If you're a tater tot fan, we think you'll LOVE this crock pot tater tot casserole. Not only is is super simple, it's VERY versatile and it's absolutely delicious too!
Not only is it a great crowd pleaser...and by that I mean if someone likes potatoes...you've got a hit with this recipe. Beef, potatoes, and sauces and of course, some cheese to top it off...and that's pretty much it. Anyways, what I was saying...not only is it a crowd pleaser...even the itty-bitty's will eat this recipe. The picky eaters that don't eat much of anything, the one's around here scarf it down!
Crock Pot Tater Tot Casserole Topics
Different Ways to Cook Hamburger Crock Pot Tater Tot Casserole
When I say this recipe is versatile, I am really not kidding. There are SO many things you can do here...and I'm not just talking about changing out your sauces either. So the first thing I'm gonna tell you about is the ability to cook it 3 different ways.
You read that right. This recipe...just as it's written in the printable version below...goes from the slow cooker to the skillet to the oven. There is no need to vary your ingredients, just slight variations in the cooking methods and times...
How'd I find that out you ask? Well, that equates to a confession of sorts. And here it is. I forgot to get the food out of the freezer AND I forgot I needed to cook 'cause I was thinking about other stuff AND we had company coming over.
Now the company...that's my sisters and their crew. They could care less if I feed them, they're completely chill most times. But I wanted to feed them. I have this weird thing about feeding anyone that walks in the door. I guess it's a Mom/Grandma (which is not my name btw...my name is Ama for the grands) thing. I'm not sure...
But I did forget all about food because it's migraine season as I write this and that is one of my Achilles' heels. I get those dang things pretty often...so I forgot all about cooking and food. BUT after several hours and it was under control, I finally looked at the clock. It was after 2 pm. Not late at all. Unless you (me) were planning on cooking in the crock pot. Oops!
So I re-read the recipe I'd written out, thought it through and decided I'd give making a skillet version a shot. IT WORKED! And since I've made the total oven and slow cooker versions previously...I can tell you guys it works all three ways 🙂
Crockpot Tater Tot Hamburger Casserole
For the crock pot tater tot casserole AND the skillet versions...you need to precook the meat. NOW...if you are anything like me. I seldom remembered this step...OR I can now officially say remembered. How come I get to use the past tense now? Because, because, because (sorry, you can't hear me singing that) I had a friend teach me how to make
crock pot hamburger meat. AND how to to it properly so it isn't gross!
I tried it years ago. Not long after I refused to buy another stove (that's in the about me section if you want to read it). It wasn't just gross, it was plain nasty. There was no salvaging it. So I didn't really want to try again...but here's another time...it worked!
So you can precook the meat in a skillet, in the crockpot, or a 3-in-1 crockpot (and let me tell ya, they rock too... more on that one coming later). Then, after the meat mixture is cooked, you'll just need to drain off any excess grease and proceed with the recipe.
The layers for the crock pot version of this tater tot casserole go together just like the skillet version in the picture collage below. Then you turn the slow cooker on low and cook it 6 to 8 hours (I've never made it on high, I don't know if that setting works, I'll give it a shot when making a few of the "variations of flavors" and keep you guys posted.
Cast Iron Skillet Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole
The ONLY difference between the skillet and crock pot tater tot casserole recipes is the cook time. That, and you'll need a cast iron skillet. The texture of the casserole itself really isn't any different...the sauce that goes over the top gives them both a creamy, casserole texture.
Slow cookers are my favorite cooking device (yeah, I know...that's pretty obvious) BUT cast iron rocks all on it's own. I might own 7 crockpots (I think that's right) but I own 12 different pieces of cast iron cookware too. I have 7 cast iron skillets alone! Cast iron is super versatile and I'll be writing on those shortly too...
But 'til then, know...if you need a skillet set, cast iron will never let you down OR wear out. With a tiny bit of TLC you'll never need another skillet...
The texture of the casserole itself really isn't any different...the sauce that goes over the top gives them both a creamy, casserole texture.
For the skillet version, you actually bake it for a bit too. So while you're frying the meat and onions, preheat the oven to 425°. Mix your soups, sour cream and milk and set them aside.
After the meat is no longer pink and the onions are a bit soft, just drain off any excess grease. Then assemble like this...
Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes in that pre-heated oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes before serving. That's it! Time to enjoy and impress the folks gathered around the table 🙂
Hamburger Tater Tot Oven Casserole
The oven version can go two different ways. And which way you decide to cook it is completely up to you.
You can cook it just like the skillet & crock pot versions OR you can not precook the meat at all. You'll get more of a meatloaf consistency using this method. Both versions are really good, your choice.
- If you precook the meat a 9x13 baking dish works best. I personally prefer glass dishes, my Pyrex one I used for this chicken & rice dish works very well when making this recipe. It also comes with a plastic lid for easy storage and/or transport. Just let the dish cool completely and cover for later.
- If you decide to not precook the meat, here are the directions for that one too...
- Mix the ground meats and onion and spread evenly over the bottom of the greased baking dish.
- Layer in the same method as the image above (tots, soup mixture, and the shredded cheese)
- Bake at 425° for 50-70 minutes (time varies a bit depending on what size baking dish you use).
Variations of Flavors for Crock Pot Tater Tot Casserole Recipes
This recipe is half hamburger and half pork sausage. You can use either one or both. BUT chicken and/or bacon are also excellent options too!
This is the first tater tot casserole for SlowCookerKitchen BUT it won't be the last. All the one's listed below are going on the menu over the next couple months.
We'll do the "test kitchen" thing here...then we'll let you know if it works for all the different cooking methods too.
- Mexican Tater Tot Casserole
- Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole
- Pizza Tater Tot Casserole
- Chili Tater Tot Casserole
- Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole
- Ham and Tater Tot Casserole
- Cowboy Tater Tots Casserole
- Chicken Bacon Tater Tot Casserole
- Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
- Cracked Out Tater Tot Casserole
These are just a few of the ones I've heard of...if you have more ideas or want use to figure one out for you, just let me know! We'll give it a shot.
Printable Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
Crock Pot Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground sausage
- 1 onion diced
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can golden mushroom soup
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 32 ounces package tater tots
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
Crock Pot AND Cast Iron Skillet Versions
- Fry your meats and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and onion is translucent, drain off excess grease
- Mix the soups, sour cream and milk in a separate container and set it aside
Crock Pot Tater Tot Casserole Version
- Layer the meat mixture, tater tots, soup mixture and shredded cheese
- Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours
Cast Iron Skillet Tater Tot Casserole Version
- Preheat your oven to 425° while frying your meats and onions and listed above
- Drain the excess fat and layer the tots, soup mixture and lastly, the cheese over the top of the meat mixture
- Place in the oven uncovered and cook for 35-45 minutes
Hamburger Tater Tot Oven Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 425°
- Mix the ground meats & onion and spread in the bottom of a 9x13 greased baking dish
- Layer tater tots, soup mixture, and the shredded cheese
- Bake at 425° for 50-70 minutes. Time can vary slightly depending on what size and type of baking dish you use.
Freezer Meal Prep
- Substitute canned, evaporated milk for the "milk" in the recipe
- Precook the ground meats and onions ~or~ form them into a meatloaf, place in large zip baggie
- Mix the soups, evaporated milk and sour cream until very smooth. Pour into a smaller baggie and place inside the larger bag
- Stack the tater tot bag and meat bag and tape them together using the same method as Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie
- Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before cooking
Other Delicious Crockpot Freezer Meals:
If you like this recipe, you might want to check some of these out too! Holler if you need any help...and ROCK THAT CROCK!