Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

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Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole creates a new spin on an old family favorite. The blend of BBQ sauce and cheesy potatoes with bacon bits gives new life to a hum drum meal.
This recipe is both easy and very adaptable to just how much you want to make from scratch and how much you want to use shortcuts… either way.. this makes for an excellent weeknight meal.
TIPS
I highly recommend you use the leanest of ground beef… I use extremely lean beef and had no fat accumulate in my baking dish.
If you use less lean meat you will need to drain off any fat that accumulates on top of the meat after it bakes for the first part of the baking time.
Use whatever BBQ sauce you prefer.. keep in mind that this flavor will affect the taste of the dish.. so don’t cheap out on it.
I love to use my Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce…. click here for the easy to make recipe.
To save time … I made the meatloaf mixture ahead and stored it in a Zip loc bag… it made making supper really quick and easy.
I used cheesy instant mashed…. I wanted to take a shortcut… you can make them from scratch or use plain or loaded mashed potatoes if you prefer. If you use loaded mashed potatoes, leave the bacon bits out.
I made my bacon in the oven.. it’s really easy and clean up is a snap… no standing over a hot stove to make it either… click here for How to Make Bacon in the Oven.
You can leave the bacon out … or use bacon bits if you prefer.
I chopped the onion and garlic together in my mini chopper.. it works really well.
The first cut out of the pan doesn’t always come out perfect… if you’re serving this for company… I’d recommend you either make it ahead without the topping of French Fried Onions and cheese… and reheat it… then pop it back in the oven with the topping until the cheese melts. It cuts perfectly after reheating.

Here is how to prepare it:
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