Taco Tater Tot Casserole

Taco Tater Tot Casserole: A Hearty Twist on Taco Night

Get ready to revolutionize your taco night with this indulgent yet easy-to-make Taco Tater Tot Casserole! This dish takes all the beloved flavors of tacos and combines them with crispy tater tots for a hearty, satisfying meal that the whole family will love. With its layers of seasoned ground beef, beans, corn, cheese, and tater tots, each bite is a delicious explosion of Tex-Mex goodness. So, let’s dive into the recipe and make your taco dreams come true!


  • Ground beef (preferably 85% lean): 1 lb
  • Onion, finely diced: 1 medium
  • Red pepper (optional), finely diced: 1 medium
  • Garlic, minced: 1 clove
  • Green chiles (canned, choose your heat level): 4 ounces
  • Taco seasoning (packaged or homemade blend): 1 ounce or 2-3 tbsp
  • Black beans, rinsed & drained: 15 ounces
  • Frozen corn: 10 ounces
  • Cheese (Mexican blend), shredded: 3 cups
  • Red enchilada sauce: 10 ounces
  • Tater tots, frozen: 32 ounces

Garnishing Suggestions:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Creamy sour cream
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Flavorful guacamole
  • Sliced olives
  • Chopped green onions
  • Tangy hot sauce


1. Preheat Your Oven:

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter and set aside.

2. Cook the Ground Beef Mixture:

  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned and no longer pink.
  • Add the diced onion, red pepper (if using), and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.
  • Stir in the green chiles and taco seasoning, ensuring all ingredients are well combined.
  • Add the black beans and frozen corn to the skillet, stirring until heated through. Remove from heat.

3. Assemble the Casserole:

  • Spread half of the cooked ground beef mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over the beef mixture.
  • Pour half of the red enchilada sauce over the cheese layer.
  • Arrange the frozen tater tots in a single layer on top of the sauce.

4. Layer and Bake:

  • Repeat the layers: remaining ground beef mixture, shredded cheese, and red enchilada sauce.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy, and the casserole is heated through.

5. Garnish and Serve:

  • Once cooked, remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro, sour cream, diced tomatoes, guacamole, sliced olives, chopped green onions, and hot sauce, as desired.
  • Serve hot and enjoy the deliciousness!

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

Enhance your Taco Tater Tot Casserole with these tips and variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Swap the ground beef for a plant-based alternative like crumbled tofu or textured vegetable protein for a vegetarian version.
  • Spice It Up: Adjust the heat level by using mild or hot green chiles, adding jalapeños, or increasing the amount of taco seasoning.
  • Extra Toppings: Customize your casserole with additional toppings such as diced avocado, salsa, shredded lettuce, or diced onions for added flavor and texture.
  • Make It Cheesier: For an extra cheesy casserole, mix in cream cheese or add a layer of queso dip between the beef mixture and tater tots.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Indulge in a keto-friendly or low-carb version of this flavorful casserole with these adaptations:

Keto Version:

  • Low-Carb Tater Tots: Use cauliflower tots or make your own keto-friendly tots using cauliflower and cheese.
  • Low-Carb Sauce: Opt for a sugar-free or homemade enchilada sauce with reduced carbs.
  • Replace Beans and Corn: Substitute black beans and corn with diced bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms for a lower carb option.
  • Cheese Options: Choose full-fat cheeses and skip low-fat varieties to keep the casserole keto-friendly.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Veggie-Packed: Increase the vegetable content by adding more bell peppers, onions, and other low-carb veggies while reducing the amount of beans and corn.
  • Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes to keep carb intake in check, especially if using traditional tater tots.
  • Homemade Taco Seasoning: Make your own taco seasoning blend with low-carb spices to control the carb content and avoid added sugars.

In conclusion, the Taco Tater Tot Casserole is a winning dish that brings together the best of both worlds—tacos and tater tots! With its layers of savory beef, beans, cheese, and crispy tots, it’s a meal that’s sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Whether you’re serving it up for a weeknight dinner, game day feast, or casual gathering with friends, this casserole is guaranteed to be a hit. So, get ready to dig in and enjoy the deliciousness of this Tex-Mex-inspired comfort food!

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