If you aren't making Tater Tot Casserole for dinner tonight, you and the fam are officially missing out. With layers of green beans, cheese, ground beef, and an easy, homemade cream of mushroom sauce, you can count on this hearty, foolproof dinner to fix all your comfort food cravings.
In fact, you can forget the sides altogether, making dinner preparations that much easier on yourself! Tater Tot Casserole with green beans is a full meal in one casserole dish, and it's absolutely delicious. Green beans and tater tots are smothered in a homemade cream of mushroom gravy (think green bean casserole on steroids) and then combined with ground beef for a hearty dinner the entire family will adore!
TATER TOT CASSEROLE WITH GREEN BEANS
For the best Tater Tot Casserole, put the cans aside and keep the easy around for good measure. Ingredients like fresh button mushrooms and frozen green beans will take your dinner casserole from good to immeasurably great.
Unlike the others, this champ features a creamy homemade cream of mushroom sauce that comes together quick and easy. After a quick sauté of diced onion and fresh button mushrooms, a sprinkle of flour, and a pour of both chicken broth and half-and-half. Then, let it simmer and get ready to taste the magic.
TATER TOT CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS
- Tater Tots - You will need a package of frozen tater tots -- just about any 28-32 ounce package is fine. You can add them to the casserole thawed or frozen, but remember, you'll be adding them in two separate additions. If you like your tater tots extra crispy, snag a bag of Ore-Ida's Extra Crispy Tater Tots. That's our fave.
- Cheddar Cheese - If you're short on time, feel free to use a high-quality bag of shredded Cheddar cheese. However, if time allows, freshly grated cheese is always best as far both texture and flavor are concerned.
- Ground Beef - You can use 80/20 or lean ground beef. Just be sure to rid of the grease before adding it to the casserole, especially if you're using the same pan to make the cream of mushroom sauce.
- The Produce - Tater Tot Casserole is a full dinner with vegetables included! It features a combination of the following produce: yellow onions, fresh button mushrooms, and frozen green beans. Frozen green beans retain better flavor and texture than those from in a can, however, if you'd prefer to use canned green beans, feel free to do so.
- Flour - You will need all-purpose flour to thicken the sauce.
- Chicken Broth - The chicken broth is used to make up the body of the sauce for your Tater Tot Casserole. Be sure to buy unsalted or low sodium chicken broth or your casserole will likely be far too salty.
- Half-and-Half - For an extra decadent cream of mushroom sauce, bring on the half-and-half. You could use cream or whole milk in its place if desired.
- Seasoning - Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and soy sauce are items you'll want to have on hand to add big flavor to your Tater Tot Casserole! Soy sauce may seem like a strange ingredient, but you will find it brings out the umami flavor of the mushrooms and makes for one deliciously savory addition to the sauce.
HOW TO MAKE TATER TOT CASSEROLE
- Cook the Ground Beef - Add the beef, salt, and pepper to a large pan, break it apart, and cook it until no longer pink. Then, transfer the beef to a colander and wipe the pan clean.
- Make Cream of Mushroom Sauce - To make the homemade cream of mushroom sauce for your Tater Tot Casserole, you'll begin by adding butter to the pan, along with the chopped onions and mushrooms and cook through. Sprinkle over the flour and add the chicken broth one big splash at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in all of the half-and-half and simmer briefly, until slightly thickened. Add just under half of the Cheddar, as well as the remaining seasoning to finish off the sauce.
- Assemble Casserole - Add the green beans, half of the tater tots, and the strained ground beef to the sauce and transfer to a greased casserole dish and scatter the remaining tater tots across the top.
- Bake - Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the casserole dish from the oven, add the remaining Cheddar cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
HOW LONG TO COOK TATER TOT CASSEROLE
The best part of Tater Tot Casserole just might be the layer of crispy tater tots hiding beneath a sea of stretchy, creamy Cheddar Cheese. However, if you want those tater tots to actually end up crispy, you'll have to cook them for a stint in the oven before you add the cheese.
Make sure the oven has been preheated to 375°, then add the casserole uncovered and bake for 25 minutes. After the time is up, pull the casserole from the oven, add the cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes. This gives you a grand total of 35 minutes of cook time for Tater Tot Casserole.
CAN I MAKE TATER TOT CASSEROLE AHEAD OF TIME?
If you'd like to get a jump start on dinner, assemble the Tater Tot Casserole almost completely, leaving out only the last layer of cheese. Then, just cover and refrigerate up to a day in advance.
Since the casserole will likely be going into the oven cold, you will need to add 10-15 minutes to the initial cook time. Once you see the sides of the casserole are bubbling, the center is warm, and the tots are looking crispy, you can top it with the remaining cheese and finish cooking as directed.
5 MORE COMFORT FOOD DINNERS YOU’LL LOVE
- Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole features hamburger, bacon, cheese, cheese soup, sour cream and tater tots. There's a whole lot to love in that pan!
- Pork Chop Casserole is a savory, rich casserole made with juicy pork chops baked on a bed of creamy scalloped potatoes, topped off with stretchy cheese, crispy-crunchy Panko bread crumbs, and baked until golden brown.
- Beef and Noodles is a hearty combination of tender beef tips drenched in a savory gravy, tossed with buttery egg noodles, and speckled with peas.
- Homemade Hamburger Helper made with savory, seasoned ground beef, a creamy, homemade cheddar sauce, and macaroni, it’s like a chili cheeseburger but in pasta form.
- Ground Beef Stroganoff made with budget-friendly ingredients comes together in just 20 minutes! Made with ground beef, mushrooms, onions, and sour cream, it's delicious served over egg noodles or just about any pasta!
Tater Tot Casserole with layers of green beans, cheese, ground beef, and an easy, homemade cream of mushroom sauce is a hearty dinner idea everyone loves!
- 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
- 2 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt, separated
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, separated
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 (8-ounce) package sliced button mushrooms, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1 ¾ cup half-and-half
- 2 ½ cups Cheddar, separated
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 (12 ounce) package frozen cut green beans
- 1 (28 ounce) package frozen tater tots (preferably extra crispy)
Preheat the oven to 375° and have ready a greased 9x13" casserole dish
Add the ground beef, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Break apart and cook until the pink no longer shows (about 10 minutes).
Have ready a colander place over a large bowl, pour the contents of the pan into the colander, and set aside. Wipe the pan clean and return to the stovetop over medium heat.
Add the butter and allow it to melt. As soon as the butter has melted, add the chopped onion and mushrooms and stir. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Stir in the flour, then, add the chicken broth one big splash at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 cup Cheddar, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, garlic powder, and stir to combine. Add the green beans, half of the tater tots, and the strained ground beef to the mixture and stir once more.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish, top with the remaining tater tots, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the remaining 1 ½ cup of Cheddar cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, serve and enjoy!