Cowboy Casserole is a family favorite made with seasoned ground beef in a creamy sauce, corn, cheese, and topped with crispy tater tots. It’s irresistible!
If you love easy casserole recipes, also try this Tuna Rice Casserole and this Chicken Divan Casserole.
Tater Tot Casserole
This is a tried and true family favorite. When you need a quick and easy recipe that everyone will love, this is the answer. From the creamy ground beef sauce all the way up to the crispy tater tots, this recipe is as deliciously cozy as it gets. It takes less than 15 minutes to assemble, so you always have time to make a homemade meal for your family. Trust me, they’ll love this one!
What is a Cowboy Casserole?
Cowboy casserole is a true crowd-pleasing recipe. It’s made by layering a creamy ground beef sauce, sweet corn, and cheddar cheese into a casserole dish. Then it’s topped with tater tots and baked until the casserole is bubbly and the tots are nice and crispy. It’s pretty hard to resist.
What do you Need To Make Easy Cowboy Casserole?
- Ground beef: lean is best.
- Onion and garlic: flavor!
- Diced tomatoes: we use canned as the juices help create the sauce.
- Sour cream: makes the sauce so creamy. You can sub plain yogurt if you’d like.
- Corn: we use frozen corn but canned corn works, too.
- Cheddar cheese: Use aged for the best flavor. Or try a mix of white and orange cheddar.
- Tater tots: the crispy topping that is the best part about a cowboy casserole.
Time to Make a Casserole!
This really is such an easy recipe!
- First: Start by cooking the ground beef until it’s only a little bit pink. Then add some onions and garlic and let them cook until the beef is fully cooked.
- Next: Mix in a can of diced tomatoes and some sour cream then season that creamy, beefy sauce with salt and pepper.
- Last: Once the beef is ready, you’ll put it into a casserole dish and top it with corn, cheese, and tater tots
Variations to Try
- Protein: Swap the ground beef with ground chicken.
- Beans: Add some black beans.
- Topping: Use curly fries instead of the tater tots.
- Seasoning: Add some taco seasoning for a Tex-Mex version!
Can this Casserole Be Made Ahead Of Time?
Yes! This casserole can be prepared and assembled 24 hours in advance. Cover and store it in your fridge until you’re ready to bake it. You’ll want to add a few minutes to the cooking time.
Tips for Making the Best Cowboy Casserole
You might notice that the oven temperature in this recipe is quite a bit higher than some other cowboy casserole recipes. There’s a good reason for that!
We bake our casserole at the temperature that’s recommended for cooking tater tots. This ensures that the tots get nice and crispy because nobody wants soggy tater tots.
So if you want the best cowboy casserole, crank up the heat!
More Casserole Recipes to Try
- Makeover Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Casserole
- Easy Sausage and Rice Casserole
- Pesto Alfredo Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole
- Turkey Mediterranean Casserole
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup sour cream can be light
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups frozen corn thawed
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 26 ounces tater tots
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Cook the lean ground beef in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until only a little pink remains. Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Mix the tomatoes and sour cream into the beef then season with salt and pepper.
Pour the creamy beef into a 9×11 inch casserole dish. Top with the corn, then the cheese, then arrange the tater tots in a single layer on the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tater tots are crispy and brown.