Tater Tot Cowboy Casserole

Filled with hearty ground beef, lots of veggies, and topped with crispy tater tots, Cowboy Casserole is one the whole family will love. Even the kids!

overhead picture of tater tot casserole

Cowboy Tater Tot Casserole

When the day has been long, there is nothing I look forward to then a hot meal on the table. Especially one that is filling, one the whole family likes, and one that takes minimal effort.

This Cowboy Casserole checks all the boxes. No wonder it’s a family favorite!

Casseroles are sent from the angels in my opinion. A dish that uses budget friendly ingredients and turns them into a delicious meal can only come from them.

All the delicious Southwest flavors I love, mixed with a tangy sauce, and tucked under a blanket of fluffy and crispy tater tots. I am drooling already!

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ingredients in individual bowls

Ingredients

  • Ground Beef – you can use ground pork or turkey too!
  • Onion – yellow or white work best
  • Beans – black beans and pinto beans
  • Jalapeños – fresh or pickled
  • Corn – canned, frozen corn, or even Mexi-corn
  • Fire roasted tomatoes  – or diced tomatoes
  • Sour cream – you can use plain yogurt too
  • Cheddar cheese – or your favorite
  • Tater tots – Frozen, you can also use hashbrowns
  • Cilantro – or parsley for garnish

How to make Cowboy Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet until no longer pink. Add the onions, garlic, and peppers for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add the beans, corn, and tomatoes.
  1. Stir in the taco seasoning, sour cream, and half the cheese. Cook until warm and bubbly. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if desired.
  2. Spread the beef mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking dish.
  1. Top with a single layer of tater tots. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the tater tots are lightly browned and crispy.
  3. Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley or cilantro.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

casserole with tater tots in a dish

Can I make it ahead of time?

You can prep this ahead of time up until the baking step. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bake when ready.

Can I freeze it?

Bake and cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight and bake at 350F until the internal temperature reaches 165F.

Cowboy Casserole Storage

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

scoop of tater tot casserole

Best Casserole Tips

  • Add in some frozen mixed vegetables to add in more veggies.
  • Make this in the slow cooker. Add all ingredients to the crockpot. Cook on low for 5 hours. Keep the lid on during the cooking time for best results.
  • Try spreading shredded hash brown potatoes on the top instead of tater tots.
  • Use ground pork, ground turkey, or even meatless crumbles instead of the lean ground beef.
  • Don’t have taco seasoning? Use a mixture of cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and onion powder.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, pin this to your favorite casserole Pinterest board and share it on your favorite social media channels!

casserole with text "tater tot cowboy"

This Cowboy Casserole Recipe is budget friendly and full of flavors the whole family will love!

Yield: 8 servings

Cowboy Casserole

overhead picture of casserole with a wood spoon

Cowboy Casserole is an easy and budget friendly family dinner. Made with hearty ground beef, beans, corn, and tomatoes. Topped with a crispy, cheesy, tater tot topping.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef, lean
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 ounce package taco seasoning
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can corn, drained
  • 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 32 ounces tater tots
  • chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet until no longer pink. Add the onions, garlic, and peppers for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
  3. Add the beans, corn, and tomatoes.
  4. Stir in the taco seasoning, sour cream, and half the cheese. Cook until warm and bubbly. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if desired.
  5. Spread the beef mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking dish.
  6. Top with a single layer of tater tots. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the tater tots are lightly browned and crispy.
  8. Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley or cilantro.

Notes

  • Add in some frozen mixed vegetables to add in more veggies.
  • Make this in the slow cooker. Add all ingredients to the crockpot. Cook on low for 5 hours. Keep the lid on during the cooking time for best results.
  • Try spreading shredded hash brown potatoes on the top instead of tater tots.
  • Use ground pork, ground turkey, or even meatless crumbles instead of the lean ground beef.
  • Don't have taco seasoning? Use a mixture of cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and onion powder.
  • This recipe first appeared on Leftovers Then Breakfast.
  • Recommended Products

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 680Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1539mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 11gSugar: 7gProtein: 33g

    This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and we can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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