This easy tater tot casserole is a one-dish meal of classic comfort food that will become an instant family favorite and satisfy even your picky eaters. This classic recipe of grandma’s is the epitome of a tasty weeknight meal that the whole family will cheer for!
Grandma’s recipes are always a good idea and this cheesy tater tot casserole is no exception. It can be made by quickly and then cooks while you enjoy your time for other things.
Where did tater tot casserole come from?
Wikipedia says that tater tot casserole originates from and has remained popular in the upper midwest United States. Casseroles and hot dishes both usually contain a variety of meat, veggies and starch.
Casseroles are especially popular for larger families who need to make big quantities of food on a budget (similar to our Chinese noodle casserole). It’s one of those easy dinners for those busy weeknights.
My grandma Donna used to make her own variation of this dish that only had peas in it. I always loved it so much! I have made just a few changes since then but it is still equally delicious.
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How do you make it?
This is the best tater tot casserole recipe and couldn’t be easier to make or clean up.
- Simply start by cooking up your ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until it is browned. I like to add a bit of salt and pepper as well.
- Next, add the cooked ground beef (also great for our tacos), half the tater tots and vegetables together in 9×13 or deep 9×9 casserole dish with salt and pepper
- Add the cream of chicken soup into the tots and ground beef mixture along with half of the cheese (or all if you are like me and don’t like it on top) and mix the ingredients evenly
- Flatten the top and then evenly spread out the remaining tots and cover with tinfoil
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes
- Remove and uncover then prinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top of the tater tots if you love that gooey goodness and bake for 10 more minutes uncovered
Are tater tots gluten-free?
While many tater tots are gluten-free, it is important to always check. I’ve been surprised how any have wheat flour or other gluten ingredients in them.
Here are just a few that are gluten-free. As with anything, eat at your own discretion. If you have found any other brands, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
- Ore Ida Golden Tater Tots
- Cascadian Farms Spud Puppies (according to their twitter page: They don’t carry a gluten free claim, but there are no wheat allergens)
- Lamb Weston Crispy Potato Puffs (not labeled but also no warning of shared facility or gluten ingredients on the label)
Pro Tip: For more flavor, take a few extra minutes to make our homemade gluten-free cream of chicken soup to use instead of store bought. You won’t regret it! It can even be made dairy-free.
Pro Tip: Double this recipe and put one pan in the freezer assembled and wrapped in tinfoil but not baked. You just saved yourself a night of cooking!
How else can I spice it up?
The great thing about this easy tater tot casserole recipe is that there are a few different alternatives that can really switch up the flavor profile a little bit. Try different ground meats like ground turkey or lamb.
Put a few simple ingredients like green beans, bell peppers, or green onions on your grocery list and swap those in for the peas and/or corn.
Give this classic tater tot casserole and easy recipe some Mexican flair by adding in 1 T taco seasoning and 1/3 C salsa.
Also, switch your sharp cheddar cheese to pepper jack. You can also top the crispy tater tots with sour cream and a splash of worcestershire sauce.
Have extra beef? This easy beef stroganoff or this keto taco casserole are both great recipes for using it up!
Can I freeze this gluten-free tater tot casserole?
It freezes so well! Assemble everything together in a baking dish then put aluminum foil over and freeze it. You would just need to pull it out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before baking.
OR you can go ahead and bake it first then freeze, its just as good the next day. You will just need to warm it up before serving. Perfect for those busy weeknights and picky kids!
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Easy Tater Tot Casserole (Grandma’s Recipe)
- 2 1/2 cup or two 10 oz. cans homemade gluten-free cream of chicken soup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen diced carrots
- 1 pound ground hamburger cooked (leftovers from taco night work great here!)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, divided more for topping if you’d like
- 32 ounces frozen tater tots, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-low heat until browned
- In a 9×13 pan, combine vegetables, cooked beef, soup, salt, pepper, half the cheese (1/2 cup) and half the tater tots
- Top with remaining tater tots and cover dish with tinfoil then bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes
- Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and cook uncovered for 10 minutes
This post was originally published March 14, 2014 with the photo below. I have updated the photos and the ingredients slightly but is the same classic recipe you love.
Teralee Williams says
By far, my favorite recipe of Grandma’s! Way to represent!!
OMG THIS IS SO GOOD! We even left out the cheese and devoured it! Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe! Definitely will be making this over and over again!
Awwww thank you so much for letting me know! I have loved it since I was a little girl and I am so glad you do as well. 🙂
This is really good and easy to make, too. Thanks, Chandice!
I’m so glad I found this! So many people in my family are either intolerant to gluten or have Celiac disease, so it’s always a struggle to think of new meal ideas when we are all together.
Thanks Jess, so glad you loved it!
Thank you so much for the easy instructions! I love that this is made using frozen veggies…such an easy to throw together on a weeknight! My husband and I love this!
Thanks Rachel, yes it is super easy! 🙂
I made this for my family and my kids loved it! I loved how easy it was! Thanks for a great recipe.
Thank you! It is our kids favorite too! 🙂
This recipe looks so good! Finding great recipes since going gluten free has been challenging so thanks for the tips.This looks like a recipe even my husband will eat.