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Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Forget boring casseroles and spice up your dinnertime with this Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole instead! Can be made in the slow cooker OR the oven for the tastiest dinner you’ll have all week!

buffalo chicken tater tots topped with cheese in green bowl

Tater tot casserole is a staple in our house and may I argue that it should be in yours also.

I love casseroles like this because it’s easy to keep all the ingredients on hand for a quick last minute meal plus it’s always a hit with the whole family, especially the kids.

Tater tot casserole is a midwest dish also known as “hot dish” in some places. Either way, it has evolved into a fun, creative meal that is simple and easy to make. It’s my go-to for busy days or for taking to a family in need.


Instead of using canned soups as would be traditional when making dishes like this, I like to go a little healthier and make a homemade sauce instead. It’s much easier than you think and the flavor can’t be beat.

Ground Chicken – you could use a lean ground turkey if you can’t find any ground chicken

Flour, chicken broth and heavy cream – this will be used to make the sauce instead of cream of chicken soup

Ranch seasoning – I like to use my own homemade blend, but you could also use the store bought packets if you needed to

Frozen tater tots – the most important part!! You could make them from scratch but this would no longer be quick and easy to make so I buy these instead

Buffalo sauce and butter – whisked together to form the perfect sauce

Cheese – a must have topping

optional – you can add grated carrots and celery and even blue cheese crumbles

How to make the filling

Making your own cream sauce might seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple.

  • cook the chicken as you would any other ground meat
  • sprinkle in the flour and stir to evenly combine
  • slowly stir in the broth while stirring to let it start thickening
  • stir in the cream and seasonings and let it all simmer and thicken while stirring

How to make tater tot casserole in the slow cooker

I like to use a 2.5 quart mini casserole slow cooker to make this casserole.

You can also use a regular oval slow cooker as well, but you may want to use a 5 quart so that you have enough room to spread out the tater tots. If you layer them too much they will get soggy.

To layer it up for best results:

  • spray the bottom and edges with non-stick spray
  • add the meat mixture
  • top with tater tots
  • drizzle with the buffalo sauce mixture
  • top with cheese

Let cook until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly hot.

oval casserole slow cooker filled with buffalo chicken tater tot casserole with melted cheese

Take this Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole on the road! This family friendly meal is perfect for:

  • Potluck Dinners
  • Church Gatherings
  • Dinner with Friends/Family
  • Birthday Parties

More tips…

You could also make this in the oven if you wanted the tater tots to be crispier and heating up the oven is not an issue. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until tater tots are crispy and cheese is melted and the filling starts to bubble.

Leftovers keep and reheat well for up to 3 days, this is one of my families favorite meals to have leftovers.

You can use gluten-free flour and dairy-free milk and cheese if desired to accommodate allergens.

buffalo chicken tater tot casserole heaped in a red bowl
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Jennifer Draper
Forget boring casseroles and spice up your dinnertime with this Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole instead! Can be made in the slow cooker OR the oven for the tastiest dinner you'll have all week!
4.39 from 34 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 530 kcal


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream buttermilk, or milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons homemade ranch seasoning
  • 16 oz frozen tater tots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery optional
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese I used sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese optional, depending on taste


  • Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat
  • Add ground chicken and cook (breaking up with spatula) until no longer pink
  • Sprinkle in flour and stir to coat cooked chicken
  • Slowly stir in chicken broth and bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken and reduce sauce
  • Stir in cream (or buttermilk or regular milk)
  • Add dried seasonings and salt and pepper and stir all to combine
  • Let cook an additional 2-3 minutes until sauce is nice and thickened up
  • Melt butter in microwave in large microwave safe mug or cup
  • Add buffalo sauce and stir to combine
  • Spray crock well with nonstick spray
  • Add the meat mixture
  • Top with carrots, celery and blue cheese if desired
  • Add tater tots and drizzle with remaining buffalo sauce
  • Top with shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours


I made this in my 2.5 quart casserole slow cooker. You can also make this in a 5 quart oval slow cooker.
To make in oven, bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until tater tots are crispy and cheese is melted and the filling starts to bubble,
Leftovers will keep up to 3 days in fridge.
Can substitute a packet of ranch dressing mix if you don’t want to make homemade seasoning.


Calories: 530kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 26gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 1577mgPotassium: 790mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2468IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 295mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @slowcookergourmet or tag #slowcookergourmet!
Important nutritional disclaimer


More Slow Cooker Casserole Recipes

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  2. Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Casserole
  3. Slow Cooker Cheesy Corn Casserole
  4. Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole



  1. 5 stars
    I was looking for a tater tot casserole with chicken and found this amazing recipe! I read your recipe for make ahead tater tot casserole also, and using it as a guide, doubled this recipe to aet now and freeze half for later. The first time i made using the exact recipe ingredients, but baked at 375 for about thirty minutes, instead of crockpot. Delicious, and making the sauce was as easy as you said! My 16 yo son did not like it, i think because of the dill, but the rest of us LOVED it! Did not use the optional carrots, celery or blue cheese. With the second batch, i used a 20 oz. bag of sweet potato tater tots, and added the optional celery. I only put about ten tots in the bottom of the dish, needed the rest to go on top. Poured all the hot sauce mixture on top instead of dividing. Used fiesta blend cheese, it is what i keep on hand. Since there were less tots, it fit in a 7 x 11 casserole dish, baked at 375 for about 30 minutes again. It was SOOO good, i could not believe it was even better than the regular tater tots! Thank you so much for a delicious recipe, and the make it yourself cream sauce that can be used instead of canned!

    1. Hi Renee!! Thanks so much for letting me know! I also LOVE the sweet potato tots but can’t quite get everyone else in my family on board as much as me 🙂 But, the regular version is still one of my go to dinners and in fact, we just had it tonight since it’s about the only thing my daughter really loves to eat. Have you also seen my taco version?

  2. I was looking for inspiration for a different crockpot meal as my husband wanted to cook. I found this and a few others so I sent them to my husband. Yay! He chose this. It is currently cooking and can’t wait to try this!

  3. Hey Jennifer, this recipe sounds amazing however i’m not a fan of buffalo sauce. Is there a different kind of sauce that you would recommend? Thank you!

    1. Hi Shanna! There are a few other flavors of hot sauces I’ve seen or even just plain hot sauce although I would probably suggest cutting back a bit or it may end up too spicy. I also have these other two tater tot casserole recipes, one for regular and one for taco so they might work better for you? Let me know what you decide to try!!

  4. 5 stars
    I found this recipe on Pinterest and can’t wait to try it! (I’m also following you now and loving LOTS of recipes on your website!) Quick question though, do you think this could be converted to a vegetarian recipe?

    1. Hi!! so glad you found my site and please let me know what you try and how it turns out! And yes, I think you could easily convert this to be vegetarian. Maybe swap out the chicken for some canned pinto beans? Add a few more veggies? Let me know what you do with it 🙂

  5. Could I substitute the tator tots for diced up red potatos?? Or would it not cook the same? I have picky eaters in my family who won’t eat tator tots (weird I know).

    1. I don’t think that regular type potatoes would work at all for this recipe. Even if you shredded them I fear they would have too much moisture? Would they eat shredded hash browns or are those too similar to tater tots for them? That would probably be a better substitute. My daughter would faint if she heard there was someone who didn’t like tater tots, I’m pretty sure she would eat them every day if I let her 😉

  6. 4 stars
    Hi Jennifer! This looks delicious and I’m so excited to make it. I’m new to using a crock pot and this will be my first recipe I make in it. My settings have 4-6 hours on high and 8-10 hours low. Should I stick with your setting recommendations and just keep track of time on my own? or should I cook it 6 hours on high? Thank you so much for your help!!!!

    1. Hi Jessica! I have not used a slow cooker similar to what you are describing but I’m assuming they get to the same temp as others. So, I would say that 6 hours on high would be way too long! If you can keep an eye on it that would be much better. Let me know what you think!!

  7. Hello Jen,

    Not being from the States, but from the Netherlands in Europe, can you please explain to me what Rated Tots are. I get the taters, but not the tots?. Anything tater like I might use as a substitute?

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Monique! Too bad you can’t find bagged frozen tater tots, so easy and quite tasty 🙂 Kind of like a french fry and kind of like hashbrowns. Although I’ve never tried it I’m told you can easily make them homemade. Here is one recipe I found but I’m sure there are plenty of others. Good luck!! I think it would be well worth the effort if you haven’t had them.

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