Tater Tot Casserole has a creamy layer of ground beef, Italian sausage, green beans and corn topped with crunchy tater tots and melted cheddar cheese.
I’m from Minnesota and we call this tater tot hotdish but most of the country knows it as tater tot casserole. No matter what you call this dish, it is a classic family dinner that is easy to make and perfect for a weeknight meal.
Where is a recipe? In this post, I will share step-by-step instructions with photos for how to make the casserole, as well as answering FAQs about the recipe and sharing a short video showing the recipe in motion. But you can go directly to the recipe by scrolling down to the bottom of the post.
How To Make Tater Tot Casserole
Start by mixing together the cream soups, milk and spices. Then, set the mixture aside for later.
Which cream soup should I use?
For this recipe, I used one can of cream of chicken and one can of cream of celery. But the great thing about casserole recipes is that they are extremely adaptable!
You can use any cream soup that your family prefers or use what you have on hand. Some families like using cream of mushroom and others add in a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup.
Another option is to make your own soup. You can find my recipe for homemade cream of chicken soup in this blog post. But the quickest way to make it is to use canned soup.
Next, brown the ground beef and Italian sausage. Whenever I’m browning ground meat in a frying pan, I love using this meat chopper to break the meat into smaller pieces.
Why use ground beef and Italian sausage?
When making this casserole, I like using the combination of ground beef and ground Italian sausage. The ground beef is what is traditionally used but adding the ground Italian sausage brings so much flavor to the casserole.
For this recipe, I used mild Italian sausage but you can use the hot kind if you want to add to make it spicier or try the sweet Italian sausage for another flavor option.
That begin said, you can use all ground beef to make this recipe if you prefer. Simply use an additional half pound of ground beef instead of the Italian sausage.
Once the ground meat is cooked and drained, add the cream soup mixture and vegetables.
Which vegetables are in a tater tot casserole?
There are no hard rules about the vegetables in a tater tot casserole. You can add whatever vegetables your family likes or choose the ones you have on hand in your pantry.
My family likes corn and beans in this casserole but other great options include carrots and peas. Or if you want to go for a Mexican flavor, try adding tomatoes, onions, and black beans.
Spread the tater tot casserole filling out in a greased 9×13 pan.
Can you make tater tot casserole ahead of time?
Yes, you can make it ahead of time! Prepare the tater tot casserole filling and spread it out in a greased 9×13″ pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.
When you are ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the fridge, take the plastic wrap off, add the tater tots to the top and then bake as instructed.
Next, arrange the frozen tater tots over the casserole filling. You can line them up in nice straight rows or use arrange them any which way so that they cover the filling.
Can you freeze tater tot hotdish?
Yes, you can freeze tater tot hotdish! There are a couple of ways to do it. You can fully prepare the casserole with the frozen tater tots on top and then wrap the whole dish with aluminum foil and plastic wrap.
When ready to bake, remove from the freezer, discard the foil and plastic wrap. Bake at 350˚F for 50 minutes or until bubbly. (Note that this is a lower temp and baking longer time since the dish is frozen.)
The second way is to prepare the filling, spread it in a casserole dish and then cover and freeze just the filling. Transfer the frozen tater tot hotdish filling from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before to allow it to thaw. Then, top with the frozen tater tots before baking.
If you want to add cheese to the top of the tater tot casserole, add it at the end. Remove the hotdish from the oven after it has been baking for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the tater tots and return the pan to the oven so the cheese can melt.
What sides go with tater tot casserole?
Since a casserole includes the meat, veggies, and carb readers of wonder what sides they can serve with the casserole. You can serve it with additional vegetable side dishes, a salad, or soup. Here are a few recipes to try.
Looking for more tater tot casseroles? Try these next:
Try Tater Tot Chicken Casserole because admit it…pie crust is boring. The whole family will love this spin on the traditional chicken pot pie recipe.
This Tater Tot Taco Casserole is a mouthwatering combo of two of your favorite eats: tacos and pizza! The tater tot crust makes this dinner recipe even more fun.
Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole has crispy potatoes, scrambled eggs, melted cheese, crispy bacon, and sausage is a delicious breakfast or holiday brunch!