Easy Mexican Tater Tot Casserole recipe is a taco tot hot dish the whole family will love! Creamy seasoned ground beef is layered under golden crispy tater tots and lots of gooey melted cheese.
If you love taco inspired recipes, you will fall in love with mexican-style tater tot casserole. Family weeknight dinner prep couldn’t be easier with this dump and cook casserole dish topped with crispy tots and lots of melted cheese.
Just serve and pile your favorite taco toppings, such as sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and avocado. It’s a great kid-friendly meal because you won’t have to help assemble countless tacos while trying to eat dinner!
Taco Tater Tot Casserole Ingredients
Affordable taco bake recipes use a simple list of ingredients to make one extraordinary meal! Listed below are what I used to assemble this casserole, but scroll down to discover more ingredient modifications or substitutions.
For a different twist on tot casserole, also try Cheeseburger Casserole!
- Lean ground beef – I use ground sirloin to make the dish healthier and eliminate extra step of draining grease.
- Taco seasoning packet
- Diced tomatoes with chilies – such as Ro-tel brand
- Cider vinegar
- Sour cream
- Black beans
- Frozen tater tots
- Colby jack cheese – Freshly grated cheese off the block is best.
How to Make Mexican Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
- In a large skillet brown ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat.
- To the meat mixture add the taco seasoning, undrained tomatoes with green chiles, and vinegar. Cook and simmer until liquid reduces, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in black beans, 1 cup shredded cheese, and sour cream to the ground beef.
- Spread the beef mixture in a greased 9X13 casserole dish. Lay frozen tater tots in a single layer on top. This helps the tots become golden and crispy during baking because hot air can circulate around them.
- Bake in 400ºF oven for 45 minutes. Top the tater tots with remaining cheese and bake for 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Best Mexican Tot Casserole Toppings
Customize each serving with these suggested taco toppings!
- sour cream
- hot sauce
- green onions
Can I Use Something Besides Ground Beef?
Any type of ground beef may be used, such as ground sirloin, ground chuck, or ground round. To make the dish lighter in calories, use ground turkey or chicken.
Is Tater Tot Casserole Gluten Free?
Tater tot casserole is gluten free, but make sure to read the labels carefully. For instance, not all tater tot brands are gluten free. I use Ore-Ida brand tater tots since they are labeled “gluten free” on the package.
Other potato puff brands may add wheat flour or gluten containing additives. Even if the tots are labeled “organic,” still read the label to double check.
This recipe also uses a taco seasoning packet. You can mix together your own taco seasoning or make sure to purchase one that doesn’t contain wheat flour. Old El Paso, McCormick, and Ortega brands are generally free of gluten containing additives.
Is this recipe freezer friendly?
Mexican-style Tater Tot Casserole is perfect for meal prep or a make-ahead freezer meal. Either double the recipe and freeze one in a disposable aluminum pan or make ahead to freeze.
Prepare the ground beef mixture and cool meat enough to not thaw the tater tots. Spread meat on the bottom of greased 9X13 baking dish and top with tater tots. Either sprinkle on the shredded cheese or leave off until ready to bake.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and then foil to prevent freezer burn. Make sure to label the dish with the recipe name and baking instructions. Freeze up to 4 months.
When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and foil. Bake from frozen so the tater tots don’t thaw before. Add an additional 20-30 minutes to the baking time for the ground beef to thaw heat through.
Can I Just Use the Whole Bag of Frozen Tater Tots?
Tater tot casserole recipes call for 4 cups of frozen tots, or about 3/4 32 ounce bag. You may be tempted to just dump on the whole bag, and pop it in the oven.
You can certainly do that, but the tater tots will become soggy instead of crispy. If they aren’t in a single layer, hot air cannot circulate around them. This is what gives the tots those golden, crunchy, and crispy edges.
If you like extra crispy tots, finish the baking with 1-2 minutes under the broiler before topping with cheese to melt.
More Tips Taco Tot Casserole Recipe
- Using freshly grated cheese off the block is best gooey melted cheese.
- Substitute any preferred cheese for the colby jack, such as pepper jack, monterey jack, or cheddar.
- For meatless mexican tater tot casserole, use any additional can of black or pinto beans.
- Additional ingredients may be added to the meat mixture, such as corn, bell peppers, or green chiles.
More Family Friendly Casserole Recipes
- Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole
- Cheese Grits Casserole
- Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Sausage Breakfast Casserole
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Mexican Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 packet taco seasoning mix* (1 ounce)
- 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles, with liquid
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 can black beans (15.5 ounce), drained and rinsed
- 3 cups freshly grated colby jack cheese, divided
- 4 cups frozen tater tots* (about 3/4 32 ounce bag)
- optional toppings: sour cream, cilantro, green onions, salsa, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease and 9X13 casserole dish and set aside.
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat saute ground beef, onion, and garlic together until beef is cooked and no longer pink. Drain grease, if necessary.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add taco seasoning, undrained diced tomatoes with chiles, and cider vinegar. Cook and simmer until liquid reduces, about 2 minutes.
- Add sour cream, black beans, and 1 cup cheese to the beef mixture. Stir to combine.
- Pour beef into prepared casserole dish. Top with frozen tater tots in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tots are golden and crispy.
- Remove from oven and top with remaining 2 cups shredded cheese. Return to oven for 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve hot with suggested toppings.
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*Gluten Free IngredientsNot all tater tot brands are gluten free. I use Ore-Ida brand tater tots since they are labeled "gluten free" on the package. Other potato puff brands may add wheat flour or gluten containing additives. Even if the tots are labeled "organic," still read the label to double check. For the taco seasoning packet purchase one that doesn't contain wheat flour. Old El Paso, McCormick, and Ortega brands are generally free of gluten containing additives.
Make Ahead Freezer MealEither double the recipe and freeze one in a disposable aluminum pan or make ahead to freeze.
- Prepare the ground beef mixture and cool meat enough to not thaw the tater tots. Spread meat on the bottom of greased 9X13 baking dish and top with tater tots. Either sprinkle on the shredded cheese or leave off until ready to bake.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and then foil to prevent freezer burn. Make sure to label the dish with the recipe name and baking instructions. Freeze up to 4 months.
- When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and foil. Bake from frozen so the tater tots don't thaw before. Add an additional 20-30 minutes to the baking time for the ground beef to thaw and heat through.
❊SHOP THE RECIPE❊
Items used to make this recipe*: