Dive into a hearty casserole with creamy mashed potatoes, succulent ground beef (or turkey), crispy bacon, and melted cheddar. Seasoned with zesty BBQ sauce, rich sour cream, and tangy Worcestershire, this dish is a flavorful whirlwind for the taste buds!
Alright, lovely readers! Let me whisk you away on a nostalgic journey. Picture this: it was a cold winter evening and I was desperately scanning my pantry for inspiration. I had a little bit of this and a smidgeon of that but nothing seemed to scream ‘dinner’ out loud. Until it struck me, why not combine two of the greatest comfort foods, mashed potatoes and meatloaf, into one dish? As for the bacon and cheddar – well, I’ve always believed that everything’s better with them! That evening, the Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole was born. Fast forward to today, it’s become my go-to dish whenever I want a taste of home or need to impress my guests. Yes, it’s that delish!
Why You’ll Love Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole:
Darlings, let’s talk about the magic of this casserole.
Firstly, it’s like a 2-in-1 deal – a juicy meatloaf and creamy mashed potatoes together!
Then, there’s the twist: instead of a traditional gravy, we’re introducing a hint of BBQ and Worcestershire for that extra oomph.
The cottage cheese? Oh, that’s our little secret ingredient to keep the meatloaf moist and flavorful.
And did we mention the crispy bacon bits? They’re not just a topping but a crunchy sensation that takes this dish to cloud nine!
If you want comfort in a dish with a gourmet feel, this casserole is your ticket.
Ingredients For Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole:
Ah, the stars of our show! You can opt for lean ground beef or turkey, depending on your preference (or, let’s be honest, what’s in the fridge!). If you’re not a big fan of white onion, feel free to swap it for yellow or red for a subtle flavor difference. The seasoned bread crumbs can be homemade or store-bought, and if you’re feeling experimental, why not try using Italian seasoned ones? For those lactose-intolerant friends out there, you can switch the milk for lactose-free versions or even almond milk for a slightly nutty twist.
Step-by-step Instructions For Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole:
Okay, cooking aficionados, roll up those sleeves! First off, preheat that oven to 375°F and show your 9×13 pan some love with a nonstick spray. Now, the fun part: in a large bowl, you’re going to mix together your meat of choice, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, and all those juicy seasonings and sauces. Once it’s well mixed, lay it evenly in your pan and bake for about 30 minutes. While Mr. Meatloaf gets tanned in the oven, attend to your potatoes. Boil them until they’re soft enough to mash, then drain and add butter. Use a hand mixer for that perfect, creamy texture. Mix in sour cream, warm milk, and seasonings until it’s smooth like a lullaby. When your meatloaf is cooked (and has shed its excess grease), crown it with those heavenly potatoes, sprinkle the cheese and bacon, and bake for another 15 minutes. Once done, serve this masterpiece and watch your guests’ faces light up!
Now, if by some miracle you have leftovers, simply let the casserole cool down. Then, place it in an airtight container or cover it with some cling wrap and pop it into the fridge. It’ll be good for up to 3-4 days. Want to store it longer? Freeze it! Just make sure to thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Variations and Substitutions:
Feeling playful? Switch the bacon for some diced ham or even sausage. Not a fan of cheddar? Mozzarella, pepper jack, or gouda can be your cheese du jour. And for a vegetarian twist, replace the meat with lentils or a meat substitute, and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Remember, the sky (or your pantry’s content) is the limit!
Happy cooking, and remember – don’t just cook, create magic! 😉🍽
Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole
- 1 ½ pounds of lean ground beef or turkey
- ½ cup of finely chopped white onion
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup of cottage cheese
- ½ cup of BBQ sauce
- 2 pounds of potatoes peeled and diced
- ½ cup of unsalted butter
- ½ cup of sour cream
- ½ cup of warm milk or half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 6 slices of thick bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to a temperature of 375°F. Prepare a 9×13 inch baking pan by spraying it with a nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef or turkey, chopped white onion, minced garlic, seasoned bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, lightly beaten egg, cottage cheese, and BBQ sauce.
- Transfer the meat mixture into the prepared baking pan, ensuring it is evenly spread. Bake in the preheated oven for a duration of 30 minutes.
- Concurrently, place the diced potatoes in a pan filled with water and cook over medium heat until they are tender.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and incorporate the unsalted butter. Utilize a hand mixer to achieve a smooth consistency. Subsequently, add the sour cream, warm milk or half-and-half, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well-combined.
- After the meatloaf has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and carefully drain any excess grease.
- Apply an even layer of the mashed potatoes over the meatloaf. This should be followed by a generous sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.
- Place the casserole back into the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The objective is to ensure that the potatoes are thoroughly heated and the cheese has completely melted.
- Once completed, remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.