I’ve shared several Sloppy Joe recipes, like Sloppy Joe Biscuit Bake and of course classic Sloppy Joes. But I think I have a new favorite with this Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole. It’s got all the delicious sweet and tangy flavors I remember about Sloppy Joe night as a kid, in an updated one-skillet version with a crunchy tater tot crust.
Do you remember eating sloppy joes as a kid? I remember always being super excited about Sloppy Joe night – those sandwiches were always so fun to eat! My kids love the sweet and tangy taste of sloppy joe sauce too, and I love how versatile the sauce is. I can make anything from Pizza to pasta to this Skillet Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole. It’s similar to a Shepherd’s Pie, with lots of meat and veggies in a rich and flavorful sauce and topped with potatoes – I just happened to opt for the tater tot variety instead of the mashed kind that take another hour to make. It’s all about the time savers friends!
Super easy to make, super easy to serve (just take the skillet right to the table!) and super easy to clean up. Plus there are a bunch of fresh veggies so you know you’re serving your family a complete meal.
How to Make Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole
The best part of this recipe is that it all cooks in one skillet, making for super easy clean-up.
First cook up the ground beef and vegetables. I like to use a leaner ground beef to reduce the amount of grease let behind.
Drain any grease from the pan, then add the Manwich sauce, pinto beans and corn. Let it all simmer together for a few minutes to thicken, then top it off with frozen tater tots. You can just sprinkle them on top or create a pretty design like I did. Then top that with shredded cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes, and dinner is done!
Tater Tot Casserole Top Tips and Variations
If you are short on time or just don’t have fresh vegetables on hand, frozen mixed veggies works great too. Just add 1-2 cups when you add the sauce.
If you don’t have or can’t find Manwich bold, regular BBQ sauce will work. You may need to thin it with a couple tablespoons of water.
The beans can also be swapped for kidney beans, black beans, even chili beans.
Ground turkey can be used in place of the beef for a lighter Tater Tot Casserole.
1cupfresh green beanstrimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1medium carrotpeeled and sliced
1 15-ouncecan pinto beansdrained and rinsed
1 15-ouncecan Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe Sauce
1 16-ouncepackage frozen tater tots
1/2cupshredded sharp cheddar cheese
Fresh parsleyfor garnish if desired
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a 12-inch, oven-safe skillet oven medium heat. Crumble ground beef into the skillet and cook for several minutes; add diced onion, carrot, green beans and bell peppers. Cook over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are soft. Drain grease from the pan (I just push the meat and veggies to the side and use paper towels to soak up the grease).
Stir in frozen corn, pinto beans and Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe Sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, until mixture is slightly thickened. Spread evenly around the pan. Arrange frozen tater tots on top of the beef mixture. Sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until tots are crispy and cheese is melted.
Cool for several minutes and garnish with fresh chopped parsley (if desired) before serving.
Please not that nutritional information is given as a point of reference only, and is approximate. Actual values will vary based on the ingredients used.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.