This Tater Tot Casserole is a quick and easy dinner recipe that’s super affordable too. Kids – and adults – will love this cheesy potato casserole!
Easy and Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole (Cowboy Casserole)
Tater Tot Casserole, also known as Cowboy Casserole, is a total comfort food recipe. Loaded with gooey cheese, sizzling ground beef, and golden brown tater tots, it’ll put a smile on each and every face sitting around the table!
I love this potato casserole for so many reasons, but mostly because it’s super easy to make, and the ingredients are fairly inexpensive. Meals with simple prep work that I know everybody will enjoy are truly treasures in my household – so I’m sharing this one with you!
Like I said above, this is a pretty simple casserole recipe. You can easily find the following ingredients in your local grocery store, if they’re not already on your shelves.
- Olive Oil
- Yellow Onion: Use 1 small onion, diced.
- Ground Beef: I used lean ground beef, but you can use whatever kind of ground beef you like, or ground turkey, ground chicken, etc.
- Steak Seasoning: I use Montreal’s to make this casserole.
- Frozen Mixed Vegetables: You can also use canned vegetables instead.
- Beef Broth: You can used reduced or low fat if needed.
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Cheddar Cheese
- Tater Tots: You’ll need 32 oz of any brand of frozen tater tots.
How to Make Tater Tot Casserole
This casserole really only takes 4 steps to create and bake. It does need to bake for a while, but it won’t take you long at all to get it prepped and ready for the oven.
Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook Onions, Ground Beef & Vegetables: In a large skillet over medium-high heat olive oil. Add the onions and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add in the ground beef and steak seasoning and cook until browned, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the vegetables and cook until warmed. Drain excess liquid from the pan and return back to the heat.
Add Flour: Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine, cooking for 30 seconds. Stream in the broth, milk, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes until thickened.
Sprinkle Cheese & Add Tater Tots: Pour beef mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly on the meat mixture and then top evenly with the frozen tater tots.
Bake Casserole: Bake for 45-50 minutes until the mixture is bubbly and the tater tots are lightly browned. Serve warm.
Tips for Success
Now that you’ve read through the cooking process, here are some tips to help you get the best results with your casserole:
- Frozen Vegetable Substitutes: canned corn and even canned peas and carrots are great substitutes for frozen vegetables.
- Eat the Casserole Hot: if could become a little mushy if you don’t eat it right away, so serve it hot!
- Add More Cheese: if you want a super cheesy casserole, add some more shredded cheddar to the top about 5 minutes before the casserole is done baking.
- Other Add-ins: try throwing in some bacon or peppers, and you could even serve is with salsa or sour cream.
What goes best with this cheesy casserole? Good question! Here are some ideas I’ve come up with:
- Salad: some leafy greens would be perfect on the side of this casserole, especially when served with this Greek Salad Dressing!
- Roasted Vegetables: are great for mixing in with your casserole, but you could also just do a simple side of broccoli, too.
- Chicken: I love this on the side with Melt In Your Mouth Chicken!
How to Store Leftover Tater Tot Casserole
This casserole will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze it in the same way for up to 3 months.