This hamburger tater tot casserole recipe is comfort food with a Tex-Mex flare. Cheesy taco flavored ground beef covered with crispy tater tots. Even your picky eaters will love this one pot easy dinner that you can prep in just 20 minutes. Who doesn’t love crispy tater tots!
Weeknight Dinner with a Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole
What is it about tater tots that make them so amazing! So much better than French fries in my book, it’s just a childhood classic. Add them to the top of a cheesy hamburger filling and you have a family favorite dinner.
My go-to for tater tots are frozen Alexia Tater Tots, they always turn out crispy and they make both sweet potato and regular. However, now that we have a Trader Joe’s I’ve tried their potato tots and they are just as good.
Why You’ll Make This on Repeat
- Quick and easy dinner
- Great flavor from the seasoning and the peppers
- Crispy Tater tots
- It makes great leftovers
Taylor loves the sweet potato puffs and Natalie the regular tots, so when they’re both home, I use both to top the potato casserole. Everyone is happy. This is such a favorite in our house, that I’ll make two at once and freeze individual portions of the leftovers for the girls.
The base is a spicy Tex-Mex hamburger mixture with some corn and a bit of pepper jack cheese mixed in. You need the tots to cool down the jalapeños. We loved the hamburger mixture as much as the potato topping, but combine the two and it’s awesome.
What you’ll need for a Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole
- Tater tots – you can use regular or sweet potato. You’ll need one 28 oz bag.
- Ground beef – you can substitute ground chicken or turkey. If doing so, add a little olive oil to the pan before adding the chicken and onions.
- Onion and garlic – they add so much flavor to almost any dish.
- Red, yellow or orange peppers – these are a little sweeter than green peppers. They are all the same pepper, they start out green and as they ripen change colors.
- Jalapeño pepper – I like things spicy but not too spicy, so I use one pepper with the seeds removed. Love the spicy, add the seeds. If you don’t want it spicy at all, leave out the pepper.
- Taco seasoning – you can make your own with this recipe, or use your favorite packet. You’ll need about 4 tablespoons or 1 packet.
- Corn – fresh or frozen, if frozen, you don’t need to thaw it.
- Pepper jack cheese – If you want a milder version use Monterey jack cheese instead.
- Milk and flour- to make a creamy sauce.
How do you make a tater tot casserole
This is such an easy recipe to put together, and one you will want to add to your weeknight rotation.
Step 1: Brown the beef
First, brown your hamburger with onions and peppers and add some flour and taco seasoning.
Add milk and let it simmer until it thickens. Add half the cheese and corn.
Step 2: Add some cheese and potatoes
Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and add the tater tots and bake.
This version does not have canned soup but still has a creamy hamburger base.
Seriously, give this a try, even your pickiest eater will love it. If you’re in the mood for Buffalo sauce instead of Tex-Mex, then try Buffalo Chicken Hotdish.
If you’re serving this to kids, or don’t like spicy food, it’s easy to tone this down, just leave out the jalapeño peppers and use a mild taco seasoning.
What do you serve with a potato casserole
Since you have all the food groups in a tater tot casserole, veggies, potatoes and meat, all you really need is dessert! Here are some quick and easy favorites.
- Chocolate pudding cake
- Apple dumplings
- Banana pudding with cream cheese
- Blueberry self-saucing pudding
How to Store a Potato Casserole
Leftovers will stay fresh for 3-5 days in the refrigerator or you can freeze this and it will stay fresh for 2-3 months in an airtight container.
To reheat: To get the potatoes crispy, it is best to reheat in the oven at 350º for 5-10 minutes.
If you love hamburger casseroles, here are some more of our favorites
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ cup onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno diced
- 2 red or yellow pepper diced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 package taco seasoning 4 tablespoons
- ¾ cup milk
- 8 ounces pepper jack cheese shredded
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
- 28 ounces frozen tater tots 1 bag
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- In an oven proof skillet over medium heat, add ground beef and onion and cook until no longer pink. Add peppers and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Drain grease if necessary.
- Add flour and taco seasoning and cook until incorporated about 2 minutes. Stir in milk and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Add half of the cheese along with the corn and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the hamburger mixture and top with tater tots.
- Place skillet in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until tater tots are golden brown and crispy. Let stand for at least 5 minutes to cool before serving.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can substitute ground chicken or turkey for hamburger, if doing so, you will need to add a little olive oil to the skillet before adding the ground chicken.
- To prepare this in advance, let the hamburger mixture cool before adding the tater tots. Then cover and refrigerate.
- If you don’t have an oven proof skillet you can make this in a 9 x 13 baking dish.