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Best Delicious Creamy Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

This delicious, easy creamy cheesy Tater Tot casserole is the perfect food to make when you have a lot of hungry people to feed.

It’s similar to a Tater Tot hotdish, only it doesn’t have the meat and vegetables. However, I sometimes add green beans or peas to the casserole for extra nutrition and flavor.

Plate of Tater Tot casserole next to a serving dish

I highly recommend reading this entire post before you begin preparing the recipe. However, if all you want is the list of ingredients with full directions, please either click on the jump-to-recipe button above or scroll to the bottom of this post.

It’s perfect when you want an easy casserole that will wow the crowd. Whether you’re serving a family meal or a large group, it will disappear quickly! This is a great recipe for a buffet or to bring to a potluck. It’s also perfect for busy weeknights when you want a no-fuss meal for the family.

I’ve even eaten it for breakfast, although I also have a breakfast tater tot casserole recipe that’s delicious. But having leftovers that can be reheated saves a ton of time in the morning.

Tater Tots are one of the most versatile foods you can have in your freezer. Use them in a casserole or as a side dish. Another dish that’s similar is this hash brown casserole. It’s loaded with flavor and always disappears quickly!

Tater Tot Casserole Without Meat

You can make a vegetarian Tater Tot casserole or one that is vegan by using a cheese substitute.

This is a Tater Tot casserole without meat (when you leave off the bacon). But if you want to add ham, chicken, turkey, or beef, you can.

However, I think that a meatless Tater Tot casserole is absolutely delicious and goes with almost any main dish.

Tater Tot Casserole with Meat

Another one we enjoy is this hamburger Tater Tot casserole. It’s perfect for those times when you have a lot of hungry people. If you prefer, you can use ground turkey instead of hamburger meat.

Make the hamburger with extra cheese for a cheeseburger Tater Tot casserole. Add a side salad and dessert, and you have a complete meal.

We really like a Tater Tot casserole with chicken. One of our most recent favorites is this this air fryer boneless chicken breast. The outside turns out crispy, while the inside stays juicy.

Family Favorite Tater Tots with Cheese

If you want to add other ingredients, go right ahead. I always encourage people to start with the basic recipe and add whatever you think will be good.

You can add green peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, or even your favorite vegetable. It’s yours, so make it the way you like it.

Add a little more bacon or some ham and enjoy a Tater Tot casserole breakfast. Serve it with a side of toast or biscuits for a real treat. It’s a great way to start the day!

The way I made it, this creamy cheesy Tater Tot casserole is a side dish your family will ask you to make over and over. Make sure you have enough for seconds!

After all, who doesn’t like Tater Tots? And cheese? And delicious crispy bacon?

This amazing comfort food is basically a loaded Tater Tot dish that’s even better than a baked potato with all the goodies added.

Why? Because everything is baked together so the flavors meld and become one.

Although I used a generic version of Tater Tots, I often use the name brand when they’re on sale. It doesn’t matter which you use because they’re all good.

This casserole is a delicious side with any beef, chicken, pork, or fish dish. This time we had it with these scrumptious Buffalo wings.

Another food to serve this with is this amazing pork tenderloin. Your taste buds will be so happy with the combination!

Creamy Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole Ingredients

You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Of course, the main thing you’ll need is a pack of frozen Tater Tots.

tater tots

Here are the other ingredients you’ll need:

  • Cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom soup)
  • Sour cream
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

For the topping, you’ll need:

  • Shredded cheese (medium or sharp cheddar cheese)
  • Crushed potato chips
  • Bacon bits
Serving of Tater Tot casserole on a plate

Is your mouth watering yet? All of those ingredients are absolutely delicious, so you know they’ll be wonderful when combined!

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

You can actually make a delicious Tater Tot casserole without soup. But you still need something to provide the creamy consistency if you don’t want it dry. You can add more sour cream, milk thickened with flour or cornstarch, or cream cheese.

How to Make a Creamy Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

After you preheat your oven and spray your casserole dish with nonstick spray, it’s time to put the ingredients together.

