Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole 2023




  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 2 cans sloppy joe sauce (15 oz each) or 1 large can
  • 1 24+ oz bag of tater tots
  • 1 block cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Sauté Vegetables:
    • In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the diced green pepper and sweet onion until they are softened. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Cook the Meats:
    • Add the ground beef and pork sausage to the skillet with the sautéed vegetables. Break the meats apart and cook until browned. Drain any excess fat.
  4. Add Sloppy Joe Sauce:
    • Pour the sloppy joe sauce into the skillet with the cooked meat and vegetables. Stir until everything is well combined.
  5. Prepare the Casserole Dish:
    • Transfer the meat and sauce mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish, spreading it evenly.
  6. Top with Cheese:
    • Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the meat mixture, covering it evenly.
  7. Arrange Tater Tots:
    • Neatly arrange the tater tots on top of the cheese in rows. This not only looks appealing but also makes serving easier.
  8. Bake:
    • Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Add More Cheese:
    • After 30 minutes, remove the casserole from the oven and add another sprinkle of shredded cheese on top.
  10. Continue Baking:
    • Place the casserole back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Rest Before Cutting:
    • Allow the casserole to sit for a few minutes before cutting. This helps set the dish and makes it easier to serve.
  12. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Slice into squares and serve this delicious Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole. It’s an easy, hearty, and tasty meal the whole family will love!

Feel free to customize this recipe by adding your favorite toppings such as diced tomatoes, green onions, or a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

Here are some helpful tips to take your Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole to the next level of deliciousness:

  1. Cheese Variety:
    • Experiment with different cheese varieties. A mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack or a smoked cheese can add depth to the flavor.
  2. Seasoning Blend:
    • Enhance the flavor by adding a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce or a pinch of chili powder to the meat mixture for an extra kick.
  3. Fresh Herbs:
    • Garnish the finished casserole with fresh chopped herbs like parsley or cilantro to add a burst of freshness.
  4. Crispy Tater Tots:
    • For extra crispy tater tots, arrange them in a single layer, ensuring they are not too crowded. This allows them to cook evenly.
  5. Bacon Crumbles:
    • Sprinkle crispy bacon crumbles on top before serving for a savory and crunchy element.
  6. Spicy Options:
    • If you enjoy spice, consider adding diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the meat mixture.
  7. Sweet Heat:
    • Mix in a tablespoon of brown sugar to the sloppy joe sauce for a subtle sweetness that balances the savory flavors.
  8. Caramelized Onions:
    • Add an extra layer of sweetness and depth by caramelizing the onions before incorporating them into the meat mixture.
  9. Toppings Bar:
    • Set up a toppings bar with options like sour cream, diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, or even pickles for a customized serving experience.
  10. Extra Vegetables:
    • Boost the nutritional value by adding more vegetables. Corn, diced bell peppers, or black beans can be great additions.
  11. Smoked Paprika:
    • Enhance the smoky flavor by incorporating a pinch of smoked paprika into the seasoning mix.
  12. Buffalo Twist:
    • Give it a buffalo chicken twist by tossing the cooked chicken in buffalo sauce before mixing it with the sloppy joe sauce.
  13. Mushrooms:
    • Sautéed mushrooms add an earthy richness to the dish. Include them in the meat mixture for an extra layer of flavor.
  14. Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce:
    • Consider making your own sloppy joe sauce from scratch for a more personalized and flavorful touch.
  15. Bake in Cast Iron:
    • Bake the casserole in a cast-iron skillet for a rustic presentation and even cooking.

Feel free to mix and match these tips to suit your taste preferences. Cooking is an art, so don’t hesitate to get creative and make the dish your own!

