Mashed Potato Meatloaf Casserole

Introduction:

When it comes to comfort food, few dishes can compete with the hearty goodness of meatloaf and the creamy indulgence of mashed potatoes. But what if we told you there’s a way to combine these two classics into one mouthwatering masterpiece? Enter the Mashed Potato Meatloaf Casserole – a dish that takes comfort food to a whole new level. In this article, we’ll explore the deliciousness of this dish, along with a simple recipe to recreate it in your own kitchen.

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 pounds of Ground Beef 85/15
  •  1/4 of a yellow onion, finely chopped
  •  2/3 cup of seasoned dry breadcrumbs
  •  1/3 cup of whole milk
  •  1 large egg, lightly beaten
  •  1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper
  •  2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  •  1/3 cup of unsalted butter
  •  1/2 cup of whole milk
  •  1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper
  •  1/2 cup of bacon bits, cooked and crumbled
  •  1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions:

  1. I preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, I gently combine beef, onion, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, salt, and pepper, then press into a 9×9 baking dish.
  3. I bake uncovered for 15 minutes, then remove and drain any excess fat.
  4. While the meatloaf is cooking, I add potatoes with just enough water to cover to a pot and bring to a boil on high heat. I cook for 15 minutes.
  5. I drain the water and add the milk, butter, salt, and pepper, mashing it all together until creamy.
  6. I spread over the meatloaf and top with cheese and bacon.
  7. I bake for an additional 15 minutes until bacon is sizzling, cheese is bubbling, and the mashed potatoes are slightly crispy.

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish Creatively: Before serving, consider garnishing your Mashed Potato Meatloaf Casserole with additional toppings such as chopped chives, shredded cheese, or crispy bacon bits for added flavor and visual appeal.
  2. Pair with Greens: Balance out the richness of the casserole with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh green salad tossed with a light vinaigrette. The crispness and acidity of the greens will complement the hearty flavors of the dish.
  3. Serve with Condiments: Offer condiments like ketchup, gravy, or a tangy barbecue sauce on the side for guests to customize their servings according to their preferences.
  4. Individual Portions: Consider portioning the casserole into individual serving dishes or ramekins for a more elegant presentation, especially if serving at a dinner party or special occasion.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: If you have leftovers, allow the casserole to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: Mashed Potato Meatloaf Casserole can be frozen for longer-term storage. Wrap the cooled casserole tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  3. Reheating: To reheat the casserole, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. Then, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), and transfer the casserole to a baking dish if it’s not already in one. Cover with foil to prevent drying out and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, individual portions can be reheated in the microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  4. Refreshing Leftovers: If the mashed potatoes seem dry after reheating, add a splash of milk or broth and stir to revive their creamy texture. Additionally, a quick drizzle of gravy or sauce can add moisture and enhance flavors.

FAQs:

1. Can I use instant mashed potatoes for this recipe?

  • Yes, you can use instant mashed potatoes if you’re short on time. However, homemade mashed potatoes typically offer better flavor and texture. If using instant mashed potatoes, follow the package instructions to prepare them before layering them in the casserole.

2. Can I prepare the casserole ahead of time?

  • Absolutely! You can assemble the Mashed Potato Meatloaf Casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. This makes it a convenient option for meal prep or busy weeknights. Simply cover the assembled casserole tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking.

3. Can I freeze leftovers of this casserole?

  • Yes, you can freeze leftovers of the Mashed Potato Meatloaf Casserole for longer storage. Once cooled, cut the casserole into individual portions and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Place the wrapped portions in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake in the oven until heated through.

4. Can I substitute ground beef with ground turkey or chicken?

  • Absolutely! Ground turkey or chicken can be used as a leaner alternative to ground beef in this recipe. Simply follow the same cooking instructions for the meatloaf layer, ensuring that the poultry is fully cooked before assembling the casserole.

5. How do I prevent the mashed potatoes from drying out during baking?

  • To prevent the mashed potatoes from drying out during baking, make sure they are spread evenly over the meatloaf layer and cover the entire surface of the casserole. You can also brush the mashed potatoes with melted butter or olive oil before baking to help retain moisture. Additionally, covering the casserole with aluminum foil during the first part of baking can help trap steam and keep the mashed potatoes moist.

Conclusion:

With its comforting flavors and satisfying textures, the Mashed Potato Meatloaf Casserole is sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or a casual gathering with friends, this dish is guaranteed to impress. So why wait? Head to the kitchen and indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience today!