Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

This tater tot breakfast casserole is easy, cheesy and delicious! Breakfast sausage, egg and tater tot rounds make this casserole epic!

Sometimes I feel as if I live under a rock. That would explain how until a week ago, I’ve never heard of the heaven that is also known as… Tater Tot Casserole.

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Last weekend we were at our close friends son’s 5th birthday brunch and I had my first taste of breakfast bliss. My plate overflowed with pancake Nutella kebabs, fruit salad and tater tot casserole. After my first forkful of the tot casserole, I turned to my bff Nichole and asked her why she was holding out on me. Helloooo fellow tot lover and food blogger over here?!?! So after my second (maybe third? I can’t remember- helping) I begged Nichole for her recipe.

Because the truth is, if I have one guilty non-from-scratch pleasure, it’s tater tots. Tater tots, crowns, regular or onion flavored… I LOVE THEM ALL. I’m pretty sure my love for them stems from my childhood. Although I don’t buy them often, when I do, I bake them until they’re extra crispy and golden brown, then I sprinkle with salt (sometimes pepper!) and eat them plain or dunk them in ketchup.

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So believe me when I tell you this tot casserole is freaking amazing. Were talking browned breakfast sausage baked in eggs, topped with gooey, melty cheese, tater tots, more cheese and then crispy pieces of bacon.

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The recipe moves along easily. Cook and crisp up 4 strips of bacon, saute onion in a smidgen of the leftover bacon fat (!!!) until soft and then add in the ground breakfast sausage and cook it until it’s no longer pink and has had a chance to brown and crisp.

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Meanwhile, crack 8 eggs into a bowl, add a cup of whole milk, salt and pepper and whisk until combined.

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Once the sausage is cooked and drained of fat, place it in the bottom of a buttered 9×13 baking dish.

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Cover with the egg mixture, half of the cheese and then layer the frozen tots over top. Yep, frozen.

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Slide the pan into your preheated 350 degree oven, on the lower middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.

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After the 30 minutes are up, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and finely chopped bacon pieces over the tots and return the casserole back to the oven for 10 more minutes.

For an extra crispy top, move the oven rack up a notch before the casserole bakes for the final 10 minutes.

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Let the tater tot casserole cool for a few minutes before serving. This is great served hot or even room temperature. I sprinkled this with a little chopped fresh parsley, but I personally think finely chopped green onions would be really really good too. Pat and my girls ate their piece with ketchup and I had mine with a cup of coffee.

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My friends, this breakfast casserole is perfect for any family breakfast, brunch or made on a weeknight for brinner! It’s easy to make in advance (steps in the recipe instructions) and quickly pull it out, finish layering a few things and slide it into the oven to bake in the morning. 40 minutes later your home smells amazing and you have a delicious one dish meal on your hands.

Enjoy!

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My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 12 + servings

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

This breakfast casserole is perfect for any family breakfast, brunch or made on a weeknight for brinner! It's easy to make a lot of it in advance (steps in the recipe instructions) and quickly pull it out, finish layering a few things and slide it into the oven to bake. 40 minutes later your home smells amazing and you have a delicious one dish meal on your hands.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 4 strips thick-cut Applewood bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1-1/2 pound ground breakfast sausage
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) brick of marbled cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, freshly grated (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 of a bag of Ore-ida Tater Tots Crispy Crowns
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions

Butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook 4 strips of Applewood bacon until crispy but not over done. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any grease. When cool, finely chop.

Drain all the grease out of the skillet, leaving only a teaspoon or so. Add the onion to the pan and cook about 4 to 5 minutes to soften. Add in the ground breakfast sausage, use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage into crumbles. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the breakfast sausage is cooked through and browned.

While the sausage is cooking, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Once the sausage is fully cooked, drain the fat from the ground sausage (I place the sausage crumbles onto a paper towel lined plate, like I do with the cooked bacon) and then place the sausage into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour the egg mixture over top and sprinkle with half of the cheese.*

Top with the tater tot crispy rounds and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

Remove and scatter the remaining cheese and crispy bacon pieces over top. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Let the casserole cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving with a sprinkle of parsley or the dark parts of 2 green onions that have been finely chopped.

