This vegetarian tater tot casserole is the ultimate comfort food! Packed with beans and veggies, then topped with gooey cheese and crispy tater tots, this recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or weekend brunch!

tater tot casserole

Alex and I were both born and raised in the Midwest, meaning we’ve had our fair share of tater tot casseroles. While many variations (such as a classic Minnesota Hot Dish) use cream of mushroom soup and lots of cheese, I wanted to keep this version a little lighter. I kept the classic tater tot topping, but I was able to fill this recipe with a lot of vegetables and beans to keep it on the healthier side. This tater tot casserole is great for breakfast, brunch, or dinner!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Olive oil: used to sauté the onion and bell peppers until they are softened. Substitute with avocado oil or butter.
  • Onion: A little onion adds a savory flavor to the base of the casserole. Feel free to substitute with 3 small shallots.
  • Red and green bell peppers: These provide color, flavor, and texture to the casserole. You can substitute these with any other bell pepper color.
  • Pinto beans: Beans add protein and fiber to the casserole. Feel free to substitute with black beans or kidney beans.
  • Diced tomatoes: I used diced tomatoes with green chilies but if you don’t want this to be spicy, you can use regular diced tomatoes or fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
  • Ground cumin: adds a warm, earthy flavor to the casserole.
  • Paprika: adds a mild smokiness and color to the casserole. Substitute with smoked paprika or chili powder to add heat.
  • Garlic powder: adds flavor and depth to the casserole. Substitute with fresh minced garlic.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: adds richness and flavor to the casserole. Substitute with other shredded cheese, such as mozzarella, pepper jack, or a vegan cheese alternative.
  • Tater tots: These potato puffs create the top layer of the casserole and provide a crispy texture.

How to Make a Vegetarian Tater Tot Casserole

Tips for the Perfect Casserole

  • I recommend using a cast iron skillet so you can take it directly from the stovetop to the oven. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, transfer the vegetable mixture to a baking dish before adding the cheese and tater tots.
  • To make the tater tots extra crispy, switch the oven to broil for 1-2 minutes before removing the skillet from the oven. (Be sure your baking dish can be broiled if you’re not using a cast iron skillet.)
  • Be sure to drain the beans and tomatoes before adding them to the skillet. We don’t want the casserole to be soggy, so draining the liquid off if important.

Variations and Topping Ideas

  • You can easily make this healthy tater tot casserole recipe vegan by using vegan cheese instead of dairy cheese.
  • This healthier tater tot casserole is even better with toppings! I added jalapeños, avocado, hot sauce, and green onion to add a little extra flavor. Feel free to customize your casserole with your favorite toppings.
tater tota casserole

How to Reheat Leftovers

You can reheat the leftover tater tot casserole in the skillet on the stovetop or in the oven. I prefer the oven in order to ensure the tater tots can get crispy on top. Another option is to transfer the leftovers to a small oven-safe dish that can fit inside an air fryer. You can “air fry” the leftovers to help the tater tots get crispy again. I don’t recommend reheating leftovers in the microwave as the tater tots will get soggy.

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tater tot casserole

Vegetarian Tater Tot Casserole

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Breakfast or Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This vegetarian tater tot casserole is the ultimate comfort food! Packed with beans and veggies, and topped with crispy tater tots, this recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or weekend brunch!


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (15oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 (24 oz) package frozen tater tots


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large oven-safe skillet, such as a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and, and sauté until it become translucent and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the diced red and green bell peppers and garlic and cook for 7 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
  4. Stir in the pinto beans, diced tomatoes, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, until most of the moisture has evaporated.
  5. If you do not have an oven-safe skillet, transfer the vegetable mixture to a baking dish.
  6. Top with shredded cheese, then top with the frozen tater tots.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy.
  8. Remove the casserole from the oven and add any additional toppings you like.

Keywords: Vegetarian Tater Tot Casserole