Tater tot breakfast casserole
Did you know that winter is all relative depending on where you live? Now that we’ve lived in Minnesota for many years, I get it.
The silver lining for all the chilly days has got to be comfort food. It doesn’t get more comforting than this cozy tater tot breakfast casserole that’s gotten so popular, more people than I can count have requested the recipe. Moms, dads, kids, and friends have enjoyed the magnificent goodness of this cheesy, crispy breakfast casserole.
You’ll ask yourself where this Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole has been all your life. But it’s here now, so let’s get to it.
simple pantry ingredients
This Cheesy Tater Tot Breakfast Bake is teeming with all our AM faves: breakfast sausage, bacon, cheese, eggs, and potatoes.
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled; I really like thick cut, applewood style bacon here. Get it really nice and crispy, let the oil drain, and crumble away. You can do this ahead of time, as the bacon stays crisp on the counter while you prepare the rest of the breakfast casserole.
- 1 lb ground breakfast sausage, no casings; my favorite kind are the Italian seasoned, but feel free to use your preferred ground sausage. You’ll brown it and break it up in the skillet before adding to the breakfast casserole.
- 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided; sharp cheddar is the best. It imparts such a big cheesy flavor and melds beautifully in this casserole recipe.
- 2 cups whole milk – you can use lowfat if you prefer.
- 2 extra large eggs or 3 large eggs; if you’re wondering why there aren’t more eggs in this breakfast casserole recipe, it’s because 3 large eggs is just the right amount to allow the tater tots to crisp up nicely during baking.
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper; always grind your own black pepper using fresh peppercorns.
- 1/2 tsp onion powder (you can chop fresh onions, but it’s not necessary)
- pinch of table salt (1/8 tsp) — I usually use coarse kosher salt, but we go with fine table salt here because it’s just a pinch.
- 2 lbs frozen tater tots – your favorite brand will work fine, as long as it’s un-seasoned. Just be sure to keep it frozen until ready to assemble.
- 3 TB freshly chopped parsley for garnish – optional but pretty 🙂
All that goodness, layered in one irresistible breakfast casserole.
Breakfast, brunch, or breakfast-for-dinner
This tater tot casserole is a simple prep-the-night-before deal that everyone will dive for. It’s loaded with all the breakfast favorites: sausage, eggs, cheese, potatoes, and bacon. It travels well for brunch potlucks and is a favorite for holidays and any old weekend.
Can you make this breakfast casserole in advance?
The best part, as always in my book, is the ease of this dish. With just a handful of simple ingredients (nine!)… it’s perfect for weekends, holidays, and even breakfast-for-dinner.
If you’re not a morning person, I hear you with big elephant ears. No need to wake up early to measure a single thing.
This tater tot casserole can easily be assembled the night before and popped into the oven the next morning for a hearty meal everyone loves waking up to.
Can you freeze this tater tot casserole?
Technically, you can freeze the unbaked casserole after assembly by covering it airtight and freezing until ready to bake. Then, you’d bake it from frozen (not defrosted) and add bake time until fully cooked through. That said, I do believe the texture may come out differently from the original recipe. My suggestion would be to pre-assemble the casserole the night before (at most, up to 2 nights before) and keep covered/chilled in fridge. Then bake according to recipe instructions.
More to cook and eat:
- Mexican Breakfast Casserole Recipe (Gluten-free) – with your favorite Mexican flavors, such as chorizo and cheese, this flavorful casserole is sure to be an instant hit.
- Sweet Potato Sausage Breakfast Casserole – this one is frequently requested by family and friends; it also happens to be gluten-free and paleo-friendly.
- Crack Breakfast Potato Casserole – calling all potato lovers, this breakfast casserole is made with you in mind.
- Enchilada Breakfast Casserole – your favorite things about enchiladas, all wrapped up into an amazing breakfast casserole the family will love.
Watch this recipe in action:
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Cheesy Tater Tot Breakfast Bake
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 lb ground breakfast sausage, no casings
- 2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 extra large eggs, or 3 large eggs
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp onion powder
- pinch of table salt, 1/8 tsp
- 2 lbs tater tots, frozen
- 3 TB freshly chopped parsley for garnish
- Brown Sausage: In a very large skillet, cook sausage on medium high heat, breaking up the meat and browning it. Once cooked through, drain and layer onto the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Evenly sprinkle 2 cups of the cheese over cooked sausage.
- Combine Filling: In a large bowl, hand-whisk together the milk, eggs, pepper, onion powder, and salt. Once mixed, pour evenly over the cheese and sausage in baking dish. Layer top with frozen tater tots. If not baking right away, cover tightly with foil and chill in fridge until the next morning.
- Bake: When ready to bake, set oven to 350F with rack on lower middle position. Once oven reaches 350F, place uncovered casserole in oven for about 35 minutes.
- Top with additional 1/2 cup cheese, cooked/crumbled bacon, and bake another 5-10 minutes or until sides are bubbling and top is golden brown. Garnish with chopped parsley, let rest at room temp 10 minutes, and serve.