On a busy night, the last thing you want to do is spend a ton of time in the kitchen. This cheesy chicken tater tot casserole recipe is a family favorite in our house and is the perfect meal to make on busy days.
Loaded with chicken, veggies, and crispy tater tots this cheesy chicken tater tot casserole recipe is for sure to be a hit with your family.
Cheesy Chicken Tator Tot Casserole Recipe
Casseroles are one of my favorite things to make. Not only are they super easy to make but they never have much mess to clean up and they taste amazing.
I love easy recipes and casseroles are full of flavor and easy to make too. Traditional tater tot casserole is made with ground beef, and while we love it I wanted to change things up a bit.
So I came up with this chicken tater tot casserole and changed out the ground beef for shredded chicken and few other things and it was a huge hit with my whole family.
Busy weeknights are something that over the years have only seemed to get busier. I am not sure why I thought things would slow down a bit as the kids got older, but the truth is the older the kids get the crazier life seems to get. I have always made sure that we had a family sit down dinner and I am not a fan of take out so easy recipes are a must in our house.
Casseroles like this cheesy chicken tater tot casserole are a comfort food in our house and this easy tater tot casserole with chicken is one that my whole family loves and I am sure your whole family will love it just as much as mine does.
Easy Chicken Casserole Recipes
- Million Dollar chicken casserole
- Loaded Chicken and potatoes casserole
- Chicken cordon bleu casserole
- Chicken and Potatoes Casserole with Veggies
- Spinach artichoke chicken casserole
What is Tater Tot Casserole?
Chicken Tater tot casserole is an easy to make casserole that has layers of chicken, veggies, and cheese and is topped off with frozen tater tots. Tater tot casserole has been popular for years (including in our house) because it is easy to make and you only need a pan to cook the meat and a casserole dish to bake the casserole. Easy peasy dishes clean up for a busy weeknight dinner!
What Ingredients are in Chicken Tater Tot Casserole?
- Cooked chicken. This casserole is made with cooked chicken. You can cook it in a few different ways that I have shared below, or you can use chicken that you already have on hand. I personally cook large batches of chicken and then freeze them in 1, 2 and 3 cup amounts so they are in my freezer anytime I need cooked chicken quickly for a recipe. You can also use a rotiserrie chicken instead if you want to.
- Seasonings. For this casserole recipe you will need garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
- Veggies. Frozen veggies is my go to as I can grab them from the freezer and dump them right on in without having to cook them first.
- Canned Cream of Mushroom Soup. This is mixed with the chicken, but if you don’t have it on hand there are other soups that you can use instead which are shared below.
- Shredded cheddar cheese. You can change up the cheese and there are many different cheeses that work well with this recipe and i have shared those variations below as well.
- Frozen tater tots. Straight from the freezer dump the frozen tater tots on top and it is super easy.
What to Serve with Chicken Casseroles
Casseroles are my favorite dinner meals, they are easy to make and there are so many sides that go well with them. I like to serve chicken casseroles with a salad and a veggie. Because casseroles tend to have everything for a complete meal in them if you want to skip having a side dish then you totally can.
Variations of this recipe
- Veggies. You can use any veggies you like, but I prefer to use frozen mixed vegetables such as corn, green beans, carrots, and peas. This gives the casserole a boost of flavor and some added nutrition. You want to use whatever vegetables your family likes and will eat.
- Cheese. My go to cheese is cheddar, but You can use mozzarella, Monterey jack, pepper jack cheese or even a Mexican blend.
- Canned Soup. I use canned mushroom soup, if you are not a fan then feel free to change it out for cream of celery, cream of chicken soup, or cheddar soup, they will all work in this recipe.
How to Make Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
If you want the printable version of this recipe scroll down and you will get all of the measurements and be able to print the recipe out.
First you are going to cook the chicken if you do not have any cooked already.
Once the chicken is cooked, shred or chop the cooked chicken and add it to a large bowl.
Add the canned cream of mushroom soup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 1 cup of cheese to the diced chicken breast meat and mix well.
Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and pour the chicken mixture into the bottom of the pan and spread evenly in the pan.
Pour the frozen mixed veggies on top in an even single layer.
Layer the frozen tater tots on top.
Bake in the preheated oven at 350 for 25 minutes until the tater tots are golden brown.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Tips for making the perfect Chicken Tator Tot Casserole
- Cook the chicken fully. First, you want to make sure that the chicken is cooked through before adding it to the casserole. You can do this by baking it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until an internal thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Evenly layered tater tots. You also want to make sure that the tater tots are evenly spread throughout the casserole so they cook evenly.
- Be generous with the cheese. Be sure to generously cover the top of the casserole with cheese and sauce before baking it in the oven.
- Use leftover chicken. If you made chicken a previous night you can use leftover chicken. Many times I will cook chicken breasts and then chop the meat and put it into freezer bags so when I am going to make a chicken casserole I already have the chicken cooked so I can use it.
- Shred your own cheese. While pre-shredded cheese is easier it doesn’t melt as well as cheese that you shred yourself at home.
Can I use canned vegetables instead of frozen?
You can use whichever you prefer. I like the texture of the frozen better than the canned but it can be based on personal preference. If you want to use canned veggies, make sure to drain the liquid first. You do not want to add it to the casserole. Also, if you are concerned about salt, you can rinse the vegetables to remove some of the excess sodium.
How to Cook Chicken for a Casserole
This recipe calls for 3 cups of cooked chicken. There are a few different ways that you can cook chicken. When you are going to shred the chicken, use the shredding chicken trick that makes it super easy!
Use a Rotisserie chicken. If you want things easier you can grab a cooked rotisserie chicken at the store or cook one at home.
Boil chicken. Just add raw boneless skinless chicken breasts to a pot and cover with 3 cups of chicken broth or water whichever you prefer. Heat on medium high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn heat to low and cover pot with a lid and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Bake chicken. Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray place the chicken breast on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Then bake for 35-45 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
How Long Does It Last?
If you have any leftovers, this casserole should last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. When ready to reheat, just pop it into a preheated 350-degree oven until heated through. This makes for a delicious and convenient lunch or dinner the next day.
How to Store tater tot casserole with chicken?
If you want to store the casserole for later, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it into an airtight container. It should last up to 3 months in the freezer if properly stored.
Can you freeze chicken tater tot casserole?
Yes! If you are wanting to meal prep you totally can with this recipe. If freezing it is best to freezer after prepping it but before cooking it. Prep the casserole and then wrap the casserole with plastic wrap and aluminum foil or cover it with a lid. Label with the name of the dish and the date frozen. The casserole can be frozen for up to three months.
If you want to after cooking the casserole you can freeze it in individual servings. Cut the casserole into individual portions and then freeze it in individual serving sized bags. Be sure to label and date the bags before putting them into the freezer.
How to Cook Frozen Chicken tater tot casserole
To cook the frozen casserole remove it from the freezer the night before and place it in the fridge. When it is time to cook it, set the oven to 350 degrees F and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until it is fully cooked. If you are cooking it from a fully frozen state then you will want to cook it in the oven for 40-50 minutes.
Chicken Tator Tot Casserole
- Cook your chicken by your preferred method – baked or boiled.
- Shred the cooked chicken and add to a large bowl.
- Add the canned cream of mushroom soup, salt, pepper and garlic powder and 1 cup of cheese to the chicken and mix well.
- Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and pour the chicken mixture into the bottom of the pan and spread evenly in the pan.
- Pour the frozen mixed veggies on top in an even layer.
- Layer the frozen tater tots on top.
- Bake in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes until the tater tots are golden brown.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes.