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Hamburger Potato Casserole — Easy, Delicious One Pot Meal

This Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role recipe is sim­ple, afford­able, and deli­cious com­fort food. And, Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role is nat­u­ral­ly gluten free.

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a shallow white bowl on a concrete counter
Post may con­tain affil­i­ate links. See my Affil­i­ate Disclosure.

Adults and kids alike are drawn to to my easy-to-make 30-minute ground beef and pota­toes recipe.

Actu­al­ly writ­ing down the recipe for Ground Beef Pota­to Casse­role has left me very nos­tal­gic for a time when all 5 of our kids were still at home and two were quite small. 

Mon­ey was usu­al­ly tight, so, recipes like this one helped stretch the bud­get in the best pos­si­ble way.

Nor­mal­ly, mon­ey-sav­ing recipes require more of your time, while quick and easy recipes that use con­ve­nience items are more costly.

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a shallow white bowl on a concrete counter

This humbly deli­cious Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role recipe breaks out of that pattern. 

Even with our ridicu­lous­ly high post-pan­dem­ic gro­cery prices, Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role is still one of the most afford­able and com­fort­ing meals in my recipe box. 

And, with about 10 to 15 min­utes of prep and 15 min­utes of cook­ing, I can get it on the table in a total of about 30 minutes!

The Cost $$$$$

Not only is my Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role absolute­ly scrump­tious and easy to make, but it’s also a super eco­nom­i­cal and hearty meal. 

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a shallow white bowl on a concrete counter

When else can you make a dish that serves 8, 10 or even 12 depend­ing on what you serve with it for under $12.00? It’s a fan­tas­tic value!

Ground Beef$6.85
Pota­toes$2.97
Car­rots$0.67
Red Onion$1.16
Salt and Pepper$0.05
MEAL TOTAL$11.70

The Recipe Name

Is Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role real­ly a casse­role? Is it hash? When I was mak­ing this tasty Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role recipe for my young fam­i­ly, I just made it. I did­n’t name it. lol I took pantry sta­ples that I always had on hand and put them togeth­er to make a meal.

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a shallow white bowl on a concrete counter.   Easy Potato and Ground beef recipe  for 30 minute meal prep.

As I start­ed writ­ing this post and had to come up with a name, I went into a pan­ic. What exact­ly IS this dish? So, I did a lit­tle research. I don’t know that it was help­ful. lol

I dis­cov­ered that Ham­burg­er and Pota­to Casse­role is NOT a hot­dish. Hot­dish is appar­ent­ly a term that refers to what we, not from the north, call a casse­role. It usu­al­ly con­tains a pro­tein and veg­gies with some sort of cream soup or sauce and some­times, cheese.

Casserole or Hash?

What Is Casserole?

Casse­role sort of blew me away and made my head hurt. So. many. opinions. 

Casse­role actu­al­ly comes from a French word that refers to the dish or pot the food is cooked in. 

In more recent his­to­ry, it has been used to ref­er­ence the actu­al food cooked in it. 

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a shallow white bowl on a concrete counter

I real­ly like the def­i­n­i­tion they came up with for casse­role over at Uno Casa.

A casse­role “can con­tain a mas­sive­ly wide vari­ety of ingre­di­ents that all get cooked at once, mak­ing the meal unique­ly easy to make … Gen­er­al­ly, most casseroles con­tain a pro­tein … plus a mix of veg­eta­bles and some starch … mak­ing it moist and slice­able. Cooks often add liq­uids like water, stock, wine, or milk to pre­vent the dish from dry­ing out as it cooks uncov­ered in the oven. ”

So, except for being slice­able and cooked in the oven, my Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role recipe does qualify.

What is Hash?

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a shallow white bowl on a concrete counter

Accord­ing to Wikipedia, Hash “is a culi­nary dish con­sist­ing of chopped meat, pota­toes, and fried onions. The name is derived from French: hacher, mean­ing “to chop”. It orig­i­nat­ed as a way to use up left­overs. In the USA by the 1860s, a cheap restau­rant was called a “hash house” or “hash­ery.”

Hash is com­mon­ly fried in a cast iron skil­let to get all those deli­cious crispy bits and edges. And it’s not uncom­mon to serve it with fried eggs on top. 

(I found this hash pho­to after nam­ing the recipe. I think it’s sausage pota­toes and sweet pota­toes, but it does look similar.)

hash in a cast iron skillet

My Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role recipe uses crum­bled beef, pota­toes and onions, but it’s not fried. And I add car­rots. Plus, I don’t add fried eggs to the top. Though, hmmm … that might be real­ly tasty. Ingre­di­ent-wise it qual­i­fies, most­ly. But it’s not fried, nor cooked in a skil­let. And there is the addi­tion of carrots.

