Your family is going to devour this yummy Cowboy Tater Tot Casserole! Stuffed with ground beef, cheese and corn then topped with crispy tots and more cheese. The whole family will love this, even your most picky eaters! It's a perfect weeknight dinner.
If you love this easy recipe you'll love this cheesy beef noodle casserole as well!
Why you'll love this recipe
✔️ This easy casserole recipe is so simple!
✔️ Made with everyday ingredients you have on hand, it's pure comfort food! This hearty casserole takes just minutes to make, it's a delicious dinner, easy recipe and perfect for weeknight meals!
✔️ You can even make it ahead and freeze it!
You'll only need a handful of simple ingredients for the cowboy casserole recipe, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- frozen tater tots - diced hash brown potatoes would work just as well.
- ground beef - you can certainly substitute ground turkey, chicken or ground pork.
- cream of mushroom soup - cream of chicken or celery would work! I'm also really tempted to try cheddar cheese soup, yum!
- montreal steak seasoning - make your own or store-bought, either will work!
- shredded cheese - the recipe calls for Colby, but cheddar, Colby Jack or even mozzarella would be delicious.
- cream style corn - using cream style eliminates the need for milk. If you don't have cream style substitute with canned corn (drained) or frozen whole kernel corn - you'll need about 1 ½ cups. Plus ½ cup of heavy cream.
This is an overview, for detailed instructions just scroll down to the bottom!
- Preheat the oven, spray the casserole dish with non-stick spray.
- Cook beef over medium-high heat, add the onions and seasoning. Sauté until the onions are soft.
- Add the cream of mushroom soup and corn, simmer to combine.
- Pour the ground beef mixture with the creamy sauce into prepared 9x13 casserole dish.
- Top with cheese reserving about half for the top.
- Spread the tater tots on top of the casserole in one even layer. Top with remaining cheese and bake the cowboy casserole until hot and bubbly - enjoy!
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- 9 x 13-inch baking dish - this one has great handles, making it easy to handle when hot.
- wood spoons for cooking - this set is great as it includes a spoon, scraper and slotted spoon.
- 12" cast iron skillet - I have several and use them all the time!
Nope, not at all! You add them frozen to the casserole dish.
Substitute with cream of celery, asparagus or cream of chicken soup.
Yes, Cowboy Casserole makes a great freezer meal! Prepare the casserole as per instructions, but do not bake. Seal well and freeze. Remove from the freezer the night before and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake for 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Don't run to the store if you're out of tater tots, because you can use potatoes! Thinly slice baby potatoes and lay them overtop of the casserole. You could also use a thin layer of frozen French fries.
- Use a 9x13 casserole dish, you'll want it to be at least 2 inches deep.
- You can lighten up this casserole by substituting ground chicken or turkey. In addition the condensed mushroom soup can be substituted with cream of celery or chicken.
- Normally I suggest you cover the casserole with aluminum foil, but not for this dish because the tots won't crisp up if you do.
- If you prefer super crispy tater tots - baked them first and add them to the casserole fully baked about halfway through cooking.
Place the casserole under the broiler for 3-5 minutes for the top to get toasty and golden brown. Watch it closely, so it doesn't burn.
- Make this classic recipe Tex-Mex by adding a can of chopped green chilies, diced bell pepper, Rotel tomatoes and black beans!
- Mixing in a can of drained green beans and sweet corn makes this a complete one pan meal.
- Make it even heartier by adding a can of kidney beans or pinto beans!
Refrigerator - Store leftovers in an airtight container, refrigerated up to 3-4 days.
Freeze - This casserole freezes well up to two months.
Reheat - Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. For best results, reheat in the oven until hot and bubbly.
This web story shows step by step instructions to make this dish.
- I made a big batch of pan fried vegetables, it's one of my favorites side dishes! And it's perfect with the Cowboy Tater Tot Casserole.
- A bright fresh garden salad and homemade cloverleaf rolls would be amazing as well.
I have more great casseroles on the blog your picky kids will love!
- Mexican Tater Tot Casserole and the Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole - if you're looking for big meaty flavor AND tater tots, yum!
- Unstuffed Pepper Casserole has all the flavor of stuffed pepper, with none of the fussy prep work. We love this recipe!
- A real favorite is this recipe for Rotel Chicken Spaghetti - it's creamy and cheese, filling & delicious!
- Frito Pie is the best walking taco recipe around. Kids big and small love this meal! Or give this easy recipe for Salisbury Steak with onion soup mix. Always a winner!
I hope you give this a try soon, I think you'll enjoy it as much as we do!
Cowboy Tater Tot Casserole
- 32 oz. Tater Tots frozen
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion diced
- 15.5 ounce cream corn
- 10.75 ounce can of cream of mushroom soup
- 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 2 cups colby jack cheese
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- Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray an 9x13 with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground meat. Drain the fat and add the diced onion and steak seasoning. Saute for 3 minutes.
- Reduce to medium heat. Stir in the condensed soup and cream corn into the hamburger mixture. Simmer for 2-4 minutes to combine the flavors.
- Pour the creamy mushroom sauce, meat mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with half the cheese. Spread the potatoes in a single layer over the top, sprinkle the top of the tater tots with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Optional: Broil the casserole for 3-5 minutes. The top will turn golden brown and crispy. Just watch it closely so it doesn't burn.
I made this with ground chicken meat & onion. It was WONDERFUL!! Even my 7 year old ate it & he never knew there were onions in it!! Thank you so much we have this every week now, per his request!!
Bowl Me Over
Hey Kim, that's high praise from your little, that's awesome!! Glad this Tater Tot Casserole is a hit with the family and I appreciate you stopping by the blog. Good to hear from you!
No offense but my kids turned their nose up at this. Even my two that will eat or at least try anything. I’m going to try possibly sprinkling taco seasoning on it.
Bowl Me Over
I'm sorry your family didn't enjoy the recipe, I hope you find others on the blog that they do!
Love getting these emails about options for new recipes! Thank you and keep them coming!
Bowl Me Over
You're so welcome! Thanks for being a part of the blog!!
Do u have a microwave version of the Cowboy Casserole?
Bowl Me Over
I'm sorry Sherry, I do not. The microwave just wouldn't do it with the tater tots. How about making it on the stove top? Combine the ingredients as directed in a big heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Top with the tots, reduce to low and cover. It's not going to be perfect, but I would think that would work. Let me know how it goes for you! Deb
Tried this tonight, it's delicious! We added Rotel and fire roasted green Chile's, definitely a keeper. Thank you!