Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole is a quick, easy, family-pleasing weeknight dinner recipe that's made in just one pan!

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole with text overlay.


For more quick, comforting dinners, you might enjoy 30-Minue Skillet Lasagna, Skillet Shepherd's Pie, and Mini Meatloaf Muffins!

Back to school means busy days and a tired mama. So I've been keeping things simple on the cooking front, relying on my slow cooker for dinner on some days and throwing together easy, quick-to-prepare meals on this Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole!

It's made in just one pan and, as a bonus, all of my 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?

Aerial View or skillet.

How to Make It

This Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole recipe is not rocket science, y'all. 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:

  1. Whip up a skillet of Homemade Sloppy Joes.
  2. Instead of serving it up on buns, per usual, simply stir in a drained can of pinto beans.
  3. 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.
  4. Pop in the oven to bake until the sauce is bubbly and the tots are toasty...

..and that's it!

Quick? Yes.

Effortless? Pretty much.

A hit with adults and kids alike? ABSOLUTELY.

Aerial close-up of Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole on plate.

Variations & Sides

You can make this 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 vegetables 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 busy back-to-school weeknights and dinners that practically cook themselves! Only 39 weeks to go, y'all... 😉

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole getting scooped up by serving spoon.

More Easy Ground Beef Dinner Ideas

Aerial view of Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole in skillet.

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole is a quick, easy, family-pleasing weeknight dinner recipe that's made in just one pan!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 686kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef, or turkey
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 can (15-ounces)pinto beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 ½ 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.


Calories: 686kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 1509mg | Potassium: 1061mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 16.3mg | Calcium: 290mg | Iron: 4.3mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!


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5 from 4 votes

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Excellent flavor! My husband loved it as did I! I even sent it to my daughter who works in a hospital and prepares meals big enough that she has leftovers for work throughout the week!

  2. 5 stars
    So easy to make and delicious! I used a cast iron pan and cut the brown sugar to about 1 Tbs plus 1 Tsp. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Okay, while it's true that the dish LOOKS "amazingly delicious", and it IS "quick and easy to make", we couldn't eat it. It all went down the garbage disposal. The frozen tater tots are the culprit. I've never eaten anything so salty in my life. It was truly awful. However, I did keep the recipe because the bottom part -- the "sloppy joe" part -- was delicious -- and I think the recipe could be salvaged if I substituted mashed potatoes . . . stay tuned . . .

    1. Sorry to hear that, Bev. What brand of tater tots did you use? I use the organic ones from Whole Foods and have never had an issue with the dish being too salty. I'm glad you enjoyed the sloppy joe mixture, though, so good luck if you decide to give this recipe another go with a different option on top. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This was quick and easy and soooo delicious! I will NEVER buy sloppy joe mix from a can anymore. Thank you for sharing.

    1. In the green section at the top of the recipe card, there's a white button (right under the stars) that says "Print." Hope that helps! 🙂

  5. Hi, my name is Szamantha. I recently viewed your website and I came across the Sloppy joe tater tot casserole looked amazingly delicious, also amazingly easy. Can't wait to taste it thanks.

  6. This recipe is an absolute favorite with my husband and I! The flavor is amazing and I now make it regularly. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!

  7. This was so quick and easy to make! My SO absolutely loved it! Thanks for helping me break in my new cast iron pan!