Tater tot casserole meets shepherd’s pie in this fun twist of a one-pot meal. Frozen veggies add heartiness while shredded cheddar tops everything off, giving you a complete meal the whole family will surely enjoy.
Why this tater tot shepherd’s pie recipe works
If you’ve never made shepherd pie with tater tots, then you are in for a real treat. Instead of whipping up a helping of mashed potatoes, you can take the easy route by using frozen tater tots and still add the touch of potato. This twist on traditional shepherd’s pie has a quick prep and moderate cooking time, meaning you can prepare this by dinnertime.
This is a great comfort food to make when you need a main course but don’t have the time to cook and are not a fan of cooking many different things.
- Ground Beef: This will be browned and sauteed with onion and other seasonings before being added to the crockpot. You can use a lean ground beef to have less grease.
- Tater Tots: You can use a bag of frozen tater tots. They don’t have to be defrosted or precooked ahead of time.
- Beef Broth: The broth acts as a moisture component and keeps the casserole from sticking.
- Frozen Mixed Vegetables: Skip grabbing a bunch of cans of vegetables and take the easy route of using a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. It has all you need from corn and peas to green beans and carrots (already diced and chopped).
- Meat Mixture: Tomato paste, minced garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, and thyme are added after the ground beef and onions have been sauteed to give them amazing flavor.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Sprinkled on at the end for the finishing cheesy touch.
Step One – Sauté beef and onions in a skillet over medium high heat until beef is browned, and onions are tender. Drain any excess grease before adding in the garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and tomato paste. Stir to combine well.
Step Two – Pour the ground beef mixture into the slow cooker. Then, top with the mixed vegetables.
Step Three – Pour in the beef broth and stir to combine.
Step Four – Add a single layer of mozzarella cheese.
Step Five – Add a single layer of tater tots.
Step Six – Finish the casserole with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours. Serve hot and enjoy!
Recipe FAQs and Variations
I recommend cooking it on low to give everything time to cook together and not burn or stick to the crock pot.
I have seen some recipes where people use ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground lamb. I think it’s a personal preference.
You can add a can of mushroom soup, onion powder, and other herbs. You can even add a fun twist by using sweet potato tater tots. You also can’t go wrong by adding a few extra veggies.
Add any remaining tater tot shepherd’s pie to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat the pie in the oven on a low heat.
A side salad adds a refreshing taste, especially since this meal includes meat and several sides all put together. You can also add a side of Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or beets.
Shepherd’s Pie Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 10 oz. frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, and peas)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 32 oz. frozen tater tots
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Sauté beef and onions in a skillet over medium high heat until beef is browned, and onions are tender. Drain any excess grease.
- Stir in garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and tomato paste.
- Pour mixture into a 6-quart crockpot.
- Top with mixed vegetables and beef broth and stir to combine.
- Layer with mozzarella, tater tots, then cheddar cheese.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
- Serve hot, enjoy!
- You can use any kind of ground meat such as ground turkey, ground chicken or ground lamb in this casserole.
- Add any remaining tater tot shepherd’s pie to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat the pie in the oven on a low heat.
- Though this is a complete meal, we often add a green salad to finish off the dinner.
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.