Southwest Tater Tot Casserole

This Southwest Tater Tot Casserole is a classic comfort food spiced up with taco seasoning.

A long time family favorite.

Mr. Alexander and I have been making this tater tot casserole recipe since, oh, time out of mind. Fifteen years, perhaps?

We originally got the recipe off of the back of a generic tater tot bag, then started substituting and adding our own ingredients, until voila. A family favorite.

Not-So-Secret Ingredients

Originally, this recipe called for a can of cream of mushroom soup. To jazz it up a little, we started using cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup. If you can’t find the garlic version, you can use the regular version with 1 tablespoon minced garlic added to the onion and beef as it is browning.

The other very important ingredient is the taco seasoning. You can use either a store bought packet, or my homemade low-sodium taco seasoning. My homemade version does have a full salt option, but you really don’t miss the salt because of the other flavorings.

Be sure to use a 9 x 13 baking dish as well. Originally we were using an 8 x 8 dish, as the recipe called for. But you don’t get nearly as many tater tots that way, and isn’t that the best part?

Tater Tot Casserole

We also smothered the tater tot casserole with cheese. Because why not?

Tater Tot Casserole

Make Ahead For A Busy Weeknight

This tater tot casserole can be easily adapted to be made in advance and reduce your prep time to only 5 minutes.

The meat mixture can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. If it is already complete, the only remaining steps is to pour it into the baking dish and place the tater tots on top.

Tater Tot Casserole

By the time the tater tot casserole is ready to be served, homework will be done!

Tater Tot Casserole

Southwest Tater Tot Casserole

Classic comfort food spiced up with taco seasoning.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Comfort Food, easy, Make Ahead, Tator Tots
Servings: 6
Author: Alyssa Alexander


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 10 oz can cream of mushroom with garlic condensed soup
  • tbsp homemade taco seasoning (or one packet)
  • ½ cup water
  • 32 oz bag frozen tater tots
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese or more to taste


  • Heat non-stick skillet to medium high. Add onion and ground beef, cooking until the beef is browned, 7-10 minutes. Drain fat.
  • Add taco seasoning, condensed soup, and water. Mix well and allow mixture to simmer until thickened, 3-5 minutes.
  • Spread the meat mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Layer tater tots over the top. Bake 25 minutes.
  • Sprinkle cheese over the tater tots and bake an additional 5 minutes or until melted.


If you do not have cream of mushroom soup with garlic, use regular cream of mushroom soup and add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic toward the end of browning of the meat, allowing it to cook slightly.
If you would like to make your own taco seasoning with reduced sodium and less chemicals, try my homemade taco seasoning!
Make Ahead: Make the meat mixture in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Proceed with the remaining steps.

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