This Cheesy Ranch Chicken Casserole with Tater Tots is made with diced rotisserie chicken, corn, broccoli, and onion in a creamy cheesy ranch sauce topped with cheddar cheese and tater tots. It’s a complete meal that can be prepared with 20 minutes of active preparation time and 30 minutes of cook time.
My Cheesy Ranch Chicken Casserole has four layers. The first layer is diced rotisserie chicken. The second layer is the cheesy ranch sauce with corn and broccoli. Next is a layer of shredded cheddar cheese, and the final layer is tater tots. It’s all the best foods combined.
There are a few different factors that make this recipe so quick to prepare. First, it starts off with rotisserie chicken which greatly reduces the cook time. (If you have leftover chicken you can dice it and use it instead). Secondly, you are adding a warm sauce over the chicken, so by the time you put the casserole in the oven, everything is somewhat warm, and by the time the tater tots cook, everything is hot.
Someone told me that this casserole is peak Midwest, which made me proud. It means that after 11 years, have assimilated to Chicago after growing up in Maine. The Midwest takes comfort food seriously, and ingredients such as cheese and tater tots are popular. So are casseroles. And ranch. This meal is an embodiment of all the things Midwesterners love.
I made the decision to add the layer of cheese under the tater tots instead of on top so that the tater tots could achieve maximum crispiness. Keeping them bare on top lets them get extra crisp, plus, the cheese creates a barrier between the tots and the sauce, preventing them from getting soggy.
You could prepare this casserole in advance, store it in the fridge, and bake it later. The only thing you would want to do is to add the tater tots on top just before baking. Since tater tots are frozen and usually a touch icy, the could get super soggy if they defrost in the fridge. Adding frozen tots will also ensure that the tots won’t get overcooked while the bottom layers are getting hot.
If you are reheating the casserole, start by covering the top with foil, let cook for 30 minutes at 375, and then remove the foil and let cook for another 10-20 minutes until the tots are browned and the casserole is bubbling.
While I added broccoli and corn, you can add your favorite vegetables. Shredded carrot, diced bell pepper, mushrooms, and/or spinach would all be good options. You could also opt to make this meal with shredded buffalo chicken.
- 4-5 cups Diced Chicken from a Rotisserie Chicken
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 3/4 cup Chopped White Onion
- 2 teaspoons Flour
- 1 cup Milk (I used 2%)
- 1/2 cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) Cream Cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Ranch Seasoning
- 1 cup Chopped Broccoli
- 1 cup Fresh Corn
- 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- about 2 cups of Tater Tots
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and cook until translucent. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add the flour to the onions, and cook for 1 minute. Then stir in the milk and sour cream. Once warm, add the cream cheese and ranch seasoning.
While the cream cheese is melting, quickly cook the broccoli in the microwave for 1 minute. You want to partially cook it, since it wouldn't cook long enough otherwise. To microwave the broccoli, rinse it with water and add about 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of a bowl, then microwave for 1 minute and drain.
Once your cheesy ranch sauce is warm and all of the cream cheese has melted stir the broccoli and corn into the sauce. Then assemble the casserole.
Spread the chicken out in the bottom of an 8x8 inch pan. Pour the cheesy ranch sauce and vegetables over the chicken.
Next add a layer of cheddar cheese.
Lastly, add the tater tots.
Bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees. Once the tater tots are browned the casserole is ready to serve.