Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

This easy and oh so cheesy tater tot casserole is a family favorite that is simple to make. Easily adjust this recipe to fit your family’s style and taste.

Easy Tater Tot Casserole served on a plate.

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

Tater tot casserole with cheese is one of my family’s favorite dinners. It is nice to throw together a super easy dinner that uses a can or two of soup and a few other ingredients you have on hand.

If I don’t know what to make for dinner or if you’re out of a lot of ingredients, chances are I have the ingredients for tater tot casserole with cheese in my freezer. I also like that everyone eats it without complaining and it’s really tasty!

I like to add the cheese underneath the tater tots because I like the tots to get crispy in the oven. Sometimes having the cheese on top makes it so they don’t get as crispy, but you can easily add it to the top, if you would rather.

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Easily Adjustable Tater Tot Casserole

This really is a recipe you can play around with and add or leave out what you want. Here are a few ideas for substituting ingredients.

  • Primarily, I like to use mixed frozen vegetables, but you can substitute with frozen peas or corn.
  • Skip the cheese if you don’t have it or try a different cheese besides cheddar.
  • Instead of tater tots, try topping with bread crumbs, french onions, mashed potatoes or cracker crumbs.
  • Ground beef can be substituted with ground turkey or sausage.
  • Make your own cream of mushroom soup if you don’t have any cans available.
Easy Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese in casserole dish

What is a Casserole?

A casserole is a combination of meats, vegetables, starches and sauces all layered together in one single dish. Usually a casserole is cooked slowly in a large pan in the oven, but can also sometimes be cooked in a slow cooker. 

I find casseroles to be an easy to make meal for my family and tends to be very filling. It’s one of the few meals that everyone will eat at my home.

You can make a variety of casseroles, for the most part they all have 3 main components:

  1. protein
  2. starch
  3. binder

What types of Starches are Casseroles made with?

There’s a variety of different starches that can be used when making your casserole. The main 3 you will find in recipes are Potatoes, Pasta and Rice.

Cheesy tater tot casserole uses tater tots for the starch.

How do you Bind the Casserole Together?

You can use two different options to bind your casserole together; either an egg mixture or a sauce. Lots of recipes will call for something like cream of mushroom/chicken but others have things like pasta sauce or whipped egg.

The binder in this cheesy tater tot casserole recipe is the cream of mushroom soup.

Can a Casserole be made with Pre-cooked Ingredients?

Check your recipe’s instructions carefully. A lot of recipes call for the protein to be pre-cooked to make sure it is cooked through.

This cheesy tater tot casserole requires the ground beef to be pre cooked.

Some recipes have all un-cooked ingredients, just follow closely and you will be fine.

Best Dishes for Making a Casserole

For casseroles, like this cheesy tater tot casserole, I love glass Pyrex dishes. I love that you can even get Pyrex with lids to make transport easy and you can store leftovers in your fridge easily.

If you are making this meal for someone, make it in a disposable dish so you won’t need to track down your dishes. Also the person receiving it doesn’t have to worry about getting it back to you.

Casserole Dishes

Do I need to Cover my Casserole?

Depending on the texture and ingredient you used for the topping, you will most likely cover your casserole with foil or a lid for the majority of the cook time.

Usually you remove the covering for the last 5-15 minutes to let the cheese melt or topping crisp up a bit.

What do you Serve with a Casserole?

Our favorite things to serve with a casserole, like this tater tot casserole with cheese, is fresh fruit and vegetables. A side salad is also a perfect combination to serve with a casserole.

Most of the time the casserole is the whole meal because it is really filling and no sides are needed, but there is always room for dessert.

How long will a Casserole last in the Fridge?

The steadfast rule for leftovers is 3-4 days while in an airtight container. Make sure that the food goes directly into the fridge and gets reheated to a food safe temperature while reheating.

How to Reheat a Casserole?

We like to reheat our casserole leftovers in an oven safe container, in the oven at the same temperature it was cooked. It usually takes 30 minutes to reheat all the way through give or take a bit due to amount of left overs.

You can always reheat a casserole in the microwave, only heat a single serving at a time for 1-2 minutes.

Can you Freeze Casseroles?

Most cooked casseroles are not intended for freezing. The reason is that freezing a starch and then re-cooking it breaks it down. A potato that has been frozen after cooked will become mush.

If you are going to freeze a cooked pasta, it should be al-dente otherwise when you reheat/cook it after freezing the pasta noodle will just break down and become mush.

An uncooked, prepared casserole is perfect for freezing. While you are making dinner, prepare a second dish as well to throw in the freezer for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Using disposable pans is perfect for a freezer meal.

This cheesy tater tot casserole is a perfect dish to freeze. If cooking from frozen, just double the baking time and make sure it is heated all the way through.

Easy Tater Tot Casserole Recipe:

Easy tater tot casserole

This cheesy and oh so easy tater tot casserole is a family favorite that is simple to make. Easily adjust this recipe to fit your family's style and taste.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: casserole
Servings: 8
Calories: 516kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 10 3/4 ounce cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 1/2 cups mixed frozen vegetables carrots, peas, corn and green beans
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 32 oz bag of frozen tater tots
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add ground beef and diced onion to a large skillet over medium high heat, season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook and stir until beef is no longer pink. Drain, if needed.
  • Return to heat and add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce, both cans of cream of mushroom soup and frozen vegetables. Stir to combine and warm for 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour beef and vegetable mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and then layer tater tots to the top.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until tater tots are golden and crispy.

Nutrition

Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 806mg | Potassium: 895mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3171IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 4mg
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2 comments
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  • Thanks for the recipe! Pinned to make later 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Linda Reed

    Meatloaf -on top 1 can cream of mushroom soup and one can cream tomatoe soup and tater tots on top of that. season to taste. very easy and good.ReplyCancel

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Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you're here you'll find something that makes your #momlife easier!

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