Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole

1. Introduction: Indulge in the delightful fusion of classic American flavors with the Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole. This heartwarming dish combines the mouth-watering taste of a bacon cheeseburger with the comforting crunch of tater tots, making it a favorite for both kids and adults. Perfect for busy weeknights or cozy family dinners, this casserole is not only delicious but also a convenient and satisfying meal option.

2. Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced, cooked bacon (or real bacon bits), divided
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 1/3 cup diced pickles (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder
  • Seasoning salt to taste
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese blend, divided
  • 1 (28-oz) bag frozen tater tots (may not need all)

3. Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F and grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
  • Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in most of the bacon, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and seasoning.
  • Spread this beef mixture in the prepared dish, top with 2 cups of cheese, and then the tater tots.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes until the tots are golden, then add the remaining cheese and bacon, baking for another 5-10 minutes.

4. How to Prepare:

  • The key to a great casserole is layering. Ensure the beef mixture is even before adding the cheese and tots.
  • For the best flavor, use a blend of cheddar cheeses, and don’t be shy with the bacon!
  • Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving to settle the juices and make it easier to scoop.

5. Preparation Time:

  • Total time needed is approximately 1 hour, including 15 minutes of prep time and 45 minutes of cooking.

6. Servings:

  • This recipe yields about 8 servings.

7. FAQs:

  • Can I make this ahead of time? Yes, prepare the filling up to 3 days ahead, refrigerate, and bake when ready.
  • Can I freeze this casserole? Absolutely, assemble but do not bake. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • What if I don’t like pickles? You can easily omit the pickles without affecting the overall flavor.
  • Can I use different types of cheese? Yes, try a blend of cheddar, mozzarella, or even pepper jack for a spicy kick.
  • How do I store leftovers? Keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven covered with foil.

8. Conclusion: The Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole is a must-try for anyone looking for a simple yet delicious meal that satisfies the whole family. Its combination of familiar flavors, easy preparation, and adaptability to different tastes makes it a versatile dish suitable for various occasions. Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a special gathering, this casserole is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So why wait? Gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a dish that’s as fun to make as it is to eat!