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Cowboy Casserol

Cowboy Casserole Recipe


Cowboy casserole is a hearty and flavorful dish that combines ground beef, beans, corn, and creamy sauce, topped with crispy tater tots. This comforting casserole is perfect for a family dinner or a potluck gathering. Follow this recipe to create a satisfying meal that will please everyone at the table.



  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Cheddar cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 bag (32 oz) frozen tater tots


Step 1: Preheat Oven and Prepare Ingredients

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.

Step 2: Cook Ground Beef and Aromatics

  1. Cook Ground Beef: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until browned and no longer pink. Drain excess fat if needed.
  2. Add Garlic and Onion: Add minced garlic and chopped onion to the skillet with the beef. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent and fragrant.

Step 3: Assemble the Casserole

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked beef mixture, drained corn, drained black beans, cream of mushroom soup, shredded Colby Cheddar cheese, skim milk, and sour cream. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly combined.

Step 4: Layer in Baking Dish

  1. Transfer to Baking Dish: Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.

Step 5: Top with Tater Tots

  1. Arrange Tater Tots: Arrange the frozen tater tots in a single layer over the top of the casserole mixture.

Step 6: Bake

  1. Bake Casserole: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy, and the casserole is bubbly around the edges.

Step 7: Serve

  1. Serve Hot: Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley or green onions if desired.

Cooking Notes

  • Variations: Feel free to customize this casserole with your favorite toppings such as additional cheese, diced bell peppers, or jalapeños for a spicy kick.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I use other types of beans? A: Yes, you can substitute black beans with kidney beans, pinto beans, or your favorite canned beans.


Q: Can I use homemade cream of mushroom soup? A: Absolutely! Feel free to use homemade cream of mushroom soup if you prefer.

Q: Can I prepare this casserole ahead of time? A: Yes, you can assemble the casserole up to a day in advance, cover it tightly with foil, and refrigerate. Bake as directed when ready to serve.

Q: How do I ensure the tater tots are crispy? A: Make sure to arrange the tater tots in a single layer and bake until they are golden brown and crispy.

Q: Is this casserole freezer-friendly? A: Yes, you can freeze the assembled casserole (without baking) for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking

Cowboy casserole is a delightful blend of hearty ingredients that come together in a comforting and satisfying dish. Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or planning a gathering, this casserole is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Enjoy the flavors of beef, beans, corn, and crispy tater tots all in one delicious bite. Share your experience making this recipe and any personal twists you added in the comments below!

Stay tuned for more delicious recipes, cooking tips, and culinary inspiration. Happy cooking!

More About Cowboy Casserole

Cowboy casserole, sometimes known as “Cowboy Hotdish” or “Cowboy Supper,” is a versatile dish that combines the heartiness of ground beef with the comfort of creamy sauce and the crunch of tater tots. It’s a favorite in households across America, offering a satisfying meal that’s easy to prepare and loved by both kids and adults alike.

Ingredients Explained

  • Lean Ground Beef: Opt for lean ground beef to minimize excess fat. Browning the beef with garlic and onions adds flavor and depth to the dish.
  • Garlic and Onion: These aromatics enhance the savory profile of the casserole.
  • Corn and Black Beans: Canned corn and black beans provide sweetness and fiber, balancing out the richness of the beef and creamy sauce.
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup: Acts as the base for the creamy sauce, adding a comforting texture and flavor.
  • Colby Cheddar Cheese: Shredded cheese adds a creamy and cheesy layer to the casserole.
  • Skim Milk and Sour Cream: These ingredients contribute to the creamy sauce without adding unnecessary fat.
  • Frozen Tater Tots: The crowning glory of the casserole, tater tots bake up golden and crispy, providing a satisfying crunch with every bite.

Cooking Tips

  • Seasoning: Adjust the seasoning to your taste preferences. You can add herbs like thyme or a dash of hot sauce for extra flavor.
  • Layering: Ensure even distribution of ingredients when layering in the baking dish for a consistent texture throughout.
  • Tater Tot Crispiness: For extra crispy tater tots, arrange them in a single layer and bake until golden brown.

Serving Suggestions

Cowboy casserole is a complete meal on its own, but you can enhance it with a side salad or steamed vegetables for added freshness and nutrition. It pairs well with:

  • Side Salad: A crisp green salad with a tangy vinaigrette complements the richness of the casserole.
  • Garlic Bread: Serve with warm garlic bread to mop up the creamy sauce.
  • Cornbread: A classic choice to complement the corn in the casserole.

Variations and Customizations

Tex-Mex Twist

  • Replace Colby Cheddar cheese with Pepper Jack cheese and add a can of diced green chilies for a spicy kick.
  • Serve with salsa and sour cream on the side for a Tex-Mex flair.

Vegetarian Option

  • Substitute ground beef with plant-based crumbles or extra black beans for a meatless version.
  • Use vegetable broth and omit the cream of mushroom soup for a lighter sauce.

Breakfast Casserole

  • Swap ground beef for cooked breakfast sausage or bacon.
  • Add beaten eggs to the mixture before baking for a breakfast twist.

Cowboy casserole is a beloved dish that brings together comforting flavors and textures in every bite. Whether you’re preparing it for a family dinner, potluck, or casual gathering, this recipe is sure to satisfy. Experiment with different variations to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Share your experience making this cowboy casserole and any unique twists you tried in the comments below!

Stay tuned for more delicious recipes, cooking tips, and culinary inspiration. Happy cooking!