This Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole with Ground Beef is a classic comfort food. If you’re on the hunt for a meal that’s both easy to make and incredibly delicious, then you’re in for a treat. Today, we’re diving into the world of comfort food, and it doesn’t get much cozier than this.
Easy No-Fuss Dinner Casserole
We all have those days when we want a hearty, no-fuss dinner that the whole family will devour with glee. Whether it’s a chilly winter evening, a casual weekend get-together, or just a craving for some serious comfort, this dish has got your back.
Picture layers of crispy tater tots, tender green beans, savory ground beef, and a luscious, cheesy sauce all coming together in one glorious, mouthwatering casserole. It’s a crowd-pleaser.
But why should you make this recipe?
Well, aside from the fact that it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, this easy casserole recipe is simple and packed with flavor.
With just a handful of simple ingredients and a few easy steps, you can create a memorable meal that will keep you coming back for seconds. It is an easy weeknight dinner that is budget-friendly too. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to sneak some veggies into your diet without compromising on taste.
Let’s jump right in and discover how to create this mouthwatering masterpiece that will have your loved ones asking for seconds and thirds!
What Does a Tater Tot Taste Like?
According to topfoodinfo.com, tater tots have a unique taste profile of their own. They are quite savory, salty, and very satisfying. They may taste similar to poached french fries, having a deep-fried potato taste. What sets tater tots apart from other potato appetizers is their crunchy outer and smooth mushy inner texture.
What is tater tot casserole made of?
Tater Tot casserole is a comforting and hearty dish that typically consists of a few key ingredients. This is a budget-friendly meal using a lot of my pantry staples, a few fresh ingredients, and frozen too. Frozen tater tots, ground beef, green beans, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
While there can be variations, here are the ingredients used in this tater tot casserole with cream of mushroom soup recipe.
Tater Tots. They’re the star of the show, providing a crispy and golden top layer to the casserole. This is the last layer that goes on the top and rather than haphazardly adding them, I take the time to lay them out in rows. For my 9 X 13 inch baking pan, I make 6 rows with 13 tater tots in each row. So, for my recipe, you will need 78 tater tots.
Ground Beef. Brown this in a skillet before layering in the casserole dish. It adds a rich, savory flavor.
Green Beans. They add a bit of freshness and color to the dish, as well as a nutritious element. It’s a way for me to sneak in some veggies.
Cream of Mushroom Soup. This condensed soup serves as the sauce base for the casserole. I just add the soup as is without adding any extra liquid such as milk. This way, the hot dish is creamy without being soggy.
Cheese. The shredded cheese I use is often cheddar or a similar melty variety. Just sprinkle on top of the green bean layer to provide that gooey, cheesy goodness we all love.
Other seasonings and ingredients include onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
Variations to This Easy Recipe
Swap out one can of the soup for sour cream. Add garlic powder rather than fresh or jarred garlic. However, you can switch up the veggies with peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or even corn depending on your personal preferences.
Tater Tot casserole is a versatile dish, and you can tweak it to suit your taste. Some people add a touch of hot sauce for a spicy kick, while others may choose to use ground turkey or ground chicken instead of beef for a lighter version. It’s a comforting meal that’s open to interpretation and adaptation.
Why is my tater tot casserole soggy or runny?
If your Tater Tot casserole is turning out soggy, it can be a bit disappointing, but fear not, there are common reasons for this issue.
One of the most common culprits is too much moisture. This can come from ingredients like green beans or frozen vegetables. To solve this, make sure to drain canned vegetables before adding. Thaw the frozen vegetables, then drain the excess water before adding.
Make sure to layer the tater tots on top rather than on the bottom. If you place them underneath other ingredients, they may become soggy.
Using the wrong-sized baking dish can affect how your casserole cooks. A larger dish can cause the casserole to spread out too thinly, and a smaller dish can lead to excess moisture being trapped. Follow the recommended baking dish size in your recipe.
Keep the Tater Tots frozen. Using them frozen helps maintain their crispness during baking.
It might take a bit of trial and error to get it just right, but once you do, you’ll enjoy a delicious, crispy casserole every time.
What to Serve with Tater Tot Casserole?
While this hearty casserole can be served as a complete meal, you may be looking to add a bit of variety. Here are some side dishes that pair well with tater tot casserole.
Roasted vegetables or steamed vegetables are a great way to add some color and nutrition to your meal. You can use any vegetable of your choice, such as carrots, broccoli, or zucchini.
Baked beans are a sweet and savory side dish that can be served hot or cold. They are a great source of protein and fiber, making them a healthy addition to your meal.
Corn is a simple and delicious side dish that pairs well with many meals. You can serve it on the cob or off the cob, depending on your preference.
Corn Fritters are easy and quick to make while the casserole is baking. It’s a super easy side dish recipe that pairs nicely with this easy dinner recipe.
A green salad is a refreshing side dish that can help balance out the richness of the dish. You can add any vegetables or toppings of your choice to make it more interesting. We often have a Caesar salad with this meal.
A fruit salad is another refreshing side dish that pairs well with tater tot casserole. You can use any fruit of your choice, such as strawberries, blueberries, melons, or kiwi.
