Easy Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole Recipe (One Pan)

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This easy Tater Tot Casserole recipe features ground beef, veggies, tater, tots, and cheese. Layered and cooked in a single pan, it’s a quick dinner that the whole family will look forward to eating! 

Tater tot casserole on a white silicone spoon.

Tater tot casserole is a staple in the Midwest. A family favorite comfort food I grew up eating, I now serve it to my kids. However, this hamburger tater tot casserole with green beans is made with a little twist. 

Most recipes are made with cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup, but not this version! Instead, we use simple, whole foods to recreate the same savory, creamy filling without the need for preservatives, unnecessary sugars, or other undesirable ingredients. 

Layered in a single pan, the casserole bakes in under an hour and tastes as good if not better than the original. Try it out for yourself, and it’s sure to become a fast favorite in your home! 

What is the Difference Between a Tater Tot Casserole and a Tater Tot Hotdish? 

A tater tot casserole is the same as a tater tot hotdish. However, not all casseroles and hot dishes are the same. 

Casseroles can be anything that bakes in a casserole dish. However, a hot dish always consists of meat, vegetables, and starch in a sauce. As a result, hot dish recipes are complete meals on their own, but casseroles can be complete meals or sides. 

Recipe Ingredients

Below is an overview of the ingredients and instructions for this recipe. Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete details! 

Ingredients for tater tot in separate bowls on a white marble countertop.
  • Ground Beef – We recommend using lean ground beef (80% or leaner) to prevent your casserole from becoming soggy.
  • Onion – White or yellow onion works well. 
  • Milk – Full-fat milk will create a richer flavor and creamier consistency, but low-fat milk will also work. If needed, feel free to use your favorite plant-based option. 
  • Cornstarch – This helps thicken the casserole filling. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce – Adds extra depth and a slightly smokey taste. 
  • Green Beans – We use cans of French-style green beans, but any variety will work. Just make sure to drain the liquid, or use fresh green beans instead.
  • Tater Tots – Use any frozen tater tots you like best! 
  • Cheddar Cheese – For the best taste and texture, buy a block of cheddar, and grate it yourself. 

How to Make This Easy Tater Tot Casserole with Green Beans

  1. Prepare. Before you begin, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Brown the ground beef. Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Grease it with cooking spray, and add the beef, breaking it into pieces as it cooks. Then, add the diced onion, and sauté until translucent. 
Overhead photo of diced onions on top of browned ground beef in a pan.
  1. Thicken the meat mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and cornstarch until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan, and cook, stirring continuously until it thickens. 
  1. Add the remaining filling ingredients. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the Worcestershire sauce, drained green beans, cheese, salt, and pepper. 
  1. Layer. Smooth the mixture evenly in the pan. Then, sprinkle a layer of tater tots on top. 
Overhead photo of tater tots on top of a meat green bean mixture.
  1. Bake. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the casserole is bubbling and the tater tots are golden brown. 
  2. Serve. Carefully (be sure to use an oven mitt!) remove the pan from the oven, and set it aside to cool slightly before serving. Please continue to be mindful of the handle. It will stay hot! 
Overhead photo of tater tot casserole in a pan topped with chopped parsley.

Substitutions and Variations

Feel free to mix and match different ingredients to make this hamburger tater tot casserole with green beans recipe your own. Some of our favorite ways to switch it up include: 

  • Protein – Swap the beef with ground turkey or ground chicken if preferred. 
  • Veggies – Add to or replace the green beans with any veggies you have on hand. Mushrooms and sliced bell peppers taste great! 
  • Cheese – Add to or swap out the cheddar cheese with any cheese you like best. Provolone, mozzarella, or pepper jack all taste great. 
Up close photo of tater tots on top of a creamy meat mixture.

Common Questions

Why is my tater tot casserole soggy? 

Not baking the casserole long enough is the most common reason for it to become soggy. Make sure the center is bubbly and the top is golden before removing it from the oven. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover it with foil, and continue to bake. 

Should I thaw tater tots before baking? 

Nope! They will cook perfectly fine from frozen. 

How long do leftovers last? 

Leftovers will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. 

Can I freeze this recipe? 

Yes. For the best results, freeze the casserole before baking. Assemble the casserole as normal. However, instead of transferring it to the oven, let it cool completely. Then, cover it with saran wrap followed by aluminum foil. Freeze for up to four months. Cook from frozen, adding a few minutes as needed. 

Easy Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole Recipe (One Pan) Recipe

Make this easy tater tot casserole recipe with simple, whole foods in a single pan in less than an hour for a family-friendly comfort food dinner!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: All American
Keyword: easy tater tot casserole, hamburger tater tot casserole, tater tot casserole recipe, tater tot casserole with green beans
Servings: 6
Calories: 505kcal
Cost: $10.00

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey, venison or bison
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups milk (see notes for dairy free option)
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans French style green beans
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (see notes for dairy free option)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 32 ounce frozen tater tots (about 60 tots)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F (see notes).
  • In a 10 inch (12 inch works too) stovetop AND oven safe sauté pan, brown the ground beef. Add the diced onions and sauté for 5 min or until onions are translucent.
    1 lb ground beef, 1 onion, diced
  • In a bowl, whisk together the milk and cornstarch.
    2 cups milk, 2 heaping Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Add the milk mixture to the hot pan of ground beef and onions. Stir continuously for 3-4 min or until mixture is thickened.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce, drained green beans, shredded cheese, salt and pepper.
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 (15 ounce) cans French style green beans, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Smooth out the meat mixture and in a single layer then top with the frozen tater tots.
    32 ounce frozen tater tots
  • Bake for 20-25 min or until the casserole is bubbling and the tater tots are golden brown. Be careful of the handle- it’s hot! Please remember oven mitts. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Video

Notes

Baking Tips – If desired, grease a 9×13 pan and set aside if you are NOT using a stovetop to oven safe pan. The casserole ingredients can be prepared in a pan on the stove top and then transferred to a 9×13 pan to bake in the oven. Once the mixture is done, pour it into the greased 9×13 pan. Top with frozen tater tots and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
Substitute Tips – If dairy free is needed, unsweetened plain almond milk and plant-based shredded cheese can be substituted. 
Meal Prep Tips – This recipe is easy to double- cook once and eat twice OR feed a crowd! A 32 ounce bag of tater tots is enough to make two pans of this tater tot casserole. If you want to have a casserole prepared for later, pour half of the meat mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Add a layer of tater tots. Cover with aluminum foil, label and place in the freezer until ready to use. Bake at 350°F, covered, for 35-40 minutes or until the meat mixture is bubbling. Remove the cover and cook an additional 5 minutes so the tots can crisp up.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 505kcal

Did you enjoy this Easy Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole Recipe? We’d love it if you left a rating and review to let us know, and don’t forget to tag us in your recreations on Instagram!

6 Comments

  1. Johanna Bennetts

    I made this tonight and YUM. Definitely going in the recipe binder! I had to keep myself from eating the whole pan. It was a hit with the whole family. Next time I would use half an onion, because mine was pretty large. I also just did one can of green beans, but I think it would have been just as good with two. You do not disappoint, Sammi!

    • Johanna, you know you are already my favorite. No need to try so hard. HAHA Just kidding girl, your comment totally made my day. I feel ya, self control with this recipe is non-existent like cannot.stop.eating.it. 😉 So glad you all enjoyed this casserole! Thank you thank you thank you for such a kind recipe review. Hugs to you pretty lady!

  2. It has been a while since I had tater tot casserole. I liked it as a kid and this looks really good. I’m going to try it. Thank you for sharing at Tasty Tuesdays link party.

  3. Love tater tot casserole! Yum!

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