This is the best Tater Tot Casserole recipe you will make! Made with corn, cheese, ground beef, frozen tater tots and sauce from scratch and without canned soup.
There is a pretty big chance that you had the Tater Tot Casserole at least once before. It’s pure comfort food! There is just something cozy about a filling casserole that calls for cheese and potatoes. Since I don’t use canned soups in my recipes, I knew that I had to make it without them, simply from scratch. It’s so much better and still easy, just like opening a can.
Ingredients needed (your shopping list):
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey
- 32 oz bag of frozen tater tots
- beef broth
- olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- Worcestershire sauce
- half and half or whole milk
- whole kernel corn
- cheddar cheese
How to make it?
All layers that need to be cooked before baking are made in a skillet then layered in a baking dish. The last layer is the tater tots (frozen) and your casserole is ready for baking.
Step 1: the meat layer
- Cook beef in a skillet, until no longer pink. I actually let it brown quite nicely until there are crispy bits at the bottom of the pan. That’s flavor!
- Layer it on the bottom of a greased baking dish.
Step 2: the veggies
- Saute onion, garlic and then mushrooms until fragrant. Add seasoning and saute for 2 minutes. This activates dry herbs and makes the dish flavorful.
Step 3: the sauce
- Add liquids to the pan and deglaze the bottom of the skillet, by scraping it with a wooden spoon.
- Add cornstarch and half and half mixture.
- Simmer until it thickens into a sauce.
Step 4: layers
- Pour the sauce over meat layer and stir together.
- Layer corn on top.
Step 5: cheese and tater tots layers
- Top the meat sauce layer with cheese. Freshly shredded cheese is the best here.
- Layer tater tots on top.
Can I freeze this casserole?
Yes! This casserole is perfect for freezing. Simply prepare the dish, make sure to cool it completely. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge, then bake.
What side dishes go well with this casserole?
All you need to turn this casserole into a whole meal is a salad and garlic bread or breadsticks. My skillet focaccia works well too! I like to serve it with my Easy Broccoli Salad, Perfect Caesar Salad or Cucumber Tomato Salad.
Can I use cream of mushroom soup in this recipe?
Yes, you can even make it from scratch and keep on hand. Here is my recipe for homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup. It’s simple and can be made ahead of time.
Can I add other veggies?
Most recipes call for green beans but I like to use corn. We are not fans of canned green beans. If you want it taco-style, add green chiles and beans as well.
More casserole recipes:
- Easy Hashbrown Casserole
- Cheesy Beef Noodle Casserole
- Leftover Ham Casserole
- Sweet Corn Casserole
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Cabbage and Noodles
If you like this recipe and make it, snap a photo and share it on INSTAGRAM! Tag me @crunchycreamysweet so I can check it out and leave a comment! 😀
Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 4 oz. baby Bella mushrooms sliced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1.5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup half and half or whole milk
- 15 oz can whole kernel corn drained and rinsed
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 32 oz frozen tater tots
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13"x9" baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook beef until no longer pink. Layer in the prepared dish.
- In the same skillet, heat up olive oil.
- Add onion and saute for 3 minutes, or until it's almost translucent.
- Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Add Italian seasoning and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. All those cooked on bits of meat and veggies have flavor. Simmer for 1 minute.
- Mix cornstarch with half and half and simmer until thickened.
- Pour the sauce over the meat layer and stir it all together.
- Top with corn and cheese.
- Layer tater tots on top.
- Bake the casserole for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and tater tots are golden.
- Remove from oven and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.
- Most recipes call for green beans but I like to use corn. We are not fans of canned green beans. If you want it taco-style, add green chiles and beans as well.