I’m very careful when I post a casserole recipe on Crunch Time Kitchen because there are many average casserole recipes on the Internet. I want it to be something really good. This Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole is a top-notch breakfast!
You can make this casserole entirely in advance and it has a lot of flexibility with add-ins so you can customize it to your liking. Personally, I like to add in crispy bacon, veggies, and cheddar cheese (obvs).
Read on and learn how to make this wonderful breakfast casserole. Add it to your meal plan this week!
Featured In: Casseroles on Crunch Time!
Ingredients in this tater-tot casserole
One wonderful thing about this casserole is that the ingredients are basic.
- Frozen Tater tots! These can be any brand and you don’t need to thaw them before mixing them in the casserole.
- Bacon. I like normal sliced bacon which gets crispy in a skillet. You can also use the bacon grease for cooking the veggies!
- Aromatics. Onions and peppers and garlic go well in this casserole.
- Eggs. Eggs make this breakfast casserole stick together nicely. They are the perfect breakfast binder. I whisk in some milk as well to make it a true custard texture.
- Cheese. I use a mild cheddar cheese but check out the substitutions section below for other ideas.
Crunch Time Tips
Before you add your casserole ingredients to your baking dish, be sure to oil it so the ingredients don’t stick to the sides. You can use a non-stick spray for this, some butter, or even some leftover bacon grease!
How to cook the bacon (and substitutions)
The first step to making this casserole extra delicious is to make a batch of crispy bacon. There are many ways to cook bacon (baking it is generally my favorite), but for recipes like this I like to chop the bacon and cook it slowly in a skillet.
This will leave you with very crispy bacon pieces and also a good amount of bacon grease which you can use in the casserole for bonus bacon flavor!
If you leave the bacon out of this recipe (which is fine), just substitute butter or olive oil for the bacon grease in the recipe.
Making the tater tot casserole
Once you have your crispy bacon reserved, add two tablespoons of bacon grease (or other fat) to a skillet and cook the vegetables until they are softened, but not browned.
Then pour those into a large bowl over the frozen tater tots. Mix that up well with half the grated cheese and bacon and then pour in your whisked egg mixture. Season the mixture well with salt and black pepper.
Transfer that to a greased baking dish. You can use a 9×13 baking dish or a 2 1/2 quart deep baking dish (which will take longer to bake).
Bake the breakfast casserole at 350˚F for about an hour. It might need up to 75 minutes to get cooked through and crispy on the edges. If you use a deeper baking dish (like I did) then you will need to bake it for closer to an hour and 45 minutes.
Halfway through baking, I like to add the second half of the cheese to the top of the casserole.
When the casserole is done, let it rest for 10 minutes before serving it up with chopped green onions!
What to serve with this tater tot casserole
Quite honestly, this breakfast casserole is a full meal on its own and you don’t need to serve anything with it. But if you are looking to fill out the table, try these side dishes!
- A fruit side like these mojito fruit kabobs.
- These Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt Jars
- Brunch drinks like mimosas or bloody marys!
I would shy away from other carb dishes like pancakes or waffles as this casserole is packed with carbs, unless you just want something sweet.
This casserole is a dream to store and reheat. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week without an issue or cut it into smaller servings and freeze them for up to three months.
When you want to reheat a serving of breakfast casserole, the microwave does okay. Just cook it on high until it’s warmed through and the cheese is melted.
An alternate idea for reheating, which I love, is to slice the thawed casserole into slices about an inch thick and place them on a griddle or in a skillet with some oil. Cook them over medium-low heat, covered, until they are warmed through. The bottom gets wonderfully crispy!
Serve the slices or reheated casserole with hot sauce or green onions.
Want another great make-in-advance casserole? Try this Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole!
Oh the substitutions! You can go crazy here! As a starting point…
- Substitute any cheese you like from pepper jack to swiss cheese.
- Switch up the meat in the casserole with diced ham, cooked sausage, or leave out the meat for a vegetarian version.
- Add other veggies like sauteed mushrooms, spinach, broccoli.
- Make the casserole spicy with sauteed jalapenos and a dash of hot sauce into the casserole
- Make the casserole into mini version in a muffin tin which is great for kid-sized servings.
My Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole Recipe
- 1 pound bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease, or olive oil
- 1 medium red pepper, chopped
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 28 oz. frozen tater tots
- 8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Green onions, garnish
- 1) Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until the fat renders out and the bacon is crispy. Reserve bacon grease and separate crispy bacon. Set aside.
- 2) Add bacon grease to skillet along with onions, peppers, and garlic and sautee until soft, but now browned, maybe 4-5 minutes.
- 3) In a large bowl, stir together frozen tater tots, vegetable mixture, crispy bacon, half the grated cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper. Whisk together eggs with milk and pour over the mixture. Stir well to combine.
- 4) Transfer the mixture to a greased 9-by-13 baking dish. Bake for 60-75 minutes. Halfway through, sprinkle the rest of the cheese to the top of the casserole. The casserole is done when it is crispy on the edges and set in the center (no runny eggs). If you have an instant thermometer it should be 170˚F in the center o f the casserole.
- 5) Let the casserole rest for a few minutes before serving with green onions and hot sauce.