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Tater Tot Casserole (Make-Ahead Freezer Meal)

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Tater Tot Casserole (or Hotdish in the North) can be assembled and frozen for the perfect freezer meal. It can even be baked from frozen when you’re ready to eat.

collage of tater tot casserole freezer meal with title text

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Tater Tot Casserole is exactly what it sounds like. (Although in parts of the country it is called “Hotdish.”) Ground meat, frozen vegetables and a sauce mixed into a delicious, easy casserole and topped with frozen tater tots. It is filling and a complete meal in one plate. And to make it even better, you can make one or two at a time and package them up as freezer meals or bake right away.

Components of Tater Tot Casserole

Most “complete meal” casseroles start with some kind of ground meat. Sure, you can use diced chicken breast, but the quintessential casserole uses ground beef or ground turkey. These are interchangeable in my opinion, so use what you have on hand.

Next, you have a vegetable of choice. I prefer to use frozen vegetables because they are easy and do not require any prep. You don’t even have to thaw them. Just mix them in frozen. For this recipe, I’m using frozen peas. Feel free to use frozen corn or even a mixed vegetable if that is what you have.

Third, you have to have a sauce. Sticking with the easy train, I use cream of mushroom soup. I promise you won’t even notice the tiny diced mushrooms. It just provides the best flavor for the sauce with the ground beef. If you’re using diced chicken in your casserole, feel free to use cream of chicken soup.

Now, I’ve veered a little from tradition by topping my casserole with cheese before the tater tots. Most people will have you put the cheese on top of the tater tots, but that just gives you soggy tater tots. By putting the cheese under them, the oven heat can crisp up those tots for a browned, crispy crust.

white plate with ground beef, peas and tater tots

How to Freeze Your Casserole

This recipe will make two 9×9 inch square casseroles, each serving 4 people. If you need more servings, prepare this in one 9×13 inch pan.

To prepare for freezing, you will follow all instructions up to the point of baking. You’ll brown the meat, mix in the vegetables and soup, and stir to combine everything.

Next, you’ll spray your pan(s) with cooking spray and split your filling between the two pans. Top with shredded cheese and add a single layer of tater tots. At this point, you’re ready to cover with a lid or wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to three months.

When you’re ready to bake, you can remove the foil and plastic wrap and bake from frozen.

close-up of ground beef, peas, cheese and tater tots in glass dish

More Freezer Meal Recipes

Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

Yield: 2 - 9x9 inch Casseroles

Tater Tot Casserole

tater tots, ground beef, cream of mushroom soup and peas on white plate with blue napkin

Tater Tot Casserole is a complete meal in one pan topped with golden, crispy tater tots.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground pepper
  • 2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans Cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag Frozen peas
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (32 ounce) bag frozen Tater tots

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet until cooked. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup and milk until well combined and no lumps.
  3. In skillet, add frozen peas and soup mixture. Stir to combine.
  4. Spray two 9x9 inch baking pans with cooking spray.
  5. Divide meat mixture evenly between both pans.
  6. Top each pan with shredded cheese, one cup of shredded cheese per pan.
  7. Top each pan with a single layer of frozen tater tots.

If cooking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes until mixture is bubbly and tater tots are golden and crispy.

If freezing, wrap the prepared casserole with plastic wrap and aluminum foil or cover with lid. Label with name of dish and date frozen. Casserole can be frozen for up to three months.

When ready to cook from frozen, remove lid or foil and plastic. Bake in a 350 degree oven, uncovered, for 60 minutes. Turn oven to broil on high for 3-5 minutes until tater tots are golden and crispy.

Notes

This recipe makes two 9x9 inch casseroles of 4 servings each. If you prefer, you can make the entire recipe and bake in a 9x13 inch dish for 8 servings. If baking from prepared, bake at 375 degrees for 60 minutes. If baking from frozen, bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 1088mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 39g

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By on March 15th, 2020

About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. The voice behind Feast for a Fraction. I've been a penny-pincher all my life, but still have a taste for nice things. I'm here to show you that you can eat (and live) well on a budget. From recipes and DIY tips to ways to make extra money, we'll be in control of our budgets together!

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2 thoughts on “Tater Tot Casserole (Make-Ahead Freezer Meal)”

  1. We love this. My “tweaks”, I used a can of cream of mushroom and a can of cream of potato cuz it was taking up space in my pantry! Added the spices and WS to the soups along with 8 oz sour cream. I sprayed the 9X13 but I have a deep one and used two pounds of burger. I put a good half of the tots in the bottom, then the browned ( I nuke it) burger, then the frozen (mixed) veggies. I spread the soup Mixture over it all then finished off with the rest of the tots mixed with ~ 1/2 can of dried fried onions. I forgot to put in the shredded cheddar, so in the last 15-20 min of baking I sprinkled about 1 cup all over the top making a cheesy cunch on the topping tator tots! YUMMO. Froze 1/2 cuz it’s a lot for just two people!

    Reply

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