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Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

A hamburger Tater Tot casserole pulls a bunch of deliciousness together in one dish that my family loves. And it’s budget-friendly, making it a winner for dinner! This one-pan meal is a classic comfort food using frozen Tater Tots. In fact, it’s one of the best family dinners I make when I have to feed a hungry crowd!

hamburger Tater Tot casserole with cheese over pan of Tater Tots

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.

Whether you’re feeding your family or you have a large group of people to feed, this easy casserole is ideal. I’ve been known to cut the recipe in half, double it, or follow it as-is.

Although I make this classic American hamburger Tater Tot casserole with peas and carrots, it’s fine to substitute with veggies you have on hand. Or you can leave it out. This is your recipe, so it’s totally up to you.

Some people call this a “cowboy casserole,” which I think is cute. If you have little ones, they’ll enjoy calling it that.

hamburger tater tot hotdish casserole

Other people call it a cheeseburger Tater Tot casserole because I put cheese in it. That makes sense to me. I’ve also heard it called a hamburger hotdish. No matter what you want to name it, you’ll find yourself gravitating toward this recipe when you need something to feed a lot of people.

Hamburger Tater Tot casserole with shredded cheese on top

Homemade Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

With a flavorful blend of ground beef, Tater Tots, cheese, and your favorite vegetables, you can’t go wrong! In fact, I think this is the best Tater Tot casserole with hamburger and veggies! And no one gets tired of it!

I like the fact that when I make this, we have lots of leftovers for lunch the next day. However, there are times when I don’t want leftovers, so I downsize the casserole and use a couple of frozen hamburger patties instead of an entire pound of it.

Another thing we enjoy is that it’s perfectly balanced because I add veggies, making it a one-dish meal.

This hamburger tater tot casserole is easy to make, and it's a dinner that will please the whole family.


The ingredients are all items you can find in any grocery store. Most of them are shelf-stable, so you can store them in your pantry.

The only ingredient that needs refrigeration is the ground beef. And if you’re anything like me, you probably always have some in your freezer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tater tots
  • Ground beef
  • Condensed cream soup
  • Mushrooms (optional)
  • Can of vegetables (mixed vegetables, green beans, or peas and carrots)
  • Beef broth
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Cheese

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.

More Options

Other options for the meat are ground turkey or chopped chicken. Both of these will be good.

I used a can of peas and carrots. You can either do that or try green beans or mixed vegetables. It’s all up to you and what you’re in the mood for. You can also leave out the mushrooms if you don’t care for them.

Since we often had other kids at our house at mealtime, I liked to have plenty of food on hand. That’s another reason this Tater Tot casserole is a great family dinner. It’s a budget friendly meal that feeds a lot of hungry people.

If you enjoy south-of-the-border flavor, you can add taco seasoning or chili powder to the mixture. This makes a spicy hamburger Tater Tot taco casserole. However, if you don’t have many mouths to feed or you like fewer Tater Tots, you can eliminate one layer.

Or add an extra layer of cheese if you want. There’s nothing more appetizing than seeing ooey-gooey melted cheese on top of a casserole!

lots of extra melted cheese over the casserole

Just remember that if you do that, you won’t have as many leftovers. And we love leftovers around here.


Since this is one of my most popular casserole recipes for family meals and potluck dinners, I’ve played around with the list of ingredients. This is the way that seems to get the best response.

However, don’t be afraid to put your own twist on it. So here’s how I make it:

First, brown the ground beef in a large skillet and drain it.

Ground beef in a skillet

Add the soup, mushrooms, and the can of vegetables that you’ve also drained. If the gravy is too thick, use beef or chicken broth to thin it a bit.

Peas and carrots over ground beef

Cover the bottom of your casserole dish with Tater Tots. However, if you’re feeding a smaller crowd, you can leave off the bottom layer of Tater Tots.