Here are some commonly asked questions and answers related to Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole:

  1. Can I use a different meat?
    • Yes, you can use ground turkey, chicken, or a meat substitute for a lighter version.
  2. Can I make it ahead of time?
    • Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it. Bake when ready, adjusting the cooking time as needed.
  3. What if I don’t have tater tots?
    • You can substitute tater tots with hash browns or even seasoned diced potatoes for a similar effect.
  4. Can I freeze leftovers?
    • Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  5. How do I reheat the casserole?
    • Reheat in the oven for best results, ensuring the tater tots regain their crispiness. You can also use a microwave for individual servings.
  6. Can I add more vegetables?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to add veggies like corn, bell peppers, or black beans to increase the nutritional content.
  7. Can I use a different type of cheese?
    • Yes, you can experiment with different cheeses. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a cheese blend all work well.
  8. What side dishes pair well with this casserole?
    • Serve with a side of coleslaw, a green salad, or even a simple fruit salad to balance the richness.
  9. How can I make it spicier?
    • Add diced jalapeños to the meat mixture or sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top for a spicy kick.
  10. Can I make it in a different-sized dish?
    • Yes, but adjust the quantities accordingly and monitor the cooking time, as it may vary in a smaller or larger dish.
  11. What’s the best way to prevent sogginess?
    • Ensure the tater tots are arranged in a single layer, and don’t overcrowd the casserole. This helps them stay crisp.
  12. How do I get the tater tots golden brown?
    • Preheat the oven adequately, arrange the tater tots neatly, and bake until they are golden brown and crispy.
  13. What if I don’t have Sloppy Joe sauce?
    • You can make your own sauce using ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices for a homemade alternative.
  14. Can I make it vegetarian?
    • Yes, substitute the meat with plant-based alternatives, and ensure the sauce is vegetarian-friendly.
  15. How can I make it kid-friendly?
    • Kids usually love this dish, but you can customize it by adding their favorite veggies or letting them choose their toppings.

Feel free to adapt these answers based on your preferences and dietary requirements. Enjoy your Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole!

Achieving the perfect Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole involves a combination of techniques and attention to detail. Here are some secrets to help you master this crowd-pleasing dish:

  1. Perfectly Seasoned Meat:
    • Season the ground beef and pork sausage well with a balanced blend of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Ensure the meat is flavorful before adding the Sloppy Joe sauce.
  2. Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce:
    • Consider making your own Sloppy Joe sauce for a unique and personalized flavor. Adjust the sweetness and spiciness to your liking.
  3. Sautéed Vegetables:
    • Sauté the green peppers and onions until they are softened and slightly caramelized. This adds a depth of flavor to the dish.
  4. Cheese Blend:
    • Experiment with different cheese blends. Combining sharp cheddar with a milder cheese like Colby Jack creates a rich and balanced flavor.
  5. Even Tater Tot Placement:
    • Neatly arrange the tater tots in rows on top of the casserole. This not only looks appealing but also ensures even cooking and easy serving.
  6. Preheated Oven:
    • Make sure your oven is fully preheated before placing the casserole inside. This helps the tater tots crisp up and the cheese melt evenly.
  7. Topping Timing:
    • Add an extra sprinkle of cheese during the last 10 minutes of baking. This ensures a gooey and golden-brown topping.
  8. Resting Time:
    • Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps the flavors meld and makes it easier to cut and serve.
  9. Crispy Tater Tots:
    • If you prefer extra crispy tater tots, bake them separately for a few minutes before adding them to the casserole. This ensures they maintain their crunch.
  10. Customize with Toppings:
    • Offer a variety of toppings like sour cream, diced tomatoes, or green onions for individuals to customize their servings.
  11. Bacon Magic:
    • Sprinkle crispy bacon bits on top for an added layer of smokiness and crunch.
  12. Layered Flavors:
    • Consider adding a layer of shredded cheese in the middle of the casserole to create a gooey surprise when serving.
  13. Bake in Cast Iron:
    • If you have a cast-iron skillet, consider baking the casserole in it for a rustic presentation and even heat distribution.
  14. Seasoned Tater Tots:
    • Toss the tater tots in a bit of oil and your favorite seasonings before placing them on the casserole for an extra flavor boost.
  15. Serve with Fresh Elements:
    • Garnish the finished dish with fresh elements like chopped parsley or cilantro to add a burst of color and freshness.

Feel free to adjust these tips based on your preferences and enjoy the process of creating the perfect Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole!