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Tater-Tot Casserole with the EASIEST Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

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Tater-Tot Casserole is a Midwest staple. Being from Wisconsin, you learn pretty young how to make many types of casseroles. I was making Tater-Tot casserole in 7th or 8th grade. No joke. This recipe is going to be a twist on how to make it and use homemade cream of mushroom soup instead of canned.

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Published October 24, 2022
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Cost breakdown for this recipe

As far as the cost of making a Tater-Tot casserole goes, or a typical casserole, this one is still fairly inexpensive. Below is a cost breakdown for each ingredient that will be needed for this recipe, all from ALDI in 2022.

And it has to be said that the price of ground beef is indeed lower than it was three months ago. A package of 80/20 was over $11 and now only $7.89. Celebrate the little things.

Costs

Tater-tots $2.15
2 pints mushrooms $4.00
1 can corn, green beans, carrot and sweet peas $2.60 ($0.65 each)
1/2 cup flour $0.07
4 Tbsp butter $0.42
1 cup milk $0.09
2 pounds ground beef $7.89
1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.01
1/2 tsp onion powder $0.01

The total cost to make this Tater-Tot Casserole made with Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup was $17.24.
This recipe was made in a 9 X 13 baking dish and for our family of six, there was a lot of leftovers the next day.

Will it be cheaper?

On the flip side, to make this recipe with canned cream of mushroom soup, the cost would be $14.14. Yes, the price is cheaper, but by using homemade cream of mushroom soup you can control the sodium, flavor and learn how to make a simple recipe taste incredible.
2 cans cream of mushroom soup $1.50
Tater-Tots $2.15
Canned vegetables $2.6
2 pounds ground beef $7.89

For the recipe for Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup, click the recipe below! I will also include the recipe on how to make it here. Keep reading!

Making an Old Recipe New

Another thing that was altered from my recipe as a kid was to fully cook the meat before baking the entire casserole. Making sure the meat is fully cooked helps to avoid undercooked meat while serving. There are many memories buried deep of cutting into dinner and seeing pockets of pink, then needing to microwave it before eating.
This is not a necessary step, but it does have many benefits. The first is to avoid uncooked meat, and the second is to reduce the amount of fat.
By cooking the meat in a skillet, until it is just browned, then using a slotted spoon to transfer the meat, you also keep any extra grease and fat out of the casserole and leave it in the skillet.

Another benefit of making Tater-Tot Casserole as an adult is to change the recipe. By using homemade cream of mushroom soup, you can give the casserole a totally homemade taste. Lately, the taste of canned cream of mushroom soup has changed, and not in a good way.

To can or not to can…

In the past, there was a time that raw ingredients were tried with Tater-Tot Casserole. Really. Well, except the sweet peas. Peeling and dicing the carrots, cutting the green beans and cutting the corn off of the cob, only to have to time the cooking for each. As the vegetables were raw, pre-cooking was important before assembling and baking the casserole.

Additionally, frozen mixed vegetables were tried with a similar result. As far as cooked-ness goes, they were cooked. But the texture was off. The green beans were a little too crunchy and the carrots were too small.

This not only was a worthwhile experiment, but it also resulted in a ‘Midwest Truth”. That Midwest Truth is, “Tater-Tot Casserole tastes best with canned veggies”. It could possibly be from the sodium, or the tastebuds freaking out with change, but canned is just better in a Midwest Casserole.

Recipe

Ingredients for Tater-Tot Casserole

Tater-tots
2 pints mushrooms
1 can corn, green beans, carrot and sweet peas
1/2 cup flour
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup milk
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cups water

Directions for Tater-Tot Casserole

1. Firstly, the most important step is to wipe the mushrooms clean. Make sure to use a slightly damp or dry paper towel to wipe them clean. DO NOT rinse fresh mushrooms or they may become slimy.

2. Heat a medium skillet to medium heat and then spray with non-stick spray. Then cook the ground beef until just browned.

When I was a kid, we never pre-cooked the ground beef. In fact, the ground beef was just pressed into the bottom of the baking dish, and it was then cooked with the casserole. However, I have started to cook the ground beef BEFORE baking the Tater-Tot Casserole to reduce the amount of fat the meal ends up with.

