Skillet Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole is a quick, easy, family-pleasing weeknight dinner recipe that's made in just one pan!
I always forget how exhausting the first week of school is, for the kids, the teachers, and yes, even for the parents. It's hard to believe that three short months of summer vacation can entirely negate the stamina we had built up over the prior school year, but it does. By last Friday afternoon, our entire family was wiped out!
The good news is that we had a nice, relaxing weekend to recover. And the week ahead -- with now-established routines and nicely ingrained bedtimes -- should be a little bit easier than last.
Don't think that's enough to carry me through the week, though. I'm keeping things simple on the cooking front as well, relying on my slow cooker for dinner on some days and throwing together easy, quick-to-prepare meals on others.
Case in point: this One-Skillet Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole! As a bonus, all of the kids eagerly gobble it up with nary an objection...because really, who wants to listen to whining at dinnertime after an already long day/week/month?
How to Make It
This recipe is not rocket science, y'all, but I learned long ago that topping just about any sort of meat mixture with tater tots is likely to go over well with my kids. And c'mon...who doesn't like Sloppy Joes?!
- Thus, this meal idea is as easy as whipping up a skillet of Homemade Sloppy Joes.
- But then, instead of serving it up on buns, simply stir in a drained can of pinto beans.
- Top the whole shebang with a bag of frozen tater tots (you can find organic or natural ones without any icky ingredients) and some cheese.
- Pop in the oven to bake until the sauce is bubbly and the tots are toasty...and that's it!
Effortless? Pretty much.
A hit with adults and kids alike? ABSOLUTELY.
Variations & Sides
You can make this One-Skillet Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole with either ground beef or turkey.
You can even hide some veggies in your ground meat, if you like.
Serve it with some roasted veggies or a big green salad and dinner is done!
The best part of all might just be that there's only one pan to wash. Because after the kids are in bed, I do believe
I've you've earned a glass of wine and an enriching reality TV show, not a bunch of pots and pans and dishes to wash. Am I right?
So here's to the second week of school and dinners that practically cook themselves! Only 39 weeks to go, y'all... 😉
More Easy Ground Beef Dinner Ideas
One-Skillet Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground beef, or turkey
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 can (15-ounces)pinto beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 bag (16-ounces)frozen tater tots
- Set a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat. Add a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil, and saute the garlic for a minute or two until just fragrant and very light golden brown. Add the ground beef, increase heat to medium/medium high, and cook until no longer pink, breaking apart and stirring as the meat cooks. Drain the grease from the meat.
- While the meat is browning, arrange the oven rack in the center position, preheat the oven to 425°F, and prepare the sauce. In a large measuring cup, combine the tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Pour the sauce over the browned meat, stir to combine, and mix in the pinto beans. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until heated through and slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Smooth the sloppy joe mixture in the skillet and sprinkle with 1 cup of the grated cheddar. Arrange the frozen tater tots in a single layer on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tater tots are browned.
- If your ketchup contains a lot of sugar or if you prefer a more savory sloppy joe mixture, you may reduce the amount of brown sugar.
- You may substitute different types of beans or cheese if you prefer.