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Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

Follow our complete, step-by-step, instructions to learn how to make this delicious Tater Tot Casserole. It’s quick and easy.

This casserole uses Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Celery, and Cream of Chicken soup to give it a really delicious and in depth flavor. With the addition of ground beef, it’s a quick and easy Main Dish for lunch or supper.

I hadn’t had this dish in a very long time, but just one bite, brought back lots of great memories of enjoying this casserole in my younger years.

My Aunt Lena, submitted this recipe as one of her favorites in our families “Stewart Family Favorites Cookbook” that was put together by members of my mother’s side of the family back in 1999. Aunt Lena was my mothers sister.

I’d been looking at this recipe for some time in that book, but just never got around to making it to post here on Taste of Southern. I’m not sure why it took so long. Especially after I might have gone back for seconds once all the photos of the finished dish had been taken. Don’t hold that against me. It was just really good.

I know there are lots of variations on how to make a Tater Tot Casserole. A quick search on the Internet will show you that. I just found this version to be pretty unique and different, so I’m glad to be able to share it with you.

Most such dishes show the tater tots on TOP of the dish. Aunt Lena placed hers on the bottom. Her recipe also uses three different types of soup, Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom, and Cream of Celery. I found that to be a bit interesting compared to other recipes I’ve looked at.

And, with the addition of Ground Beef, this Tater Tot Casserole becomes a main course Entree that’s great for lunch, dinner, or to carry to the next potluck you get invited to. I think you’ll like it should you try it.

I always suggest you buy your cheese in a block and grate it yourself. It’s so much better than that cornstarch coated shredded cheese you can buy. Fresh grated gives it that pizza style pull where you end with a stretched out string of cheese from your plate to your mouth. So good.

The dish goes together quickly, and I’ve placed some of the leftovers in the freezer for later. It’s going to be really good on one of these cold winter days when I don’t feel like getting in the kitchen to cook. Smile.

So, ready to give it a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!

Tater Tot Casserole Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.

You will need a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish to make this casserole. Begin by giving the inside bottom and sides of the dash a thin layer of butter.

Place a layer of tater tots on the bottom of the dish.

The recipe calls for a 2lb bag of tater tots. I used all but about 20 of them to cover the bottom of the dish. Keep it as a single layer, reserve the rest to garnish the top of the casserole once you’ve assembled it.

Adding the tater tots to the dish now will give them some time to thaw while we prepare the rest of the casserole. Just sit this aside for now.

And, while we’re prepping, let’s go ahead and dice up the onion. Set this aside for now.

Place the ground beef in a skillet. Place this over Medium heat on your stove top.

I’m using a 93% low fat ground beef for this particular recipe. It’s not going to produce much fat, so I will not have to drain it once it’s done.

Go ahead and toss the diced onions into the skillet.

Add the garlic powder. Or, if you have it, fresh garlic would be even better. Smile.

Add the Thyme.

Then, add the Oregano.

Stir all the ingredients together and let the beef cook until it’s completely done.

While the ground beef is browning, go ahead and grate the block of cheese.

I mention it often, but you will get much better results with your recipes if you grate your own cheese as opposed to buying the shredded cheese. The shredded cheese has cornstarch on it to keep it from sticking together, and it always seems to be a bit drier than a fresh block of cheese.

It will take you less than two minutes to grate this 8 ounce block, and I think it’s worth the little bit of extra effort. Smile.

When the ground beef is done, spread it right over the top of the tater tots in your baking dish.

Don’t forget to drain your ground beef if needed before adding it to the casserole.

Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and empty all three cans of soup into the bowl. We’re using the soups straight out of the can and not going to add any water to them.

Stir the soups together until they are fully combined.

Spread the soup mixture over the top of the ground beef.

I thought I had a photo of it, but I did add some black pepper on top of the soup. Just do this to taste as desired.

Spread the cheese over the top of the dish. And, if you saved a few tater tots out, place them on top of the cheese for a bit of garnish.

Most tater tot casserole dishes add the tater tots last, but this one added them first. A few on top will let folks know what’s inside the dish should you be taking it to a potluck or church social.

Place the casserole in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350F degrees. Let the dish bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the soup is bubbling hot and the cheese is fully melted.

Ovens do vary, so watch it carefully. The cheese melted right away on mine, but it took 30 minutes for the soup to get bubbly hot. I could hear it bubbling when I peaked at it in the oven.

Remove the casserole when it’s done and place it on a folded towel or wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Waiting about 10-20 minutes will help it firm up some and be easier to scoop out of the baking dish.


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