Taco Tater Tot Casserole

This taco Tater Tot casserole can be on the table in under an hour. Serve with your fave taco fixings.
Tater Taco Casserole Recipe photo by Taste of Home

If the word “casserole” conjures up a bland, boring supper in your mind, you need to dust off your 13×9-inch baking dish and give this taco Tater Tot casserole a try.

This simple recipe is an ideal easy weeknight dinner. It sneaks in clever shortcut ingredients and can be cooked in under an hour. Ground meat, taco seasoning, nacho cheese soup and Tater Tots come together for a fusion of taco Tuesday and Minnesota hot dish. Yup, this is a meaty, cheesy, crowd-pleasing main course you can serve any night of the week!

Ingredients for Taco Tater Tot Casserole

  • Ground beef: A good 80/20 ground beef works well, but you can go leaner. The same rules for buying the best meat for burgers also apply here.
  • Taco seasoning: A packet of your favorite taco seasoning is going to deliver perfectly seasoned meat. Our Test Kitchen pro cooks picked the best taco seasoning brands, but you can also easily make your own homemade taco seasoning mix from scratch.
  • Condensed nacho cheese soup: Like all condensed soup casserole recipes, nacho cheese soup provides an instant, thick, creamy sauce that binds the casserole ingredients together. If you can’t find it, use a different cream of soup, and add 1/2 grated cheddar cheese to the casserole.
  • Corn: Corn kernels add a bit of sweetness and a little veg to the casserole. This recipe calls for drained canned corn, but frozen corn kernels are perfect here, too. No need to defrost before adding to the meat mixture.
  • Tater tots: A package of frozen Tater Tots is one of our favorite shortcut ingredients. They’re the key ingredient in this casserole, and, as a bonus, they bake up into a crispy topping. If you have extra, use them up in other delicious Tater Tot recipes.


Step 1: Brown the beef

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 13×9-inch baking dish. Set aside. In a large skillet, cook the beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain the excess fat.

Step 2: Season the filling

Stir in the taco seasoning and water. Simmer, uncovered, for five minutes. Stir in the corn and soup.

Step 3: Top with tots

Transfer the beef mixture into the prepared baking dish. Scatter the Tater Tots in a single layer over the top.

Step 4: Bake

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Bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are crispy and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. If desired, top with cilantro, tomatoes and sour cream.

Recipe Variations

  • Substitute the beef: Switch the meat up, and use ground chicken or turkey instead of the beef (or use a mix of ground beef and poultry). Or ramp up the flavor, and use slow-cooker barbacoa in place of the ground meat.
  • Turn up the heat: If you’re a fan of spicy recipes, add chopped jalapenos to the beef and onion (go for mild poblano), stir in a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or serve with salsa or hot sauce.

How to Store Taco Tater Tot Casserole

Leftover taco Tater Tot casserole should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to five days. To crisp up the Tater Tot topping before serving, reheat servings of casserole in the toaster oven, or reheat the entire casserole dish in the oven. Cover the dish with foil, and bake at 350° until heated through, about 30 minutes.

Can you make taco Tater Tot casserole ahead of time?

Taco Tater Tot casserole is ideal for make-ahead meals. We suggest freezing it to preserve the optimal texture. Prepare the recipe through Step 3, just before baking. Cover the casserole dish tightly, and store it in the freezer for up to three months.

You can thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight before cooking, or bake it directly from the freezer. Follow the same baking instructions as described in Step 4, adding additional cooking time for the frozen casserole.

Taco Tater Tot Casserole Tips

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What if my Tater Tots start to burn?

If the tot topping begins to darken too quickly, cover the casserole dish with foil, and return to the oven.

What can I serve with taco Tater Tot casserole?

Anything that tastes good in a taco bar will taste great with this casserole. Serve with guacamole, corn chips, any of our top salsa recipes, black beans or refried beans.

Taco Tater Tot Casserole

Our family lives and works on a ranch. I like to fix this nicely seasoned taco Tater Tot casserole ahead of time and freeze it for later use. It's good with a tossed salad or nacho chips and dip. —Ronna Lewis, Plains, Kansas
Tater Taco Casserole Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.


8 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 can (11 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup, undiluted
  • 1 package (32 ounces) frozen Tater Tots
  • Optional: Fresh cilantro leaves, diced tomatoes, sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in corn and soup.
  2. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Arrange Tater Tots in a single layer over the top. Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are crispy and golden brown, 30-35 minutes. If desired, top with cilantro, tomatoes and sour cream.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 489 calories, 27g fat (8g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 1384mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 4g fiber), 24g protein.