This Chicken Tater Tot Casserole is total comfort food that you can prep and freeze. Full of chicken, vegetables and a creamy sauce for an irresistible family size freezer meal!
Like most people with busy lives, I’m always on the lookout for ways to get a family dinner, like this Chicken Tater Tot Casserole Freezer Meal, on the table in the easiest way possible. In come the freezer meals! There is something very comforting about knowing that my freezer is full of stashed away meals that are ready to go. All I have to do is throw them in the oven because the works already been done. Now that makes me smile!
Recently, I bought a full-size freezer for the basement to store even more meals. Knowing that this isn’t possible for everyone, I’ve included instructions below to make an Unassembled version of this casserole that is easier for limited space than a big pan.
HOW TO BAKE A FREEZER CASSEROLE
To bake, simply remove the casserole from the freezer 30 minutes prior to cooking. Remove the outer plastic wrap.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and place the casserole on the center rack of the oven for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the foil and continue baking for 30 more minutes until tater tots are golden brown, sauce is bubbling and the casserole is heated thru. ** Baking time may need to be adjusted for casseroles frozen in smaller amounts.
HOW TO STORE CASSEROLE UNASSEMBLED IN THE FREEZER
As is the case with many people, you may not have the space to store foil pans in the freezer. This recipe gives you the option to store and assemble right before baking.
- Heat the soup, milk, butter and seasonings in a large pot. Add in the chicken, peas and carrots, and the corn. Stir to combine.
- Divide evenly into freezer bags. If you are making 4 casseroles, divide into 4 bags and so on.
- Now, divide the cheese into 4 bags.
- Divide the tater tots into 4 bags.
- Date and label all the bags. Rubber band one of each together and place in the freezer.
- The day (or night) before serving, take out one bag of meat mixture and one bag of cheese and thaw in the refrigerator. Keep the tater tot portion in the freezer.
- Lightly grease a baking pan sized for the casserole you are making. Pour in the chicken mixture and top with 1 cup of the cheese. Place the still frozen tater tots on top in an even layer.
- Bake in a 400°F oven for 25 – 30 minutes. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake for 5 minutes longer.
**I like to pack each casserole ingredient bundle into separate 2 gallon freezer bags to keep them from being tossed around in the freezer.
HOW LONG WILL CHICKEN TATER TOT CASSEROLE KEEP IN THE FREEZER?
Covered with foil and wrapped in plastic, the casserole will keep for up to 2 months. Because this casserole contains cooked meat in a thick sauce rather than a liquid, I do not recommend any longer than 2 months.
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PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST CHICKEN TATER TOT CASSEROLE FREEZER MEAL
- Tater tots are meant to be baked from frozen so I don’t recommend thawing the frozen casserole before baking.
- If you’re freezing the casserole to bake later, write the name, date and baking instructions right on the foil top before wrapping in plastic. You won’t have to wonder how to bake it later.
- This recipe is easily doubled or tripled so you can prep several casseroles at one time.
Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
Click highlighted ingredients to buy them!
- 28 ounce condensed cream of chicken soup, 2 (15-ounce) cans, undiluted
- 1/2 cup milk, 2%
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
- 1-1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
- 32 ounce frozen tater tots
- In a large pot, add soup, milk, butter, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated thru and butter has melted. Remove from heat.
- Stir in chicken, peas and carrots, corn and 1 cup shredded cheese. Transfer to one greased 9 x 13 freezer-safe baking pan, or 2 greased 8 x 8 freezer safe baking pans.
- Spread frozen tater tots over chicken mixture in a single layer. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
- Cover pan(s) with foil, then wrap in plastic. Freeze for up to 2 months.
To Bake Right Away:
- Assemble casserole thru Step 3, but do not top with cheese at this point.
- Bake in 400°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until sauce is bubbling.
- Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
- To Bake From Frozen:
- Remove pan from freezer 30 minutes before baking. Remove plastic wrap.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Bake covered for 1-1/2 hours, remove foil and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes until tater tots are golden brown and casserole is heated thru.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
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