Classic cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is quick and easy to make, but packed with flavor. Made with ground beef, tater tots, cheese, corn, and a creamy gravy, it's comfort food at its finest!
Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole
Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole, a.k.a. tater tot hotdish, is one of my favorites. It is sooo good, and the perfect chilly-weather, belly-warming, stick-to-ribs dish.
Plus, it is so quick and easy, the longest part is the cook time! It's perfect for weeknight meals.
With ground beef, corn, cheese, and tater tots all coming together in this dish, side dishes become optional. I love to put a little ketchup on mine, because ketchup and tater tots? Yum!
What goes with Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole?
Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole already has meat (ground beef), dairy, and carbs or starch (corn and potatoes), so we will generally serve it with some sort of vegetable.
Can Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole be Frozen?
Yes! This is one of our go-to freezer meals. It's easy to make, and easy to freeze.
After you've fully assembled your casserole in a freezer safe dish, cover and freeze for up to 3 months (or 6 months in a deep freezer).
When you're ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then follow the baking instructions. You will likely need to increase cook time by 5-10 minutes since you will be starting with a cold dish.
Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole Variations
If you're looking to spice up this classic with an extra burst of flavor, try these different variations:
- Add bacon! Because everything is better with bacon!
- Substitute green beans! Add some extra veggies by substituting the corn for green beans.
- Go Mexican! Add some taco seasoning to the ground beef mixture for a taco version. You can use store bought seasoning, or try this easy homemade taco seasoning, which is way better.
More Comfort Food Recipes You'll Love
- Best Chicken Pot Pie - classic comfort food and the BEST you will ever taste.
- Taco Bake Casserole - hubby's childhood favorite with ground beef and tortilla chips.
- Cheeseburger Soup - warm, cheesy and probably my favorite soup recipe of all time.
- Best Meatloaf - a classic with fresh twists! One of our family favorites.
- Chili Cheese Dog Casserole - Quick, easy, cheap, and the kids love it!
Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- 3-5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can whole kernel corn (15 ounces) drained
- 1 can cream of mushroom (10.5 ounces)
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 bag frozen tater tots the flat circle kind
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Brown ground beef with onions and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until meat is cooked through. Drain and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add cream soup, milk, and sour cream. Whisk until combined.
- Add corn, 1 ½ cups of cheese, and ground beef mixture to the mixing bowl, and stir until everything is incorporated.
- Cover the bottom of a greased 9"x13" baking dish with tater tots.
- Pour your ground beef mixture over the tots.
- Scatter the remaining tater tots on top of the ground beef mixture.
- Bake in a 375°F for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Continue cooking in the oven for 15-20 more minutes, or until tater tots are golden and crunchy.
- Do you need to cook the tater tots before adding them to the casserole? Nope! Just put them in frozen!
- Do I have to use cream of mushroom? I know there are some mushroom haters, and that's okay. You can simply sub cream of chicken for the mushroom. If you want to get rid of the "cream of" soup all together, 1.25 cups sour cream, plus ¼ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon dried parsley, ½ teaspoon celery salt, and a pinch of ground thyme. This will give you all the flavors with none of the "cream of" soup!
- Make ahead directions: Simply assemble, cover, and refrigerate up to a day in advance. When ready to eat, follow the cooking instructions in the recipe. You will need need to increase the cook time by 5-10 minutes since the dish is starting off cold.
- Freezer directions: Fully assemble your casserole, cover, and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator over night, and follow the cooking instructions in the recipe, increasing the cook time by 5-10 minutes to account for the cold dish.
UPDATE INFO: This post was originally published in March 2014, and is now republished in September 2020 with new photos, a video, and more specific instructions.
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