Tater tots, ranch, chicken, cheese, hot sauce… need anything more be said? This unbelievable lineup of favorites all comes together in an amazing baked dish that is perfect for any occasion.
Whether you’re looking for a can’t-miss dish for a party or gathering, or an easy nosh for the kids on a busy weeknight or playtime, this buffalo chicken tater tot casserole has got you covered. You can’t go wrong with this easy recipe. All the ingredients are combined in just a few minutes with very little prep, then bakes to crispy, gooey, deliciousness in the oven. You’re gonna put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces with this dish!
What is Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole?
Welcome to comfort food at its finest! This delectable Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole combines all the flavors you love from classic buffalo wings and tater tots into one irresistible dish. It’s easy to make, too! Your tastebuds will be tantalized with the zesty buffalo sauce, tender chicken and crunchy, golden tater tots topping this creamy and cheesy casserole.
This is one of those recipes which uses the ingredient of “cooked chicken”. Here’s the deal – this is no big deal. Canned cooked chicken works great. It usually comes in 9.75oz cans. Two or 3 cans are fine. Or, my favorite – use a rotisserie chicken! Just pull all the meat off, cut and shred it up, and you’re good to go. That will be close enough to 3 cups of cooked chicken. My local supermarket has rotisserie chickens for $5.99 each most days and they’re so perfect for this recipe. Several supermarkets also sell shredded or cubed chicken to use in recipes.
Traditional buffalo wing sauce is nothing more than a combination of hot sauce and butter. For this recipe, we can use the most popular hot sauce in most supermarkets – Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Or, we can really use any brand of buffalo wing sauce. The other ingredients will provide the fat that butter normally wound in traditional buffalo wing sauce.
The foundation for our sauce will be a can of condensed cream of chicken soup, 4oz of softened cream cheese, ½ cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and ranch dressing. We’ll round things out with some onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and smooth it all out with a splash of milk. You can also sprinkle ¼ cup of shredded cheese on top of the tater tots once they’re in place. We don’t want to get too heavy with the cheese on top as it can interfere with the browning of the tater tots. We want that nice light crips that they provide.
This couldn’t get any easier and is one of the big reasons this dish is so popular. Mix together the soup, cream cheese, ranch dressing, cheeses, spices and milk in a mixing bowl. Whisk it all together until it’s well combined. Stir in the cooked chicken. Pour it all into a baking dish and top with frozen tater tots. There, prep is done. See? I told ya it was easy!
Bake at 375°(F) for about 45 Minutes
Now your prepared dish goes into a preheats oven at 375°(F) for about 45 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown and the cheese sauce is bubbly around the edges. When it’s done, carefully remove from oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Toppings and garnishments
There’s so many ways to serve this dish and so many toppings you can use. The sky is the limit! Here’s some of my favorite ideas:
- Blue cheese crumbles: Sprinkle some crumbled blue cheese over the top of the casserole for an extra tangy and savory flavor.
- Sour Cream: Dab or spread some sour cream over the top of the casserole for a creamy and cooling contrast to the spicy buffalo sauce.
- Chopped scallions (green onions): Add some chopped scallions to the top of the casserole for a fresh and zesty flavor.
- Bacon bits: Sprinkle some bacon bits over the top of the casserole for an added salty crunch and all around amazingness!
- Jalapeños: Slice up some fresh jalapeños and scatter them over the top of the casserole for a extra spicy kick.
- Fresh parsley: Sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley over the top of the casserole for a fresh and herbaceous flavor.
Celery sticks are a natural side with buffalo chicken wings and they also make a nice side for our buffal0 chicken tater tot casserole. Additionally, you can dice up the celery to add to the top of the casserole as well.
Storage, Freezing and Reheating
Store your cooked casserole in plastic containers with lids in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Make to to let it cool before placing in containers.
Freezing chicken tater tot casserole is a great way to meal prep and have a quick and easy meal on hand for busy days. Here’s how you can freeze your chicken tater tot casserole:
- Let the casserole cool to room temperature. You don’t want to freeze it while it’s still hot, as this can cause freezer burn.
- Transfer the casserole to a freezer-safe container such as a plastic container with a lid, or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Be sure to label the container with the name of the dish and the date it was frozen.
- Cover the casserole tightly. If you’re using a container with a lid, make sure it’s on securely. If you’re using a freezer bag, press out as much air as possible before sealing it.
- Freeze the casserole for up to 3 months. You can thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it in the oven.
To reheat the casserole, preheat your oven to 350°(F). Remove the casserole from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake it in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until it’s heated through and the tater tots are crispy.
You can also reheat in the microwave for about 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Keep in mind though that the tater tots can be soggy this way.