Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is the Best Frugal Comfort Recipe

If you’re struggling with an easy dinner idea for tonight, how about tater tot casserole? 😋

tater tot casserole on a spatula

Tater tot casserole is an easy and comforting hot dinner that the kids will eat!

I love this classic family favorite so much as it only requires a few simple main ingredients, and you’re likely to have most of them already on hand.

When I was first married and had no idea how or what to cook, this simple yet tasty casserole became a lifesaver. It’s not a fancy meal by any means, but a good tater tot casserole every once in a while is a winning cheap dinner recipe!

tater tot casserole in oven

The result is a warm and cheesy casserole that tastes like pure comfort in a pan! The mix of ground beef and creamy mushroom soup goes so well with the tater tots that get nice and crispy on the top.

serving tator tot casserole

Tips for making the best tater tot casserole:

  • You can use ground beef or ground turkey. Either one will come out perfect each time! I added some garlic powder, salt, & pepper for additional flavor, but feel free to season as desired.
  • You can add veggies if you’d like! I will sometimes throw in a bag of frozen mixed veggies with the meat mixture, or you can sauté some fresh mushrooms to include. Another pantry idea would be to add in a can of green beans.
  • This could be a perfect one-pan meal if you use a large cast-iron skillet to cook the meat and then add the tater tots and cheese to it to bake in the oven!
  • If you are bringing dinner to someone as a comforting gesture, this is one to consider as it’s easy, yummy, and travels well!
  • Meal Prep Idea: Compile the tater tot casserole a day ahead of time and have it all ready to go to put in the oven!

ingredients for tater tot casserole

pouring a can of soup in casserole

adding ground beef mixture to casserole dish

adding cheese to tater tot casserole before the tots

adding tater tots to casserole

tater tot casserole ready for the oven

tater tot casserole out of the oven

serving up tater tot casserole


Tater Tot Casserole

yield: 6 SERVINGS

prep time: 10 MINUTES

cook time: 30 MINUTES

total time: 40 MINUTES

A classic hearty casserole topped with crispy tater tots. It’s quick and easy to make!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onions until no longer pink and cooked through. Drain excess fat, and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Now mix in the cream of mushroom soup.


Spread the beef mixture evenly over the bottom of a 2.5 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the top.


Arrange the tater tots evenly over the beef and cheese layer. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top.


Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until it’s bubbly and the tater tots are browned as desired. Enjoy warm.

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

dishing up tater tot casserole

Some days the idea of diving into a pan of tater tot casserole sounds AMAZING!

Maybe you’ve forgotten about this oldie but goodie and are in the mood to make it again! Or maybe this could be a good intro to cooking for someone just learning. Either way, tater tot casserole is a great nostalgic meal to consider any day of the week.

woman holding a tater tot casserole

Serve it alongside a salad or veggie and you’ve got an easy meal to enjoy. YUM.

plate with tater tot casserole

If you make tater tot casserole a specific way, be sure to share in the comments so we can all get ideas! 

Add these other easy and delicious cheap dinner ideas to your rotation!

Lina has a Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

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