Yes. You read right. I said TOTCHOS.
Totchos. Like nachos, but tater tots. And better yet, topped with my favorite, famous sloppy joe recipe.
It’s not my first jaunt down tater lot lane (remember this tater tot breakfast casserole? Um yes.) but this one might be my favorite. It’s the perfect indulgence to make on game day for a crowd, for a snack or appetizer, for dinner… just maybe.
These are locked and loaded with flavor and texture. They are a crazy trashed up version of sheet pan nachos and I don’t hate it.
I’ve had this recipe waiting in the wings for you since April. APRIL! I started making this in April for some get-togethers and it was such an instant hit. People were freaking over the tater tots. I know that totchos aren’t a new concept but in our house? It totally was.
Summertime brought a bit of a totcho hiatus since it was hot hot hot. But now that we’re back in football season and chili season and all sorts of seasons… here we are. Totchos here we come!
This is October food. Chilly weather food. Football food. Stretchy pants food.
And it’s completely serendipitous once you see the post I have coming up for you later this week! Run out and buy all the tater tots. Trust me.
Okay so these don’t have to be 100% terrible for you. I mean, they aren’t going to be, like, a kale salad. But you can use ground turkey or even ground chicken breast for the sloppy joe mix and lighten it up a bit. I actually tend to use a mixture of lean ground beef and ground turkey breast all the time when I make them, so it works.
And there is something about the flavor of the sloppy joes on the nachos. Mixed with the cheese, the fresh cilantro and tomatoes, ah! The flavor combo is just SO delicious.
When it comes to actual tater tots, we tend to go for the alexia ones and the trader joe’s ones. This comes together fairly quickly because they have to bake for a bit and while that is happening, you can assemble everything else.
And I should mention that I highly suggest doing this with leftover sloppy joe mixture.
Before you freak out, let me tell you that I grew up hating sloppy joes. My mom never made them and I only had them once at a friend’s house and was super grossed out. Eddie really liked them, however, so I was determined to make a homemade version and now, not only are they one of my most made recipes, it’s one that I absolutely LOVE too.
The mixture even works on top of a salad!! I adore it.
Don’t let the totchos freak you out. Just doooo it.
Sloppy Joe Totchos
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound ground turkey (I use 94% lean)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 1/4 cups tomato puree or sauce
- 1 bag frozen tater tots
- 1 cup freshly grated white cheddar, havarti or monterey jack cheese
- 1 cup sliced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chives
- 2 radishes, sliced
- lime wedges, for spritzing
Note: I like to make this recipe best when I have LEFTOVER sloppy joes!! This recipe will yield a large portion of sloppy joes, so I suggest sticking it in the fridge for sandwiches per this recipe.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the onion, peppers and garlic. Cook until the onions soften, about 5 to 6 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add in the turkey and beef with the salt and pepper, using a wooden spoon to break it apart and combine it. Cook until browned. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika and brown sugar. Stir in the tomato puree, Worcestershire and apple cider vinegar.
Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. Taste and adjust to your preferences – more salt or pepper, more sugar if it’s too tangy, more vinegar if it’s too sweet.
Bake the tater tots according to the directions. This will most likely be around 425 degrees F for 20 minutes or so.
Once the tater tots are finished, top them with about 1 cup of the sloppy joe mixture. Top with the grated cheese. Stick them back in the oven until the mixture is warmed through and the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and top with the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chives and radishes. Spritz with lime and serve immediately.
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We all need one bite.
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