A one-pot vegan Tater Tot Casserole with a creamy, savory filling of veggies and vegan sausage covered by a golden, crispy layer of tater tots. A fun and easy recipe that can also be gluten-free and soy-free.
This vegan Tater Tot Casserole is guaranteed to thrill the child inside you but it'll appeal just as much to the adult you are.
Let's deal with the kid inside you first. This dish is basically a thick, delicious pool of creamy, savory veggies and bits of vegan sausage, topped by a crunchy, golden layer of tater tots. It just makes you want to pick up a fork and start stuffing your face until eternity. And if you actually have one of those little monsters around, you'll find that it's never been so easy to stuff that picky little tummy with this many veggies while getting told, "You're the best cook in the whole world, mom (or dad)!"
All that praise for a recipe with mushrooms? Genius.
And now for the adult. You know this is a one-pot dish because you read that right up there in the header, so you're already going, easy cleanup! But there's more. It's a pretty easy dish to put together too. Almost all the ingredients come from the freezer so there's minimal prep. The tiny amount of chopping and cooking that's required takes no more than 15-20 minutes, tops. After that it's the oven that does all the work for you while you relax and get a manicure. Or a pedicure.
Or, if you're not overly obsessed with the state of your digits, a nap.
You could read a book too. Or watch TV.
Point is, this is a breeze: easy prep, easy cooking, easy cleanup.
If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, you can certainly use any other oven-safe skillet, or make the creamy filling in a skillet, pour it into a baking dish, and then top with tater tots before baking.
Tater tot casseroles enjoy a high degree of popularity in the upper Midwest, and especially in Minnesota, where a tater tot casserole recipe, known as hotdish, is something of a food staple. The story goes that the frugality of hotdish, and the fact that it combined starch, vegetable, and protein, secured its place as a popular family recipe during the Great Depression. I can totally see why. There are no exotic, expensive ingredients here, and although one couldn't -- and probably shouldn't -- argue that tater tots are healthy, the recipe in totality is pretty nutritious with 377 calories per serving and 13 grams of protein from the vegan sausage.
And here's the best part for the cook, which I saved for the last, or probably not because you've already seen the photos. This is one gorgeous dish, and everyone will be rather impressed when you carry it to the dinner table and put it down. Be sure to do it with a tiny flourish. And no, you won't get pronounced a genius by the James Beard Foundation, but you will certainly see lots of happy faces and hear many satisfied burps, and in the end isn't that even better?
More delicious vegan casserole recipes:
- Vegan Breakfast Casserole
- Savory Spinach-Potato Cobbler
- Vegan Zucchini Breakfast Strata
- Vegan Hash Brown Casserole
Vegan Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
One-Pot Vegan Tater Tot Casserole
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (smashed and minced)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 14 oz vegan Italian sausage (Tofurky, or the vegan Morningstar version or Beyond Meat are all fine)
- 1 cup mushrooms (finely chopped, crimini or button or portobello are all fine)
- 16 oz frozen veggies (I used a mix of green beans, wax beans and carrots. You can choose your own, including corn, green peas, and green peppers)
- 1 teaspoon sage (or thyme)
- ¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour (sub rice flour if glutenfree)
- 2 cups almond milk (or any nondairy milk, unsweetened)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 4 cups (approx) tater tots
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add the garlic and onions, season with salt and ground black pepper, and cook over medium heat until soft but not brown.
- Add the sausage and stir for a couple of minutes until it starts to brown.
- Add the mushrooms and stir well. Saute for a few minutes until the mushrooms start to soften, then add the sage or thyme and the flour and mix well. Cook, stirring, for another couple of minutes.
- Add the frozen veggies, mix, and then add the nondairy milk. Stir frequently until the mixture just comes to a boil. Add more salt and pepper as needed. Turn off the heat.
- Arrange the frozen tater tots on top of the veggies. You can make a simple but appealing design, like I did, by arranging the tots in concentric circles.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake 55 minutes or until the tater tots are golden-brown.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Non vegan family members raved and asked for the recipe.
We just made this (for the second time) today, and once again, it was amazing! I'm a Minnesota girl, and I grew up loving the tater tot hot dish served at school (it was the ONLY thing I liked for school lunch). I was thrilled to find your recipe and even more thrilled it was vegan. We used Beyond Sausage and followed the recipe to a tee and baked it in a 9x13 glass dish. SO much better than the school lunch version. Thank you!
Hi Ramae, that's wonderful to hear, especially from a Minnesotan. Happy I could bring back some nice memories and so happy you enjoyed the casserole. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words.
Yum! Only change I would make is to add more tater tots to completely cover the top as in your photo. I don’t usually eat vegan sausages but I used the tofurky and it added a nice spice/kick to the dish.