Rolls are a simple and easy side dish that can be served warm or cold. They are perfect for soaking up any extra sauce from the tater tot casserole.
Cornbread is a classic Southern side dish that pairs well with many meals.
Macaroni salad is a creamy and tangy side dish that can be served cold and it’s a great way to add some variety to your meal.
How Long Can You Keep This Casserole in the Fridge?
If you’ve made a Tater Tot casserole and have leftovers that you’d like to store in the fridge, it’s important to follow food safety guidelines to ensure the casserole remains safe to eat. Typically, you can keep a Tater Tot casserole in the fridge for up to five days.
Store your casserole in an airtight container or cover it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. This helps prevent it from drying out and keeps it from absorbing odors from other foods in the fridge.
Coming from someone that worked in a restaurant, make sure to label and date the container. This helps you keep track of how long it has been in the fridge.
Save Time in the Kitchen and Make This Ahead. It’s a Great Freezer Meal
You can easily make this ahead and freeze.
The casserole is assembled in layers, starting with the ground beef, followed by the cream of mushroom soup, then the green beans, shredded cheese and finally, the Tater Tots on top.
Make sure to cover it with a few layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. Date and label your container. I like to write the baking instructions on it too.
Just go from the freezer to the oven. It’s then baked until the Tater Tots are golden and crispy, and the entire casserole is hot and bubbly. If baked fully frozen allow for 2 ½ hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
We hope you give this simple recipe a try and add it as a regular rotation for busy night family meals.
Why Have You Never Heard of This Recipe Before?
It’s more of an upper Midwest dish.
Tater Tot casserole is often associated with the Upper Midwest of the United States, particularly states like Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It has become a popular comfort food in this region and is sometimes referred to as “hotdish.”
Tater Tot casserole’s origins are a bit unclear, but it’s believed to have gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. This hearty and easy-to-make dish became a staple in many Upper Midwest households, thanks to its affordability and ability to feed a family or a crowd. It’s a classic example of Midwestern comfort food, featuring ingredients like ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, vegetables, and, of course, Tater Tots.
This family favorite is often enjoyed at family gatherings, potlucks, and community events. It’s known for its simplicity and heartiness, making it a beloved dish in the Upper Midwest and beyond. While it may have regional roots, Tater Tot casserole’s popularity has spread to other parts of the United States, where it’s embraced as a delicious and nostalgic comfort food.
Make This in a Slow Cooker
It is the perfect recipe for a slow cooker. Just brown the lean ground beef as usual, then layer in the ingredients. Cook on low for 3 hours, high for 1 ½ hours until the dish is hot and bubbly. Note. Your tater tots will not crisp up in the slow cooker. But all the delicious flavors are there.
Best Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole with Ground Beef
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- 2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef
- 1 Small Onion Diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic Minced or 3 tablespoons
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 30 Ounces Green Beans 2, 15 Ounce cans of canned green beans, drained, or frozen, thawed and drained
- 21.5 Ounces Cream of Mushroom Soup 2, 10.75 Ounce cans
- 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese Shredded, or other melting cheese
- 2 Cups Tater Tots frozen, 32 ounce bag
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until the beef is browned. Add the onions and cook until translucent and tender. Drain any excess grease. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste.2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef, 1 Small Onion, 4 Cloves Garlic, 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce, Salt, Pepper
Layer the Casserole
- Spread the ground beef mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Add the soup mixture over the green beans. Spread it around, ensuring even coverage.21.5 Ounces Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Next, layer the drained green beans on top of the ground beef. Season with salt and pepper.30 Ounces Green Beans, Salt, Pepper
- Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the green bean layer.2 Cups Cheddar Cheese
- Top with Tater Tots. Arrange the frozen Tater Tots in a single layer on top of the casserole. You can place them close together for a more substantial layer. I like to make 6 rows with 13 tater tots in each row.2 Cups Tater Tots
- Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the Tater Tots are golden brown and the casserole is hot and bubbly.
- Optional. In the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese over the Tater Tots and return the casserole to the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes, then serve it up hot and enjoy your delicious Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole.
Your Own Private Notes
Save Time in the Kitchen and Make This Ahead. It’s a Great Freezer MealYou can easily make this ahead and freeze. The casserole is assembled in layers, starting with the ground beef, followed by the cream of mushroom soup, then the green beans, shredded cheese and finally, the Tater Tots on top. Make sure to cover it with a few layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. Date and label your container. I like to write the baking instructions on it too. Just go from the freezer to the oven. It’s then baked until the Tater Tots are golden and crispy, and the entire casserole is hot and bubbly. If baked fully frozen allow for 2 ½ hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make This in a Slow CookerIt is the perfect recipe for a slow cooker. Just brown the lean ground beef as usual, then layer in the ingredients. Cook on low for 3 hours, high for 1 ½ hours until the dish is hot and bubbly. Note. Your tater tots will not crisp up in the slow cooker. But all the delicious flavors are there.
Here are a few more of our family recipes. We hope you find another favorite recipe.