Cowboy Casserole is an easy weeknight dinner that can be made in just one hour. It’s made with ground turkey, tomatoes, corn, cheese, and topped with tater tots. It’s baked until the potatoes are golden brown and the casserole is bubbly. Everyone in the family will ask for a second scoop of this casserole.
What is Cowboy Casserole?
This Cowboy casserole recipe is a twist on an old-fashioned dish served in the midwest United States. This recipe uses ground turkey instead of ground beef and sour cream instead of cream of mushroom soup. It’s easy to customize and make it just how you like, however. You’ll love how easy it is to bring this all together and make your own.
- 1 pound ground turkey: Turkey is leaner than beef, so it can be a little drier. The addition of sour cream makes this dish tasty and moist.
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to taste: These seasonings go so nicely with the turkey in this dish.
- 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped: Fresh herbs are a nice addition to this baked dish.
- 1 can diced tomatoes: Use fire-roasted or regular canned diced tomatoes. You can also use fresh tomatoes.
- 1 cup sour cream: Whole milk sour cream is best since it has the best flavor and texture.
- 1 1⁄2 cup canned corn: Sweet, whole kernel corn is best for this casserole.
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded: Sharp or mild cheddar makes this dish bubbly and cheesy. You can buy it pre-shredded or a block and shred it yourself.
- 16 ounces tater tots: Add the tater tots straight from the freezer to the top of the casserole. There’s no need to thaw them or cook them ahead of time.
How to make cowboy casserole :
Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
1. Preheat the oven.
2. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Add the turkey and onions.
3. Add some salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Season the turkey mixture with garlic, paprika, and parsley.
5. Add in the corn.
6. Add the tomato sauce and sour cream and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Mix in 1 cup of cheese and transfer into a baking dish.
8. Stir it all together and all it to simmer.
9. Top the casserole with the tater tots and remaining cheese.
7. Bake at 200C/400F for 25-30 minutes.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best cowboy casserole you've ever had.
- Add some chopped green beans to the casserole for some extra vegetables.
- Instead of using tater tots, drop Bisquick biscuit dough on top to have a thick biscuit topping.
- Make this dish with beans. Add some pinto, black, or kidney beans to this dish for some fun variation.
Can I make this casserole in a crockpot?
It’s easy to make this dish in a slow cooker instead of in the oven. You might need to use the oven for something else or just want the slow-cooked flavors that come with cooking in a crock pot.
Follow the directions through number four, pour the mixture in the greased bowl of the slow cooker, place the lid on, and cook on high for five hours.
How can I make Cowboy Casserole in an instant pot?
You can also make Cowboy casserole in the pressure cooker. Follow the directions through number four, pour the mixture into the greased pot of the cooker, seal the lid, set it to high pressure, and cook for 20 minutes. Use the quick release feature to let the pressure release, then remove the lid and enjoy!
Can I make this into a breakfast casserole?
You may be looking for a tasty breakfast dish. You can easily adjust this recipe to fit your breakfast needs. Exchange the turkey for sausage and add more veggies like asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, or yellow squash.
You can make this the night before and then pop it in the oven to bake in the morning to cut down on cooking time and increase family time.
How to store:
Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat it in the microwave with 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.
To freeze the entire casserole, wrap it in aluminum foil and then plastic wrap. Label it with what it is, how to cook, and the date. This will help you remember later. Remember that if you cook it from frozen, without thawing first, it will take longer to cook in the oven. Keep the foil on until the last 30 minutes of cooking so the top can brown.
What other types of potatoes can I add to Cowboy casserole?
If you’d like to try another kind of potatoes, spread hashbrowns or mashed potatoes on top and bake as instructed. Sprinkle the top with diced green onions or chives.
What can I serve with this casserole?
A side of cornbread, fresh French bread, roasted vegetables, or a crunchy salad would go nicely with this casserole.
What other meat can I use to make this dish?
You can use ground or shredded chicken or ground sausage instead of ground turkey.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 (14 ounces) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1⁄2 cup canned corn
- 2 cups cheese, shredded
- 16 ounces tater tots
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add the turkey, onions, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 10 minutes.
- Season the turkey mixture with garlic, paprika, and parsley.
- Add corn.
- Add the tomato sauce and sour cream and cook for 5 minutes.
- Mix in 1 cup of cheese and transfer into a baking dish.
- Top the casserole with the tater tots and remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 605Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 844mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 32g