Hey, hey! Here's to the burger lover's out there! 'Cause if you love bacon cheeseburgers, we think you'll absolutely be over the moon for this bacon ranch cheeseburger tater tot casserole!
And like most all the recipes here, it goes together in a flash! Then you let the slow cooker do the work for you. No watching the stove, no babysitting. Just pop it in the crockpot and supper's all done when you're ready for it.
It's warm, creamy, cheesy, comfort food that kids and adults both enjoy! Pssttt...Garnish the top with some dill pickles, that'll toss this dish right over the top!
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For those readers that prefer to watch instead of read...here's the slideshow/video 🙂
The ingredients you'll need for this bacon ranch cheeseburger tater tot casserole (boy that's a mouth full)...they are a lot like this other crock pot tater tot casserole. Both have ground beef and a few, key ingredients that help them cook into the right texture...
Everyone here LOVED this stuff. And when it was gone, it was requested again...and I didn't want to make the same thing twice so I started thinking (warning bells anyone...for those of you that know me well, probably)...
And in the thinking process, I asked myself "why not add a different sort of flavor? So the end result wouldn't just be a potato casserole, which is awesome but still...just to make something different that would taste pretty amazing.
So here we go...we changed up the soups, taking out the cream of chicken and substituting a cheddar cheese. Then added both bacon and ranch to enhance the flavors.
The end result was delicious AND even better the next day! Btw, this meal is freezer friendly before or after cooking it.
Time Savers for Quick & Easy Meal Prep
Make-Ahead Crockpot Hamburger Meat
Layers. Don't groan, please. The layers aren't difficult or time-consuming. For those that are old enough to remember the "layering" fad (also when everything was known as lasagna) I think it burned some of us out on "layers".
But don't worry, this will NOT take up much time, it goes together quickly. The ONLY thing you have to do is precook your meats. And that's easy. You've got your standard skillet method and you can brown it over low heat OR you can put your crockpot to work overnight and make up some crockpot hamburger meat.
If you decide to make up some of that crock pot hamburger meat
, you can then freeze it in portion sizes that work for the folks you cook for. AND you can also do the same for BACON...
Bake Up Some Bacon
Did you know you can bake bacon? You sure can! You don't have to...you can fry it like you've always done and it's great. But it needs to be watched closely. When you bake bacon, you don't have to babysit it much.
We use pre-cooked bacon in all sorts of dishes here. Here are just a few of the other crockpot meals we pre-cooked bacon to make...all of them go together super easy once the meats are frozen and ready to pop out for cooking:
So if you decide to premake up some bacon too, the directions are super easy. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees then bake for 12 to 15 minutes. You can then freeze it for later (if it makes it that long), use it in a recipe or steal it right off the plate!
Once you've got your meats either cooked or defrosted a bit, this casserole dish goes together in a matter of minutes!
Beef & Onions, Bacon, Cheese, Tater Tots, Soup mixture & Cheese again! Then cook on low for 5 to 7 hours (high 3 to 4).
Alternative Cooking Methods
Just like the crockpot tater tot casserole... I talked it about earlier, this bacon ranch cheeseburger tater tot casserole can be cooked in a variety of ways. You can make it in a casserole dish or in a cast iron skillet or (of course) in the crock pot!
The directions to do that are right here! So if you forget to toss supper in the crockpot you can still make this casserole up in a flash. And it'll go together even faster if you decide to make it into a freezer meal too...
Freezer Meal Options
This (and most...if not all tater tot casseroles) work GREAT for freezer meals. Am I saying eat tater tot casserole all the time? Of course not. Anything all the time isn't healthy. Moderation...And this freezes very well so you could very easily make up a few freezer meals of this, and have one a week (or every other week) for a couple months. It works here, we live on foods from the crock pot, freezer and leftovers 🙂
Printable & Pin It for Later Options
Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 package bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic optional
- 1 10 ounce can cheddar cheese soup
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
- 2 to 3 tablespoons 1 to 1 1/2 packets ranch seasoning
- 1 32 ounce package tater tots
- 1 cup shredded cheddar optional
- 1 1/3 cups milk
For all methods: You can prep your meat in two different ways.
- Precook the ground beef, bacon, onions, and garlic until no longer pink and drain off the excess fat ~or~ Form above-listed ingredients into a loaf.
- In a separate, largish bowl mix the cheddar cheese soup, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, Ranch Dressing Mix, and milk. Blend until it looks like a thick sauce
Crockpot Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole:
- Crumbled Meat Version: Meat mixture, Cheese Layer #1, Tater Tots, Soup Mixture, Cheese Layer #2
- Meatloaf Version: Tater Tots, 1/2 the soup mixture, Cheese Layer #1, Meatloaf, 1/2 the soup mixture, Cheese Layer #2
- Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours; high for 3 1/2 to 4
Skillet Tater Tot Casserole:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Layer as listed for the crockpot version
- Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Check the middle for doneness before serving.
Baking Dish Tot Casserole:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Layer as with the crockpot version in a 9x13 baking dish
- Bake for 55 to 70 minutes. Check for doneness in the center before serving.
Freezer Meal Prep: You've two options for freezer meal prep.
- #1. See our "Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie" recipe and check out those freezer directions. This freezes everything seperately and keeps the layers nice and neat. OR
- #2... Layer everything as per the directions above in a freezer bag. Label and freeze upright. Defrost overnight (or at least a few hours). Flip the bag upside down. Cut the bottom off the bag and VERY carefully flip the bag into a pre-greased crock pot insert. Mash down the layers a bit and cook as directed above.
- Make sure to use shredded cheese when freezing. Slices don't always make it.