I’m always on the lookout for quick weeknight meals, especially during the busy spring season. If a recipe is easy enough for my kids to make for dinner, that’s even better. One classic casserole I’d never tried making dairy-free was Tater Tot Casserole (or Tater Tot Hotdish, depending on where you are from). After a few attempts, I’m happy to say I have an easy Dairy-Free Tater Tot Casserole recipe to share.
Dairy-Free Tater Tot Casserole Made Easy with Simple Swaps
I made some adjustments to the recipes I found to make this casserole dairy free and optionally vegan. Tater tot casseroles often have a cheese layer between the meat and tater tots. After taste testing, I decided a dairy-free cheese layer didn’t really add anything to the casserole (except additional cost!), so I eliminated it.
Initially, I thought a vegan ground meat substitute made the most sense as a meat substitute. I discovered that simply replacing the ground meat with a variety of vegetables works well, too. The flavor reminded me of a vegetable shepherd’s pie. Either vegan substitute works well.
Any vegetable you like can be used for the meat version. In the casserole photographed here I added frozen corn because that’s what I had on hand. I usually add frozen or canned green beans. Peas or a frozen mixed vegetable medley are good, too.
For the “cream of” soup in the filling, I’m partial to Alisa’s Classic Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Healthy Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup from Go Dairy Free: The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook. But I’ve also provided an online recipe option in the notes.
Special Diet Notes: Tater Tot Casserole
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, optionally nut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, and optionally vegetarian.
- 1 pound ground beef, turkey, or vegan ground “meat”
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ to 2 cups cooked vegetables, such as frozen or canned green beans,
- corn, peas, or a combination
- 1¼ cups prepared dairy-free condensed soup (see below)
- 1 pound frozen tater tots
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish or pan.
- In a skillet over medium heat, cook the onion and meat together until the meat is cooked through and the onions are softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Season the mixture with the salt and pepper.
- Stir the vegetables and the prepared cream soup into the meat mixture until combined.
- Evenly spread the casserole filling into your prepared baking dish.
- Lay the tater tots on the top of the casserole in a single layer. There may be a few tater tots left over.
- Bake the casserole uncovered until the filling is heated through and the tater tots are golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve hot.
- Cool, cover, and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 2 days.
All-Veggie Option: For a vegan option without a meat alternative, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. And increase the vegetable mixture in the recipe to 4 to 5 cups.