Make the ultimate comfort food – Sloppy Joe Casserole! Topped with crispy tater tots, it’s a hearty dinner that always leaves clean plates!
I took a spin on an old classic and created a masterpiece — no joke. I love my Sloppy Joes recipes, but we’ve always eaten them on a bun with tater tots on the side. Turns out cooking this Sloppy Joe Casserole with the tots on top and homemade sauce is downright perfection!
Skillet Sloppy Joe Casserole is a Weeknight Wonder!
- If you’ve never made homemade sloppy joe sauce, it’s a thousand times better than mixing ground beef with the store-bought sauce in a can. Sloppy Joe sauce made from scratch is super easy and the flavor can’t be beat!
- This Sloppy Joe Casserole swaps the buns for tater tots. It’s not quite as “sloppy” as the classic sandwich but it taste just as delicious… if not better!
- The crispy tater tots are a built-in side dish my kids absolutely love!
More Easy Sloppy Joes for Busy Nights
- Slow Cooker Pizza Sloppy Joes: Looking for more twists on the Sloppy Joe classic? Try my husband’s favorite crock pot casserole. This recipe combines easy Sloppy Joes with pepperoni and mozzarella. YUM!
- Tex-Mex Instant Pot Sloppy Joes: Loaded with corn, green chiles, and tomatoes – this sloppy joe recipe hangs out in the Instant Pot while you whip up your avorite side dish.
Sloppy Joe: The filling for this casserole is nice and hearty with lean ground beef, onion, and bell pepper. It’s a great way to get the family to eat some veggies with dinner.
Sloppy Joe Sauce: The sauce for this casserole is a little more savory than a typical sloppy joe – which I find to be fairly sweet. Most of these ingredients are pantry staples, so it’s an easy last-minute weeknight meal!
Tater Tots: I usually buy a 32-ounce bag of tots so I know there will be more than enough. I’ve gotten the 28-ounce bags before too and this recipe has worked out fine. Just be sure to cover the filling completely with tots.
How to Make Sloppy Joe Casserole
To prep, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F while you get the sloppy joe filling going.
STEP ONE: Brown the ground beef with the onions and bell peppers over medium-high heat in an oven-safe skillet until the beef is fully cooked. Be sure to break up the meat as it cooks. Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Chili powder, salt, sugar, dried oregano, and pepper to the skillet. Stir everything together and then spread into an even layer. Remove the skillet from the burner.
STEP TWO: After the sloppy joe mixture is ready it’s time for the tots! Arrange the tater tots in a single layer over the ground beef mixture. I stood my tots on end, but you can lay them on their side too. As long as the soppy joe is completely covered you’re good.
STEP THREE: Place the skillet in the oven, and cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Once the tots are crispy, sprinkle cheese all over the top of the casserole and return to the oven for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.
STEP FOUR: When the casserole is ready the sloppy joe mixture will be bubbling. Carefully take your skillet out of the oven and serve warm with a little parsley sprinkled on top.
Tips for Success
- If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, don’t fret! Do the stovetop steps before transferring the beef, veggie, and sauce mixture to a baking dish. Then top the mixture with tater tots and bake as directed!
- You can arrange the tater tots on their side or standing up on end. My kids think the circular desing looks pretty cool.
- If you realize you forgot to buy tater tots , but have frozen diced/southern style hash browns on hand, they will work too! It’s the same cooking time, but don’t crisp up white the same way as the tots. This is where the cheese becomes your friend for a nice top layer.
Can I make this Sloppy Joe Casserole recipe ahead of time?
Looking to get the prep work out of the way early? Easy!
Cook the beef, veggie, and sauce mixture on the stovetop. Transfer to another container, such as a casserole dish or Tupperware container, or wait until your pan has cooled. Once cooled, refrigerate for up to 48 hours or freeze for up to a few months. When ready to bake, top with tater tots and enjoy!
Try some of my family’s other favorite weeknight casserole recipes!
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Spaghetti Casserole
- Dorito Casserole
- Philly Cheesesteak Casserole
- Chicken Noodle Casserole
- Bacon Ranch Tater Tot Casserole
*This post originally posted on 04/18/2016.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper finely chopped
- 15 ounces no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 32 ounces frozen tater tots (1 package)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded (optional)
- Fresh parsley finely chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Using a large 12-inch oven-safe skillet, brown the ground beef with the onions and the bell pepper over medium-high heat. Cook until the meat is fully cooked, about 10 minutes, breaking up the meat up as it cooks.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients except the tater tots and stir well to combine.
- Arrange the tater tots in a single layer on top of the sloppy joe mixture in the pan.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes the tater tots are cooked and golden brown. Carefully sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese all over the tater tot and bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Carefully remove from the oven and serve warm. I sprinkle a little parsley on top for garnish.