First, combine the soup, sour cream, milk, butter, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir until well mixed.

Soup, sour cream, and seasoning mixture in a bowl

Carefully fold in the frozen Tater Tots until they are all coated.

If they’ve thawed, even just a little bit, be careful not to break them.

Tater Tots folded in with seasoning mixture

Next, pour them into your casserole dish and spread them out as evenly as possible in a single layer.

If you want more of a crust on the bottom, use a large skillet instead of a baking dish. Heat the skillet before you add the ingredients to speed the process.

Tater Tot mixture in a casserole dish

Even if you don’t add anything else, this will still be delicious.

But wait! There’s more! Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t stop at delicious. I like to take it to the next level whenever I see an opportunity.

Shredded cheese sprinkled over the top

Next, sprinkle the shredded cheese over the mixture.

Even if you stop here, it will be wonderful. But keep going!

After the cheese (lots of cheddar cheese), sprinkle the crushed potato chips for more flavor and texture.

Now you probably think it’s as good as it can get. But there’s one more thing!

Crushed potato chips sprinkled over the cheese

Finally, top off your casserole with bacon bits or diced ham. I used bacon because that something I always have on hand in various forms (regular bacon, thick-sliced bacon, and packaged bacon bits).

As you can probably imagine, this is going to be one of the most delicious things you’ve ever tasted!

Bacon bits sprinkled on top of the Tater Tot casserole

Sometimes I cook bacon and crumble it up. However, I just happened to have some leftover bacon bits that I needed to use.

Seriously, who wouldn’t like a cheesy Tater Tot casserole with bacon? I totally agree that bacon makes everything better.

Bake this casserole for about 45 minutes and serve it with any meat and vegetable or this yummy Greek olive and feta salad.

Quick Tips for Making the Best Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

Here are some ways to take your Tater Tot casserole from delicious to out-of-this-world amazing:

  • Drain excess fat from the meat. Do this immediately after browning it.
  • Season the cooked meat. Add salt, pepper, and other spices before you add it to the casserole.
  • Preheat the oven. Do this before you bake the casserole.
  • Add more Tater Tots. Sometimes extra people show. up for dinner, especially if you have teenagers. I’ve never heard anyone complaining about having too many Tater Tots.
  • Sprinkle more cheese over the top. I like to use several different types of cheese when I have them. And cheese lovers will appreciate the extra cheesiness.
  • Decorate the top of the casserole. After baking the casserole, add your favorite garnish, such as parsley, sliced black olives, or bacon bits.

Tater Tots – the Perfect Comfort Food

I love serving casseroles that the whole family enjoys. Not only do I know that they’re eating the food they like but they’ll have great memories of sitting at the table with the people they love.

Trust me when I say people will want seconds of everything. If you have kids, especially teenage boys, you can count on them asking for seconds … maybe even thirds!

For a meal that only takes a few minutes of prep, this is an easy casserole packed with ingredients you can find at any grocery store.

Just don’t be surprised if the entire thing disappears in minutes because it’s such a delicious casserole!

serving of cheesy tater tots

Variation on This Crowd Pleaser Casserole

Do you want to know what you can add to a Tater Tot casserole? You can pretty much add anything that sounds good to you. If you’re not sure, then try adding to a small portion of the casserole and taste it.

If you’re the adventurous type, you might want try any number of ingredients. You can either add them or replace some of the ones listed above.

Here are some ideas:

  • Diced onion
  • Chopped bell pepper
  • Chopped broccoli
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cayenne

If you want to add color and nutrition to the dish, make your Tater Tot casserole with green beans. This is the perfect way to get picky eaters to eat their veggies.

You can even add more creamy sauce on top of the tots if you want.

What to Serve with a Tater Tot Casserole

As I mentioned, you can serve this delicious cheesy casserole with any meat you like. It’s wonderful with beef, pork, chicken, or seafood.

It’s especially good with these crispy air fryer chicken thighs. The creamy cheese balances the crunch of the chicken in the most delightful way.

