Cowboy casserole is a crowd-pleasing favorite!

It has ground beef, veggies, and lots of cheesy tater tots baked in mushroom soup. Everything is baked in one dish and on the table in 30 minutes!

This tasty casserole is perfect for parties, potlucks, or just to heat and eat all week long!

plated Cowboy Casserole

What is Cowboy Casserole?

  • This hearty and wholesome casserole has everything in it. The meat, veggies, and cheese are all blended together and baked until hot and bubbly!
  • Super easy and versatile, cowboy casserole is a great recipe for using up leftover meat, veggies, and cheeses to save valuable grocery dollars!
  • Make and take! Keep cowboy casserole warm in a Crockpot and let guests help themselves!
  • Simple sides! Serve with a simple salad and a side of cornbread for the perfect cold-weather meal!
adding sauce to beef and vegetables to make Cowboy Casserole

Ingredients and Variations

Meat – Ground beef, turkey, chicken, and even ground pork all work in this recipe! No time to cook ground beef? No problem! Use frozen mini-meatballs or shredded rotisserie chicken! Easy peasy!

Vegetables – Besides tomatoes and corn, toss in any leftover veggies and save a few bucks! Or add a bag of frozen veggies, no need to thaw!

Tater Tots – Thaw tater tots overnight in the refrigerator or on the countertop while prepping the rest of the recipe. Other potatoes to use are hash browns, potato slices, or wedges.

Cheese – Cheddar cheese has a robust flavor that pairs well in cowboy casserole, but a Mexican blend or Monterey Jack works. If time permits, grate the cheese yourself because pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking properties that keep it from melting quite as well.

Variations – Add a can of drained black beans, green beans, or sliced mushrooms. Switch out potatoes altogether for cooked white rice or use cauliflower florets for fewer carbs! Switch out the mushroom soup for cream of chicken or cream of celery, if desired. Or omit the meat altogether and serve along with this egg and sausage breakfast casserole for a delicious brunch or when you are feeding a crowd!

filling in a dish for Cowboy Casserole

How to Make Cowboy Casserole

Serve this comfort food favorite with a dollop of sour cream, guacamole, cheese sauce, or a few dashes of hot sauce!

  1. Cook onion, ground beef, and green pepper. Drain the fat and set aside.
  2. Whisk soup, milk, tomatoes, and sour cream in a small bowl and add to the beef mixture.
  3. Fold in corn and one cup of shredded cheese to the beef mixture.
  4. Layer half the tater tots in the casserole dish and spread the beef mixture over the top. Cover with layer of tater tots and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake until the tots are golden brown and crunchy and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
adding cheese and tater tots to Cowboy Casserole dish

Storing Cowboy Casserole

  • Cowboy casserole tastes better the next day and can even be reheated with a scoop of scrambled eggs on top, for a hearty breakfast that will keep everyone full and energized until lunch!
  • Keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and reheat portions in the microwave, or on the stovetop.
  • Freeze portions in freezer-safe containers for up to one month and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or thaw in the microwave before reheating on the stove, if desired.

Other Tasty Tater Casseroles!

Have you tried this Cowboy Casserole Recipe? Leave a comment and rating below!

plated Cowboy Casserole
4.99 from 51 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Cowboy Casserole Recipe

Make this easy cowboy casserole recipe for a cheesy and delicious dinner that the whole family will love!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly


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


  • Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  • Defrost tater tots on the counter for about an hour.
  • Saute onion in a large skillet on medium heat until soft. Add beef and green pepper, cook until beef is no longer pink. Drain any fat.
  • Whisk together soup, milk, Rotel, and sour cream in a small bowl. Stir into hamburger mixture. Add corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Gently mix to combine.
  • Place half of the tater tots on the bottom of greased baking dish. Pour the hamburger mixture over, then add the other half of the tater tots. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.
4.99 from 51 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 707kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 1454mg | Potassium: 1139mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 579IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 361mg | Iron: 5mg

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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plated Cowboy Casserole with dish full in the back and writing
Cowboy Casserole in the dish before baking and plated dish with writing


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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.