Tater Tot Sloppy Joe Casserole


1 pound ground beef
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen tater tots
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup ketchup
3 cloves garlic, minced, optional
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed


Preheat oven to 425º F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet (or oven-safe pan) over medium-high heat and cook garlic, if using, for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
Add ground beef, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, then drain off fat.
Pour sauce and pinto beans into beef, and stir until everything is evenly coated. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until slightly thickened, then spread mixture into an even layer and top with 1 cup of cheese.
Top with tater tots, then sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.
Place skillet in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until tater tots are crispy and golden brown and cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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