Tater Tot Hotdish (A Minnesota Classic!)

Minnesota Tater tot hotdish is a great option if you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner! This classic comfort food recipe is packed with vegetables, ground beef, sharp cheddar cheese, and an easy homemade cream of mushroom soup (no canned soup here!).

Close up of tater tot hotdish in a baking dish with a wooden spoon in it.

I can’t think of a more classic hotdish than this recipe right here. And while we are on the topic, I had the hardest time trying to name this recipe because while we in the Upper Midwest call it a hotdish, I assume most of the world would actually call it a tater tot casserole recipe…?

Ah well. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a simple recipe and a quintessential one-dish meal. If you haven’t tried it yet, I think you’ll love it.

If you’re looking for more comfort meals, might I suggest this creamy tomato soup, one-pot chili, or adult grilled cheese?

These 60 chicken casserole dinner ideas are great for busy weeknights!

And if you’re looking for a simple comfort meal appetizer, check out these chicken bacon ranch sliders or cream cheese corn dip!

Full pan of tater tot hotdish.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s a family favorite – This meal is a classic tater tot hotdish recipe, but it uses real ingredients and doesn’t call for any canned or processed soup. Loaded with good ingredients (you can use fresh vegetables or frozen vegetables–your choice!) it’s a great way to get good nutrition into a comfort meal.
  • Crispy tater tots – This hotdish isn’t complete without those golden brown crispy tater tots on top! They add a delicious crunch to the meal.
  • Easy recipe – This dinner only requires one baking dish, which means less dishes to wash!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients for tater tot hotdish: ground beef, tater tots, heavy cream, diced onions, butter, chicken broth, garlic, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, minced onion, shredded cheese, green beans, peas, and carrots, mushrooms, and flour.
  • Ground Beef – This adds a ton of protein and flavor to the dish. You could also use ground turkey.
  • Tater Tots – I used a frozen bag of tater tots.
  • Heavy Cream – For the homemade cream of mushroom soup. You could also use whole milk. Heavy cream just keeps the soup nice and thick.
  • Onions – White onion or yellow onion work here. It will be cooked in with the beef mixture.
  • Garlic Cloves – Minced and added to the cream of mushroom soup.
  • Butter – I use salted butter, but unsalted would work too. You would just need to add another teaspoon of salt to the homemade soup mixture. I like to cube it before adding it to the pan because it melts faster.
  • Chicken Broth or Chicken Stock – Either work for the soup base.
  • Mushrooms – This is added to the homemade cream of mushroom soup.
  • All-Purpose Flour – To thicken the homemade soup.
  • Salt, Black Pepper, Minced Onion Seasoning, Garlic Powder
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Most of the shredded cheese will be added to the dish and the extra shredded cheese will be added on top of the tater tots towards the end of cooking. I like lots of shredded cheese, but use your discretion if you’d rather add less! I also recommend getting a block of cheese and grating the cheese yourself if you have the extra time!
  • Diced Vegetables – I use whatever I have on hand, but mostly green beans, peas, and carrots. I like to keep it easy by using frozen vegetables. Feel free to add other vegetables such as broccoli.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Ground beef and onions being cooked in a saucepan.

Step One: Dice the onion, chop the mushrooms, and mince the garlic cloves. If using fresh vegetables, dice them into small pieces. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside. Set the stove to medium heat. Add a little bit of olive oil or butter to a cast iron skillet or medium saucepan and cook the ground beef and diced onions until there is no more pink in the meat (about 5-7 minutes). Once cooked, drain excess fat, then set aside the meat mixture.

Homemade cream of mushroom soup in a saucepan.

Step Two: In the same pan you made the brown ground beef, add the butter, minced garlic, and flour to the pan. Whisk the ingredients together as the butter melts. Once it resembles a thick paste, add the chicken broth. Then slowly add the heavy cream and fold in the mushrooms. Finally, add the salt, pepper, minced onion, and garlic powder. The soup should be nice and thick when it’s done. Take it off the heat and start preparing the dish.

Casserole dish with ground beef and vegetables on top.

Step Three: Spread the cooked beef on the bottom of the casserole dish. Then spread the veggies on top of the meat.

Baking dish with the cream of mushroom soup added.

Step Four: Add an even layer of the cream of mushroom soup on top of the vegetables.

Hotdish in the baking dish with the sprinkled cheese added on top.

Step Five: Sprinkle most of the shredded cheese over the creamy soup.

Uncooked tater tot hotdish with the tater tots lined evenly on top of the ingredients.

Step Six: Finally, line the soup with a single layer of tater tots. Cover with aluminum foil and put in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. After that 30 minutes is up, sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top of the tater tots, then pop back in the oven for another 30 minutes uncovered. It will be ready when the tater tots are golden brown, the cheese is melted, and the dish is bubbling. Let rest for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Cooked tater tot hotdish with a wooden spoon in the pan after serving a portion on a plate.

Equipment

  • Casserole Dish (9×13 dish works best)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Wooden Spoon (or large serving spoon)
  • Cast Iron Skillet or Medium Saucepan
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife

Top Tips for Making the Best Tater Tot Hotdish

  • Save time by using frozen vegetables! The frozen bags of green beans, carrots, and peas are usually cut up small enough that you can just pour the combination of vegetables into the casserole dish without having to dice them up yourself. They also cook faster than fresh veggies.
  • If using fresh veggies, just make sure to dice them up nice and small so they aren’t still hard when the hotdish has finished cooking.
  • If you’re in a pinch, just use a can of cream of mushroom soup. This recipe would go perfectly with a can of cream of mushroom if you’re short on time or don’t have all the ingredients on hand. Cream of chicken soup is another fantastic substitute.
  • Fancy it up by adding bacon bits and chopped fresh green onion to the top of the dish!
  • If you have some extra wild rice (perhaps from making some cranberry wild rice bread or chicken wild rice soup 😉 add a cup of it to this dish to add some extra nutrients and flavor!

Storage

Store Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze leftovers by storing them in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Make-Ahead Fridge Instructions: If you want to make this tater tot hotdish ahead of time, follow the instructions up until it’s time to cook. Then cover with aluminum foil and store in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking.

Make-Ahead Freezer Instructions: Alternatively, if you want to freeze the uncooked hotdish, follow the instructions up until cook time and cover with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and store in the freezer for up to 2 months before cooking. Cook straight from the freezer. Cook time will increase by 10-20 minutes.

A plate of tater tot hotdish with a kitchen towel in the back.

More Comfort Food Recipes

Casserole dish of tater tot hotdish with a wooden spoon in it and one plate of hotdish along with a bowl of fresh parsley.

Tater Tot Hotdish (A Minnesota Classic!)

This Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish is packed with vegetables, ground beef, a homemade cream of mushroom soup, and topped with crispy golden brown tater tots. You're going to love this classic Midwestern comfort meal!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 675kcal
Author: Jamie

Equipment

  • Casserole Dish 9×13 dish works best
  • Cast iron skillet or medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon or serving spoon
  • Aluminum Foil

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or butter to grease the pan when cooking the ground beef
  • 1 pound ground beef cooked and drained of excess oil
  • 1/2 cup onions diced white or yellow onions
  • 3 cups vegetables chopped green beans, peas, carrots
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter 1 stick, cubed
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups mushrooms chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced onion
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 32 ounce bag tater tots frozen

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Mince the garlic, dice the onion, chop the mushrooms, and shred the cheddar cheese (or use pre-shredded cheese). Set aside.
  • Over medium heat, add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil or butter to a skillet and cook the ground beef and onions until the meat is fully cooked (about 5-7 minutes). Once the beef mixture is cooked and there is no more pink in the meat, drain the excess oil and transfer the ground beef to the casserole dish.
  • Layer the vegetables (green beans, peas, and carrots) on top of the ground beef in the dish.
  • Use the same pan that you cooked the ground beef in to make the homemade cream of mushroom soup. First, melt the cubed butter over medium heat. Then add the minced garlic and flour. Whisk the ingredients until a thick paste forms. Then add the chopped mushrooms, chicken broth, and slowly whisk in the heavy cream. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and minced onion.
  • Allow the soup to cook and thicken for about 5 minutes. Then pour the soup over the vegetables in the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups (save 1/2 cup of cheese for later) of the shredded cheese over the soup. Finally, line a single layer of tater tots over the shredded cheese. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the dish out of the oven, sprinkle the hotdish with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and bake for another 30 minutes uncovered.
  • The hotdish will be done when the hotdish is bubbling, the cheese is melted, and the tater tots are golden brown. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Storage:
Store Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze leftovers by storing them in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Make-Ahead Fridge Instructions: If you want to make this tater tot hotdish ahead of time, follow the instructions up until it’s time to cook. Then cover with aluminum foil and store in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking.
Make-Ahead Freezer Instructions: Alternatively, if you want to freeze the uncooked hotdish, follow the instructions up until cook time and cover with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and store in the freezer for up to 2 months before cooking. Cook straight from the freezer. Cook time will increase by 10-20 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 675kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 1126mg | Potassium: 678mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4038IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 244mg | Iron: 3mg

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