Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

Looking for a hearty and satisfying meal that combines the best of meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Look no further than the Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Cassrole. This recipe brings together the flavors of lean ground meat, barbecue sauce, and crispy bacon, all nestled on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. It’s comfort food with a twist, and it’s perfect for those occasions when you crave a wholesome and delicious dinner. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the details of this Cowboy-inspired recipe, from the essential ingredients to the step-by-step instructions, and even some helpful tips and variations to make it your own.

Who Will Love This Recipe?

The Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole is a crowd-pleaser, and here’s who will particularly enjoy it:

  • Busy Families: If you’re looking for a filling, one-dish dinner that’s easy to prepare, this casserole is a time-saving solution for busy weeknights.
  • BBQ Enthusiasts: Fans of barbecue flavors will appreciate the smoky, tangy kick that the Jack Daniel’s® Barbecue Sauce, Honey Smokehouse™, brings to this dish.
  • Comfort Food Lovers: For anyone who loves classic comfort food with a Western twist, this casserole is a delightful marriage of two beloved dishes.
  • Potato Enthusiasts: If you can’t get enough of creamy mashed potatoes, this casserole is a dream come true with its luscious potato layer.

Why It’s Great

There are several reasons why the Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole is a fantastic addition to your recipe collection:

  • Savory and Sweet: This casserole offers a perfect balance of savory meatloaf and sweet, creamy mashed potatoes, creating an explosion of flavors in every bite.
  • Easy Preparation: While it may seem intricate, this recipe is surprisingly straightforward. It’s a great choice for home cooks looking to impress without spending hours in the kitchen.
  • Family-Friendly: Kids and adults alike will relish this dish. It’s a great way to get everyone around the table for a delicious, hearty meal.
  • Versatile: You can customize the toppings and seasonings to suit your taste. Whether you prefer it spicier or smokier, this recipe can accommodate your preferences.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before you embark on creating this Cowboy-inspired masterpiece, ensure you have these essential ingredients on hand:

  • 1 package Ore-Ida® Steam n’ Mash® Cut Russet Potatoes
  • 1 pound ground lean meat (beef or turkey)
  • 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s® Barbecue Sauce, Honey Smokehouse™
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup crumbled real bacon
  • 1/4 cup crispy fried onions, canned
  • 2/3 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded

Kitchen Equipment

To bring this Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole to life, you’ll need a few essential kitchen tools:

  • Large Mixing Bowl: For combining the meatloaf ingredients.
  • 9×9 Baking Dish: The ideal size for this casserole.
  • Oven: To bake and broil your casserole to perfection.
  • Nonstick Cooking Spray: To ensure your casserole doesn’t stick to the baking dish.
  • Oven Rack: Needed for broiling, so make sure it’s adjusted to 6 to 8 inches from the heat source.

Directions

Let’s get started on this mouthwatering Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole:

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190°C).
  • Coat your 9×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 2: Mix the Meatloaf

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat (beef or turkey), finely chopped onion, seasoned bread crumbs, Jack Daniel’s® Barbecue Sauce, Honey Smokehouse™, beaten egg, chili powder, and salt. Mix until well combined.

Step 3: Bake the Meatloaf

  • Gently press the meatloaf mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until the meatloaf is cooked through. If there’s any excess fat, carefully pour it off.

Step 4: Broil for Crispy Top

  • Adjust your oven to broil and place the oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source.

Step 5: Potato Layer

  • While the meatloaf is broiling, prepare the Ore-Ida® Steam n’ Mash® Cut Russet Potatoes according to the package instructions. These potatoes are a time-saver and incredibly convenient.

Step 6: Assemble and Garnish

  • Once the meatloaf is nicely browned on top, remove it from the oven.
  • Spread the prepared mashed potatoes over the meatloaf layer.

Step 7: Toppings

  • Now, let’s add some pizzazz! Sprinkle the crumbled real bacon, crispy fried onions, and shredded Mexican blend cheese on top.

Step 8: Broil Again

  • Place the casserole back in the oven and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the topping is crispy and golden.

Tips and Shortcuts

  • Time-Saver: Use pre-made mashed potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes if you’re short on time.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different cheese blends for unique flavors. Pepper Jack for some heat, cheddar for a classic touch, or even a smoky gouda for added depth.

Recipe Variations

This Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole is a canvas for culinary creativity. Here are some variations to consider:

  • Veggie-Packed: Incorporate diced bell peppers, corn, and black beans into the meatloaf mixture for a Tex-Mex twist.
  • Mushroom Lovers: If you adore mushrooms, sauté some and add them to the meatloaf mix for a rich, earthy flavor.
  • Spice it Up: Enhance the heat by adding jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes to the meatloaf mix.

How to Store Leftovers

If, by some miracle, you have leftovers, follow these steps to keep them fresh:

  • Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature.
  • Cover it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

When reheating, pop it back in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.

FAQ

Q: Can I use ground turkey instead of beef?
A: Absolutely! Ground

turkey is a great lean alternative that works wonderfully in this recipe.

Q: Can I make this casserole in advance?
A: You can prepare the meatloaf portion in advance, but it’s best to add the potato and topping layers just before baking.

Q: Can I make it spicy?
A: Sure! Adjust the spice level by adding more chili powder or some hot sauce to the meatloaf mix.

Q: What side dishes go well with this casserole?
A: This casserole is a meal in itself, but if you want to add some sides, a simple green salad or steamed vegetables would be perfect complements.

Get Cooking!

The Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole is a delicious fusion of flavors and a testament to the joy of comfort food. Whether you’re serving a hungry family or just indulging in some satisfying self-care, this recipe has you covered. So, put on your apron and get ready to savor the incredible combination of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, topped with a mouthwatering blend of bacon and cheese. Your taste buds will thank you! If you enjoyed this recipe, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family and subscribe to our blog for more culinary delights. Happy cooking!

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