about 35 minutes, removing the dish when the tots turn golden brown on top. Since the casserole has layers of goodness, including meat, this would be great as a meal on its own. Johnson also provides a few serving suggestions in case you're looking for them. "I like to serve this with a salad since the dish has potatoes and corn. It also works well with green beans or asparagus," Johnson says. 

And if you happen to have leftovers, keep them to eat later. "This will keep in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat this in the oven to try and preserve some crispness to the tater tots," Johnson says.

Cheesy Tater Tots Casserole Recipe
5 from 27 ratings
This cheesy tater tots casserole is the ticket if you're craving the ultimate comfort food. In fact, it's essentially a bunch of comfort foods in one dish!
Prep Time
Cook Time
cheesy tater tots casserole
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can cheddar cheese soup
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) can corn, drained
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (28-ounce) bag frozen tater tots
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain any excess oil.
  3. Add the onions and season with the salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the onions are softened.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add the beef mixture to the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  6. Mix the cheddar cheese soup with the milk and stir until combined, then pour over the beef. Spread it to cover the beef evenly.
  7. Spread the cream of mushroom soup over the cheese soup layer.
  8. Add the corn evenly across the casserole.
  9. Cover the corn with the shredded cheese.
  10. Add the tater tots in a single layer to the very top.
  11. Bake the casserole for 35 minutes, or until the tots are golden brown.
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