Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole layers creamy ground beef with green beans, cheese, and tater tots for an easy family friendly dinner!
Nothing says high class like a casserole topped with tater tots. Am I right?
When I was 12 years old Green Bean 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.
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.)
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 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, tater tots on the top or tater tots mixed into the filling.
What did I learn from my research? Don’t mess with someone’s beloved casserole recipe. There will be hell to pay.
My Favorite Easy Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
In the end, I decided to stick with the tried and true recipe of my youth with only a few minor changes. I make my tater tot casserole with ground beef, sour cream, mushroom soup, cheese, and green beans. I prefer the casserole to be layered with tater tots on top, because my 31 year old self still believes golden crispy tots are one of life’s greatest pleasure.
This recipe comes together in about 20 minutes and is made with freezer and pantry staples, which is why it was a go-to for my parents and remains a go-to for me today.
How to Make Tater Tot Casserole with Green Beans
- Brown the ground beef or hamburger with a diced yellow onion.
- Once the beef is browned, combine it with the sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. This is the base of the casserole.
- Scatter the green beans over top of the beef mixture. I prefer low sodium canned green beans, but thawed frozen green beans also work.
- Sprinkle the green beans with shredded cheese or top with American cheese slices.
- Top the casserole with tater tots and bake until you’ve got a bubbly, melty, crispy tater tot casserole!
Tater Tot Casserole Variations
- Tater Tot Casserole with Veggies: Feel free to add more canned or frozen vegetables to the green bean layer or swap them with the veggies of your choice. Be sure to season them so they don’t taste bland!
- Vegetarian Tater Tot Casserole: We’ve made meatless tater tot casserole a few times now with great success. Simply substitute 2 pounds of mushrooms sautéed in butter for the meat layer.
- Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole: In my opinion, all great tater tot casseroles have cheese, but the fun is in experimenting with your favorites. Feel free to try different combinations. Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, Mexican Cheese Blend, and American are all favorites of ours.
- Taco Tater Tot Casserole is perfect when you’re looking for a spicy tater tot casserole!
- Breakfast Tater Tot Casserole is a make ahead friendly tater tot casserole you can serve on busy mornings.
- Chicken Tater Tot Casserole is another great option when you’re not in the mood for beef.
Can I Make Casserole Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! You can brown the beef and layer the casserole several hours or days before you’re ready to bake, but I do leave the tater tots off of the casserole until it’s ready to go in the oven.
Can I Freeze Tater Tot Casserole?
Yes! Tater tot casserole can be frozen fully assembled. I have frozen it in 9×13 inch glass pans, aluminum disposable pans, or in 2 9 inch pie plates. Just be sure to use a tightly fitting lid or saran wrap covered with foil and defrost it in the fridge overnight.
Casserole for a Crowd
This recipe can feed a lot of people (I’d say around 12). That said, it’s easy to cut in half if you don’t need to feed a small army. I like to make the full recipe and put it in two 8 inch square or 9 inch round plates then freeze the second one for a later time. It’s the same amount of work for two meals!
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 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 bag frozen tater tots
- 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 inch pan or two 8 inch pans or 2 9 inch pie plates.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together cream soup, sour cream, and milk. Pour over hamburger.
- Scatter green beans over top of the soup mixture.
- Scatter shredded cheese over green beans.
- 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, or 40 minutes if it's baked while the beef is still warm.
For a vegetarian version replace meat with 2 pounds of fresh sliced mushrooms sauteed in 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 456 Total Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 121mg Sodium: 767mg Carbohydrates: 11g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 33g