For a fun weeknight dinner that the whole family will love, or even a quick and tasty entrée for movie night, this cheesy Cowboy Casserole is just the ticket! This super easy recipe can even be made in advance and held hot in a crockpot!

This casserole is so versatile! Why not prepare it as a cowboy breakfast casserole and the whole family can help themselves? Add a scoop of scrambled eggs and you’ve got a hearty breakfast that will fuel the family for hours! Or omit the ground beef altogether for a hearty side dish along side this Egg and Sausage Breakfast Casserole. What a delicious combination for brunch or when you are feeding a crowd!

Cowboy casserole on a white plate with green onions on top

Cowboy Casserole Recipe


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What Is Cowboy Casserole?

The fun is in the name, isn’t it? Just what a cowboy (or cowgirl!) would want to start or end the day with, right? Ground beef, creamy milk and soup, tater tots and some cheese are all baked together into one tasty entrée!

Cowboy casserole ingredients in a casserole dish

Let’s Make It!

  1. Thaw the tater tots on the counter for about an hour. You can also make cowboy casserole with potatoes that are diced or even wedges!
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚F and grease casserole dish.
  3. Cook the ground beef and onion in a skillet until the beef is fully cooked, then drain off the fat.
  4. Mix together the soup, milk, and sour cream until smooth. Add to the meat mixture and stir to combine. Mix in the corn and the cheese.
  5. Layer half of the thawed tater tots on the bottom of the casserole dish and pour all of the meat mixture over the top of them. Cover with the other half of the tater tots. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the tater tots are brown and crispy and the cheese is bubbly.

Layers of cowboy casserole in a casserole dish

My Favorite Cowboy Casserole Toppings

Here’s where you can get really creative! I like to add a little color to my cowboy casserole by adding some chopped green onions, sliced black olives, or sliced jalapenos for a little cowboy kick! Also, a few dollops of sour cream or some salsa on the top really adds some flavor!

What To Do With Leftover Cowboy Casserole

Most casseroles taste better the next day, don’t you think? This one is no different, the flavors really start to blend. Scoop some up and serve it for breakfast with a fried egg on top, or reheat in a bowl with a sprinkle of extra cheese, some hot sauce and it will be good as new!

More Delicious Casseroles To Try!

Tater Tot Hotdish – an easy one dish dinner!

Easy Taco Casserole – a complete meal.

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole – more tater tot love!

Chile Relleno Casserole – zesty and so delicious.

Cracker Barrel Copycat Hashbrown Casserole – a classic recipe!

Cowboy casserole on a white plate with green onions on top
4.98 from 46 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Cowboy Casserole Recipe

For a fun weeknight dinner that the whole family will love, or even a quick and tasty entrée for movie night, this cheesy Cowboy Casserole is just the ticket!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author Holly


  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (15.25 ounces) drained
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 bag frozen tater tots (30 ounces)
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes undrained


  • Let the Crispy Crowns sit on the counter to defrost for an hour or so until thawed.
  • In a large skillet cook the onion until tender and translucent. Add the beef and green pepper and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain the mixture and place into a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the soup, milk, rotel tomatoes, and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add to hamburger mixture and stir to combine. Add corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Gently mix to combine.
  • Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • Layer half of the Tater tots on the bottom, pour the hamburger mixture over the top and then layer with the other half  tater tots. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese
  • Bake at 375 for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.
4.98 from 46 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 1406mg | Potassium: 1030mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 507IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 341mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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Recipe Rating


  1. This recipe is soooo good! The only changes I made was to add some Montreal steak seasoning when cooking the ground beef and adding green chiles instead of bell pepper (as suggested, also I’m lazy). This morning I reheated it and added a fried egg on top! Yummy for breakfast too!

  2. Our family has made this for years just a slightly different version. Always a hit with the kids. Maybe I’ll have to change things up.

    1. Hi Marcia, I think this recipe would work well in the crockpot. I would cook the ground beef before adding it to the crockpot and then cook it on high for 2-3 hrs or until golden brown and crunchy.

  3. Trying this tonight. Wish I would have read the comments first for more suggestions but am making it like the original recipe. Looks so good.

  4. 5 stars
    After reading that this “was missing something”,
    I added 4 strips of diced bacon, that I fried to almost crisp. I then added the onion to the cooking bacon, and cooked till translucent. I added the ground beef to that. Instead of the bell pepper, I added 1 C of roasted chopped Hatch green chile. If this is a Cowboy casserole, it needs Chile’s, cause I have 3 cowboys to feed! I also added 1t garlic powder, and 1/2 t salt.
    Now my guys all agreed this is a keeper dinner, but they still added a few more shakes of their own hot sauces.

  5. My friend absolutely hates sour cream, can u believe that? Then I was out of regular corn, but had cream corn. Put a few roasted green chilies in it and yummy. I’m sure it’s better with sour cream though!! Thanks!

  6. what the purpose of thawing the tater tots? just thinking about making it a quicker concept for a night after work. made it once and followed the instructions exactly and i will say it was mighty delicious!

  7. 4 stars
    It’s missing SOMETHING.. but I can’t put my finger on it don’t get me wrong it’s delicious! But maybe a packet of dry ranch or taco seasoning in the mix? Or extra sour cream next time… hmm. I’m going to play around with it a little but this is definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. I haven’t tried freezing this but think it would work Alexis. Let us know how it works for you!

  8. 5 stars
    My boyfriend doesn’t like cheese (hes crazy) can this recipe be made without the cheese?

    1. I’ve only made the recipe as written. I’m sure it could be made without cheese, but it will change the taste and texture. Perhpas you want to mix cheese into half of the dish (or split into two dishes). 🙂

  9. This looks great! Just one question: is the whole dish 679 calories or each serving that many calories?

    1. Hi Jane, it is per serving, but they are large servings (1/6 of a 9×13 casserole dish).

  10. Made this tonight.  I think it would be with cream of bacon soup in place of the cream of mushroom 🙂

    1. We have not tried it with frozen french fries but you could definitely try! Let us know how it turns out Sabrina.

  11. This was really good. Followed the recipe exactly.  The family loved it. Will definitely make again.