My family can vouch for the fact that Chicken Tater Tot Casserole is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. All I have to say is “TATER TOTS,” and I’ve instantly got the approval of even my pickiest household members. And while they’re munching away on creamy potato goodness, I can rest easy in the fact that this Chicken Tater Tot Casserole comes loaded with the protein and calcium you’d expect from chicken casserole recipes.
My family’s happy. I’m happy. How could a chicken recipe be so magical, you ask? Let me show you!
Let’s face it: crowd-pleasing meals are in short supply. Most nights, I feel like I’m cooking for a bunch of tiny restaurant critics. But when I serve Chicken Tater Tot Casserole, you know what I hear? The sweet sound of satisfied silence.
- Switch it up! Almost every element is changeable.
- Happy family, guaranteed.
- Cheese! Potatoes! Perfection!
- Fifteen-minute prep time.
- Casserole = Make Ahead Magic
This cheesy chicken casserole is wonderfully versatile and packs an ooey, gooey creamy punch –– but casseroles can be a bit finicky if not handled properly. Fear not, friends! I’ve covered all of your casserole Concerns below.
Chicken: The only specification in the below recipe is that the chicken you add to the casserole be fully cooked (do NOT add raw chicken — the oven baking time won’t fully cook it!). Have some leftover BBQ chicken? Bought a rotisserie chicken on sale? Even have some frozen chicken nuggets? Have some fun with the type of chicken you use!
Voracious for Veggies: I like to think of myself as a Vegetable Ninja — if I can sneak veggies into a dish, you better believe I will! For this dish, I love serving fresh salads or sauteed veggies on the side, but I’ve found adding some chopped broccoli, diced carrots, or sliced onions to Chicken Tater Tot Casserole is a great way to bring a bright boost. But be careful about properly draining the veggies — too much extra water will make your casserole soggy.
Check that Time: The oven baking instructions follow the familiar casserole structure: bake covered at first, then uncovered to finish it off. I’ll admit, there are times when I’ve forgotten to uncover for that final stretch. My casserole wasn’t inedible, but it definitely missed out on that depth of crispiness that baking uncovered would have given it. Be more diligent than I was — watch your timers!
Diet-friendliness: Want to make Chicken Tater Tot Casserole gluten-free? Nix the cream of chicken soup in favor of equal parts sour cream and cream cheese diluted with milk. Also be sure to check the ingredients on your tater tots — some come with a coating that is not gluten-free friendly!
One of my ultimate homemaker dreams is to have a freezer dedicated to stored casseroles. But! Storing casseroles properly is the make-or-break difference between that being a dream or a nightmare.
Can You Freeze This?
Absolutely! But to store a casserole the best way possible, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps:
Seal your dish: If you have a casserole dish that comes with a lid, great! You’re one step ahead. If not, grab some plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or Press-and-Seal wrap to make sure you get a good, airtight seal. Otherwise, moisture will creep into your dish and cause that meal-ruining freezer burn.
Or remove it! If you want to reuse your baking dish but want to keep the casserole frozen, simply line the baking dish with foil before you assemble and bake it. Let it cool, seal it up however you need, and freeze until solid. Then lift the foil out of the baking dish, wrap your casserole in foil or plastic wrap, and ta-da! One frozen casserole, one freed baking dish.
Label: If you have more than one meal frozen, you might find you’ve totally forgotten what that one dish under the frozen hamburger is. So be sure to grab some masking tape and, using a permanent marker, write out what the casserole is and when you made it. This way, you’ll also know if your casserole has been in the freezer too long — the max you can store it is four months.
Make Ahead Tips
One of the best things about this dish is how quickly it comes together — only fifteen minutes, and you’re in the oven! But if you know you won’t even have that much time, you can always bring the casserole ingredients together beforehand and store in the fridge (either in a sealed container or the covered baking dish) for up to four days in the fridge.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Once baked, Chicken Tater Tot Casserole can safely sit in the fridge for up to four days, per the USDA. But make sure you have that baking dish tightly sealed, or transfer your leftovers to an airtight container.
Once you’re ready to reheat and eat, you can freshen up your casserole with a splash of milk to reignite the creaminess.
Can I Use Pasta?
Chicken Tater Tot Casserole would be delicious with noodley goodness! Swap out the tater tots for casserole-friendly pasta like thick spaghetti or elbow macaroni, and you’ve got mouthwatering chicken tetrazzini casserole.
Or change up the sauce too — add cans of tomato sauce in place of the creamy soup, swap the potatoes for pasta, and say hello to chicken spaghetti casserole!
Can I Add Broccoli In This Recipe?
Chicken broccoli casserole is a favorite in my household — something about the way the broccoli soaks up the cheesy sauce is delectable.
If you want to take it up a notch, change out the tater tots for rice. Chicken broccoli rice casserole is a long-time hearty favorite that brings the nutrition while filling bellies!
Can I Use Other Types Of Cheese?
If you change out the sour cream for cream cheese, you might need to take a minute to process how amazing your final dish will be. But don’t stop there! Before you put the casserole filling in the baking dish, scoop about a cup of filling into tortillas, roll them up, line them in the dish, and bake until it becomes utterly fantastic cream cheese chicken enchiladas! Or leave the sour cream but still opt for wrapping the filling in tortillas to get sour cream chicken enchiladas.
In both cases, you can finish off the dish by sprinkling it with Mexican cheese. But don’t limit yourself to southwest seasoned shredded cheese — reach for cotija or queso. There are so many tangy, creamy Mexican cheeses that can perk up your dish!
Can I Use Rice Instead?
Rice is a perfect addition to this casserole if you want to bring a warm, cozy feel to your meal! Chicken and rice casserole is a fantastic alternative to this chicken tater tot casserole. Still want that creamy, gooey factor? Cheesy chicken and rice casserole is what you’re looking for!
What Other Ingredient I Can Use Instead Of Tater Tot?
Don’t have tater tots handy? You can whip this into a chicken tortilla casserole by adding handfuls of sliced tortillas to the baking mix. Or you can go full chicken taco casserole by crunching up some crunchy taco shells or tortilla chips during the final baking stage. Yum!
Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 6-8 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- 1 (1-ounce) package ranch dressing mix
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups chicken cooked and cut into large cubes
- 1 (32-ounce) package frozen tater tots
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13 with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, milk, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, bacon, ranch dressing mix, and black pepper until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chicken. Transfer into the prepared baking dish. Top with Tater Tots then cheese.
- Cover the casserole and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes or until heated through and golden.
- Top with parsley and serve.
Haven’t had enough chicken casserole goodness? Is there even such a thing? Here are a few more of my family-pleasing, chicken casserole winners:
- Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
- Chicken Divan
- Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
- Chicken And Biscuits
- Dorito Chicken Casserole
I can usually get my family to the table by promising a cheesy dinner dish. But if that dish also has tater tots? They will come RUNNING. That’s what I love most about Chicken Tater Tot Casserole — I know I’ll get a table of smiles.
Did you add anything fun to your casserole? Let me know in the comments!