It’s almost dinner time. You need to make something quickly and you need it to be something that everyone in your family enjoys. You rack your brain, trying to think of any great dinner ideas at all but with kids screaming in the background, phones ringing, and work emails popping up on your computer screen, nothing is coming to mind. What to do?!? You can’t really skip dinner…. right?
Preparing Simple Taco Tater Tot Casserole
This is an occurrence that happens frequently in my household. I always try to plan ahead so that when 5 o’clock comes around, I’m not in this situation. In my perfect world, dinner is pre planned every night and I have several hours to create a masterpiece meal. Yet we all know that this isn’t how life works. I am always scrambling to make dinner and I am also regularly making multiple meals to satisfy each of my picky kids. That is, until Taco Tater Casserole came into my life. All of my dinner problems were solved.
This recipe was given to me by a friend and I have tweaked it here and there. I must say that it is one of the best and easiest meals I serve for dinner (and that’s counting getting in the car and picking up take-out!). With barely any prep work needed, you can literally throw this dinner together in about 10 minutes and have it out of the oven, ready to eat in 30. Now, when it’s practically dinner time and I still haven’t made anything, I don’t panic, I just reach for my taco tater casserole recipe…. who am I kidding, I have this recipe memorized!
Speaking of planning ahead, once you realize how great this recipe is, you will be happy to find out that it is super freezer friendly. Make a tater tot casserole, wrap it well and freeze it. Next time you only have 3 minutes to make a meal for 5, you will look like a dinner hero when you whip out this pre baked casserole.
So back to what is in this magically appearing dinner. Well, tater tots obviously. You can grab a bag of frozen tots at any grocery store, they are pretty much everywhere! Then add some ground beef, some cheese a little seasoning and that is it. Now, I have some picky eaters in my family but I know they like tater tots, I know they like beef and of course they like cheese so this casserole is a clear winner. One meal for everyone? I must be in a dream!
Now let’s talk a little bit about mess. With this recipe, there basically is no mess. One frying pan and one casserole dish is all that you will need to clean! While the casserole is cooking, you can clean the frying pan used for the ground beef and then, after dinner, you will just have one pan to clean! Quick to make, a crowd pleaser and there’s basically no mess?? This recipe just keeps getting better and better.
Say you have an extra 10 minutes and can spend a full 20 minutes cooking dinner (lucky you!), you can easily jazz up this dish. Chop some tomatoes or jalapeños to mix into the casserole. Cut a few fresh avocados to top the tater tot deliciousness or smother the dish in sour cream once it has baked. Go on- get fancy!
I think by now you are getting the picture that this is a recipe you need to have in your life. If you are feeling that way, then you are absolutely correct. You need to make this casserole! I know you are going to love it. Why do I know that? Because everyone loves this recipe. So don’t worry if dinnertime is in 30 minutes, you’ve got it covered! Pull out this recipe and you’ll be a dinner hero. Enjoy!
- 1 bag of frozen tater tots (32oz - we used gluten free)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray
- Brown meat in a skillet over medium-high heat
- Once the meat is fully cooked, add in taco seasoning and salt/pepper to taste
- Place half of the tater tots, taco meat and cheese to prepared dish
- Season with salt and pepper then add the remaining tater tots, meat and cheese
- Season with more salt and pepper if desired, then place uncovered in the oven
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown