Here’s another easy meal that’s kid friendly too. Just a heads up though, this is not going to be pretty. Like most casseroles, it’s going to be a smorgasbord of things all mashed together into one big dish. It is the bane of a food blogger and always a challenge to try and make it look less like a pile of unidentifiable food you might want to run away from and more like something you would want to eat. But I can promise you one thing. It will taste yummy.
Anyway, I wanted to play around with some tater tots because one, everyone does it and two, they are so darn cute. Commence daydreams of arranging an army of tater tots in a casserole dish. And seriously, these little things are like an army.
So I found this recipe where Sloppy Joes meets tater tots and decided to give it a go. It’s simple, it’s tasty and it’s ready to go. And it has all the flavors you love in a Sloppy Joe with all the fun of tater tots.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of slow cooker recipes and casseroles in trying to make up for my error in judgement last year by not cooking seasonal. Go ahead and browse through my archives and see my shame. It’s no wonder no one was interested in what I was cooking.
But this year it’s all changing. I am ever changing with the seasons. I am a chameleon.
And last year I hated casseroles because well, most of them aren’t that great. But this year I’ve somehow stumbled upon dozens of fantastic recipes. Maybe this year I knew what to look for.
This is one of them. It’s simple, really it is. Saute some onions, garlic, bell peppers, corn and add some ground beef. Then season with some cream cheese and Sloppy Joe sauce and a couple of seasonings. Dump it all in the casserole and top with cheddar cheese. Line up your army of tater tots and top it with more cheese love. And that’s all there is to it. One paragraph. That’s how simple it is.
Some notes: I used about 90% of the bag of frozen tater tots but you might have leftovers like me. Also I added some smoked paprika, salt and pepper because even though the Sloppy Joe sauce tastes great on its own, I wanted a slightly deeper flavor. Smoked paprika makes things all smoky!
So let’s get started!
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ sweet onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained
- 1 can (24 oz.) Sloppy Joe sauce
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 32 oz. frozen tater tots
- Over medium high heat, brown beef until cooked. Drain any fat and remove and set aside
- In the same pan, saute onions and garlic until translucent
- Add red bell pepper and corn and cook until soft
- Add beef, Sloppy Joe sauce, cream cheese, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine
- Simmer over medium low heat for 5 minutes
- Pour the beef mixture in a 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly
- Top with a layer of 1 cup of cheese
- Arrange tater tots and sprinkle with remaining cheese
- Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the tater tots are crispy and golden
- Dish and serve hot