Tater tot casserole combines some of our absolute favorite things: potatoes, meat, and of course, cheese! It’s the ultimate comfort food that you can whip up when you don’t feel like cooking but want to please the whole family. 

Overhead view of Tater Tot Casserole in a white dish with a wooden serving spoon.

We never say no to a potato — in any form! Baked, roasted, fried…it’s one ingredient that we just can’t get enough of. Speaking of potatoes, did anyone else grow up on tater tots? Whenever our parents came home with a bag of them, we would gobble up those tots like it was our job. When we recently had a craving for them, we decided to create an actual meal out of them. Saucy, tasty, and meat-based, this cheesy tater tot casserole is decadent and oh-so-tasty! Not only is it hearty and filling, but it’s also easy to throw together. If you’re looking for a no-stress dinner idea, you’ve found it! Our easy tater tot casserole recipe uses simple ingredients that you may already have on hand. Between prep time and cook time, it all comes together in just about an hour. Serve it fresh out of the oven and dinner is served! 

Meat Options:

We keep things simple with this tater tots casserole recipe and just use ground beef. You can also replace it with:

  • Ground turkey
  • Ground chicken
  • Plant-based ground meat substitute

If you’re looking to make this dish vegetarian-friendly, opt for the plant-based substitute (or savory mushrooms!) and use vegetable stock instead of beef.


This dish isn’t all meat, cheese, and potatoes! We also add in vegetables, like corn and green beans. You can also use:

  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Bell peppers
  • Cauliflower 

Cheese Options:

We believe that this cheesy tater tot casserole tastes best with Colby Jack. However, there are plenty of other cheeses to choose from! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Mild, sharp, or extra sharp cheddar
  • Monterey Jack
  • Pepper Jack
  • Colby

Serving Suggestions:

Not sure what to pair your cheesy tater tot casserole with? While it is filling on its own, you may want to add some side dishes to really round the meal out. Try serving it with:

A scoop of tater tot casserole being lifted from a casserole dish.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Like all good casseroles, this easy tater tot casserole can easily be made ahead and then frozen. Freezer-ready meals are the best for those busy weeknights when you don’t have any extra time to cook. Simply follow the recipe card below, but make sure to leave out the tater tot and cheese layer. Allow the dish to cool completely, then place it inside your freezer, being careful to wrap it tightly. We recommend that you bake it in a disposable, freezer-safe foil baking dish to make transferring it into the freezer pain-free. It will keep for about 4 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let it thaw overnight, then add the tots and the cheese and bake as instructed on the recipe card.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

If you miraculously have leftover cheesy tater tot casserole (seriously, it’s that good!), you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. We suggest that you reheat in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Place your leftovers in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil and bake until warmed through, about 25-30 minutes.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious casserole recipes: