Cheese Tater Tot casserole is an easy make ahead weeknight meal. A hearty beef and bean chili base is topped with gooey melted cheddar cheese and finished with crispy tater tots.
You wanna know what’s funny? Not ha-ha funny, but this doesn’t make any sense funny. We get a quarter of a cow every year, enough beef to last our family of 6 an entire year, but yet I don’t really have any beef recipes on AHB. That doesn’t even make sense, does it? Obviously we eat a decent amount of beef and I have a ton of tried and true beef recipes, so why haven’t I ever shared any of them? I hadn’t even made this connection until I was writing a ground beef post for Parade’s Community Table, where I’m a contributor, and I realized I had zero recipes of my own that I could include. How silly is that!
Today I’ve got an easy everyday recipe for you made with ground beef! Because we get our beef directly from the butcher, it comes in 2lb packages. So I tend to brown both pounds at once and then make two main dish recipes, one for that day and then another to cook later in the week.
This Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole is one I make pretty often because my boys love it. The bottom layer is a hearty beef and bean chili which is topped with gooey melted cheddar and finished with crispy tater tots. I like to garnish mine with chopped onions and sliced jalapenos, but that’s completely optional.
Chili cheese tater tot casserole makes a great make ahead option. You can make it up a day or two ahead of time, then cover it and place it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Just give your pan enough time to come to room temperature before you place it in the oven and bake as directed. Cold glass pans do not like hot ovens, trust me, I know this one from experience!
Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole
A hearty beef and bean chili base is topped with gooey melted cheddar cheese and finished with crispy tater tots.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 packet chili seasoning
- 1 15 ounce can chili tomatoes
- 1 10 ounce can condensed tomato soup
- 2 15 ounce cans chili beans
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 bag tater tots
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a saute pan, cook the hamburger and the onion until the hamburger is well browned. Drain off the fat and return to the pan. Add the chili seasoning, chili tomatoes, condensed tomato soup and chili beans. Mix well and pour into a 9x13 pan.
Spread the shredded cheddar cheese over the chili mixture. Layer the tater tots evenly over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until bubbly and the tater tots have nicely browned and crisped on top.
To prepare ahead of time, assemble the casserole and cover with foil. Place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If using a glass pan, let the pan come to room temperature before baking and bake as normal.
My friends over at my What’s Cooking facebook group asked me to post this recipe next on my blog. We’d love to have you join us there as we all share what we’ve been up to in the kitchen. Send me a request if you’d like and join us today!