The Meal Planner

My Mom used to make a tater tot casserole when I was growing up and I remember being very excited to eat the tasty little dish. Since she passed away and my step-father wouldn't give me her personal collection of recipes I haven't eaten it in 15 years. As I was preparing for the birth of my daughter and doing a little freezer cooking, I decided to try and recreate it myself. It was satisfying and very much reminded me of Mom.

Mom's home cookin'...sure to be a kid pleaser.

Recipe by Meal Planning 101

Serves 4-6

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15oz can tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/2-3/4 bag tater tots
1 cup grated cheddar

In a large frying pan, brown ground beef along with chopped onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, chili powder, cumin, peas and corn. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then remove from the heat.

Place beef mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish (if planning on freezing, cool mixture first). Arrange the tater tots on top of the beef mixture. If you are freezing, wrap in aluminum foil, label and place in freezer.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes. If casserole came from the freezer, thaw and bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. To get the tops of the tater tots a little crispier broil for 2-3 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove casserole from oven, sprinkle with grated cheese and put back in oven until cheese is melted.

Click here for printable version of Sweet BBQ Tater Tot Casserole

I really appreciated the sentiment attached to such a simple dish...and it helped that it was really tasty too. It was a family pleasing meal; just like when I was a kid.  This dish freezes wonderfully as well.

Meal Ideas:

  • Sweet BBQ Tater Tot Casserole + Side Salad
  • Sweet BBQ Tater Tot Casserole + Sauteed Green Beans

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12 Responses
  1. Michelle Says:

    Wow! That looks delicious, and something my kids would really like! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This recipe sounds absolutely delicious. I am all for casserole meals. My family loves tator tots, so I am going to have to try this recipe.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    This looks so good. I wish my hubby didn't hate tater tots!

  4. Angie Says:

    I made this last week and it is BY FAR the absolute BEST Tater Tot Casserole Recipe...EVER! I separated it in half and froze the other half for a lunch later on in the week (we are a small family) and it was amazing then too! :) Thank you SO much...and I love your blog!!!

  5. LZF Says:

    I must say I've never heard of tater tot casserole but I like the idea: It's kind of whimsical but sounds really tasty too. I have a feeling my husband will love this dish.

  6. LZF - It's a very "I grew up in the 80's-90's and my Mom made it all the time" kind of dish, which is why I love it. I crave the comfort of it. I bet Joel would really like it.

  7. loved1 Says:

    You brought us this meal when we had Sam...SO YUMMY! Almost a year later and I am FINALLY getting around to making it!

    It is SOOO mouth is watering!

    Thank you :)

  8. Gina O' Says:

    I'm gonna make this tonight for my extremely picky husband who happens to LOVE tater tots! I hope mine looks as good as the picture which looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Pam Says:

    I have made this twice and my family LOVES it! Thanks for posting such an easy, yummy recipe.

  10. Ange Says:

    This was awesome, seriously awesome. I didn't have tots so I used sliced potatoes instead and added some chili to spice up the sweetness. Love it and love that you can make it your own.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    My family loved this dish! Last night was the second time I made. I switched out the green peas for green peppers because I am not a fan of green peas.

  12. April Says:

    Shame on your stepfather!
    I've never eaten or made tater tot casserole, but I saw the link when I was writing down the crock pot tikka masala recipe earlier. We got the ingredients for both today at the store. Thanks for sharing!