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Cowboy Casserole

Cowboy Casserole

Tater tots are always a hit, so why limit when you eat them? Make them for dinner with this Cowboy Casserole! Out of all the easy casserole recipes to choose from, none are quite as unique and delicious as this one! With ground beef, peas, creamy sauce, and cheese, this tater tot casserole is packed with ingredients that make a comforting dinner. Plus, with tater tots on top, this is a complete dinner all in one dish.

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (10.75-ounce) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound bag tater tots

You need to check out this printable free eCookbook of Classic Cowboy Recipes: 27 Authentic Western Recipes. It has even more inspiration for your favorite cowboy dishes!


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cook the hamburger with the onion in a skillet until the pink is gone.
  3. Drain extra fat. Stir in the soup and peas.
  4. Sprinkle generously with garlic powder and pepper.
  5. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and spread the hamburger mixture over the bottom of the pan.
  6. Toss the cheese with the frozen tater tots and spread over the casserole.
  7. Bake for approximately one hour, until cheese is bubbly.

Don't miss our collection of 27 Old West Cowboy Recipes for more all-American dinner inspiration!


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I love this, but my husband can't stand cream of mushroom. How can I alter this slightly so that he'll eat this, too?

Oh come on now !!! A "Cowboy Casserole" was something prepared out on the range by a cook with a Chuckwagon. Of all the ingredients shown, probably the only one carried in the Chuckwagon would be black pepper. OK.....I know, I am being a picky, picky man !!!

What size casserole dish? It looks like and 8x10 just by counting the tater tots. Just a quick question also, are the recipes ever made from the recipe that appears before they are released? I hope my question make sense.

I made this but add a 1/2 cup of water and a package of onion soup after the extra fat was drained from the meat mixed, green beans and the cream of mushroom soup and reduced fat cheese.. It was very tasty.

Thank you for letting us know! I Love the way onion soup and cream of mushroom taste in a roast. (By the way, if you make a roast in the slow cooker, do that - just add water to the bottom, then throw the mushroom soup and onion soups right on top of the beef. It comes out delicious, but it's an instant gravy/sauce!

Do you just make up recipe names? This is and always has been just "Tator Tot Casserole"!

What difference does it make what the recipe is called? If you think you'll like it, make it!

Actually, if you google Cowboy Casserole, you'll find the exact, same recipe no changes! But I also always called this Tater Tot Casserole!

This is a great recipe, I have used Hash Browns that was all I could find, mixed the cheese throughout with cream of celery soup, meat and broccoli /cauliflower carrot veg on bottom but use crushed cornflakes mixed with melted butter and dash of salt /pepper on top ..yummmm!!

Loved it. Easy to make. I browned my ground chuck, drained, then mixed with onions and a few cloves of fresh, minced garlic sauteed in olive oil (instead of garlic powder). I also added a mixture of frozen peas and carrots instead of just peas. Use "extra crispy" tater tots and top with sharp chedder. Good eats!

We love it.

I think that I am going to get my son to try this one but we may use a few different things because of some of the things I can't eat

Very good. Everyone seemed to like it. Will make again soon.

never mind got it

how do you know how many to cook for

Very tasty! Used shredded potatoes. Used diced tomatoes instead of soup. Delish!

why can't you people ever put the size cassarole dishes we need. Lots of times I dirty up 2 dishes because I pick the wrong size

Everything is cooked in a skillet except the tator tots and cheese. I think you can look the skillet and look at the tator tots and figure out what size casserole dish you would need. You could use less tator tots and use a deeper dish.

By adding up the amounts of the different ingredients, one should be able to tell what size dish we need. Looking at the photo, it appears that a 9x13" pan was used. If you want it thicker, than I would go with a 3-4 qt casserole (bowl shaped) dish.

I took out the mushroom soup and added a can of baked beans, I thought it more cowboy, and it was great, a real winner here.

I think this is a great simple casserole--next time I am going to use Sweet Potatoe tater tots--I just found them in the frozen food section--can't wait to try them!

Sounds good but wonder if it would be ok to substitute frozen hash browns, I do not like the taste of tater tots?? Might try it with the HB and see

Hi LadyMichigan, I think it would work perfectly fine with just hash browns. Let us know how it turned out!

i realy like the cowboy casserole.very good.....yum,yummmmmmmmm

Thanks for the feedback! We're happy everyone is enjoying this recipe.

Easy and so tasty. You know a recipe is good when you bring leftovers for lunch and everyone around you wants to know what you're eating !

sounds awesome

Easy and delicious !! I added some red chili pepper to the meat mixture and it was great !

I make it like a meatloaf bake 1/2 hour drain off the grease, then top it with cream of mushroom soup and tater tots finish baking for another 1/2 hr.

No one in my family likes peas in casserole and none like mushrooms in any form, so I substitued Cream of Chicken Soup instead and left out the peas. I use green beans or broccoli and it works just fine. I also use Low Fat cheeses, because the creamed soup, cheese, and potatoes make it high enough in calories, which we are all trying to reduce. I'd like to see some healthy casseroles which might take a little longer to make, but would be healthier. Obesity is a very serious problem in our society.

I make this same casserols quite often and change the veggies in it to suit my taste. Sometimes I use peas, sometimes mixed, sometimes green beans. I also add one tablespoon worcestershire sauce to the recipe. It seems to add something extra. I put the cheese on top the last 15 minutes of baking so it melts over the tator tots and slightly browns.

My family has made this casserole since I was a little girl with the only difference being we use green beans instead of peas. It is delicious!!!


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