Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole

Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 30 mins
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Creamy homemade mashed potatoes top a moist and flavorful meatloaf in this decadent take on shepherd’s pie. Bacon and cheddar make it even better! Yes, this Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole will make your weeknight meal a breeze!

A Quick Meat-and-Potatoes Dinner with Tons of Flavor!

Question: What do you get when you combine a hearty, barbecue-sauced meatloaf with buttery, loaded mashed potatoes? 

Answer: Just about the perfect family dinner! This cheesy, bacon-topped casserole has all of the above. And it’s so easy to make, you won’t mind at all when your family asks for it again and again! A close cousin of shepherd’s pie, this easy casserole takes meat and potatoes to savory new heights. Yum!

So the next time you’re in need of a super-simple, yet fun dinner option that doesn’t take a lot of prep (and who doesn’t need one of those, approximately five nights per week!) reach for this recipe. Everyone will devour the tender, moist meatloaf with its topping of homemade mashed potatoes, melting cheese, and crispy bacon.

If you love this comfort food style casserole, make sure to also check out my families favorite Loaded Mashed Potato and Meatball Casserole.

A square serving of meatloaf casserole on a white plate, with a wooden-handled fork and knife and striped napkin.

Tell Me More about This Meatloaf Casserole

Definitely: Loaded potato and meatloaf casserole is:

  • Family-Friendly
  • Easy to Make
  • Quick
  • Hearty
  • Cheesy
  • Freezer-Friendly
  • Perfect for Weeknights
Clockwise from top: Butter, milk, barbecue sauce, worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, pepper, salt, one whole egg, sour cream, cottage cheese, onion, bread crumbs, thick-cut bacon, russet potatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, ground beef.

What Ingredients Do You Need?

To make this easy casserole, you mostly need basic pantry staples. However, there are some unusual twists, like cottage cheese in the meatloaf (trust me, you’re going to love it!), as well as BBQ sauce. Let’s take a closer look at each ingredient:

For the Meatloaf

  • Ground Meat: I usually go with lean hamburger in this recipe, but lean ground turkey is great as well.
  • Onion: Chop up half an onion. Any kind of onion is fine.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic gives the brightest flavor, but if you’d rather use powdered garlic, that’s also good.
  • Bread Crumbs: Any seasoned breadcrumbs that you like will work. Don’t have breadcrumbs? You can also use crushed crackers, or even rolled oats. Don’t use steel-cut oats.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This classic condiment adds loads of savory flavor. A little goes a long way, though, so don’t overdo it or the whole meatloaf casserole will taste like nothing but Worcestershire!
  • Egg: One large egg, lightly beaten, helps bind the meatloaf mixture together.
  • Cottage Cheese: Tangy cottage cheese adds flavor and a little creamy, melty oomph to each bite of meatloaf.
  • BBQ Sauce: Any variety that you like is fine. 
Close-up of a square of meatloaf casserole, showing the layers of meat, potato, and cheese.

For the Loaded Potatoes

  • Potatoes: Peel and dice up your potatoes. Russets are my go-to, but Yukon gold also make good mashed potatoes. My favorite Garlic Mashed Potatoes would also be great in this casserole. You could also use store bought potatoes to save time.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted is fine. If you use salted butter, you may want to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Sour Cream: For the best results, have the sour cream at or close to room temperature.
  • Milk: Warm up the milk before adding it to the potatoes. You can also use half and half.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Bacon: You’ll need just a few slices of thick bacon, cooked and crumbled. You can cook this on the stove while you cook the potatoes, or easily cook the bacon in the oven while the meatloaf bakes. Easy!
  • Cheese: Shredded cheddar cheese puts the finishing touch on this down-home meatloaf casserole.

Let’s Make Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole!

There are two basic components to this recipe: the meatloaf, and the mashed potatoes. Making both of these at the same time is easy! Then you just spread the potatoes over the meatloaf, top it with cheese and bacon, and melt!

  1. Get Ready to Cook! Before you get started cooking, set your oven to preheat. You will want it preheating to 375°F. Then grease a large baking dish (13×9) with butter, oil, or a little bit of nonstick cooking spray. Set the dish aside.
  2. Make the Meatloaf. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the meatloaf ingredients, and mix them up with a big spoon or your hands. Don’t overmix, or the meatloaf will be tough. Place the meatloaf mixture in your greased baking dish, and press it into an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Cook the Potatoes. While the meatloaf is cooking, place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, and cover them with water. You don’t have to use a lot of water—just enough to barely cover the potatoes. Turn the heat to medium, and bring the potatoes to a simmer. Cook them just until they’re tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Mash the Potatoes. Once the potatoes are tender, drain all of the water out. Add the butter to the saucepan, and mash the potatoes. I like to use a hand mixer to mash my potatoes very smooth. Next, add the sour cream, warm milk, salt, and pepper, and mix again to combine.
  5. Layer the Potatoes, Cheese, and Bacon over the Meatloaf. Once the meatloaf has baked for half an hour, take it out of the oven. Carefully pour off any excess grease. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf, and then sprinkle cheddar cheese and bacon bits over the top of the potatoes.
  6. Bake. Return the meatloaf casserole to the oven, and bake for 15 more minutes to melt the cheese and allow the flavors to meld.
  7. Enjoy! Serve the loaded potato and meatloaf casserole with your favorite sides for an easy meal!

My Favorite Tips!

You can truly make this flexible recipe your own, in so many ways! Here are my favorite tips for making this to suit your tribe.

  • Low Carb Option: Top this casserole with mashed sweet potatoes or cauliflower, instead of regular potatoes, for a crazy-good dinner that’s lower in carbs.
  • Italian: I like to barbecue in my meatloaf, but it’s also scrumptious with a little marinara instead! Sprinkle some oregano and basil in there for even more flavor.
  • Add Veggies: Give a nod to shepherd’s pie, and throw some peas and carrots on top of your meatloaf to add a layer of tasty vegetables (with practically no extra effort!).
Overhead shot of a baked meatloaf casserole, topped with cheddar and bacon.

Yummy Sides to Go with Meatloaf Casserole

This simple meatloaf casserole is really just about a one-dish meal, but I do usually like to make one veggie side. Here are a few easy favorites the whole family will love!

  • Asparagus: Got ten minutes? Got fresh asparagus? Then you have to try this simple Air Fryer Asparagus with lemon and Parmesan! It’s so good, and so easy to make.
  • Candied Carrots: The sweetness of classic Candied Carrots is always a welcome addition to the table around here. Kids and grownups alike love this one!
  • Salad: A simple garden salad or Greek Salad makes a fresh, crisp pairing with meat and potatoes. Perfection!
A serving of meatloaf casserole being scooped out of casserole dish.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

To refrigerate, cover the casserole well or place leftovers in airtight containers or bags. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To freeze, wrap well or place in airtight containers. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw before reheating.

Reheat leftovers in an ovenproof dish at 375°F until heated through. Test several places in the casserole using an Instant Read thermometer, to make sure it is fully reheated.

Can I Make This Potato and Meatloaf Casserole Ahead?

Sure! Loaded potato and meatloaf casserole is an excellent choice for storing and reheating. Just wrap it or store it as directed above, and make sure to thaw (if frozen) overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Yield: 8 Servings

Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole

A square serving of meatloaf casserole on a white plate, with a wooden-handled fork and knife and striped napkin.

Creamy homemade mashed potatoes top a moist and flavorful meatloaf in this easy casserole dinner. Bacon and cheddar make it even better! Yes, this Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole checks all the boxes, and then some!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • ½ cup chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup warm milk (or half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 slices thick bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the hamburger, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, egg, cottage cheese, and BBQ sauce.
  3. Add the meatloaf into the pan, and spread it into an even layer. Place in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. While the meatloaf is cooking, add the potatoes to a pan and cover with water. Cook over medium heat until tender.
  5. Drain the water from the potatoes, and add the butter. Beat with a hand mixer to combine. Add the sour cream, warm milk, salt, and pepper, and mix again to combine.
  6. Remove the meatloaf from the oven, and pour off any excess grease.
  7. Spread the mashed potatoes over the meatloaf, then add the cheddar cheese and bacon bits.
  8. Return the meatloaf into the oven for an additional 15 minutes, until the potatoes are hot and the cheese has melted.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven, and serve the meatloaf with your favorite sides.

Notes

Storage:

  • Fridge: Cover the casserole well, or place leftovers in airtight containers or bags, and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Wrap casserole well or place in airtight containers. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw before reheating.
  • Reheat: Place leftovers in an ovenproof dish at 375°F until heated through. Test several places in the casserole using an Instant Read thermometer, to make sure it is fully reheated.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 707Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 1089mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 44g

Categories

More Easy Comfort Food Dinner Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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Comments

5 Responses
  1. Jenni

    Hi Jessica I made this tonight but I used ground venison instead of hamburger , and it was delicious my husband is a advid hunter and a meat and potatoes guy he really enjoyed this recipe .

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Anthony! The recipe is at the bottom of the post. If you don’t want to read the tips/tricks in the post, just hit the jump to the recipe button at the top of the post. Hope this helps you!

  2. Pam

    This looks delicious. Which would be best for freezing – fully baked before freezing or just assembled to bake later?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      I honestly think you could do either way. You do bake the meatloaf before topping it with the mashed potatoes, so I think it would be easiest to bake the meatloaf, top it with the mashed potatoes and then freeze it.

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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