This easy Tater Tot Casserole is made with a creamy, beefy, flavorful first layer then topped with golden tater tots and melty cheese. Cooked low and slow until ready to serve, there’s nothing more satisfying than a helping of this easy casserole recipe!
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Tater Tot Casserole in Crock Pot
This hamburger tater tot casserole is one of my favorite classic comfort food recipes to fall back on. Family-friendly, wholesome, and hearty, this hot dish is like a warm hug from an old friend. It’s a humble dish, without any fuss and although it doesn’t try to impress anyone, it always does!
All it takes is to cook the ground beef first then dump and set the rest until it’s ready to serve on busy weeknights. It’s that easy!
You can customize it depending on what you’ve got in your kitchen. Sometimes it’s nice to add extra veggies, switch up the cheese, or even use a different protein. Whatever you can come up with, this hearty casserole can handle it!
Below is a list of the simple ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll down to the full recipe card with amounts.
- Lean ground beef: The only thing that gets cooked before adding it to the slow cooker. I use lean ground beef so there isn’t too much extra grease.
- Corn: Frozen corn or canned corn can be used. If using canned corn, drain it first.
- Cream of mushroom soup: You’ll need just one can. This is what gives the beef its creaminess with the bonus of the mushroom flavor.
- Diced onion: For an extra element of flavor. Onion is an aromatic that always makes everything taste better.
- Milk: Cream soups are quite thick so the milk helps to thin it out.
- Sour cream: Provides a richness as well as a slight tang to the creamy mixture. Full-fat sour cream is best.
- Worcestershire sauce: For a bit of salty, savory, and umami flavor, giving it extra depth.
- Seasoning: Garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Frozen tater tots: No need to thaw them, add them frozen!
- Cheddar cheese: Freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese is what I like to use.
1. For extra veggies, add 2 cups of diced peas, carrots, or green beans. You can also add mushrooms, diced green or red bell pepper, or chopped broccoli. You can use canned or frozen veggies.
2. Use a different protein. You could swap the ground beef with ground chicken or ground turkey. Mild or hot Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, or chorizo can also be used.
3. Cream of chicken soup can be used instead of cream of mushroom if you prefer.
4. Add a few cloves of minced garlic.
5. To make a crunchy topping, sprinkle some French fried onions or panko breadcrumbs on top.
6. Swap the cheddar any favorite shredded cheese. Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, you name it.
How to Make Slow Cooker Tater Tot Casserole
This recipe will come together in just a few easy steps. Then, the crock pot does the rest.
Step 1: In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain any excess grease if necessary.
Step 2: Then add the cooked beef to the slow cooker along with the corn, cream of mushroom, diced onion, milk, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Stir everything to combine.
Step 3: Add the tater tots in a single layer on top of the entire meat mixture.
Step 4: Cover with the lid and cook on low for 4 hours.
Step 5: About 10 minutes before serving, remove the lid, sprinkle the grated cheese over top, and cover it again until the cheese melts.
- For the creamiest melted cheese, it’s always best to grate the cheese from a block rather than buy a package of pre-shredded cheese.
- Serve it topped with chopped green onions or chives. Maybe some sour cream or dare I say, ketchup?!
- You can also bake this casserole in the oven. Arrange everything in a 9×13 casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350° F with the cheese on top for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
- If you happen to have a bag of frozen hash browns and not tater tots, you can use them instead
Nope! They will thaw and heat through as the casserole cooks.
Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. It makes a great quick lunch or even breakfast the next day. Serve it with a side salad and you’ve got a complete meal ready.
Sure thing. It makes a great freezer meal. Seal it airtight to avoid freezer burn. If in the original baking dish, once cooled completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Keep it frozen for up to 2 months and then thaw it in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to eat it. Remove both layers of wrap prior to baking.
Since we’re not aiming for crispy tater tots, use the microwave to reheat any leftovers.
Tater Tot Casserole in a Slow Cooker
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 12 ounces corn frozen or canned
- 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup one can
- 1 small onion diced
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 20 ounces frozen tater tots
- 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- In a medium skillet, add the ground beef and brown over medium high heat, breaking it into small pieces1 pound lean ground beef
- In the slow cooker, add the cooked meat, corn, cream of mushroom soup, diced onion, milk, sour cream, worcestershire sauce and spices. Stir to combine well.12 ounces corn, 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup, 1 small onion, ½ cup milk, ¼ cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
- Add a single layer of tater tots on top of the entire meat mixture.20 ounces frozen tater tots
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
- Sprinkle with the shredded cheese about 10 minutes before serving and cover until the cheese melts.1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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