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Taco Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

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YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE this Taco Tater Tot Casserole Recipe!!! Or as we like to call it here in Minnesota, taco tater tot hotdish.

Hotdish is basically a season here in Minnesota and even though I’ve lived here for a total of ten years…this was my first time making hotdish! (I know my MN peeps are going to be disappointed in this fact.) But the truth is, while I’ve certainly had hotdish before, it wasn’t anything I grew up eating.

My family was more rice & beans than hotdish. But who can resist tater tots ON a casserole? No one. And that’s a fact. It just makes sense, and honestly? I’m starting to feel like I was a little deprived.

When I got a hotdish request from my meal plan group, I knew I wanted to make a mexican style tater tot casserole. (Potential name was Turkey Taco Tater Tot Hotdish – what a mouthful!) But first I needed to learn the basic bones of a hotdish. I turned to my friend Brenda from A Farm Girl’s Dabbles. She’s got two great tater tot hotdish recipes (one with canned soup and one without if you must be fancy). Her recipe is a classic!

Once I learned the hotdish basics and techniques, I set out to make my very own mexican tater tot hotdish.

mexican tater tot hotdish - scoop out of pan
mexican tater tot casserole - overhead

How to Make Mexican Tater Tot Casserole Recipe:

I’m going to show you just how to make this quick and easy mexican tater tot casserole! The basics are simple: saute ground turkey with green peppers, onions, and taco seasoning. Then stir in some sour cream and …

The taco tater tot hotdish is OBVIOUSLY then topped with tater tots that are baked until golden brown and crunchy and delicious. And then the whole thing is topped with cheese and broiled until it’s all melty.

Now, you may be wondering if this combination of tater tots and cheese is “healthy.” And to that my simple response is yes, all food is “healthy.” Is all food packed with nutrition? No, but there is more to health than nutrients found in food.

I talk more about this philosophy in my steak quesadillas post, but my big goals (for myself and YOU!) is to:

  • Cook more
  • Stress about food less
  • Enjoy meals
  • Eat REAL food
  • To eat mostly foods that are wholesome and unprocessed, but also to not feel bad if you eat a bag of fritos

So does that answer your question about taco tater tot hotdish recipe being healthy or not?!

mexican tater tot hotdish - turkey and taco seasoning in pan
Mexican Tater Tot Casserole Recipe - with cheese before toppings

Can you make Mexican Tater Tot Casserole ahead?

You can make some of these components of the tater taco casserole ahead of time, but you’ll want to do the baking portion of it right before serving.

To meal prep a bit of it, dice the onion and pepper, saute together, and brown turkey meat – basically follow the instructions through step four in the recipe card below.

Then the day you are going to eat it, put the taco turkey mixture in a large skillet, and continue with the instructions.

mexican tater tot casserole - two plates

Toppings for Mexican Tater Tot Casserole Recipe:

Always add the toppings to taco tater tot casserole recipe! These are flexible, depending on what you have and what you have time to prep but adding some fresh flavors into the mexican tater tot hotdish will really add great flavor. Here are some toppings

  • sour cream
  • chopped onion
  • chopped cilantro
  • sliced tomatoes
  • pickled jalapeno peppers
  • diced avocado
  • sliced black olives

Tools to Make Mexican Tater Tot Casserole Recipe:

  • Cast Iron Skillet: This cast iron is so versatile and you can make this entire tater tot taco bake in this skillet!
  • Silicone Cooking Utensils: You’ll love this set of cooking utensils – and it won’t scratch any pans!

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mexican tater tot casserole - two plates

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American
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Learn how to make Minnesota hotdish with a taco twist! (Hint, it’s EASY!) The whole family will love this Mexican Tater Tot Casserole Recipe. 


  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 oz. ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 16 oz. frozen tater tots
  • 8 oz. shredded cheese (Mexican or cheddar)
  • toppings: sour cream, chopped cilantro, sliced green onion, sliced grape tomatoes, pickled jalapenos


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Dice onion and green pepper.
  3. Heat oil in large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and peppers to pan and cook for 5 minutes, until soft.
  4. Add turkey and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Brown for about 3-4 minutes and stir in taco seasoning until thoroughly mixed.*
  5. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese and arrange tater tots in a single layer on top of the cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. (Prep any toppings while it’s baking.)
  7. Broil on high for about 2-3 minutes, until tots are golden brown. Watch closely as this can go fast!
  8. Top with remaining cheese and broil for another 2-3 minutes, until cheese has melted. Watch this step closely, too!


  • Get your kids involved! They can: sprinkle the cheese over hot dish, help prep toppings, top their hot dish.
  • Taco seasoning: use whatever amount is recommended for 1 lb. of meat. No water needed!
  • Nutrition facts do not include toppings. 

Keywords: ground turkey, taco hotdish, tater tot casserole

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