Tater Tot Casserole From Scratch (with Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup)

posted by Andrea | 09/4/2019

Tater Tot Casserole is one meal Dave and I both grew up enjoying… and it’s definitely one of our kids’ most favorite meals ever — right up there with Chicken, Broccoli, Rice casserole

Of course, I like that Tater Tot Casserole uses simple ingredients I always have in the house, I like that it can be made ahead of time in just a few minutes, and I LOVE that my whole family will eat it without any complaints! 

I make both Tater Tot Casserole and Chicken, Broccoli Rice Casserole roughly once a month all year round, and we never get tired of them! 

Last year, I shared my new and improved, 100% from scratch recipe for Chicken, Broccoli, Rice Casserole — with lots of added veggies, and a made-from-scratch sauce to replace the Cream of Chicken Soup. 

That recipe is still a huge hit with my family (and with many of you)… so I thought it was time to finally share a healthified recipe for Tater Tot Casserole (with made-from-scratch Cream of Mushroom soup). 

I’ve been making it this way for over a year now and no one has complained yet — so I think that means it’s a “winner”!

This recipe still uses ingredients that can all be prepped ahead of time (most of which I have in the freezer at all times) so the finished meal actually still comes together REALLY quickly. In fact, the meal in today’s post only took me 20 minutes to put together — and that’s including the time to make homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup AND extra time to take pictures! 

My More Nutritious Changes: 

I swap the white rice for cauliflower rice.

I replace half of the ground beef with cooked lentils for lots of added fiber without as much fat or calories (you could also use ground turkey, but we get a quarter of a cow, so we always have lots of beef!)

I use plain Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream.

I make my own cream of mushroom soup from scratch (in minutes!)

I’ve also tried using Veggie Tots in place of Tater Tots, but they were not a huge hit for our family — I might try them again in the future though.

If you’d like to try a healthified version of this family-favorite, give my recipe below ago.

As always, PLEASE feel free to make any tweaks or changes based on your family’s taste preferences and the food you already have in the house! 

Yield: 6 servings

Tater Tot Casserole From Scratch

Tater Tot Casserole From Scratch

I've healthified this family favorite to include more veggies, more fiber, less fat, and homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 c. pre-cooked ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 c. pre-cooked lentils (or an additional cup of meat)
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • 1 c. cauliflower rice (or white rice)
  • 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 recipe cream of mushroom soup (see recipe in post below) or a 10.75 ounce can of soup
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Tater Tots (or Veggie Tots) -- enough to cover the top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix ground beef, lentils, corn, and cauliflower rice.
  3. Add Greek yogurt, cream soup, and salt/pepper. Mix well.
  4. Scoop mixture into a greased 8" x 8" (or equivalently sized) dish and top with cheese.
  5. Place tater tots on top of cheese and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Notes

The prep-time listed in this recipe assumes that all ingredients are pre-cooked and ready to go as I personally keep bags filled with pre-cooked ground beef and pre-cooked lentils in the freezer all the time -- obviously, this recipe will require more time if you need to cook these items first!

I do usually make the Cream of Mushroom soup right before mixing up this dish -- that will take another 10 minutes or so, but could be made ahead of time as well.

 

And now… the recipe for Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup! 

Yield: 1.5 cups

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

This recipe for homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup replaces one 10.75 ounce can, and is an equal substitute in any recipe that calls for Cream of Mushroom Soup.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 T. butter or oil
  • 1 c. mushrooms; washed and diced (about 4-6 larger mushrooms)
  • 1/2 c. yellow onion; diced (about 1/2 a medium onion)
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1 c. milk or cream
  • 2-3 T. flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt butter/oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Sauté diced mushrooms and onions in butter until cooked through (5-7 minutes) stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. Meanwhile, mix milk/cream and flour in a small bowl or measuring cup until smooth.
  4. Once mushrooms and onions are soft, add garlic and cook for 1 minute more -- stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce heat to low and pour in milk/flour mixture.
  6. Wisk continually until thickened (1-2 minutes)
  7. Use in your favorite recipe or transfer to a food storage container to use later.

Notes

I dice my mushrooms so they kids can't "see" them -- but you could easily get by with slicing them if that is your preference.

I do believe canned mushrooms should work as well -- just make sure to drain them really well.

 

There you have it — my fairly simple, still very easy, family-favorite recipe for (slightly more nutritious) Tater Tot Casserole… and my very basic recipe for Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup!

Two recipes in one post today — whew!

What are your family’s favorite casseroles? And have you “remade” any of them over the years?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family-friendly recipes!

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11 comments

  1. Debbie

    09/05/2019

    I’ll have to try your healthified version for sure!

    [Reply]

  2. Heather

    09/04/2019

    Have you ever frozen the cream of mushroom soup mixture? Thinking about making extra when mushrooms have a really good sale.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Whenever I’ve frozen mushrooms, they get yucky (rubbery and watery at the same time) but maybe if you chop them really fine it wouldn’t matter in a casserole. But now I’m wondering in the case of a casserole, where the cream of mushroom soup was originally just a shortcut for a cream sauce, if we could just make this cream soup recipe without the mushrooms at all and freeze that.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I think if you froze the entire casserole, you wouldn’t notice the rubbery mushrooms (especially if they are chopped small enough). That said, I DEFINITELY think you could make this casserole without the mushrooms. The taste would be different, but not necessarily “bad different”.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Heather — I have personally never frozen this soup. However, if your main goal is simply to preserve the mushrooms when they are on sale, I’d just chop up the mushrooms (fairly small) and flash-freeze them on a cookie sheet, then put in a zip-top bag to use in soups, stews, to saute, and/or in recipes like this.

    [Reply]

  3. Mary

    09/04/2019

    Has anyone tried making the cream of mushroom soup alternative with a gluten free flour alternative? My granddaughter is being screened for celiac disease so am starting to look at recipes that would be GF. She loves casseroles.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, you can definitely use gluten-free flour for this (it’s such a small amount) I have personally made it with oat flour and even corn starch with fine results!

    [Reply]

  4. Meghan

    09/04/2019

    For about four years, when my boys were little, I “remade” many of my recipes. We didn’t eat processed foods. Now with three kids in sports (and I work outside the home), I am back to using cream soups and boxed items. For me, the time saved is more valuable than homemade cream soups. Someday I might go back 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    This comment is SO refreshing to read — because I feel the same way!
    I just told Dave, “it’s sort of fun to try making everything from scratch just so I know how to do it… but I don’t think I’ll keep doing it forever”. I love the knowledge of HOW to do things, but that doesn’t mean I will always do them this way (even if it might be “better” or “healthier”)
    I’m glad someone else feels the same way!

    [Reply]

  5. Amy

    09/04/2019

    Lol! When I read the title I thought…oh my goodness she’s gone and lost her mind making homemade tater tots too!! I am GLAD to see you are not! Love all the healthy updates. I’ll add this on my menu soon.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no homemade tots — BUT they are not hard to make if you wanted to be ambitious! I’ve tried zucchini tots before, but the kids didn’t like them!

    [Reply]