3. While the beef is cooking, cut and dice the mushrooms on a cutting board.

4. Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with non-stick spray and then set aside. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef into a 9 X 13 baking pan, then set aside.

Make the cream of mushroom soup

5. In a medium saucepan, melt 4 Tablespoons butter and then add the diced mushrooms and sauté 5-7 minutes until the moisture is released.

6. While the mushrooms are sautéing, open the cans of corn, beans, peas and carrots.

7. Drain the liquids from the cans and then add the vegetables to a medium bowl.

Are canned vegetables the best to use? As far as this casserole recipe goes, yes. Unequivically yes.
In the past, I have used fresh vegetables and cooked them ahead of time. Just a basic blanching will do. However, the texture and taste for a Tater-Tot Casserole with fresh doesn’t truly compare to canned.

8. Stir the vegetables with a spoon and then set aside.

9. Once the mushrooms are cooked, add garlic powder, onion powder and then stir well.

10. To the mushrooms, SLOWLY add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and then whisk well to combine.
Instead of buying chicken stock, using Broth Base and mixing it with hot water to create a stock will help to save so much money in the long run. Just make sure to use a microwave safe measuring cup.

11. Add 1/2 cup flour to 1 1/2 cups milk and then whisk well to combine.

12. Add the milk and flour mixture to the mushrooms and then whisk well. This will thicken quite quickly.

13. Once the cream of mushroom soup is thick, feel free to add 1-2 cups of water as it is a condensed soup. Then pour the soup mixture onto the vegetables in the bowl and stir well.

Assemble the Tater-Tot Casserole

14. Spread the vegetable mixture onto the cooked beef in the baking pan and then spread it out evenly.

15. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, then lay the Tater-Tots on top of the vegetable mixture.

16. Finally, bake the Tater-Tot Casserole for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

17. Once done, remove the Tater-Tot casserole from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
~Monica

Tater-Tot Casserole Recipe

tater-tot casserole recipe
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Tater-Tot Casserole Recipe

Tater-Tot Casserole is a Midwest staple. This recipe was perfected since mom's have been making dinner for their kids since forever. However, this is a twist with homemade cream of mushroom soup!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Bake Dish, Casserole, Dinner, Dinner under $20, Homemade cream of mushroom soup, Tater-Tot Casserole, Tater-Tot Casserole dinner
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 1 9 X 13-inch dish
Cost $17.24

Equipment

  • 9 X 13-inch Baking Dish
  • Large Saucepan
  • Cutting board

Ingredients

  • Tater-Tots
  • 2 pints Mushrooms
  • 1 can Corn
  • 1 can Green Beans
  • 1 can Corn
  • 1 can Sweet Peas
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 cups Water

Instructions

  • Wipe the mushrooms clean. Make sure to use a slightly damp or dry paper towel to wipe them clean. DO NOT rinse fresh mushrooms or they may become slimy.
  • Heat a medium skillet to medium heat and then spray with non-stick spray. Then cook the ground beef until just browned.
  • While the beef is cooking, cut and dice the mushrooms on a cutting board.
  • Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with non-stick spray and then set aside. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef into a 9 X 13 baking pan, then set aside.
  • Melt 4 Tablespoons butter and then add the diced mushroom.
  • Sauté diced mushrooms for 5-7 minutes or until the moisture is released.
  • While the mushrooms are sautéing, open the cans of corn, beans, peas and carrots.
  • Drain the liquids from the cans and then add the vegetables to a medium bowl.
  • Add garlic powder, onion powder and then stir well.
  • To the mushrooms, SLOWLY add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and then whisk well to combine.
  • Add 1/2 cup flour to 1 1/2 cups milk and then whisk well to combine.
  • Add the milk and flour mixture to the mushrooms and then whisk well. This will thicken quite quickly.
  • Once the cream of mushroom soup is thick, feel free to add 1-2 cups of water as it is a condensed soup.
  • Then pour the soup mixture onto the vegetables in the bowl and stir well.
  • Spread the vegetable mixture onto the cooked beef in the baking pan and then spread it out evenly.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, then lay the Tater-Tots on top of the vegetable mixture.
  • Bake the Tater-Tot Casserole for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the tater-tots are baked and crispy.
  • Once done, remove the Tater-Tot casserole from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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