This hearty Tater Tot Bake has a savory ground beef and gravy filling and is topped with golden crispy tater tots. It’s an easy ground beef recipe when you’re craving a comforting meat and potatoes dinner.
If you’re looking for a simple, hearty dinner, this beef and tater tot bake is the answer. For this recipe, we’re raiding the pantry and freezer to assemble a really simple casserole that’s full of savory, satisfying flavors.
In my opinion, whoever thought to top a casserole with tater tots deserves an award! This type of casserole is also known as a hot dish and is believed to have originated in the Midwest. Using frozen tater tots as a topping is genius – it’s simple to do, and you get a golden crunchy potato topping over a bubbling hot beef filling.
This tater tot recipe is a baked casserole perfect for a cold night. It’s a great meal to make during the week because there’s not much prep work, and it’s easy to assemble. Except for the beef, all of the ingredients are ones you can keep on hand in the pantry and freezer. Plus, the leftovers are great for lunches the next day.
- Lean ground beef
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Prepared gravy
- Beef or chicken stock
- Frozen peas
- Frozen tater tots
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make Tater Tot Casserole
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Break it up as it cooks, and then add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well, so the meat is evenly seasoned, and cook until the beef is cooked through.
Drain off the excess fat, and then add the gravy and stock. Stir until the gravy is smooth, and then add the peas. Transfer the meat mixture to a 9x9” baking dish and spread it in an even layer.
Place the frozen tots in a single layer on top of the filling. Bake the tater tot casserole for 20 to 25 minutes at 400°F or until the tots are golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
You can use ground beef or swap it for ground turkey, chicken, or ground pork. Just be sure to drain off the excess grease if the meat has a lot of fat.
I like to use store-bought prepared gravy to make this recipe really easy. It’s also a great way to use leftover gravy from a holiday meal. If the gravy you use is very thick, you may need to add up to a ½ cup of extra stock to thin it.
For the stock, feel free to use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock. You can also use the same amount of water if you don’t have stock on hand. If you do, you may need to increase the amount of salt and pepper in the recipe.
You can also use other vegetables. Instead of peas, try frozen chopped green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or a frozen vegetable medley. Chopped mushrooms would also work well.
Yes, you can assemble the tater tot bake up to a day in advance, cover it with plastic wrap, and keep it in the refrigerator. You might need to add a few extra minutes of baking time when you bake it.
Store them in an airtight container, and they will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.
Bake it at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until it’s bubbling hot and the tots are golden brown.
We like it with a tossed salad on the side, or you can add a cooked vegetable like green beans, corn, or broccoli. It’s also great with some sliced bread or garlic bread.
I highly recommend making this beef and tater tot bake for the next cold day – it will definitely warm you up! It’s hearty, delicious, and easy to make. Enjoy!
More Hearty Casserole Dishes
Tater Tot Bake with Gravy Recipe
- 1- pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups prepared gravy
- ¼ cup beef or chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas
- 1 ¼ pounds Tater Tots just enough to cover a single layer in a 9x9 baking dish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and combine well. Cook, breaking up into small pieces, until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
- Add gravy and stock and stir until gravy melts into meat, then stir in peas. Remove from heat and place in a 9x9-inch baking dish.
- Top with an even layer of frozen tater tots. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tater tots are golden brown and meat mixture is bubbly.
- Serve hot.
- Can use ground beef or chicken or turkey.
- This is a great use for leftover gravy.
- If your gravy is very thick you may need up to ½ cup of stock.
- You can use beef, chicken, vegetable stock or water.
- Use any vegetables you enjoy.
- Keep leftovers in the Fridge for up to 3 days.
This Tater Tot Bake with Gravy is a simple, hearty dinner that’s easy enough to make during a busy weeknight. This casserole is full of savory and satisfying flavors!
Mel is an IT guy turned blogger and is discovering his love of cooking and photography. If you ever have Fantasy Football questions, he's your guy.