When you are on the hunt for the best freezer meals, you are looking for a recipe that is as simple as it is delicious. Because you simply don’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen. Enter the best tater tot casserole freezer meal.
This make ahead casserole uses simple ingredients that pack a mouth watering and cheesy punch. Get ready to get all the details on your new family go to recipe for dinner.
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One of the many reasons that you will love this casserole is that it is SO easy to make. And, it is seriously delicious.
Your kids will love it too, because it is basically like having a cheeseburger and tater tots in one…with a few veggies that you can sneak in as well. 😉
This tater tot casserole freezer meal is perfect for your busy schedule, because you can throw it together in no time. And, then be on your merry little way with the bajillion other things that need to get done.
With that, let’s dive into all the delicious details of this casserole.
Best Tater Tot Casserole Ingredients
As I said before, you are going to love how simple this freezer meal recipe is. Bonus points for not having to go to more than one store to find ingredients.
In fact, you probably have almost all of the ingredients on hand right now.
- Ground beef
- Onions and peppers
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Tater Tots
See, I told you it’s very simple. Because let’s face it. With your busy schedule simple is where it’s at.
Can I use cream of chicken instead of cream of mushroom?
This question comes up a lot when a recipe calls for cream of mushroom. And the answer is yes.
You can absolutely use cream of chicken instead of cream of mushroom for this tater tot casserole recipe.
In fact, I will let you in on a secret. Whenever any recipe calls for a creamy soup, you can pretty much use any other cream of soup as a substitute
For the most part, you can swap out cream of mushroom, cream of onion, and cream of chicken however your heart desires. The only slight exception would be cream of celery. And, that is really just a matter of your personal taste.
How to make tater tot casserole
Listen, I know you are busy. That is why we are all about keeping recipes practical around here. The reason why I call this recipe the best tater tot casserole is because you can make it in no time flat. And, your whole family will love it too. Yes, even the picky eaters.
You will happily add this recipe to your family favorites, and it will be your go to freezer meal on busy nights. Be sure to add it into your weekly meal plan.
So, let’s dive into how to make this recipe. Shall we?
First, you will brown your meat and veggies. Drain when it is finished browning.
Feel free to use whatever vegetables you and your family like. I always use onion and peppers. But, this recipe is great with peas and carrots, and even green beans too.
P.S. This is a great way to sneak in vegetables for picky eaters. You can easily ‘hide’ them, and their taste buds will be so distracted by the cheesy tater tot goodness that they won’t even know the vegetables are in there.
While your meat and vegetables are browning. You can mix together the cream of mushroom soup and milk. Be sure to mix it well. You want to eliminate any lumps and bumps.
Next, you will place the meat mixture in the bottom of your casserole dish. A 9×13 works great for this casserole.
But if you are anything like me, then you like to eliminate as much dish clean up as possible. That is why I love to use disposable pans. And, they work great for freezer meals too.
Next, you will add a layer of tater tots on top of the meat mixture.
You can either lay it out neatly like I did here, or you can spread them all willy nilly. I have made this tater tot casserole both ways, and have received no complaints either way that I made it. So, you do whatever works best for you. 😉
Next you will pour the cream of mushroom mixture on top of the casserole. You can either pour it slowly to make sure that it covers the top well. Or, you can spoon it onto the top of the casserole too.
If you are making a make ahead tater tot casserole freezer meal, STOP HERE.
If you are making now to serve for dinner: You will bake the casserole on 400 for 25 minutes. Then add cheese to the casserole, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Allow it to sit for 5 minutes to set. Cut into squares or rectangles, and serve.
Make Ahead Tater Tot Casserole
Because we are all about make ahead freezer meals, let’s discuss how to turn this into one of your go to freezer meals.
You will stop at the step of adding the cream of mushroom soup mixture. Simply wrap the tater tot casserole in foil, and place it in the freezer.
You can freeze this tater tot casserole freezer meal for up to 6 months.
How do you cook frozen tater tot casserole?
If you are able to, allow the frozen casserole to thaw before baking. You can do this by placing it in the fridge for 4-8 hours.
Or, if you forget to thaw it…you will just need to cook it a bit longer.
You will cook this recipe on 400 for 30-45 minutes. This will depend on your oven, and if the casserole is completely frozen.
If the casserole is completely frozen. You may want to check in on it while baking. If you feel like it is getting a little too brown, then you can place some foil on top of the casserole while baking.
Be sure to add the cheese during the last 5 minutes of bake time.
Does tater tot casserole freeze well?
Yes, a million times yes! In fact, I argue that being able to freeze this recipe is one of the top selling points.
This tater tot casserole freezer meal can be frozen as a make ahead meal. Or, you can freeze any leftovers as well.
I like to section off leftovers into individual servings. That way they are the perfect serving size for lunch, or an easy dinner for on the go to.
What sides go with tater tot casserole?
You can serve several different sides with this casserole, but keep in mind that this is more of a hearty dish. Whatever you decide to serve with it, I would keep it light. And avoid starchy side dishes.
Our family has eaten this dinner recipe with various sides. Here are a few options that you might like to try:
- Simple side salad
- Green beans
- Roasted broccoli
- Roasted cauliflower
- Roasted asparagus
Now you know why I call this the best tater tot casserole freezer meal. You can easily throw this recipe together with ingredients that you probably have on hand right now.
That way you are good to go on those busy nights.
Be sure to add this recipe to your weekly meal plan to make life a whole lot easier. You can grab your copy of a free weekly meal planner and grocery list below.
This easy make ahead tater tot casserole freezer meal uses simple ingredients and comes together in a flash. Busy moms will love how easy this dinner comes together, and everyone will love the cheesy deliciousness.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (10.75 oz) can of cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 c milk
- 3/4 – 1 bag (32 oz) package of tater tots
- 1–2 c shredded cheese
- Brown meat and vegetables on medium heat.
- Drain meat and vegetables.
- Place meat and vegetable mixture in casserole dish.
- Place a tater tot layer on top of meat and vegetable mixture.
- Combine cream of mushroom soup and milk in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour or spoon cream of mushroom soup mixture onto the tater tots. Be sure to coat well.
- Bake on 400 for 25 minutes.
- Add cheese to top of tater tot casserole.
- Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes, and then serve.
- Category: Dinner Recipe
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 8
- Calories: 700
- Fat: 28g
- Carbohydrates: 50g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 25g
Keywords: tater tot casserole, best tater tot casserole, make ahead tater tot casserole, tater tot casserole freezer meal