Ground Beef Potato Casserole: A Hearty Family Favorite Recipe

The Ultimate Comfort Dish: Ground Beef Potato Casserole

In the realm of comfort food, the Ground Beef Potato Casserole stands out as a heartwarming classic that combines the savory goodness of ground beef with the wholesome, earthy flavors of potatoes. This dish is a testament to the magic of simple ingredients coming together to create something truly special. Perfect for chilly evenings, family dinners, or whenever the craving for something deeply satisfying strikes, this casserole is a beloved favorite for good reason.

Ingredients: The Foundation of Flavor

The key to a delicious Ground Beef Potato Casserole lies in its ingredients. Each component plays a crucial role in building the dish’s rich, comforting flavor:

  • Ground Beef: The star of the show, lean ground beef is preferred for its lower fat content and robust flavor.
  • Potatoes: Choose Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes for their ideal texture and ability to absorb flavors.
  • Dairy Components: A mix of condensed cream of mushroom soup and milk creates a creamy, luxurious base, while cheddar cheese adds a layer of gooey, melty delight.
  • Seasonings: Simple yet essential, salt and black pepper season the dish perfectly. For an extra kick, consider adding garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

For those interested in exploring more about potato-based dishes, the “Perfectly Crispy Air Fryer Roast Potatoes Recipe” on RecipesMingle offers a fantastic side dish option that pairs wonderfully with this casserole.

Crafting the Casserole: A Step-by-Step Culinary Journey

Creating the perfect Ground Beef Potato Casserole is an exercise in layering flavors and textures to achieve a harmonious dish:

  1. Prepare the Beef: Cook the ground beef until browned, then drain any excess grease to ensure a non-greasy finish.
  2. Mix the Creamy Base: Blend the condensed cream of mushroom soup with milk and your chosen seasonings for a rich and creamy sauce.
  3. Layer the Casserole: Begin with a layer of thinly sliced potatoes, followed by the soup mixture, and then the cooked beef. Repeat the layers, ending with potatoes on top.
  4. Bake to Perfection: Cover with foil and bake until the potatoes are tender. Uncover, top with cheddar cheese, and return to the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

For those looking to expand their culinary repertoire with more ground beef recipes, the “Turkey Bolognese Recipe” provides a lighter alternative that’s equally satisfying and flavorful.

How to Know When Hamburger Meat is Cooked

Knowing when hamburger meat is cooked is crucial for both safety and flavor. Here are key indicators to ensure your ground beef is perfectly cooked:

1. Check the Internal Temperature

  • The most reliable method is to use a meat thermometer. The USDA recommends cooking ground beef to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to get an accurate reading.

2. Observe the Color Change

  • Raw ground beef is usually a bright red on the outside and may be a bit darker on the inside. As it cooks, it should change from red to brown. Note that color alone can be misleading, as beef can turn brown before it reaches a safe cooking temperature, especially if it’s been exposed to oxygen (which can prematurely brown the meat).

3. Look for Juices

  • When cooking hamburger meat, pay attention to the juices. Initially, you may see pink or red juices, which indicate that the meat is not yet fully cooked. As the meat reaches a safe temperature, the juices should run clear or be slightly browned.

4. Texture and Firmness

  • Feel the meat with a utensil or your finger (be careful to not burn yourself). Raw meat is quite soft and squishy. As it cooks, the proteins coagulate, making the meat firmer. Fully cooked ground beef should be firm to the touch, not soft or mushy.

5. Time and Heat

  • Cooking times can vary based on the amount of meat, the method of cooking, and the heat source. However, as a general rule, if you’re cooking ground beef over medium heat, it usually takes about 7-10 minutes to get fully cooked, depending on the thickness of the meat. Always ensure to stir or flip it frequently for even cooking.

Safety Tips:

  • Avoid Tasting Raw Meat: To prevent foodborne illness, never taste ground beef (or any ground meat) to check if it’s done.
  • Use Separate Utensils: Use separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked meat to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Rest Before Serving: Let the cooked hamburger meat rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the meat moist and flavorful.

Remember, relying solely on visual cues like color can be deceptive, especially with certain types of ground beef or when cooking with added ingredients like sauces or spices. The safest and most accurate method to ensure your hamburger meat is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer.


