Turkey Tater Tot Casserole Recipe with Leftover Turkey

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Need a delicious way to use up your leftover turkey? Look no further than this easy turkey tater tot casserole recipe. This is classic comfort food and the perfect way to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into a crowd-pleasing meal.

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With just a handful of ingredients, including the leftover turkey meat sitting in your fridge, you can whip up this easy casserole recipe quickly. It’s a great way to avoid wasting food and create an easy weeknight dinner the whole family will enjoy.

So, grab those tater tots and get ready to transform your leftovers into a show-stopping meal. This Turkey Tater Tot Casserole is an easy recipe and is sure to become a family favorite.

This recipe is a Dined and Dashed Level 1 recipe, which means it takes 15 minutes or less to prepare and the cooking process couldn’t be easier.

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​Before we get into the recipe, the internet has a lot of interesting questions about tater tot casseroles. 

For instance:

  • What is tater casserole made of?
  • What goes with a tater tot casserole?
  • When did tater tot casserole become popular?
  • What is the difference between a tater tot hot dish and a tater tot casserole?

We will take a stab at answering some of these burning questions, but if you aren’t interested, you can just scroll right on down to the recipe information followed by the recipe card below!

What is tater top casserole made of?

Tater tot casserole can be made with whatever the heck you want, topped with tater tots. I would imagine many different casserole recipes could easily be made even more delicious by adding crispy tater tots on top. This particular recipes uses leftover turkey, butter, spices, heavy cream, sour cream and frozen peas and carrots. Many recipes use cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup as well. Some add cheddar cheese to the top of the casserole, we leave the top plain.

What goes with tater tot casserole?

Tater tot casserole is a great dish as a stand alone for a busy weeknight, but also would be good served with any number of side dishes, especially if you are using leftover Thanksgiving turkey. You can add a side of cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls or corn casserole. Really, any side will work!

When did tater tot casserole become popular?

Tater tots were invented in 1953 by Ore-Ida, and somewhere along the line, someone added them to popular “Minnesota hotdish” recipes, probably as an inexpensive way to make them even more filling. Hotdishes were invented during the Great Depression to stretch food and leftovers and one of the earliest versions was traced back to a cookbook from Mankato, Minnesota published in the 1930s.

Tools you need to make this easy tater tot casserole recipe

  • casserole dish 
  • large bowl
  • non-stick olive oil spray (any non-stick cooking spray will work, I just prefer olive oil)

Ingredients you need to make leftover turkey tater tot casserole

  • leftover turkey
  • unsalted butter
  • sage
  • thyme
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • heavy cream
  • sour cream
  • peas and carrots
  • frozen tater tots
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Step-by-step instructions for making this turkey tater tot hotdish

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the peas and carrots and frozen tater tots. (In theory you can probably add the peas and carrots in this first step as well, but I was afraid they would thaw too quickly and turn to mush before I could get everything fully combined. So I added them at the last minute.)

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Add the peas and carrots into the meat mixture and combine.

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Spray the casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish.

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Top with the tater tots – spaced evenly across the entire top of the casserole. (you can add a shredded cheese topping on top of the tots in this step if you want)

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Bake casserole until nice and bubbly and the top of tater tots are golden brown and crispy.

leftover turkey tater tot casserole in a glass baking dish
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Turkey Tater Tot Casserole with Leftover Turkey

Need a delicious way to use up your leftover turkey? Look no further than this easy turkey tater tot casserole recipe. This is classic comfort food and the perfect way to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into a crowd-pleasing meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 282 kcal


  • 4 cups leftover turkey cut up or shredded
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 cups soup cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray
  • Blend all of the ingredients in a large bowl until combined except peas and carrots and tater tots
  • Combine peas and carrots into the meat mixture
  • Pour mixture into casserole dish
  • Top with tater tots in a single layer
  • Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes until cooked through and crispy on top



Nutrition disclaimer:
The nutritional data provided here is only an estimate and provided for information only. Verification using your own nutritional calculator is required to ensure accuracy. 


Calories: 282kcal
Keyword casserole, hot dish, hotdish, leftovers, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving leftovers

This leftover turkey tater tot casserole is the perfect choice to make a quick yet delicious recipe that will become a comfort food classic that your family will ask for year-after-year.

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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