If you have ground beef, tater tots and a few pantry staples to hand, you can rustle up this amazing meatloaf casserole for the family. It’s full of comfort food ingredients and makes a wonderfully warming meal. Along with the beef, you’ll need eggs, cheese, crackers, soup mix, ketchup, bacon, BBQ sauce, and tater tots. It’s so easy to make.
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You just need to combine and layer the ingredients and then bake the casserole in the oven until golden on top and piping hot.
Tater tots are easier to work with than having to prep fresh potatoes and they work especially well in easy casserole recipes. If you’re more of a hash browns fan, you can usually sub those in most recipes.
You can also use any kind of cheese, any type of crackers (although Ritz are pretty hard to beat!) and another type of soup mix instead of the onion.
Why You’ll Love the Recipe
This wonderful comfort food style casserole boasts plenty of big flavors including beef, cheese, BBQ sauce, and all those good things that make you helpless to resist that second plate! It’s easy to prepare and leftovers reheat beautifully as well, so there’s nothing not to love with this unique twist on meatloaf casserole.
How to Serve It:
This filling, cold weather dish is great paired with your favorite vegetables. Serve it hot from the oven, for the best results.
- Onion soup mix
- Frozen tater tots
- Ground beef
- BBQ sauce
- Ritz crackers
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
How to make Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Crush the Ritz crackers into crumbs.
Combine the BBQ sauce and ketchup in a bowl, and stir until well blended.
Add the ground beef to a mixing bowl with the cracker crumbs, half of the BBQ and ketchup mixture, the onion soup mix, and eggs. Knead with your hands to combine well.
Layer the meat mixture into the bottom of a well-greased 9×13 baking dish.
Brush the remaining BBQ and ketchup mixture over the top of the meat.
Spread the tater tots over the meat mixture.
Sprinkle with bacon and cheese.
Tent with tin foil, and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 40 minutes longer.
Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Winter warmer dishes such as this unusual version of meatloaf always have a place in our hearts. And the weather doesn’t necessarily have to be cold to make and enjoy this. It’s a hearty blend of beef, potatoes, cheese, and more, and sure to satisfy even the hungriest person at the dinner table.
Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole
- 2 oz. Onion soup mix
- 2 Large eggs
- 24 oz. Frozen tater tots
- 2 lbs. Ground beef
- 1 C. BBQ sauce
- 30 Ritz crackers
- ¼ C. Chopped bacon pieces
- 1 C. Ketchup
- 2 C. Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Crush the Ritz crackers into crumbs.
- Combine the BBQ sauce and ketchup in a bowl, and stir until well blended.
- Add the ground beef to a mixing bowl with the cracker crumbs, half of the BBQ and ketchup mixture, the onion soup mix and eggs. Knead with your hands to combine well.
- Layer the meat mixture into the bottom of a well greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Brush the remaining BBQ and ketchup mixture over the top of the meat.
- Spread the tater tots over the meat mixture.
- Sprinkle with bacon and cheese.
- Tent with tin foil, and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 40 minutes longer.
- Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Can You Make It Ahead?
Yes, this dish can be prepared in advance. You can prepare it and then cover with foil and bake later, or bake it now and reheat portions of it when you’re ready.
Leftovers should be covered in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerated. This will stay fresh for 3 or 4 days.
Variations and Substitutions:
A lot of the ingredients in this meatloaf casserole are adaptable if you want to customize the dish. You can use a different kind of crackers in place of the Ritz, hash browns in place of the tater tots or another flavor of BBQ sauce (a sugar-free kind would work fine here). Also, use crumbled cooked fresh bacon instead of the Bacon Bits if you prefer. Oh, and you can use different cheese too!