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Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

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Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is the easiest dinner you’ll make this week! It’s fast, full of delicious food, and only needs a few simple ingredients!


Main image of cheesy tater tot casserole


It’s hard to resist a hamburger tater tot casserole that’s dripping with melty cheese, creamy, and mixed with some delicious beef. So why try? I mean really, let’s just get down to the cooking!

I love this tater tot casserole recipe because it only takes a few ingredients that I already have on hand. So it’s easy for nights when I don’t know what to make.

I also love this recipe for tater tot casserole because it fills you up! A hearty dish that doesn’t leave my kids begging for a bedtime snack!

It’s also really easy to feed a crowd with easy tater tot casserole because it makes a lot!

But the best part of this easy dinner is definitely that it’s one of those kid friendly casseroles. They love it! Which means I love it!


ground beef and onions in a skillet uncooked


What is Tater Tot Casserole?

Ah the casserole dish! It’s useful in making so many wonderful things! Chicken Divan Casserole, Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole, Cheesy Sausage Breakfast Casserole… I could go on!

What makes a casserole a casserole is mostly that it’s made in a casserole dish! You know that large dish that feeds the whole family?

Well the best tater tot casserole is made with tater tots, ground beef and is super creamy!

It’s easy to serve with lots of different side dishes so it’s really a versatile dish.

Of course if you’re from a certain part of the country you’d call this a hot dish! Sometimes referred to as tater tot hot dish or 123 hot dish, it’s the same idea wherever you go.


ground beef and onions are cooked and in 9 inch casserole dish


What Ingredients are in Tater Tot Casserole?

This hearty casserole is a family favorite for feeding teenage boys and picky eaters alike! It’s a complete meal for any night of the week.

  • Ground Beef: You’ll need quite a bit of ground beef as it’s your only protein for the meal.
  • Onion: Dice this up small. No large chunks of onion required here.
  • Season Salt: Divide the season salt so you can sprinkle on multiple layers.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Mild cheddar cheese would also work.
  • Cream of Chicken Soup: Cream of mushroom soup could also be substituted if you prefer its flavor.
  • Frozen Tater Tots: No need to thaw them. They’ll cook right in the oven.


shredded cheddar cheese on top of ground beef mixture in casserole dish


How to Make Tater Tot Casserole

This easy 123 hot dish recipe takes a few minutes of prep and is a great recipe for busy weeknights.

  1. Cook: You’ll need to brown ground beef and onion before putting them into the casserole.
  2. Layer: Layer everything in the baking dish and bake it in the oven! So simple!
  3. Enjoy! Your delicious dinner can be served right away!


cream of chicken soup added on top of shredded cheese


What Goes With Tater Tot Casserole?

Cheesy tater tot casserole has got you covered in the protein and carbs department thanks to the meat and potatoes.

If you choose to serve simple side dishes with your delicious kid friendly casserole, make it something light. Here are some great ideas:


tater tots spread out on top of cream of chicken


Can You Freeze Tater Tot Hot Dish?

Yes! Cheesy tater tot casserole is a favorite recipe for freezer meals! It’s the perfect comfort food and can even be pulled out for an easy weekend breakfast!

It’s best to freeze the easy casserole recipe before baking. Then you have your meal ready to go whenever you need it.

Completely assemble the casserole as directed. Before placing in the oven, cover with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.

When you’re ready to bake it, remove the plastic wrap and then place the aluminum foil back on before baking.

You can freeze the casserole in a regular 9×13 pan or you can use a disposable aluminum pan.


zoomed out plate full of cheesy tater tot casserole ready to serve


Do You Cover Tater Tots Casserole With Foil When Baking?

Yes! The 123 casserole needs to be covered with non-stick foil to prevent the top of the tots from burning.

You’ll remove the aluminum foil for the last little bit of cooking time to let the tater tots get crispy and turn golden brown.

This cooks the whole casserole but doesn’t burn it.

Can You Make Tater Tot Casserole Ahead of Time?

This cheesy casserole can easily be assembled before you need it.

Create the whole dish, wrap with aluminum foil, and place it in the fridge.

The next day (it’s best if you bake it within 24 hours of assembly) bake according to directions.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.



How to Reheat Tater Tot Casserole

If you’re reheating a small amount of leftover tater tot casserole, go ahead and reheat it in the microwave.

Be sure to use a microwave safe bowl or plate.

For large amounts of this cheesy tater tot casserole, place the entire casserole dish into a preheated oven.

Then simply heat the casserole until warmed through.


side view of tater tot hot dish on plate


More Kid Friendly Casseroles…

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is so simple and easy. It’s kid friendly, feeds a crowd, and only takes a few ingredients to make. Enjoy!


Yield: 5 Servings

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

zoomed in image of tater tot casserole

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is the easiest dinner you'll make this week! It's fast, full of delicious food, and only needs a few simple ingredients!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Cook ground beef and onion until meat is browned and onion is soft and translucent.
  3. In a 9x9 casserole dish, place ground beef and onion on bottom of dish.
  4. Gently sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon season salt over the top of beef.
  5. Sprinkle all of cheese on top of beef mixture.
  6. Spread cream of chicken soup over top of ground beef.
  7. Top with tater tots and sprinkle with remaining season salt.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  10. Serve Immediately

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 764Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 190mgSodium: 1372mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 55g
Originally Posted: August 25, 2014

Photos & Text Updated: January 30, 2023


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Thursday 16th of May 2024

Do you drain the hamburger meat??

Num's The Word

Friday 17th of May 2024

I guess that depends on your hamburger and personal preference. I don't always drain it.

Brenda Hopkins

Saturday 27th of April 2024

I used brown gravy instead of cream of chicken soup. Yummy!!!

Melissa Kidd

Thursday 28th of March 2024

I made this recipe for dinner tonight. Such a big hit for my family. My husband said that it must be added as a new family favorite.


Tuesday 5th of March 2024

I pre-cook the tator tots in the air fryer while I'm browning the meat. They seem to keep their shape a bit better and not so mushy in the end. I mix everything except 3/4 of a cup of tator tots and place them on top to keep them crispy

Num's The Word

Thursday 21st of March 2024

Not a bad idea!!


Thursday 22nd of February 2024

The tator tots were definitely not done after 20 mins - had to cook for an additional 30 mins!!! But was really good - I too also added veggies to mine.

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