Cowboy casserole recipe

Saddle up for a taste of the Wild West with this hearty and comforting Cowboy Casserole! Packed with layers of savory goodness, this dish brings together classic ingredients like tender ground beef, creamy sauce, colorful vegetables, and crispy tater tots, all topped with a generous blanket of melted cheese. It’s a meal that’s sure to satisfy even the hungriest cowboys and cowgirls at your dinner table.

Inspired by the rugged spirit of the frontier, this casserole is easy to prepare and perfect for feeding a crowd. Whether you’re hosting a family dinner, a potluck gathering, or simply craving a cozy homemade meal, this recipe is a winner every time.

So, dust off your cast-iron skillet and get ready to rustle up some deliciousness with this Cowboy Casserole that’s as comforting as a campfire under the stars. Yeehaw!


  • 2 bags (about 32 ounces each) of frozen tater tots
  • 2 lbs (about 900 grams) ground beef
  • 2 cans (10.5 ounces each) cream of chicken soup (any flavor you prefer)
  • 2 cans (about 15 ounces each) mixed vegetables (such as peas, carrots, green beans)
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) corn kernels, drained
  • 1 bag (about 2 cups) of shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or a blend)


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures that it’s ready to go once your casserole is assembled.
  2. Cook the Ground Beef: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until it’s browned and no longer pink. Break up the beef with a spatula as it cooks to ensure even browning. Season the beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder, or any other preferred seasoning to add flavor.
  3. Prepare the Creamy Sauce: Once the ground beef is cooked, add the cream of chicken soup to the skillet. Stir well to combine the soup with the beef, creating a creamy mixture. Let it simmer for a few minutes to meld the flavors.
  4. Add the Vegetables: Drain the canned mixed vegetables and corn, then add them to the skillet with the beef and creamy soup mixture. Stir until everything is evenly combined. This adds color, texture, and flavor to your casserole.
  5. Layer the Casserole: In a large baking dish (approximately 9×13 inches), spread a layer of frozen tater tots on the bottom. Arrange them in a single layer as evenly as possible.
  6. Add the Meat Mixture: Spoon the ground beef and vegetable mixture over the layer of tater tots, spreading it out evenly. Ensure that all areas of the tater tots are covered with the meat mixture.
  7. Sprinkle with Cheese: Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded cheese over the top of the meat mixture. This will create a deliciously gooey and golden crust on your casserole.
  8. Repeat the Layers: Repeat the layering process with another layer of tater tots, followed by the meat mixture, and then topped with cheese. Continue layering until you’ve used up all of your ingredients, finishing with a final layer of cheese on top.
  9. Bake the Casserole: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil to prevent the cheese from over-browning. Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 60-75 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese is melted and golden brown.
  10. Serve and Enjoy: Once the casserole is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Slice into portions and serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley or green onions if desired.

Why You’ll Love This Cowboy Casserole:

  1. Hearty and Filling: This casserole is loaded with wholesome ingredients like ground beef, mixed vegetables, and tater tots, making it a satisfying meal that will keep you full and fueled for hours.
  2. Easy to Make: With simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you need a quick and delicious meal on the table with minimal effort.
  3. Comfort Food Classic: There’s something inherently comforting about the combination of creamy sauce, cheesy topping, and crispy tater tots. It’s like a warm hug in every bite, making it the ultimate comfort food dish.
  4. Versatile: You can easily customize this casserole to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. Swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or chicken, use different varieties of canned soup or vegetables, or add your favorite seasonings and spices for a personalized touch.
  5. Crowd-Pleasing: Whether you’re feeding a family, hosting a gathering with friends, or bringing a dish to a potluck, this Cowboy Casserole is guaranteed to be a hit with everyone at the table. It’s a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone coming back for seconds!
  6. Kid-Friendly: With its crispy tater tots and cheesy topping, this casserole is sure to be a hit with even the pickiest of eaters. It’s a great way to sneak in some veggies while still satisfying young palates.
  7. Perfect for Leftovers: This casserole reheats beautifully, making it ideal for meal prep or enjoying leftovers throughout the week. Simply store any leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat them in the microwave or oven for a quick and easy meal.

How to store This Cowboy Casserole:

Storing the Cowboy Casserole:

  1. Refrigeration: If you have any leftover casserole, allow it to cool completely at room temperature before storing. Transfer the leftover casserole to an airtight container or individual portion-sized containers. Ensure that the container is tightly sealed to prevent any air from getting in, which can cause the casserole to dry out. Store the casserole in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: If you’d like to freeze the casserole for longer-term storage, you can do so by first allowing it to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the casserole to a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag. It’s a good idea to divide the casserole into smaller portions for easier thawing and reheating later. Label the container with the date and contents for easy identification. Frozen cowboy casserole can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  3. Thawing: When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen casserole, you can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can thaw it more quickly by placing the sealed container in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the casserole is thawed completely.
  4. Reheating: To reheat the refrigerated or thawed casserole, you can use either the microwave or oven. For microwave reheating, transfer individual portions to a microwave-safe dish and heat on high in 1-minute intervals until heated through. If reheating in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), transfer the casserole to an oven-safe dish if necessary, cover with foil, and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.
  5. Quality: Keep in mind that the texture of the tater tots may change slightly upon reheating, becoming softer rather than crispy. However, the flavor of the casserole should remain delicious. If you prefer the tater tots to be crispy, you can reheat individual portions in a toaster oven instead.

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