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Cheesy Ground Beef and Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole

This easy Cheesy Ground Beef and Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole is an all-in-one-dish dinner that the whole family will love. And it’s made without canned soup (but you can use canned soup if you want)!

Layers of ground beef in a creamy sauce, green beans, melty cheddar cheese, and golden crispy tater tots come together to make one simple and delicious comfort food meal!

Many years ago, my sister introduced me to the awesomeness that is tater tot casserole (those of you from the Midwest might call it a tater tot hotdish). And it’s been one of my favorite easy dinner recipes ever since.

It may not be the prettiest dish, but it definitely makes up for that – and then some – with how hearty and tasty it is!

Made with simple ingredients that I usually keep on hand, this easy casserole recipe is one that I can turn to any time and know it will be a hit. It’s perfect for an easy weeknight dinner, a Sunday supper or even for taking to a potluck.

You can prep and put it together in less than 30 minutes, and then the oven does the rest of the work. It also makes a great freezer meal!

I did make a few changes to the original recipe given to me by my sister:

  • I add green beans to the casserole to make it an everything-all-in-one-dish meal.
  • Instead of using canned soup, I make a batch of my quick and easy condensed cream of mushroom soup substitute. It’s so much better, and you can use it in any recipe that calls for condensed cream of mushroom soup (I have versions for cream of chicken and cream of celery too, so be sure to check them out).

When this easy tater tot casserole recipe is on the menu, everyone will run to the table when you call them for dinner. It’s sure to earn a spot on your regular rotation!

cheesy ground beef and green bean tater tot casserole in a baking dish with a serving spoon on the side

Ingredients You Need

  • Butter
  • Mushrooms
  • All-purpose flour
  • Vegetable stock or broth
  • Milk
  • Cooking spray
  • Ground beef (I use 80/20, but any kind is fine)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sour cream
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Frozen French-cut green beans (regular cut green beans are also fine)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Frozen tater tots
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley (for garnish; optional)

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

How to Make Cheesy Ground Beef and Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole

1: In a small saucepan, sauté the mushrooms in butter until softened.

2: Add flour; cook, stirring, for one minute.

3: Add vegetable broth or stock and milk; stir to combine.

4: Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, stirring, until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside (this is your condensed cream of mushroom soup substitute!).

5: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onions until the beef is cooked through and the onions have softened. Drain any excess grease. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

6: Add the garlic; cook, stirring, for one minute.

3 numbered images, number 4 is of the thickened cream of mushroom substitute in the pot with a whisk, number 5 is of ground beef an onions cooking in a skillet, and number 6 is of garlic added to the ground beef in the skillet

7: Add the cream of mushroom soup substitute, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce.

8: Stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

9: Transfer the ground beef mixture to a greased 11x7x2-inch casserole dish.

3 numbered images, number 7 is of cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce added to the skillet with the ground beef, number 8 is of the mixture being stirred together in the skillet, and number 9 is of the ground beef mixture in a baking dish

10: Add the green beans; season lightly with salt and pepper.

11: Add the shredded cheese.

12: Add the tater tots.

3 numbered images, number 10 is of green beans added to the baking dish and salt and pepper in the background, number 11 is of cheese added to the baking dish, and number 12 is of tater tots added to the baking dish

13: Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 375°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until bubbly and the tater tots are golden brown.

14: Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

15: Serve, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley (if desired), and enjoy!

3 numbered images, number 13 is a graphic of an oven with text that says 375 degrees Fahrenheit, number 14 is of the finished casserole, and number 15 is of a single serving of the casserole on a white plate with a fork with text that says enjoy

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. For the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • I like to lightly season both the ground beef and green bean layers so everything tastes good.
    • When seasoning, just keep in mind that the soup substitute, the cheese and the tater tots will all have some salt in them as well. You don’t want the casserole to end up too salty.
  • There is no need to thaw the green beans or the tater tots before adding them to the casserole.
  • I prefer to grate my own cheese. It seems to melt much nicer (the pre-shredded cheese sometimes has added ingredients that can mess with that).
  • I put the cheese under the tater tots instead of on top because I want every single tater tot to be golden brown and crispy.
  • Allowing the casserole to rest for 10 to 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven will help it thicken up and stay together more when you spoon it out of the baking dish.
  • As written, this recipe will give you 4 generous servings. If you add sides, you can easily stretch it out to 6 servings.
  • If you’re feeding more than 4 to 6 people, you can double the recipe and use a 9x13x2-inch casserole dish. Note that you may need to bake it just a little longer.
cheesy ground beef and green bean tater tot casserole in a baking dish with a spatula starting to lift out a serving

