Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

5 from 3 votes

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Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole is a cheesy beef casserole recipe using the same flavors of a sloppy joe with cheddar cheese and potato tater tots. An easy dinner idea for busy nights for the family. #beefcasserole #sloppyjoes #hamburgercasserole

A simple beef casserole recipe for busy nights, Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole is full of the same classic flavors with a layer of potatoes and cheese!

A blue dish filled with Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole with some missing

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I am a big fan of potatoes and the idea for tater tot casseroles came to me randomly one day. I figured, why not layer some favorite foods and flavors with a bunch of delicious, golden, tater tots?!

A cheesy beef casserole seemed like a great variation.  You can find more tater tot casseroles here!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

I remember eating sloppy joes when I was a kid, and I love them still to this day.  This is a great way to get the same flavors, with a little less mess.

A spoon scooping some Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole out of a dish


Here is what you need to make this ground beef recipe:

  • Ground Beef
  • Tater Tots
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Garlic
  • Onion Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Brown Sugar

A plate with some of the ground beef casserole on it

Instruction Overview

Cook the beef and then add the spices until they are fragrant.

Add the wet ingredients and simmer to bring the flavors together.

Preheat your oven and put the meat into the bottom of the baking dish.

Then add a layer of tater tots and then a layer of cheese.

Bake it until the tots are warmed through and the cheese is melted.

I also use a smaller baking dish that is approximately 6×9 inches instead of the larger, “typical” size.  This is because the meat to tot ratio would be very different. 

You can use a larger dish and double up the beef part of the recipe to keep the ratio, or bake in any other smaller dishes like a square dish or loaf pans.  Or just use a larger dish but don’t pack the tots in as much.

Modifications and Adjustments

Ground Beef – Using ground turkey or chicken would be a great alternative!

There is a trade off to make when determining how saucy you want the casserole to be.  If you want it pretty saucey, you can increase the water by an additional 1/2 cup. 

The trade off is that the moisture absorbs into the tater tots and makes them fall apart more, and less likely to hold their tot structure. 

You can also easily make the Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole in advance, but for the same reason as above, wait to add the tater tot layer until you are about to bake so they do not absorb all the sauce and fall apart too much.

A dish full of Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole with two plates next to it that have a portion of the casserole on them

Kim’s Tips

Cooking the spices with the beef before the liquids helps bring out more of their flavor.

The tater tots do not have to be in perfect rows. Just dump them on if you want! But make it a somewhat even layer so they bake evenly and quickly.

Pin image for Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole of a spoon scooping some out of a dish with title at bottom

Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

Beef Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole is a cheesy beef casserole recipe using the same flavors of a sloppy joe with cheddar cheese and potato tater tots. An easy dinner idea for busy nights for the family. #beefcasserole #sloppyjoes #hamburgercasserole
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beef
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 786kcal




  • Heat a medium pot or large skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook the ground beef until cooked through, approximately 7-10 minutes. Drain excess fat.
    1 pound ground beef
  • Add the garlic, onion powder, and chili powder to the meat. Stir until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
    2 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoon onion powder, 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, water, and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes for flavors to combine. If it gets thick, add a little more water. Adjust seasonings to taste.
    15 ounces tomato sauce, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Pour the meat mixture into a 6×9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheddar across the top of the meat.
    2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Layer the tater tots in rows across the top, using approximately 1 pound of tater tots (1/2 standard bag). Sprinkle the remaining cheese across the top of the tater tots.
    1 pound tater tots, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Bake the casserole until the tots are cooked through when inserting a fork and the cheese is melted, approximately 15 minutes. Serve immediately.


I found the smaller 6×9 inch baking dish was perfect for this recipe. A “normal” baking dish is much larger and would give you less meat for the same amount of tater tot coverage. Other options include doubling up the meat for a larger casserole, making more servings, or using any other smaller baking dish like loaf pans or square dishes.
If you want it saucier, add an additional 1/2 cup of water. This also tends to make the tater tots break down more and less likely to hold their shape due to the moisture.
I use onion powder to keep it more kid friendly, but you can easily use approximately 1/3 cup of diced onion instead of the powder.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 786kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1750mg | Potassium: 1118mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1292IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 468mg | Iron: 4mg

More Ground Beef Recipes

By on February 20th, 2020

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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