This Taco Tater Tot Taco Casserole is a delightful combination of classic taco flavors and tater tots! Loaded with all the good stuff like taco meat, beans, cheese, salsa, and topped with cheese and crispy tater tots, this easy casserole recipe is a dinner that the whole family will love! Love tater tot casseroles? Make sure to try my original Tater Tot Casserole and this Crockpot Breakfast Tater Tot Casserole too!
Taco Tater Tot Casserole
Tater tot casserole recipes are amongst our very favorite casseroles because they are such a hit with everyone in our family. Kids and adults alike look forward to this easy dinner recipe.
We love to try lots of variations on my original tater tot casserole recipe but this taco tater tot casserole is certainly a family favorite. A tasty layer of ground beef layer mixed with sautéed veggies, beans, salsa, taco seasoning and cream cheese for an extra creamy and satisfying casserole.
Once cooked feel free to top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, crushed tortilla chips and serve with sour cream, salsa and/or guacamole.
Obviously this casserole has tater tots, but what else is in this casserole? Lots of the same ingredients that you would use when making tacos and a few more special ingredients that take this dinner recipe to the next level:
- ground beef – can also use ground turkey
- yellow or orange bell pepper
- salsa – use your favorite brand
- diced green chiles
- taco seasoning – I use homemade taco seasoning but you can also use store bought
- salt and pepper
- cream cheese – this makes the ground beef layer extra creamy
- shredded cheese – Mexican blend, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack or even Pepper Jack works here
- tater tots – keep them frozen until you’re ready to assemble
- green onions, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, salsa, hot sauce, taco sauce, crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips, sour cream, guacamole, olives – all optional toppings
How To Make Taco Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare which is usually just long enough for my oven to preheat. Make sure to check out my Variations To Try section below for fun ways to customize this taco tater tot casserole.
- Brown the ground beef until cooked through. Remove beef from skillet and drain any excess grease.
- Add the onions and bell peppers to the pan, sauteon medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
- Transfer the ground beef back to the pan, along with the salsa, green chiles, taco seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Add the softened cream cheese and stir until well combined.
- Spread the meat mixture evenly into the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Spread the shredded cheese evenly across the top.
- Line tater tots in rows on top of the cheese until completely covered.
- Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until tater tots are cooked through and slightly crispy on top. Top with the sliced green onions. Serve hot as is or garnish with suggested toppings (see below).
Let’s Talk Toppings
You can see how this casserole comes out of the oven and it’s absolutely divine on it’s own. But if you’re feeling adventurous and want to take this taco tater tot casserole recipe to the next level, hit it up with some of our favorite toppings:
- shredded lettuce
- diced tomato
- hot sauce
- taco sauce
- crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips
- sour cream
Can this recipe be made ahead of time? You can make this dish ahead by preparing the meat mixture and refrigerating. Increase the cook time to 30-35 minutes since the meat will be cold.
Can this recipe be frozen? Yes. Prepare the casserole without the tater tots. Wrap in plastic wrap and then tightly in foil. Freeze for up to two months. Let defrost in fridge overnight. Add tater tots and bake as directed.
Variations To Try
My motto is never leave well enough alone 🤣 Try these yummy variations on this taco tater tot casserole:
- ground turkey instead of ground beef
- pinto beans instead of black beans
- try different veggies
- add a cheese layer to the top when the casserole has finished baking. Pop back in the oven for an other 5 minutes for an extra cheesy version.
More Casserole Recipes
- Tuna Casserole with Noodles
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole
- Chicken and Rice Casserole
How To Make Taco Tater Tot Casserole
Taco Tater Tot Casserole
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 onion diced
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper diced
- 1 ½ cups salsa
- 4 ounces diced green chiles
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning or 1 packet
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 8 ounces shredded cheese cheddar, Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack
- 32 ounces tater tots
- 3 green onions sliced
- toppings green onions, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, salsa, hot sauce, taco sauce, crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips, sour cream, guacamole, olives
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large pan, brown the ground beef until cooked through. Remove beef from skillet and drain any excess grease.
- Add the onions and bell peppers to the pan, saute on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
- Transfer the ground beef back to the pan, along with the salsa, green chiles, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the softened cream cheese and stir until well combined.
- Spread the meat mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Pour the shredded cheese evenly across the top. Line tater tots in rows on top of the cheese until completely covered.
- Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until tater tots are cooked through and slightly crispy on top. Top with the sliced green onions. Serve hot as is or garnish with toppings. Enjoy!