Serving Ground Beef Potato Casserole effectively combines presentation with complementary sides to enhance the dining experience. Here’s how to serve this hearty dish to your family or guests:

1. Let It Rest

  • After removing the casserole from the oven, let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. This resting period allows the layers to set, making it easier to cut into portions without falling apart.

2. Cutting and Plating

  • Use a sharp knife or spatula to cut the casserole into squares or rectangles. Serve each portion with a spatula or cake server, ensuring each piece includes the delicious layers of ground beef, potatoes, and melted cheese.

3. Garnishing

  • Enhance the visual appeal and flavor with a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top. Chopped parsley, chives, or green onions add a pop of color and a fresh taste contrast to the rich casserole.

4. Side Dishes

  • Balance the richness of the casserole with lighter side dishes. Consider serving with:
    • A crisp green salad dressed with a vinaigrette
    • Steamed or roasted vegetables like green beans, carrots, or broccoli
    • A simple fruit salad for a refreshing contrast

5. Bread Accompaniments

  • Offer a basket of warm, crusty bread or dinner rolls. Bread complements the casserole well, providing a delightful way to soak up any creamy sauce.

6. Beverage Pairings

  • Pair the casserole with beverages that can cut through the richness of the dish. For non-alcoholic options, consider iced tea, sparkling water with lemon, or a robust tomato juice. If you prefer wine, a medium-bodied red like Merlot or a crisp white like Sauvignon Blanc pairs nicely.

7. Serving for Special Occasions

  • For special occasions, elevate the presentation by serving the casserole in a decorative dish. Add themed table decorations and quality dinnerware to match the event.

8. Offering Condiments

  • Some guests might enjoy customizing their portion. Offer condiments on the side, such as hot sauce for those who like a bit of heat, sour cream for added creaminess, or extra shredded cheese.

9. Dessert Pairings

  • Conclude the meal with a light dessert to balance the hearty main course. Sorbet, fruit tarts, or a lemon cheesecake are excellent choices that offer a refreshing end to the meal.

Serving Ground Beef Potato Casserole with attention to these details can turn a simple meal into a memorable dining experience. Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a special gathering, the right presentation and accompaniments can elevate this comforting dish to new heights.

Ground Beef Potato Casserole Recipe


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 large Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Optional: garlic powder and Italian seasoning for added flavor


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Brown the Ground Beef: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until evenly browned. Drain off excess fat and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Soup Mixture: In a mixing bowl, combine the condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, and seasonings (salt, black pepper, and optional garlic powder and Italian seasoning). Mix well.
  4. Layer the Casserole: Arrange a layer of thinly sliced potatoes at the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread half of the soup mixture over the potatoes, then layer half of the cooked ground beef on top. Repeat the layers once more, finishing with a layer of potatoes.
  5. Bake: Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add Cheese: Remove the foil, sprinkle the shredded Cheddar cheese over the top, and return to the oven. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Serve: Let the casserole stand for a few minutes before serving. This allows it to set and makes it easier to cut into portions.

Serving Suggestions and Storage Tips

To balance the hearty richness of the casserole, pair it with lighter side dishes. Some refreshing options include:

  • A crisp Caesar salad
  • Easy apple coleslaw
  • Spinach salad with poppy seed dressing

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for up to two months, making this casserole a fantastic option for make-ahead meals.

FAQs: Perfecting Your Casserole

  • Can I substitute ground turkey for beef? Yes, ground turkey is a great alternative for a lighter version.
  • Are there vegetarian options? Absolutely, consider using a meat substitute or lentils for a vegetarian-friendly dish.
  • How can I make this casserole more kid-friendly? Adding a layer of sweet corn or peas between the beef and potatoes can introduce a sweet or vibrant pop that kids love.
  • Tips for making ahead? Assemble the casserole up to a day in advance and refrigerate. When ready to bake, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly.

The Ground Beef Potato Casserole is a celebration of simple, hearty ingredients coming together to create a dish that’s both comforting and satisfying. Whether you’re looking to recreate a taste of home or introduce a new favorite to your dinner rotation, this casserole promises warmth, flavor, and smiles all around. For more delicious recipes and cooking tips, explore the wide range of dishes featured on RecipesMingle.

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