Classic Tater Tot Casserole (Hotdish)

Classic Tater Tot Casserole, or Hotdish as it’s often called, is a layered casserole that doesn’t require a ton of work and is excellent comfort food for weeknight meals and potlucks.

Classic Tater Tot Casserole or Hotdish as it's often called, is a layered casserole that doesn't require a ton of work and is excellent comfort food for weeknight meals and potlucks. 

If you’re in the mood for classic comfort food at its best, look no further than tater tot casserole. It’s rich, filling, and super cozy.

What is Hotdish?

Known simply as “hotdish” throughout the Midwest, this classic casserole is made by layering meat, vegetables, and condensed cream of mushroom soup in a shallow pan before topping it all off with a crown of tater tots and baking it until it’s golden brown and piping hot. Think of it like a shepherd’s pie, but with tater tots instead of mashed potatoes on top. Because everything is better with tots!

This dish is comfort food at its best and comes together quickly with condensed cream of mushroom soup. If you’re looking for something made from scratch with fresh ingredients, check out our Ultimate Tater Tot Casserole.

Do I have to use condensed soup?

Condensed cream of mushroom soup is pretty retro and not as popular as it used to be, but it does serve a purpose in this recipe. It acts as a binder to hold the casserole together by giving the tater tots something soft to stick to. It also adds a rich, creamy layer to the hotdish and makes the beef taste beefier. If you don’t like the canned stuff, you can totally make your own Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup!

What kind of vegetables should I use?

This hotdish has a layer of green beans and corn. Frozen or canned vegetables work equally as well, so use whichever is more convenient for you. Personally, I prefer the taste and texture of frozen vegetables in this casserole.

Fresh vegetables don’t work as well, since the vegetables stay too firm even after they’re baked.

What about the tater tots?

Use whatever tots you want. For this recipe, I used extra crispy crowns because they were on sale and I’m a sucker for anything extra crispy. You could even get creative and use fun shapes, like smiles, or try using seasoned tots. If you really want to, you can even use cauliflower tots or veggie tots but that kind of defeats the purpose of this being comfort food.

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Classic Tater Tot Casserole (Hotdish)

Classic Tater Tot Casserole or Hotdish as it’s often called, is a layered casserole that doesn’t require a ton of work and is excellent comfort food for weeknight meals and potlucks.

  • Author: Lauren Keating
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1 (10 oz.) can condensed mushroom soup
  • 1 lb. frozen tater tots
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Add the oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add the ground beef, breaking the meat up with a spoon. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until the beef is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef mixture to a 9 x 11 casserole dish. Spread the beef into an even layer. Spread the green beans and corn over the beef.
  5. Spread the soup over the vegetables the best you can. It will be thick and difficult to spread but spread it out as best as possible.
  6. Arrange the tater tots in a single layer over the soup.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, until the tater tots are golden brown. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes, until melted.

Classic Tater Tot Casserole or Hotdish as it\'s often called, is a layered casserole that doesn\'t require a ton of work and is excellent comfort food for weeknight meals and potlucks. #casserolerecipes #potatorecipes
Classic Tater Tot Casserole or Hotdish as it\'s often called, is a layered casserole that doesn\'t require a ton of work and is excellent comfort food for weeknight meals and potlucks. #casserolerecipes #potatorecipes

Lauren Keating

Lauren has been cooking for as long as she can remember and shares her recipes at Healthy-Delicious.com, where she features on easy weeknight meals with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. She completed the professional plant-based cooking certification from Rouxbe cooking school and enjoys using plant-based cooking techniques to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and grains into traditional recipes in unique ways. Food-obsessed from a young age, her first words included “cookie” and “eat meat!”