Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole

Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 45 min.
This cheeseburger Tater Tot casserole is a two-pot, crowd-pleasing dish that will make even picky eaters smile.

Updated: May 15, 2024

Don’t you love ordering crispy Tater Tots to go alongside a juicy burger? This recipe for cheeseburger Tater Tot casserole has the best of both worlds. Bonus: It takes just a few minutes to prep before you pop this simple dish in the oven!

Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole Ingredients

Cheeseburger Tater Tot ingredientsTMB Studio

  • Ground beef
  • Sweet pickles
  • Onion
  • Garlic clove
  • Thousand Island salad dressing
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Frozen Tater Tots
  • Shredded cheddar cheese


Step 1: Prep your pan

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 13×9-inch baking dish. If you have a pretty baking dish that looks nice on the table, that’s the one to use! We like to grease pans with softened butter, but you could also use olive oil or a neutral oil such as grapeseed, sunflower or canola.

Editor’s Tip: Want to make this a one-pot meal? You can bake the casserole in your Dutch oven, though the finished dish might stick to the sides a bit.

Step 2: Cook the beef

Cheeseburger Tater Tot casserole cook the beefTMB Studio

Place your Dutch oven over medium heat and add the ground beef, pickles, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onions have softened and the beef is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. While you’re stirring, make sure to break up bigger pieces of ground beef into smaller crumbles.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t have beef? You could make this recipe with ground pork, chicken or turkey.

Step 3: Season it up

Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole SeasoningTMB Studio

Remove the beef mixture from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the salad dressing and the salt and pepper. Then, add the frozen Tater Tots and 2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix everything together and pour the combo into the greased baking dish.

Step 4: Bake it

Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole With Cheese Sauce DrizzleTMB Studio

Bake, uncovered, until the Tots are hot, around 35 to 40 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted, an additional 5 minutes. Drizzle the top of the casserole with the extra 1/2 cup dressing, garnish with extra pickles if desired, and serve.

Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole Variations

  • For a crispy Tater Tot casserole: Instead of mixing in the tots, place them in a layer on top of the cooked beef mixture. If you do this, start checking the casserole after 30 minutes, as the tots may be cooked through at that point.
  • For a spicy Tater Tot casserole: You could add chipotle powder, hot smoked paprika, a small amount of cayenne pepper or some hot sauce. Any of these could be added when you’re cooking the beef or mixed into the salad dressing in Step 3.
  • For a healthier Tater Tot casserole: Stir in a bag of baby spinach just before adding the Tater Tots.

Can you freeze Tater Tot casserole?

If you freeze this casserole before baking, we recommend not adding the Tater Tots until you’re ready to bake.

Prepare the casserole through Step 3, where you add the salad dressing, and salt and pepper, and also add the first 2 cups cheese. Transfer the meat mixture to a freezer-to-oven-safe baking dish, then let cool, cover and freeze.

When you’re ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the freezer and put the frozen Tater Tots on top. Place the casserole dish into a cold oven, and turn the temp to 350º. Bake until the casserole is heated through, and the Tots on top are golden and crispy, between 40 and 50 minutes.

Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole Tips

Do you cover Tater Tot casserole with foil?

The Tater Tots are mixed into this dish, but you do want the ones that are on the surface of the casserole to get crispy, so don’t use foil!

What goes with Tater Tot casserole?

Coleslaw is a natural pairing with this dinner. We like a tangy Kentucky coleslaw, classic creamy coleslaw or crunchy broccoli slaw. Another great side option: snappy fresh green beans.

Or, try a crisp, refreshing dish of cucumber salad with red onions.

Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 45 min
Yield 12 servings.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3/4 cup sliced sweet pickles, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups Thousand Island salad dressing, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (32 ounces) frozen Tater Tots
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a Dutch oven, cook beef, pickles, onion and garlic over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender, 6-8 minutes, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in 1 cup dressing, salt and pepper. Add Tater Tots and 2 cups of cheese; stir to combine. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  2. Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until heated through. Add remaining cheese on top. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Drizzle top with remaining 1/2 cup dressing. Garnish with additional sweet pickles, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 496 calories, 34g fat (10g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 1045mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 2g fiber), 20g protein.