Golden brown tater tots sit atop melty cheese, mixed vegetables and beef to make our Hamburger and Tater Tot Casserole.
Baked until the potatoes have crispy breading this is one of those casseroles that you pull out of the oven and can’t wait to start eating!
Hamburger and Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
Melted cheese and creamy soup hold golden brown potatoes, layers of ground beef and vegetables together wonderfully in this Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole recipe.
A few basic ingredients that we always have in the house are ground beef, frozen vegetables, cream of chicken and mushroom soup, shredded cheese and frozen tater tots which makes this recipe simple.
These Loaded Tatchos have similar flavors with more ingredients and a different presentation!
Why This Recipe Works:
- Our family loves the simple flavors in this casserole and it fits into a budget
- Keep the amount of tater tots the same in a single layer and then adjust the other ingredients to suit your preference
- The attractive rows of potatoes on top is fun to look at
- Ingredients are easy to store, so this meal is great for the end of your meal plan when perishable food may be gone
- Can be doubled and made in the oven or in a crock pot
- We’ve tested other variations and brought the best recipe for Hamburger and Tater Tot Casserole here
- Hamburger – use lean ground beef; sometimes we like to cook and crumble ahead of time to help with meal prep.
- Onion – an optional way to add another flavor dynamic, but don’t over do it since this is a fairly thin casserole.
- Frozen Mixed Vegetables – we like a mixture that included green beans and small cubes of carrots. We prefer to avoid slices of carrots.
- Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Soup – Just the right mixture in one can to blend the meat and potatoes together. Cream of mushroom soup is the second choice and cream of chicken is third choice in order of preference.
- Colby Jack Cheese – We like the blend of flavors, but sharp cheddar is another great option. Pepper jack works well too.
- Tater Tots – Pick up a two pound bag so you’ll have some extras. Try to keep them frozen while transporting so the breading doesn’t fall off and change shape in the casserole assembly step.
Do The Potatoes Have to Be Arranged In Rows?
The key to making this tater tot casserole work is to have a single layer of baked taters. This is best accomplished by neatly arranging them.
If you don’t have time to make a pattern just be sure there’s a single layer so the potatoes can brown evenly.
I like to ask my kids to get involved in this step since it takes a little bit more time. They can help prepare the meal while I clean up the kitchen, go through book bags, etc.
What Type of Vegetables Work Best?
Green beans are the most popular single vegetable to layer in a hamburger tater tot casserole, but we like to use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.
I’ve found in a bag of mixed veggies the individual pieces are cut smaller which helps the flavors blend together better the best.
A can of drained green beans can also work, but we prefer the firmness of using frozen green beans!
Best Type of Soup
Our favorite creamy soup for this recipe is cream of chicken and mushroom. When using the Campbells brand it looks like cream of chicken soup, but has an undertone of mushroom flavor.
Mushrooms lovers enjoy cream of mushroom, but it can be overwhelming if mushrooms aren’t your thing. We find that cream of chicken and mushroom is the perfect happy ground for our family.
More Tater Tot Casserole Variations
Sour Cream – can be used in place of a can of cream of chicken and mushroom soup. I would use one and a half cups of sour cream to add a nice layer of creaminess.
Sausage – or ground pork may be a cheaper alternative to hamburger. Chose a variety with mild spices because we learned in our Crock Pot Pizza Casserole that using an Italian sausage can really over power the dish where ground beef blends together much better.
Bacon – I like adding some crumbled bacon or bacon bits when I have leftover ground beef (like 1/2 a pound) from making a smaller batch of Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders.
Seasoned Tater Tots – we have used tater tots with seasoned salt which adds a nice depth of flavors. Seasoned salt may also be added to the meat if you have plain potatoes.
Slow Cooker Variation
We have made a double batch in a casserole slow cooker and it tastes fine.
The challenge with slow cooking and high moisture is that the taters don’t brown and crisp up the same way they do in the oven. So you can likely substitute for a cheaper layer of frozen potatoes if using a slow cooking method.
Cover and cook on high for 2 – 4 hours until the potatoes are cooked through.
Step By Step Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F then lightly coat a 9 x 13″ dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Brown ground beef in a skillet and drain. Add onion to the skillet and cook until tender.
Layer the beef and onion mixture evenly across the bottom of the glass baking dish.
Then sprinkle the frozen veggies evenly on top.
Next pout out the can of cream of chicken and mushroom soup and spread it evenly over the top with a spatula or butter knife.
Then sprinkle a layer of cheese. I enjoy a thicker layer!
Arrange potatoes in symetrical rows as best you can.
Set dish in a preheated oven and bake uncovered for 30 – 40 minutes.
The casserole is done when the breading on the tater tots turn golden and gets a darker brown.
Serve warm and enjoy!
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Bake uncovered for best results and to get those beautiful golden brown tater tots
- I buy the 2 pound bag of tater tots and make the leftovers for after school snacks in the air fryer
- Cream of whatever soup works fine, our family prefers cream of chicken and mushroom soup the best
More Easy Dinner Recipes:
Hamburger Stuffed Shells are hearty and filling. This is an easy recipe that makes plenty of leftovers.
Hot Bacon Salad Dressing makes spinach taste so much better and makes a great addition to many meals!
No-Peek Chicken is a simple spin on chicken and rice and can be made in the oven or crock pot.
Hot Dogs with Sauerkraut is an easy meal on a budget. The combo pairs well in a casserole or with the sauerkraut topping the hot dog in a bun.
Printable Slow Cooker Hamburger and Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
Hamburger and Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup sweet onion chopped
- 12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
- 10 ounce can cream of chicken mushroom soup
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 1 1/2 pounds tater tots
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Brown ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Drain beef and return to skillet.
- Add onion and cook over medium high heat for a few more minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
- Spread browned ground beef evenly over the bottom of a greased 9×13" baking dish.
- Sprinkle bag of frozen vegetables evenly over the meat.
- Spread soup over the vegetables.
- Add a thick layer of cheese and arrange tater tots on top.
- Bake uncovered for 30 – 40 minutes until the potatoes are crispy golden brown.
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Originally published on May 7, 2018 with photos updated on March 20, 2023.