Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole

Embark on a culinary journey that combines two beloved comfort foods into one delectable dish with our Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole recipe. This ultimate comfort meal features a savory meatloaf base, topped with crispy tater tots and a generous layer of gooey melted cheese. Perfect for cozy family dinners or casual gatherings, this hearty casserole is guaranteed to satisfy even the most discerning taste buds.


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar barbecue sauce
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 30 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 2 oz Lipton onion soup mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 24 oz frozen tater tots
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup real bacon bits


  1. Preheat and Prepare Sauce: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small mixing bowl, combine ketchup and Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce; stir well and set aside.
  2. Prepare Meatloaf Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, crushed Ritz crackers, Lipton onion soup mix, eggs, and 1/2 cup of the ketchup and barbecue sauce mixture. Mix thoroughly with your hands.
  3. Assemble in Baking Dish: Press the meatloaf mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread the remaining ketchup and barbecue sauce mixture over the meat.
  4. Add Tater Tots and Cheese: Arrange frozen tater tots in a single layer on top of the sauce. Sprinkle shredded cheese and bacon bits over the tater tots.
  5. Bake: Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 40 minutes or until the ground beef is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Rest and Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve hot.

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 75 minutes | Total Time: 95 minutes

Kcal: Estimated 540 per serving | Servings: 6 servings

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Family Dinner Delight: Serve this Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole as the star of your family dinner table. Its hearty portions and comforting flavors are sure to please everyone, from kids to adults.
  2. Garnish for Appeal: Before serving, sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley or green onions over the casserole for a pop of color and added freshness. This simple garnish elevates the presentation and makes the dish even more appetizing.
  3. Accompaniments: Pair this indulgent casserole with a side of steamed vegetables, such as green beans or broccoli, to balance out the richness of the dish. A simple side salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing also complements the hearty flavors of the meatloaf and tater tots.
  4. Dipping Sauces: Offer a variety of dipping sauces on the side, such as ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, or honey mustard, for extra flavor options. These sauces add a fun twist to each bite and allow everyone to customize their meal according to their preferences.
  5. Brunch Crowd Pleaser: Serve leftovers of this casserole for brunch the next day. It pairs wonderfully with a side of scrambled eggs or a fresh fruit salad, making it a versatile dish that can be enjoyed any time of day.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to allow the casserole to cool completely before refrigerating to prevent condensation buildup.
  2. Freezing: For longer storage, you can freeze individual portions of the casserole in freezer-safe containers or resealable plastic bags for up to 2-3 months. This is a convenient option for meal prep or for saving leftovers for future enjoyment.
  3. Reheating: When ready to enjoy leftovers, reheat individual portions in the microwave until heated through, or place the entire casserole in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed to your liking. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to prevent the top from over-browning while reheating.
  4. Crispiness: To maintain the crispiness of the tater tots when reheating, consider removing them from the casserole before reheating and baking them separately on a baking sheet until crispy. Then, assemble the casserole with the reheated tater tots just before serving.
  5. Enjoying Leftovers: Leftover slices of this casserole make a convenient and satisfying lunch option. Simply pack them in lunch containers and reheat them at work or school for a delicious midday meal that will keep you fueled and satisfied.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole remains fresh, flavorful, and enjoyable, whether served freshly baked or reheated as leftovers.


  1. Vegetarian Twist: Replace the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or crumbled tofu for a vegetarian version of this casserole. Add extra vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions for added flavor and nutrition.
  2. Italian-Inspired: Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and diced tomatoes to the meatloaf mixture for an Italian twist. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
  3. Tex-Mex Fusion: Mix taco seasoning into the ground beef mixture and add corn, black beans, and diced jalapeños. Top with shredded Mexican cheese blend and serve with salsa and sour cream on the side.
  4. Loaded Potato Variation: Layer thinly sliced potatoes instead of tater tots for a classic loaded potato casserole. Top with crispy bacon pieces, green onions, and sour cream for a delicious twist on a classic favorite.
  5. Buffalo Chicken Option: Swap the ground beef for shredded cooked chicken tossed in buffalo sauce. Top with blue cheese crumbles and chopped celery for a spicy and tangy flavor combination.
  6. Breakfast Casserole: Make this casserole breakfast-friendly by adding cooked breakfast sausage or diced ham to the meatloaf mixture. Top with scrambled eggs and shredded cheddar cheese for a hearty breakfast option.
  7. Mushroom Lovers’ Delight: Add sautéed mushrooms to the meatloaf mixture and top with Swiss cheese slices for a rich and savory flavor profile. Serve with a side of creamy mushroom gravy for extra indulgence.
  8. Pizza Inspired: Mix Italian seasoning and minced garlic into the meatloaf mixture and top with sliced pepperoni, marinara sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake until bubbly and serve with a side of garlic breadsticks.
  9. Spinach and Artichoke Variation: Mix chopped spinach and artichoke hearts into the meatloaf mixture and top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve with a side of creamy spinach and artichoke dip for a decadent twist.
  10. Hawaiian Pineapple Option: Add diced pineapple to the meatloaf mixture and top with sliced ham and shredded Swiss cheese. Serve with a side of sweet and tangy pineapple salsa for a taste of the tropics.


  1. Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef for this recipe? Yes, ground turkey can be used as a leaner alternative to ground beef. Just make sure to adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences.
  2. Can I make this casserole ahead of time and bake it later? Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Simply cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent drying out, then bake as directed when ready.
  3. Can I use homemade barbecue sauce instead of store-bought? Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite homemade barbecue sauce recipe in place of Sweet Baby Ray’s for a personalized touch.
  4. What can I serve with this casserole? This casserole pairs well with a variety of sides such as steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad.
  5. Can I add extra vegetables to the meatloaf mixture? Yes, you can customize the meatloaf mixture by adding diced vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini for added flavor and nutrition.
  6. How can I make this casserole gluten-free? To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free crackers or breadcrumbs in place of Ritz crackers and ensure that all other ingredients are certified gluten-free.

Savor the comforting flavors of home-cooked goodness with our Cheesy Tater Tot Meatloaf Casserole recipe. With its hearty meatloaf base, crispy tater tot topping, and melty cheese goodness, this casserole is sure to become a family favorite. Whip up a batch for your next gathering and watch as it disappears in minutes, leaving behind satisfied smiles and happy hearts.