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Tater Tot Casserole

Nothing says high class like a casserole topped with tater tots.

Am I right?

I’m choosing to believe your silence is an enthusiastic Heck yeah!

When I was 12 years old Tater Tot Casserole was my favorite dinner. This should surprise no one. What 12 year old wouldn’t go nuts for this? It’s like eating a cheeseburger, except instead of a bun you get crispy tater tots and some cream of mushroom soup.

Ok, so the cream of mushroom soup bit sounds a little funky, but don’t tell me you aren’t dreaming about a cheeseburger on a tater tot bun now. (note to self: figure out how to make tater tot buns. Sell them to Red Robin. Make millions of dollars. Move to the beach and spend the remainder of my life reading novels and eating tater tots. End note.)

Tater Tot Casserole

I was curious to see if this childhood favorite was still as delicious as I remembered it. I went to my most trusted source for the recipe–my mom–but I decided to do a little Internet research to see if there were other versions out there.

Turns out, people have some pretty strong feelings about their tater tot casserole. I read more than a few message boards filled with arguments about whether the casserole should have green beans or corn, cheese or french fried onions, tots on top or tots on bottom.

What did I learn from my research? Don’t mess with someone’s favorite casserole recipe. There will be hell to pay.

In the end I decided to stick with the tried and true recipe of my youth with only a few minor changes. We are firmly in the green bean and cheese camp, but I did decide to replace one can of condensed soup with sour cream. The recipe is very forgiving so use whatever condensed soup you have on hand and feel free to sub in different cheese as well. (I have visions of a spicy version with green chilies and pepper jack cheese…)

I served this to our community group and everyone loved it, including those who didn’t grow up on this hearty casserole. I also made a vegetarian version of this by subbing a pound of fresh sliced mushrooms sauteed in butter for the meat layer. The vegetarians (and non vegetarians) of our group all approved.

While I love cooking with fresh veggies and herbs, everyone needs a few recipes like this in their back pocket. With only a couple pantry items and 20 minutes of hands-on time, this dinner is a cinch to throw together. The recipe serves around 8, so if you have a small family, I recommend putting it in two 8 x 8 inch baking dishes and freezing one for later.

Tater tot casserole

I’m so thrilled to be sharing this recipe with the #SundaySupper Movement this week. The theme for this week was retro recipes. For a healthy dose of nostalgia, check out all the other great contributors below the recipe and join us at 7 PM on Twitter to share your favorite Retro Recipes as well! Do you have any childhood recipes you’d like to bring back?

Tater Tot Casserole for #SundaySupper
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe by:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cans low sodium green beans (or 16 oz package frozen green beans)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used a mixture of mild and sharp)
  • 1 large bag tater tots
  • **For a vegetarian version replace meat with a pound of fresh sliced mushrooms sauteed in 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Replace cream of chicken soup with cream of mushroom soup. Place mushrooms on the bottom followed by soup mixture, beans, cheese, and tots.
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet brown beef and onions until no pink remains, about 10 minutes. Drain the fat. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place meat mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 in pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together cream soup, sour cream, and milk. Pour over hamburger.
  3. Scatter green beans over top of the soup mixture.
  4. Scatter shredded cheese over green beans.
  5. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake. Allow frozen casserole to thaw in the fridge overnight before baking. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange tater tots on top of the cheese. If you are taking it straight from the fridge, place the pan in the oven right away so it can warm up with the oven. Bake until mixture is bubbly and the tots are golden brown, about 45 minutes to an hour if coming from the fridge.

Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:

Sunday Supper Retro Salads:

Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:

SundaySupper Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:

Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:

What fun to read the stories about the recipes! There’s lots of great food in the list. I admit I still make and enjoy many of them. Nice to see some updated versions too. Which one is your favorite?

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

Sunday Supper Movement

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Leave a Comment

  • Jennifer Drummond January 20, 2013, 11:46 AM

    I love Tater Tots and I love that you made it into a casserole!!

  • Juanita's Cocina January 20, 2013, 11:55 AM

    Tater tot casserole is definitely a childhood favorite of mine! YUM!

  • Sherron Nagle Watson January 20, 2013, 12:16 PM

    I love your post…just laughed at the part about not messing with anyone’s favorite casserole dish. It is so true! I think I may have kept the Tater Tot company in business as a kid. I much preferred them over french fries. Love your recipe!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 20, 2013, 2:15 PM

      I agree! The tot is a much better delivery system for potatoes than the french fry!

  • Katie C January 20, 2013, 1:31 PM

    Would you believe it…I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting a casserole topped with tater tots? This is a travesty…I need to change this! Your casserole looks really stinking tasty!!!!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 20, 2013, 2:14 PM

      Agreed…you haven’t had a childhood until you’ve had tater tots on a casserole!

  • Melanie Eccles January 20, 2013, 2:46 PM

    I couldn’t get past the thought of tater tot buns! so brilliant!

  • Sarah R January 20, 2013, 2:50 PM

    Tater tots are a weakness of mine, but they never seem to make it into a casserole!

  • Tara January 20, 2013, 2:57 PM

    Tater Tots, hehe!! Love it, and I love that they are in a casserole!!

  • Wendy January 20, 2013, 3:57 PM

    We all grew up eating a version of this casserole! I would make it, and my hubby would LOVE it!

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes.... January 20, 2013, 5:23 PM

    We used to have this all the time growing up, but with corn instead of green beans! I would love to have this again!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 21, 2013, 12:28 AM

      I found a couple recipes with corn. I may be experimenting with different veggies in the future. I’m thinking maybe bell pepper or peas could be good too.

  • Hezzi-Ds Books&Cooks January 20, 2013, 5:45 PM

    I’ve heard people talk about tater tot casserole but didn’t know what it was. It sounds yummy!

  • Constance January 21, 2013, 2:37 AM

    Oh wow! Tater Tot Casserole!? I am so wowed by all of the great retro’s everyone has posted! Such a great walk down memory lane 🙂

  • Beate @ The Not So Cheesy Kitc January 22, 2013, 1:18 AM

    Finally I now know – thanks to you – what a tater casserole is. My husband sometimes talks about the Tater Surprise casserole his sister makes. Now I finally get t 🙂 – It does look like a fun, and super satisfying dishe 🙂 ~ Bea @ galactosemia in PDX

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen January 22, 2013, 7:48 AM

    I can see how this was a favorite! Just the casserole to make everyone happy!

  • Laura Hunter January 22, 2013, 9:33 AM

    I have to admit this is one of my processed food weekness’. I don’t make it often but just thinking about it makes my mouth drool

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 22, 2013, 6:42 PM

      Me too! It’s just so comforting and hearty. Perfect for these freezing temperatures!

  • Elisabeth January 22, 2013, 1:37 PM

    I made this recipe gluten free by using Progresso Creamy Mushroom Soup and Daisy Sour Cream and Velveeta (which are also GF) and it was delicious. Tator Tots are GF so it was a home run win!!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 22, 2013, 6:43 PM

      Thanks for posting the variation Mom! Will have to have this at our next family get together. 🙂 Who knew tater tots were gluten free??

  • Nancy January 22, 2013, 7:40 PM

    As soon as I read the title of your post, I knew I’d love your recipe. I freaking love tater tots! Instead of creating a tater tot bun, you could use those flat hashbrowns (the kind that McDonald’s uses in their breakfast meals) as the “patty” for a burger. It would taste amazing! Just as amazing as I’m sure this casserole tasted.

  • Renee Dobbs January 22, 2013, 8:49 PM

    Giggling over making tater tot buns and selling them to Red Robin. Funny thing is I bet they would be a hit. Thanks so much for joining in the Sunday Supper fun for our retro celebration. I’m looking forward to what you will be sharing in the future.

  • kimchi_mom January 25, 2013, 12:09 AM

    You had me at “tater tots”! I am soooo making this! I also think it will be part of my Thanksgiving menu this year (yes, I’m already thinking Thanksgiving!).

  • Faye Leong January 26, 2013, 12:16 PM

    You have made me craving for this delicious tater tot casserole! Great post!

  • Amanda M January 27, 2013, 8:29 PM

    This was a major part of my childhood. There’s even a restaurant in Minneapolis, MN called Haute Dish (hot dish – the Minnesotan word for casserole) that makes a “classy” version of this!

  • Ca4ole February 7, 2013, 5:30 PM

    Courtney, thanks for linking this in to Food on Friday. Cheers

  • Estelle Lauletta January 8, 2014, 8:22 PM

    You had me a Tater Tots..But lost me at canned Green Beans & canned soup. First of of all canned beas are disgusting (sorry that is just how I have fedlt since a kid!!!). & canned soup has so much sodium it would blow my Blood Pressure off the roof. So I have decided fresh is best & make your owm soup!!! It is very easy if you know how!! Then proceed with the reci[e!!!.

    • Estelle Lauletta January 8, 2014, 8:24 PM

      Sorry for spelling errors. I can barely see! Just want to join along!!????

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