Crockpot John Wayne Casserole

Crockpot John Wayne Casserole

Crockpot John Wayne Casserole – Not your average recipe today! I made this drool worthy Slow Cooker John Wayne Casserole for dinner the other night. I’ve wanted to try an oven version of John Wayne casserole for years, but never got around to doing it. I thought, why not make it in the slow cooker? The original John Wayne casserole recipe that I’ve seen is made with biscuit mix, but one of the reviewers on said that she had a version of this casserole made with tater tots at a restaurant. BINGO! That’s how this recipe can be made perfectly in the slow cooker,  with tater tots.

This Crockpot John Wayne Casserole is really rich and so easy to fix in the Crockpot. It’s got everything from ground beef to tater tots. Hmmm, tater tots, sounds like hillbilly food. Wait a minute, I was born in Kentucky so I should love this. I fixed it and I do love it, but you don’t need to be a hillbilly. You’ll like it even if you are from New York City.

Crockpot John Wayne Casserole


  • 1 (32-oz.) bag tater tots (not thawed)
  • 1 lb, ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (1.5-oz.) pkg. taco mix (I use mild McCormick)
  • water (add the amount of water to the meat that the taco mix says to add, ¾ cup is what my packet said)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. sharp cheddar cheese (divided, half in sour cream mixture and half on top at the end)
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • diced tomatoes for servings (about 2 small tomatoes)


  1. Spray a 6-quart oval slow cooker with non-stick spray.
  2. Add the tater tots down in a single layer.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, set over medium high heat, brown the hamburger, onions and bell pepper.
  5. When the meat is browned, drain the fat.
  6. Add the amount of water the taco packet says to add to the meat (my packet said to add ¾ cup).
  7. Add the taco packet, and continue cooking and stirring until the meat and the seasoning has thickened.
  8. Pour the meat mixture over the tater tots in the slow cooker.
  9. In a medium sized bowl add the sour cream, salt, pepper, onion powder, and half of the cheese (this is about a heaping cup of shredded cheese, save the other half to top the casserole at the end.)
  10. Spread this sour cream cheese mixture over the meat mixture in the slow cooker.
  11. Cover and cook on LOW for 4.5 hours, without opening the lid during the cooking time.
  12. After the cooking time is up, add the remaining cheese evenly over the casserole.
  13. Cover and let the cheese melt, this will only take about 5-10 minutes.
  14. To serve, top with diced tomatoes.
  15. Enjoy!

Let’s thank Shelly’s Home Life for this informative video and Sarah for the great and hearty Crockpot John Wayne Casserole recipe.