*If making this the night before, stop right before adding the tater tots. The tots should stay frozen right until you're ready to bake. The morning of; pull the baking dish out of the fridge while the oven preheats. Top the sausage, egg mixture and cheese with the tater tots and follow the remaining recipe instructions.

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21 Responses to “Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole”

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    1
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures — August 9, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I must live under a rock too because I have never heard of a tater tot casserole either! Looks good!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — August 17th, 2016 @ 11:04 am

      Oh Laura, you totally need to try this!! Mind = blown!

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    2
    Jill — August 15, 2016 at 8:03 am

    This looks yummy! Wonder if it would be good reheated. I’m thinking of making it and packing it up to take camping. I would reheat in the microwave. Do you have any idea if that would work?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — August 17th, 2016 @ 11:00 am

      I ate the leftovers for dayyyyyys! It reheated easily in the microwave and tasted just as good as the first day. I just cut the casserole into serving pieces and reheated individually. SO. GOOD!

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    Katy Brewer — November 11, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Made this for a potluck. I did a few changes by adding spicy sausage instead of regular. Then I added chopped red,green and yellow peppers on top of the tator tots. For a little extra crispiness I placed in broiler for 1 min and then kept ketchup, cholula sauce and tobasco sauce as topping options.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — November 15th, 2016 @ 10:46 pm

      Nice! Love the idea of adding peppers!

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    monica — December 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    looks great. I need to make a casserole for Christmas eve morning, Christmas morning, and the 28th in the morning. Any thoughts on how to make this once and freeze/reheat?

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    Nancy S — December 24, 2016 at 7:48 am

    I use a can of golden mushroom soup instead of milk, no bacon and a bit of Dijon mustard for kick..

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    Wendy Diaz — December 24, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    can this casserole be made the night before and kept in the fridge?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — December 24th, 2016 @ 2:29 pm

      Sure just top with the tater tots right before baking!

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    Becky — March 27, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Do you think this would freeze well? I’m trying to make a bunch of freezer meals and this is right up our alley

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 31st, 2017 @ 4:55 pm

      I think so! I haven’t tried it, but I think you’d be good to go. 🙂

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    Risa Rideb — May 4, 2017 at 12:06 am

    I made this delish casserole for a work breakfast potluck (because I had already made it at home and LOVED it)….now it’s requested (demanded) that I make it for every breakfast event. And I don’t mind cuz it’s simple and I can start it the night before. Thank you for that little bonus. And thank you for posting this!!!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — May 18th, 2017 @ 2:15 pm

      That’s awesome! Tater tot casserole for the win!!

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    lisa — November 2, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    will regular sized tator tots be ok to use? should i slice them to be flat like the ones you used?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — November 2nd, 2017 @ 9:03 pm

      Hi Lisa! Regular should be fine. Just bake until they’re golden and crispy:)

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    Wen — November 25, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    This looks yummy! Am curious why the eggs need to be room temperature? I’m asking because I’ll most likely forget to take them out in advance when I make this. 🙂

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — November 29th, 2017 @ 8:07 am

      Hi Wen! You should be fine if you forget to take your eggs out. Enjoy!

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    Mary — December 4, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I made this for the first time when I had a bunch of friends staying from out of town and it was a huge hit, I’m looking forward to making it again for breakfast the morning before Christmas. With some cinnamon rolls and fruit it made a lovely breakfast – I love things I can assemble ahead of time, and this is so super easy and quick to pull out and add the tots and bake – I’m usually not great in the kitchen so I think my friends were very impressed – so glad I came across this recipe, it is a definite keeper! Thank you!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — December 6th, 2017 @ 8:47 am

      I’m so glad, Mary! Thank you for taking the time to make this recipe and come back and leave a comment! ❤️

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    Chris — December 23, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    How can u make and freeze it? Would u need to bake it and the freeze it? U can’t freeze the raw egg mixture can you. Or maybe bake 1/2 the time and freeze?

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