Phagosomes are highly dynamic organelles formed by the uptake of particles through phagocytic innate immune cells such as macrophages. Their key roles in microbe elimination and antigen presentation make them essential for innate and adaptive immunity. However, phagosomes are also important for tissue homeostasis as even in healthy individuals billions of dead cells are phagocytosed each day. In this short review, we highlight how the use of latex beads as inert baits for phagocytosis and subsequent analysis by proteomics has changed our understanding of the phagosome. We further discuss recent data on post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and ubiquitylation that regulate phagosome functions and demonstrate that the phagosome is not only a 'degradative organelle' but also serves as a subcellular signalling platform.