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!
Table of Contents
- A Quick Meat-and-Potatoes Dinner with Tons of Flavor!
- Tell Me More about This Meatloaf Casserole
- What Ingredients Do You Need?
- Let’s Make Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole!
- My Favorite Tips!
- Yummy Sides to Go with Meatloaf Casserole
- Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- Can I Make This Potato and Meatloaf Casserole Ahead?
- Get the Recipe
- More Easy Comfort Food Dinner Recipes
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.
Tell Me More about This Meatloaf Casserole
Definitely: Loaded potato and meatloaf casserole is:
- Easy to Make
- Perfect for Weeknights
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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake. Return the meatloaf casserole to the oven, and bake for 15 more minutes to melt the cheese and allow the flavors to meld.
- 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!).
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!
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.
Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the hamburger, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, egg, cottage cheese, and BBQ sauce.
- Add the meatloaf into the pan, and spread it into an even layer. Place in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes.
- While the meatloaf is cooking, add the potatoes to a pan and cover with water. Cook over medium heat until tender.
- 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.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven, and pour off any excess grease.
- Spread the mashed potatoes over the meatloaf, then add the cheddar cheese and bacon bits.
- Return the meatloaf into the oven for an additional 15 minutes, until the potatoes are hot and the cheese has melted.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and serve the meatloaf with your favorite sides.
- 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.
More Easy Comfort Food Dinner Recipes
- Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Best Chicken Fried Chicken
- Easy Crockpot Beef Tips
- Chunky Beef Chili Recipe
- Easy Swedish Meatballs with Creamy Sauce
- The Best Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
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