Chili Tater Tot Casserole

This cozy casserole is a combination of beef chili and a tater tot casserole! Chili Tater Tot Casserole is perfect for a family dinner and is super easy to whip up. You can even make it using leftover chili!

A scoop of Chili Tater Tot Casserole on a white plate with a silver fork next to it. The scoop is topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of parsley.

Our family loves a good tater tot casserole (or tater tot hot dish, as we say in Minnesota), so I've been playing around with different fillings. While the classic recipe has ground beef, veggies, and a creamy sauce, I couldn't help but think how delicious a beef chili filling would be. It's safe to say this Chili Tater Tot Casserole recipe did NOT disappoint!

This homemade chili filling is easy to whip up, and the combination of chili spices with crispy tots is so delicious and is a total crowd pleaser!

If you're looking for another fun tater tot casserole recipe, check out my Mexican Tater Tot Casserole!

Jump to:


Ground Beef - like a classic chili, this tater tot casserole starts with ground beef.

Onion - onion is added for bulk and flavor.

Kidney Beans - dark red kidney beans are used in the filling, like you would in chili.

Tomato Sauce - this provides a smoothness to the chili filling.

Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles

Spices - this chili tater tot casserole is filled with spices including chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder.

Shredded Cheddar Cheese - like you would on a bowl of chili, the chili filling is topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

Tater Tots - frozen tater tots are arranged on top of the cheese and chili filling and baked until golden brown.


Different Meat - instead of ground beef, you can use ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken for your protein. You could make a batch of my Slow Cooker Turkey Chili and use leftovers in this casserole!

Make it Spicy - if you like your chili spicy, add ¼-1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.

Make it Vegetarian - if you don't want to use meat in this recipe, you can use a meat alternative such as Impossible meat, or just double the beans. Check out my Vegetarian Chili recipe.

Add More Vegetables - you can certainly bulk up the veggies in this recipe! Add a diced bell pepper with the onion, or stir in some finely chopped cauliflower or spinach to the filling. It will barely be noticeable and you'll be sneaking in extra veggies to every serving! Check out my Turkey Quinoa Chili for a fiber and protein packed chili recipe!

Leftover Chili - you can definitely use leftover chili in this recipe! You just need enough to cover the bottom of a casserole dish about half way up.

Canned Chili - if canned chili is your thing, you can definitely use that in this recipe.

Step by Step Instructions

Photo 1. Add olive oil, diced onion, and ground beef to a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Photo 2. Cook until the ground beef is browned, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks, and the onion is softened. Drain the grease, if needed.

Photo 3. Add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

Photo 4. Add beans and diced tomatoes, and stir well to combine.

Photo 5. Pour the chili mixture into a greased 9x13" baking dish.

Photo 6. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Yes, this is a chili cheese tater tot casserole!

Photo 7. Top with tater tots.

Photo 8. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and the tater tots are golden brown. Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro, pickled jalapeño, and sour cream!

Expert Tips

Freezer Meal - this recipe can definitely be made into a freezer meal! Simply prepare the chili tater tot casserole up until the step of baking. At this point cover with plastic wrap and then foil, label, and freeze. When you are ready to bake, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then bake according to instructions, adding ~10 minutes to the baking time to accommodate for the colder starting temperature. Looking for other freezer meals? Check out my Freezer Meal Guide post!

Serving Suggestion - serve straight from the oven, topped with your favorite chili toppings. We love sour cream, green onions, chopped cilantro, and pickled jalapeños.

A pan of chili tater tot casserole with a black serving spoon taking a big scoop out.

Recipe FAQs

Can this tater tot casserole be made ahead of time?

Yes! You can prepare this entire casserole ahead of time, up until the step of baking it. Simply cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake. Add 5-10 minutes to the baking time to account for the casserole baking from a colder temperature.

Can this be made into a freezer meal?

Definitely. Simply cover the prepared (unbaked) casserole with plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and then bake according to directions, adding 5-10 minutes to the baking time.

What is tater tot casserole?

Tater tot casserole is a a classic casserole typically made with a ground beef filling that consists of vegetables and cream of mushroom soup. It is topped with tater tots and then baked.

What should I serve with Chili Tater Tot Casserole?

Honestly, this is a meal in itself! If you would like to add some vegetables, I would serve this with a simple side salad.

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #greensnchocolate.

Chili Tater Tot Casserole

Chili Tater Tot Casserole

A cozy tater tot casserole made with a beef chili filling.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 679kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 white or yellow onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 14 ounce can dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 32 ounce bag tater tots


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the olive oil, beef, and onion and cook until the ground beef is browned, breaking it up as it cooks, and the onion is softened.
  • Add the spices and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans and stir to combine.
  • Add the filling to a greased 9x13" baking dish.
  • Top with shredded cheese.
  • Top with the tater tots.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the tots are browned and the filling is bubbling.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • Serving suggestions: top with sour cream/plain Greek yogurt, diced cilantro or green onions.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • You can prep this ahead of time, up until the step of baking, and then refrigerate until ready to bake. Add 5 minutes to baking time once you bake.
  • Check out Expert Tips for freezer meal instructions. 


Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 1365mg | Potassium: 903mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 728IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 336mg | Iron: 4mg
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