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Tater Tot Casserole is just like Shepherd’s Pie! Put on your comfiest pajamas, turn on a good show, and enjoy each other’s company with this quick and easy Shepherd’s Pie Casserole recipe. Everyone around here knows that I have a complete (an utterly COMPLETE) weakness for tots. Baked, fried, alone… I can’t get enough! So when we’ve had a long day at work, school, sports, and other activities, I just want a warm and filling dinner to get sleepy and relaxed.
Tater Tot Casserole
When the days get a little shorter and the weather gets cooler, whipping up a quick and easy comfort food dinner is our most favorite way to end the day. This quick and easy casserole recipe is the BEST Tater Tot Beef Casserole recipe! Layers of amazing flavor or an easy and delicious dinner any night of the week!
This tater tot casserole recipe consists of two parts combined in a 9×13 baking dish: the beef mixture and the cheese mixture. Topping it off are my favorite: tater tots! One bag of frozen tater tots will fill up the baking dish (with a few left over to throw on top before putting it in the oven if you’d like!)
Start by preparing a pan with non-stick spray. Gently cook the ground beef until it is mostly brown. Then, add onion and garlic. Once it has slowly simmered on medium-low heat, drain the excess fluid and then add the peas and carrots. Peas are delicate, so fold them in carefully.
Set this pan aside on simmer while you begin to make the cheese sauce. Be sure to mix it a couple of times while you make the cheese sauce.
In a separate pot, whisk together: butter, flour, milk, cream cheese, and shredded cheese. Butter and milk can burn VERY easily, so make sure you have the stove on medium to low heat and are whisking frequently. Note: you will want to have the cream cheese out for a little bit so that it is close to room temperature before making the cheese sauce. A wooden spoon is great for melting the cream cheese and shredded cheese into the milk and butter mixture. Be sure the heat is low because you don’t want to burn it!
Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole
Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Put the beef and veggie mixture at the bottom. Top it off with the cheese sauce. Use a spatula to evenly spread the cheese sauce. Finally, add tater tots on top of the casserole! You can arrange them all neat and tidy like I did, or if you’re in a hurry, just dump them on! I usually use 3/4 of a bag of tater tots.
Preheat the oven to 350° and bake this cheesy tater tot casserole for 1 hour. It’s like a good old crock pot recipe… set it and forget it! Here are more of our most favorite quick and easy dinner recipes you MUST check out next:
The tater tots come out hot and crispy while the ground beef is juicy, tender, and filled with flavor. While this recipe does have 8 servings… I’m guilty of eating 2 servings at once:) We personally love green onion, but that is totally optional. If you’re serving this to a group, the green onions are a nice visual touch (and great for taste too!). But, they are not necessary, especially if you have picky eaters in the house. Do what works for you.
Oh! And if you’re a really big cheese lover, add extra cheese on top and bake the casserole for an additional 5 minutes.
More Casserole Recipes by Smart School House to Try Next:
Tater Tot Casserole
- Non-stick spray
- 9×13 baking dish
- Baking sheet
For the Beef Mixture
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup diced onion (fresh or frozen!)
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 15 ounce can of peas and carrots, drained
For the Cheese Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- ¾ bag bag of frozen tater tots
- *Optional: Sliced green onion
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Prepare a pan with non-stick spray cook brown the ground beef over medium heat until almost brown.
- Add the onions and garlic and continue to cook over medium heat.
- Once brown, drain the excess liquid and add the (drained) peas and carrots.
- Set aside on another burner on simmer while you make the cheese sauce!
- In a pot, whisk together the butter and milk until cream on medium-low heat.
- Add the milk and whisk again until fully combined
- Place cream cheese and shredded cheese and stir constantly on low heat until it is fully melted.
- Prepare the baking dish with non-stick spray
- Place the beef mixture into the bottom of the dish
- Pour the cheese sauce on top and even it out with a spatula
- Arrange (or dump!) frozen tater tots on top
- Bake for 1 hour
- Broil for a couple of minutes to make the tater tots crispy (optional)
- Garnish with sliced green onion