This time of year I want to bombard you with sweet recipes because hello…it is the holiday season and if it isn’t dessert then this life is not worth living!  We do however, still have this thing called…DINNER!  Dang dinner!!  Between 5 & 7 p.m. our families are hungry…what??  Today I am going to help you with dinner because I am a friend and God knows I need to help too!  I am a hunting widow this week and so when I made this casserole{to take pictures} over the weekend I decided to take it over and share with my sister and her family.  It was a hit!  I already knew that my family loved it but now I have the confirmation I needed and can safely call it a…crowd-pleaser!

Casseroles are one of my favorite kinds of dinner.  I love that they can be made ahead {and even froze for future use} and that all you need to have a balanced dinner is in one pan.  The sauce for this dish is made with ingredients that you already have in your fridge and it only takes about 20 minutes to bake because the filling is already cooked through.  I like to up the temperature to broil for the last couple of minutes so that the tater tots get extra crispy…just be sure to keep an eye on it.  Broiling can burn quick.




Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

All of the best elements of sloppy joes and tater tot casserole in one amazing dish. 

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 pounds ground beef {I used 93/7}
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion {chopped}
  • 1 clove garlic {minced}
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups shredded cheese {I used Colby Jack}
  • 1 package frozen tater tots


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Filling:  In a skillet over medium-high heat add oil and onion.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute or until fragrent.  Add hamburger to onion and garlic mixture and cook until the burger is browned completely.  While hamburger is browning combine ketchup, brown sugar, worchestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and oregano in a small bowl.  Whisk together and set aside.  Once hamburger is cooked, drain any grease from meat and return to heat.  Add sauce to drained meat and stir to coat.

  3. To assemble:  Add sloppy joe mixture to a greased 9x13 baking pan and top with shredded cheese and a layer of tater tots. 

  4. Baking:  Place casserole in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, after 20 minutes turn oven to broil and finish baking for an additional 4-5 minutes or until tater tots are crisp and browned.  {Be careful not to burn}

Recipe Notes

*Prep the recipe early in the day and refrigerate until ready to bake.

*This recipe freezes well for up to 3 months.  You don't even have to defrost.  Just pop it into the oven frozen and bake for 40 minutes.