Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole

Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole layers creamy ground beef with green beans, cheese, and tater tots for an easy family friendly dinner!

Scoop of tater tot casserole taken out of a casserole dish

Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole: A Childhood Favorite

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.

Tater Tot Casserole in a glass pie plate

Don’t Mess With A Classic

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.  

Tater Tot Casserole with Green Beans in a glass pie plate

How to Make Tater Tot Casserole with Green Beans

  1. Brown the ground beef or hamburger with a diced yellow onion.  
  2. Once the beef is browned, combine it with the sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. This is the base of the casserole.
  3. Scatter the green beans over top of the beef mixture. I prefer low sodium canned green beans, but thawed frozen green beans also work.
  4. Sprinkle the green beans with shredded cheese or top with American cheese slices.
  5. Top the casserole with tater tots and bake until you’ve got a bubbly, melty, crispy tater tot casserole!
Tater Tot Casserole with ground beef and green beans

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.
Overhead view of tater tot casserole with a fork

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.

Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole scoop on a plate

Casserole for a Crowd (or not)

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!

More Ground Beef Casserole Recipes

If you can’t get enough ground beef and potatoes, you’re going to want to try this Hamburger Potato Casserole and this quick and easy Hamburger Hashbrown Casserole.

We also love Company Casserole, Johnny Marzetti, and Walking Taco Casserole!

Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole scoop on a plate

Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Classic Tater Tot Casserole combines creamy ground beef with green beans, cheese, and tater tots for an easy and family friendly weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 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

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 inch pan or two 8 inch pans or 2 9 inch pie plates.
  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, or 40 minutes if it's baked while the beef is still warm.

Notes

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: 456Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 767mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 33g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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44 Comments

  1. It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.

  2. I made this for my family tonight and they loved it. It tastes like the tater tot casserole my gramma used to make. The only thing I did differently is add a few dashes of seasoned salt to dust the tater tots when I took it out of the oven, because I remember my gramma doing that when I was a kid. Otherwise this recipe tastes like my childhood…. Thank you so much!

  3. 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!!!.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

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

  13. 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!!!!

  14. 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!

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