One of my most favorite casseroles. Delicious and so easy to make. Thank you❤️❤️
Vaishali, you are my new Superhero! I'm currently living on your blog. I've tried several of your recipes now, and they are all fantastic. I haven't even found one that was just so-so yet. This tater tot deliciousness did not disappoint, either. It's like an Italian sausage (check!) pot pie (check!) with tater tots (CHECK!) instead of crust - absolutely genius! My only complaint with this is that it was difficult for me to portion control this dish because I couldn't stop eating it! I could eat this every day.
And for the fellow mushroom skeptics out there (I don't hate them, but I don't really seek them out), I used baby bellas because they taste the "meatiest" to me. I chopped them super fine, and they really just blended into the vegan sausage. My son didn't even notice them.
Hi Sarah, lol on portion control, this is one dish where that concept definitely does not work! And that's a great tip about the mushrooms, I chop them fine too when I don't want my son to know they are in there. This tater tot casserole is a family favorite, and I am so happy to hear you and your family have enjoyed making it too. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.
Is the sausage chopped up too?
Yes, chop it!
Hi! I needed to use up frozen tater tots and veggies, so I found your recipe online! Yay!
Question: My hubby has his favorite vegan sausage in the fridge, but I can’t eat it because it has gluten. Would it be better to add the cooked sausage to his portions separately after it’s baked, or cook 2 separate versions at the same time, one with sausage and one gluten free one without?
Would be better to cook two versions at the same time. You could make the filling without the sausage, divide it into two skillets/baking dishes, brown the sausage separately and add it to his version.
I just made to this recipe. The sauce was so much better than I expected. I did tweak it a little bit. I added a about a tsp of Bragg's Liquid Aminos, 1 tsp dried parsley flakes, and 1 Tbsp tomato paste. The tomato paste made the color very rich and gave the sauce a pop.
Awesome to hear!
Hi! Excited to make this. Would it still be good without the mushroom? I’m not a fan of mushrooms. Would I need to adjust any measurements?
You can leave the mushrooms out or add another quick-cooking veggie.
This was DELICIOUS!!! My sister probably ate half the pan ?. So so good. Definitely a keeper.
So happy to hear! 🙂
Hi! So, do you think that this recipe - doubled - would fit in a 9x13 casserole dish? My people can EAT. 🙂 Thanks!
It would be too much for a 9X 13 casserole. Use two if possible.
A gluten free version is in my oven right now! Filling tasted wonderful and of course you can't go wrong with tater tots so i am sure the final result will be some awesome comfort food.
I love this recipe and my picky kids love it as well, so it is a winner. I have made it many times in my household. The only problem is that I need to stick to a low fat vegan diet (have Type 2 diabetes) and this is about 40% calories from fat. I was trying to think of ways to lower the fat without sacrificing too much taste. There is no way to get around the fact that fat is taste enhancing and probably what drives the kids preferring this over my lower fat recipes. The main sources of fat in this recipe are the almond milk and tater tots, so I was wondering if anyone had tried substituting shredded hashbrowns for the tater tots. They have no fat, so would probably significantly reduce the fat from calories in the recipe closer to my goal of 10% or less. Any other suggestions are welcome! Thanks, Swann
Hi Swann, I think this would work well with hash browns. But if you don't add any oil to them they would probably brown too much. You can layer them on and spritz some cooking spray on top.
I made this and it was yummy! I would add - it's even more yummy if you broil the casserole for the last 10 minutes. That ensures the tater tots are extra crispy!
Awesome to hear!
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!
I'm a gluten free vegan and this is absolutely perfect.
My husband and I will be enjoying this for dinner tonight.
Thanks, Jess, so great to hear!
We've had this twice now, the first time with the Beyond Italian Sausage and this time with the Beyond Brats. Delicious both times! And a huge thank you for an easy recipe that's written simply. My husband gets frustrated with recipes and he said it was straightforward and easy to follow. Really enjoying your recipes!
Thanks for the feedback and the kind words! 🙂
Hello! What does the flour do in this recipe? My daughter has a metabolic disorder requiring a low protein diet (meaning vegan, nut-, bean-, seed- and grain-free, among other things, such as no pasta or rice or their by-products). I'm asking to determine if I even need the flour or if I should try to find a substitute with some of her medical food for the work the flour is doing in this recipe. Thanks for making these family-friendly vegan recipes. Great inspo!
Hi Rebecca, the flour thickens the sauce so it's not too runny. Can you use tapioca flour, which has very little protein?
I only have a 10 inch cast iron pan. Is that going to be big enough?
It’ll be tight — adjust the ingredients down to about three fourths using the servings slider.
I used a GF flour blend for mine and it thickened nicely. Is there a blend she can have? Maybe thicken with a corn starch slurry or some plain mashed potato flakes?