This simple recipe features a creamy layer of ground beef, corn, cheddar cheese and sour cream and a crispy cheesy tater tot topping. Cowboy casserole is sure to become a regular weeknight dinner for your family.

I love casserole recipes. They’re a go-to option when it comes to potlucks, and are so easy to prepare, they’re the first things you think of on those busy weeknights. Some of my best casseroles dishes are bacon cheeseburger tater tot casserole, creamy chicken rice casserole and ham and potato casserole. These casseroles are easy to make, requiring simple steps and a handful of ingredients that you can easily get from the pantry.

Cowboy casserole has become a new favorite casserole dish of mine. Like my other favorites, it requires just a handful of ingredients and a couple of easy steps to yield one of the most delicious meals ever. Since discovering this, it has featured regularly on my family’s dinner options, and I’m sure you’d share a similar experience.

This recipe is made in a skillet (little cleanup alert!) and features a creamy filling made with ground beef, corn, cheddar cheese and sour cream and a crispy topping made with cheesy tater tots. The result is a super flavorful, insanely delicious casserole that would become a staple in no time. Because there’s corn in the filling, you don’t require any additional sides, but if you want, you can try some spinach rice or Quinoa salad.

Like many others, cowboy casserole is highly customizable and there are many variations you can make to this dish. The ingredients are very flexible and you can make your own adjustments outside of the conventional.

I love making casseroles with tater tots, and this one is just part of a long line of tater tots casseroles that add a whole lot of variety to my culinary arsenal.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 6 servings


  • 1½ pounds of ground beef.
  • 1 chopped medium onion.
  • 3 chopped cloves of garlic.
  • 1 can (15.25 oz) of drained whole kernel corn.
  • 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • ½ cup of milk.
  • 4 tbsps of sour cream.
  • 1 (30 oz) bag of frozen tater tots.



Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside

Step 2:

In a large skillet, cook the onions over medium heat for 1 minute. Mix in the chopped garlic and then cook for an additional 1 minute.

Step 3:

To the cooked onions and garlic, stir in the beef and cook over medium heat until they brown. Drain off the fat from the beef and transfer to a large bowl.

Step 4:

Mix together the soup, milk and sour cream in a small bowl until well combined then pour this mixture over the beef and stir well to coat the beef in the mix. Then mix in the corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese and stir well.

Step 5:

Layer half of the tater tots on the bottom of the greased baking dish then spread all of the beef mixture on top of it. Add a second layer of the tater tots and top off with the remaining cheese.

Step 6:

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the tater tots are golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Then serve and enjoy.

Tips and variations

Tater tots are the base of the layers in this cheesy casserole but you could use thinly sliced baby potatoes or small red potatoes instead. Tater tots are just an easy choice because all you need to do it pull them from the freezer and use them.

Feel free to add anything else that your family enjoys to the layers – Diced tomatoes, kidney beans, pinto beans, different cheeses. Have fun experimenting and creating a new yummy favorite your whole family will enjoy.

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