Substitutions & Variations

  • Want to use canned soup instead of making the soup substitute? Use one 10.5-ounce can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.
  • If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, try using either my cream of chicken or cream of celery soup substitute instead (or you can use the canned versions of those).
  • Substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.
  • Drained canned green beans can be used instead of frozen green beans (one 15-ounce can will give you a little less than 2 cups and about 3½ servings of green beans; use 2 cans if you want more).
  • Try adding other frozen (or canned) veggies in addition to or instead of the green beans, such as corn, broccoli, carrots, peas, or mixed vegetables.
  • You can replace the onions and garlic with 1 teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder (or add to taste).
  • Sharp cheddar is my favorite cheese to use in this casserole, but any cheese that melts well will do, such as Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or American.
  • For even more of a green bean casserole vibe, you could sprinkle some French-fried onions on top with the tater tots (I would wait and add them during the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking time so they don’t burn). YUM!
2 servings of cheesy ground beef and green bean casserole on white plates with forks and the casserole in the baking dish in the background

Make Ahead, Storing, Reheating & Freezing

Make Ahead

Assemble the casserole without the tater tots several hours or up to a day ahead of time (leaving the tater tots off will keep them from getting soggy). Cover it tightly and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off before baking. Uncover, add the frozen tater tots, and bake as directed in the recipe (since the casserole will be cold, it will take a little longer).

Storing

Store leftovers tightly covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. If you made the casserole ahead of time, be sure to start counting from the day you made it and not the day you first served it.

Reheating

Reheat leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 325°F, uncovered, until heated through. If the tater tots start getting too brown, tent with foil.

You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave (but the tater tots won’t be crisp).

Freezing Leftovers

Once cooled to room temperature, place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container or freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating as directed above.

Make it a Freezer Meal

Assemble the casserole without the tater tots (leaving them off will keep them from getting soggy). I recommend using a disposable aluminum foil pan so you don’t have to store one of your casserole dishes in the freezer. If using a baking dish, be sure it is one that is freezer-safe.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil; freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw completely in the refrigerator before baking. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off before putting it in the oven. Uncover, add the frozen tater tots, and bake as directed in the recipe (since the casserole will be cold, it will take a little longer).

close up of a serving of ground beef and green bean tater tot casserole on a white plate with a fork and another serving on a plate and salt and pepper shakers in the background

What to Serve With Cheesy Ground Beef and Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole

This casserole is already a complete meal because it has everything it one dish – meat, potato and vegetable – so you really don’t need any side dishes. But it’s great with a salad and/or some dinner rolls or bread (either or both of these can help you stretch the recipe if needed).

You could even serve it with more vegetables, because we could all probably use some more of those!

I hope you try this Cheesy Ground Beef and Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Recipes to Try

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

close up of a spoonful of cheesy ground beef and green bean tater tot casserole being lifted out of the baking dish

Cheesy Ground Beef and Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole

This easy Cheesy Ground Beef and Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole is an all-in-one-dish dinner that the whole family will love. And it's made without canned soup (but you can use canned soup if you want)!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Estimated Calories: 900

Ingredients

For the Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup Substitute

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup vegetable stock or broth, I use a roasted vegetable base mixed with water
  • ½ cup milk, I use whole milk

For the Casserole

  • cooking spray
  • 1 pound ground beef, I use 80/20
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups frozen French-cut green beans
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 16 ounces frozen tater tots, half of a 32-ounce bag
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Spray an 11x7x2-inch (2½-quart) casserole dish with cooking spray.

Make the Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup Substitute

  • In a small saucepan over medium-low heat (I use a 1-quart saucepan), melt the butter.
  • Add the mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until they have softened (about 3 to 4 minutes).
  • Add the flour; stir until the mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add the vegetable stock or broth and the milk; whisk until well combined.
  • Increase the heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened (it will be rather thick, as it should be similar to the consistency of condensed canned cream of mushroom soup; it will thicken even more as it cools). Set aside.

Make the Casserole

  • Cook the ground beef and onions in a large skillet over medium heat (I use a 10 or 12-inch skillet), breaking up the meat as it cooks, until the onions have softened and the ground beef is cooked through and no longer pink (about 5 minutes); drain any excess grease. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Add the garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.
  • Add the cream of mushroom soup substitute, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce; stir until well-combined. Tase the mixture and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Transfer the ground beef mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly to cover the bottom of the dish.
  • Add the green beans, spreading them out evenly over the ground beef mixture. Season the beans lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Add the shredded cheese, spreading it out evenly over the green beans.
  • Add the tater tots, spreading them out evenly over the cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes or until bubbly and the tater tots are golden brown.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • If desired, sprinkle on some chopped fresh parsley (either on the whole casserole or on each individual serving). Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • I like to lightly season both the ground beef and green bean layers so they taste good. To ensure that the casserole doesn’t end up too salty, when seasoning, keep in mind that the soup substitute, the cheese and the tater tots will all have some salt in them as well.
  • To make this recipe with canned condensed cream of mushroom soup, omit the butter, mushrooms, flour, vegetable stock or broth, and milk. Start the recipe by cooking the ground beef and onions and add one 10.5-ounce can of cream of mushroom soup with the sour cream and Worcestershire sauce.
  • As written, this recipe will give you 4 generous servings. If you add sides, you can easily stretch it out to 6 servings.
  • Estimated calories shown is based on 4 servings. Based on 6 servings, estimated calories are 600 per serving.
  • Please refer to the post for additional recipe tips, substitutions and variations, serving suggestions, and information on storing, freezing, and reheating. 
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