Tater Tots

Next, spread the ground beef, veggie, and soup mixture out over the tater tots. Top the mixture with tater tots in any fashion you want. We like a lot of them so that they cover everything.

Top layer of Tater Tots over casserole

Finally, sprinkle cheese over the tater tots. We like either Colby cheese or shredded cheddar. Use whatever you happen to have on hand. You can use packaged shredded cheese or shred it yourself. I’ve done both, and I can’t tell the difference.

Shredded cheese over the rest of the casserole ingredients

If you make this in advance and refrigerate it, add about 10 minutes to the baking time. You can leave off the bottom layer of Tater Tots if you’re feeding fewer people. Or you can make it as-is and have a delicious lunch the next day.

I enjoy my hamburger Tater Tot casserole with cream of mushroom soup. However, it’s also good with cream of chicken soup. If you enjoy the flavors from a popular fast food restaurant, add some of this yummy McDonald’s Signature Sauce for a Big Mac Tater Tot casserole.

Questions and Answers

This is obviously an easy casserole to prepare when you need a delicious meal for hungry people. But you may still have some questions about it. Here are a few of them with answers that should help.

How Long Can You Keep Tater Tot Casserole?

If you put it in the refrigerator, you can safely keep it for up to 5 days. That is, if it lasts that long. It won’t around our house. If you want to freeze it, seal it well. It will last a couple of months in the freezer.

How Do You Reheat It?

Make sure the refrigerated casserole is covered in foil before putting it in a 350˚ oven. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil to crisp the top back up. You can even add more cheese if you want.

If you’re reheating a frozen Tater Tot casserole, I recommend thawing it in the refrigerator first. Then follow the above directions for reheating.However, if you don’t have time to thaw it, you can put it in the microwave for about a minute. Transfer it to the oven and bake until the top is crisp.

Easy Dinner

One thing I know about families is how crazy-busy their lives can get during the week. Unfortunately, meals often get put on the back burner of life (pun intended).

When my daughters were growing up, I used to stress out over what to cook for dinner, until I figured out a way to throw a meal on the table in a matter of minutes.

My girls always had something else going on, which meant we didn’t have much time. For this reason, I came up with a bunch of dinners that were easy yet still delicious.

Not only is this a good one but also the chicken rice casserole and the shepherd’s pie will bring smiles to everyone’s faces. You can prepare any of these meals when you get home or make them in advance and stick it in the fridge.

All you have to do is pop it in the oven when you get home from work, and you’ll be sitting down to eat less than an hour later.

You can even make a Tater Tot casserole in a crockpot if you like. I recommend you start it on high for about an hour and then turn the heat down to low for 4 or 5 hours.

This will unquestionably be one of your family’s favorites. So brace yourself for a bunch of compliments and requests for seconds.

We also like the comforting flavors of this smothered potatoes and sausage dinner. It’s another easy meal to cook and one that the family will ask for often.

Hamburger Tater Tot casserole in a pan

Buffet and Potluck Favorite

Don’t hold back when it’s time to attend a potluck. Whether it’s a family reunion or a church gathering buffet, you’ll be amazed by how popular this dish is. In fact, you might want to double the recipe to make sure everyone gets some. This is one of those kids-to-adults favorites.

Casseroles are always a great item to bring to a potluck or covered dish dinner. You don’t have to limit yourself to one. If you want to be a huge hit with everyone, bring hamburger tater tot casserole and the mac and cheese with ham.

Or if you prefer a a more traditional version without the ham, try this classic baked mac and cheese casserole. We love the bubbly, golden brown crust on top with the creamy center.

Those who need or want to avoid gluten will enjoy any of these gluten-free casseroles. That’s a list of our favorites, so I think you’ll find several that you like.

Hamburger Tater Tot casserole

When you’re hosting a casual dinner party, consider making several casseroles. Another one you’ll enjoy is this delicious cheesy zucchini ham bake.

Add a Mediterranean salad, some peanut butter cookies, and a platter with coconut macaroons. None of this is difficult to make, but it makes quite a nice presentation.

More Menu Ideas

Luncheon Party Menu Ideas – When you’re looking for things to serve at the next lunch you host, check out some of these wonderful and delicious recipes.

Easy Desserts to Bring to a Party – Are you in charge of dessert? These are all easy to make and absolutely delicious!

pineapple dump cake, chocolate cherry cake, butterscotch cookies, and peanut butter fudge

What to Serve with Lobster Tails – When the occasion is special enough for lobster, add some of these wonderful sides to complete the meal.

Easy Dinner Ideas for Teenagers – Whether you’re making a meal for your teens and their friends or they’re cooking their own food, these are all huge hits!

variety of foods teenagers can make

What Goes with Pasta Salad – Here are some delicious dishes that are wonderful as the main dish or extra sides for your favorite pasta salad.

What to Serve with Fried Rice – Add some fun sides to your favorite fried rice dish. These are some of our favorites.

dish of fried rice with chicken and vegetables

Quick and Delicious Tater Tot Hotdish Recipe

This recipe has always been a favorite recipe for potlucks and family dinners. I love the fact that it’s easy to make, and it’s always been a huge hit.

Yield: 8 servings

Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole

Bite of hamburger tater tot casserole

This is the perfect dish to serve your family or bring to a potluck. Everyone will go back for seconds.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 32-ounce package of tater tots
  • 1 can of cream soup (mushroom or celery) (10.5 ounce can)
  • 1 small can of mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth
  • 1 can of vegetables (drained) (15 ounce can)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9" x 13" casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and drain it.
  3. Pour the soup, mushrooms (optional), vegetables, and beef broth into the skillet with the ground beef. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Stir well.
  4. Line the bottom of the casserole dish with half of the tater tots.
  5. Pour the ground beef and soup mixture over the tater tots.
  6. Top with the remaining tater tots. Sprinkle the cheese over everything.
  7. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until the cheese melts and starts to turn a golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 472Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 67mgSodium 997mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 3gSugar 1gProtein 22g

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

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Monday 2nd of January 2023

The recipe directions never say when to add the can of drained vegetables. Do you add them to the meat mixture or put them over the meat mixture in the baking dish?


Monday 2nd of January 2023

Hi Carol. I'm so sorry. I add it to the soup and meat mixture. However, you can also pour them over the meat mixture after it's in the baking dish. It will still come out delicious!


Monday 10th of October 2022

When you say 1 can of it just the condensed soup....or with a can of milk?


Monday 10th of October 2022

Hi Bill. You'll need to start with a can of condensed soup, without a can of milk. My family likes it thick. But if you feel that it is too thick, you can add some beef broth to thin it out. Thank you so much for asking.


Monday 13th of December 2021

Do you defrost the tater tots first?


Monday 13th of December 2021

I don't normally thaw the Tater Tots first. However, there have been times when I've thawed them, the results have been the same. So I guess my answer is that it doesn't matter. It should turn out delicious either way.


Thursday 14th of January 2021

Another thing I like to do, that my daughter recommended, was to air-fry the tater tots before using, while cooking up the beef. I liked how it turned out less mushy than other recipes!


Thursday 14th of January 2021

Hi Laura. What a brilliant idea! I'll do that next time I make it because I love a variety of textures in my food. Thank you so much for sharing!


Thursday 14th of January 2021

DELICIOUS! I added frozen veggies instead of canned, and used the canned mushroom broth, instead of beef. I like more zest, so I added about 1 TBS. of Italian seasoning and 2tsp. ground garlic. Saute'ed the hamburger with half onion as well. So good! It's just Hubby and I, so this recipe will divide into two 8"x 8" squares. Frozen the second for another time.


Thursday 14th of January 2021

That's what I need to do. It's just my husband and me, and it's always nice to have a freezer-to-oven dinner.

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