How to make Tater Tot Casserole that your kids will love

This Tater Tot Casserole Recipe is delicious and like no other. The casserole is also known as Tater Tot Hotdish in some parts of the world! My recipe is different than the other Tater Tot Hotdish-Casseroles, so get ready to make a flavorful meal! Your family is going to love this recipe.

What Makes This Casserole So Good?

If you’re wondering whats Tater Tot Casserole and what’s, it tastes like, then imagine this. A casserole made with only four ingredients. Three of these four ingredients are in fast food. So, of course, the family is going to love this.

Is This Tater Tot Casserole Recipe Unique?

If you’ve read other Tater Tot Hotdish recipes, just know this is different. Most recipes call for the extra step of browning the ground beef before placing it in the oven. However, this casserole is not like any other because it takes less time with no extra steps.

Here’s my secret, I DO NOT BROWN THE GROUND BEEF before placing in the casserole dish. Browning the meat causes it to crumble, and no only does that change the texture, but it changes the flavor.

So the differences are;

Others– Browned ground beef that crumbles.
Mine- The ground beef is in a solid layer.
Others- The cream of mushroom soup is mixed with the browned ground beef and then placed in the dish.
Mine- The cream of mushroom soup is in a thin layer on top of the solid layer of ground beef.
These differences create an entirely different flavor. With this recipe, the ingredients are baked together at the same time to maximize flavor. Besides, it makes this recipe is faster because it eliminates a step.

Family and Kid-Approved Tater Tot Casserole!

Your family is sure to love this casserole! What kid doesn’t love crispy tater tots, gooey cheese, and ground beef? That’s why this is my go-to meal for sleepovers and Sunday family dinners with both the kids. With a house full of kids, I need a meal that’s quick, easy, and delicious.

Can Other Ingredients Be Added?

My parents love this dish, and they figured out how to make this into a spicey Tater Tot Hotdish. My dad loved spicey meals, so my mom used to place a layer of jalapenos (from a jar) between the cream of mushroom and cheese layer. She has also used pepperoncini in place of jalapenos.

Hiding Veggies!

Does your family need to increase their vegetable intake? If so, keep reading because you’re in the right place. I gave this recipe to a friend about five years ago. His wife adds a puree of vegetables when she makes her tater tot dish. It’s a smart way to get kids to eat vegetables.

I’ve also had several people add green beans to their Tater Tot Casserole in layers. However, if you prefer to add veggies, then make sure to season each layer for flavor. A bland Tater Tot Hotdish is not as good.

Can This Casserole Be Made With Substitute Ingredients?

The tater tot hotdish can be made with ground turkey in place of ground beef. However, it does alter the taste. It’s like a turkey burger vs. hamburger.

Help! Do You Know Of Vegan Substituents?

I’ve never tried it with vegan meat and cheese substitute, but I’m sure there’s some out there. I know some bloggers who make bolognese with a meat replacement. Maybe that same concept can be applied here? So if you’re vegan and you know of a vegan substitute, let me know. I love hearing from my readers, and you may be able to help out another vegan. Plus, I like learning about the vegan lifestyle.

No Tater Tots?

Are you out of tater tots? I’ve used breakfast potatoes like cubed and shredded hash browns. Cubed hash browns taste more like tater tots then shredded hash browns do. So keep that in mind.

Shopping List

Salt and Pepper to taste
Minimum -4 oz condensed cream of mushroom soup or
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
One bag of Tater Tots
1 pound of 97% lean ground beef
Minimum-8 oz. Cheddar Cheese
You can use canned or homemade cream of mushroom soup. However, if using condensed, don’t dilute it. Using leaner meat prevents having to remove excess grease.

Directions For Tater Tot Casserole

Grab a 9 x 9 casserole dish and place the ground beef in the bottom of the casserole dish and pack it down. Next, use approximately 4-8 ounces of cream of mushroom soup and evenly distribute condensed soup over the ground beef. (The amount of cream of mushroom soup depends on your preference. My mom uses almost an entire can)

Next, use pepper and season. Salt if you prefer. Then take 8 oz of cheese and sprinkle over the peppered condensed soup. Here’s the fun part (I’m kidding). Line up the tater tots in rows over the cheese. (If you like a thicker layer of ground beef, then you may want to use more than one pound).

Place in the oven on 425 for 30 minutes. Check the temperature with a thermometer. If not cooked to temp, then place back in the range and recheck in 10 minutes.

How to make Tater Tot Casserole that your kids will love

This Tater Tot Casserole is a combination of crispy tater-tots with ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, and tater tots. It’s almost like having a cheeseburger if you add ketchup after it’s out of the oven.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time35 min
  • Ready in35
  • Yield6
  • Cooking Method
    • Bake


  • 1 pound of raw extra-lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1/2–3/4 bag of tater-tots
  • 8 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Place raw ground beef into a 9×9 baking pan and pat it down flat to fill the bottom of the pan. (I personally only like the ground beef to be about an inch in height.)
  2. Place a light layer of cream of mushroom soup over the ground beef. Feel free to use more. (I add pepper at this point)
  3. Place enough cheese to have a light layer over the soup.
  4. Layer the top of the pan with Tater Tots, so there are no significant gaps.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 425 (If it’s not heated to temperature, check every 10 minutes until it reaches 170 degrees.)
  • Remove any excess grease and enjoy it

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