If you can stand an entire plateful of deliciousness, serve it with this slow cooker pork tenderloin. Add a side salad or some steamed green beans, and you have something your family will ask for again and again.

This casserole is the perfect side dish to go with this air fryer barbecued chicken. The balance of flavors will send your tastebuds into orbit!

Be sure to make enough for leftovers the next day … because you can’t have too much of this cheesy Tater Tot casserole. It’s that good!

How to Store Leftover Tater Tot Casserole

Chances are, you won’t have leftovers. However, if you do make more than you can eat, this hearty casserole is just as good the next day.

Either cover the casserole dish in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge for 3-4 days.

You can also freeze leftover Tater Tot casserole. Just make sure it’s in an airtight container that doesn’t allow air to seep in.

More Recipes

Ever since I found out I had to be gluten-free, I’ve searched for a recipe for fried chicken that I liked. These oven-fried chicken strips turned out to be so good I didn’t have to look any more. I’ve heard from several readers that this is their new favorite way to “fry” chicken.

Chicken strips on a plate

Grilled Pork Chops – I made these on my George Foreman grill, but you can use any indoor or outdoor grill. They’re absolutely delicious!

2 grilled pork chops

This easy breakfast casserole is Keto friendly. So if someone is watching carbs, it’s a good option. It’s delicious enough to serve for either breakfast or dinner.

serving of Keto brreakfast casserole

This corn casserole is another side dish that most people really enjoy. It’s loaded with all kinds of yumminess, including cream cheese and green chilis.

scooping corn casserole out of a casserole dish

To top off the meal and make it as special as it can get, make this delicious very berry no-bake cheesecake.

Slice of berry cheesecake beside the full cake

Or you can make these apple pie pinwheels from Julia’s Simply Southern. I plan to try these as soon as I figure out a way to make them gluten-free. They look amazing!

Serve some cheesecake with this delicious strawberry topping. It’s really easy to make and has a delicious payoff.

cheesecake topped with strawberry sauce

Chocolate lovers will enjoy these brownie waffles topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup. You can’t get much better than that!

plate of brownie waffles

Easy Side Dish or Main Dish for Large Crowds

When you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed, make this delicious cheesy Tater Tot casserole. Everyone will leave the table happy and well fed.

Serving of Tater Tot casserole on a plate

Creamy Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This creamy cheesy Tater Tot casserole takes potatoes to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a 32-oz. package of frozen Tater Tots
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of milk (whatever kind you have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup of crushed plain potato chips
  • 1/4 cup of bacon bits

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray the bottom of a 7” x 11” casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. In a large bowl, mix the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, melted butter, garlic powder, and onion powder.
    3. Fold in the Tater Tots and stir until they are all coated with the mixture.
    4. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish.
    5. Sprinkle the cheese, potato chips, and bacon bits over the top.
    6. Bake for 45 minutes.
    7. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 415Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 45mgSodium 1001mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 10g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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See this recipe shared at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

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Miz Helen

Wednesday 31st of January 2024

Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us this week. You were one of the Top Ten features this week at Full Plate Thursday, 678! Hope you come back to see us soon! Miz Helen

Susan Sikes

Thursday 18th of January 2024

This looks so delicious!

Tasty baker

Saturday 16th of December 2023

When the store was sold out of hash browns, I had to settle for tater tots. This was a good substitute for the hashbrown casserole I had planned to make.

southernhomeexpress

Sunday 17th of December 2023

I'm glad you enjoyed the casserole!

Suzie

Thursday 31st of August 2023

I can't wait to try this! I was wondering, can I bake the tater tots so they are browned and crispy, and then follow the rest of the directions?

southernhomeexpress

Friday 1st of September 2023

Hi Suzie. Yes, you can do that if you have time. It should turn out great!

Amy

Wednesday 26th of October 2022

So I made it added ground beef added extra cream of chicken and sour cream and just a small squirt of of honey mustard so it's not dry and omg it's a million times better

southernhomeexpress

Saturday 29th of October 2022

Hi Amy. I'll have to try that next time. It sounds delicious!

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