So, I final­ly just went with Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role. You call it what seems right to you, okay?

The Ingredients

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole Ingredients: ground beef, diced potatoes, minced red onion, sliced carrots, salt and pepper
  • Ground Beef: I choose 80/20 lean to fat ratio for bet­ter fla­vor in my Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casserole.
  • Rus­set Pota­toes, peeled and diced 
  • Car­rots, sliced into thin rounds
  • Red Onion, minced
  • Salt and Pepper

The Prep

The Ground Beef

raw ground beef on parchment paper sitting on a wooden cutting board

Choose the best qual­i­ty ground beef you can afford for your Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role. There are lots of options nowa­days and it can get con­fus­ing. Use the bud­get you have and get the best 80/20 lean to fat ham­burg­er that you can find, with­in it. If that’s pas­tured or grass-fed, great. But, if it’s not, that’s great, too.

I always feel like God knows where you are and the cir­cum­stances you are in. Do the best you can with the resources pro­vid­ed and He will bless that food to nour­ish you and your fam­i­ly in the way that’s needed.

You’ll need 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef to make Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role. And, the fin­ished dish should eas­i­ly make 12 serv­ings in a meal where you serve oth­er veg­eta­bles and sides.

The Potatoes

raw, unpeeled russet potatoes in a clear plastic bowl
Rus­set Potatoes

I use Rus­set pota­toes for Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role. They are the least expen­sive in my area. They are also a good, starchy pota­to, which you want for this recipe. 

The small­er pieces of rus­set pota­to you end up with as you cube the pota­toes will break down more quick­ly and cre­ate a sort of “saucy” coat­ing over the oth­er ingre­di­ents in your Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casserole. 

Use a whole 5 pound bag of pota­toes. You’ll peel them and dice them into 1/2‑inch cubes. Of course, you’re try­ing to cut cubes out of a round or oval-shaped ingre­di­ent, so they won’t be per­fect. No worries. 

Get as close as you can. Uni­for­mi­ty in size, not shape, is what’s impor­tant for most of the pieces, so they cook at the same rate in your Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role recipe. But, you will have some small­er pieces left from the ends and that’s not only okay, it’s exact­ly what you want.

raw, unpeeled yukon gold potatoes on a white background.  One potato in front is sliced in half to expose the yellow flesh.
Yukon Gold Potatoes

The small­er pieces will cook more quick­ly and break down to form a pota­to coat­ing over the oth­er ingre­di­ents as you are stir­ring. It gives your hash style Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role it’s hearty, com­fort­ing soul.

Possible Potato Substitutes

Of all the kinds of pota­toes, which are the best for mak­ing Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role?

If you can’t find Rus­set pota­toes in your area, both Ida­ho pota­toes (actu­al­ly a Rus­set) and Yukon Gold pota­toes are nice starchy vari­eties that should work well in this recipe.

Yukon gold is less starchy than a Rus­set, but still con­sid­ered a starchy pota­to. It has gold­en or yel­low flesh. And, like it’s Rus­set cousin, it’s great for bak­ing, mash­ing and fry­ing. It’s a good option in this easy ground beef casse­role recipe.

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a shallow white bowl on a concrete counter

Let’s Talk About Salt

Since I was a kid, half a cen­tu­ry ago, the pow­ers that be have made a con­cert­ed effort to vil­i­fy salt and lim­it it’s intake. I hope you haven’t jumped on board that sink­ing ship with­out under­stand­ing the evidence. 

If your doc­tor rec­om­mends a low-salt diet, that is one thing, but a low salt diet for entire pop­u­la­tions is just not good sci­ence. (See my sug­gest­ed read­ing at the bot­tom of this section.)

Cur­rent sci­ence debunks a lot of the myths sur­round­ing salt intake. Like any oth­er food, salt should be used in mod­er­a­tion, as it was intend­ed. But it is NOT inher­ent­ly bad for you. As a mat­ter of fact, you need it.

What Does Salt Actually Do for Food?

And so does our food. Salt is a fla­vor ENHANCER. It’s pur­pose is to inten­si­fy and bring out the nat­ur­al fla­vors in our food. It’s an impor­tant ingre­di­ent in your Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role because salt and pep­per are the only seasonings.

Our food isn’t meant to taste salty. That’s when you know you’ve used too much. But, our food is sup­posed to be the most fla­vor­ful and enjoy­able that it can be. Salt helps that happen.

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a stainless steel pot on the stove.   Easy Potato and Ground beef recipe  for 30 minute meal prep.

Under-sea­son­ing a dish like this delec­table Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role leaves you with dis­ap­point­ing and bland meals. Before I put it on the table, I will have added around 4 to 4 1/2 tea­spoons of salt to this quick recipe with ground beef. 😮 

Keep in mind you’re sea­son­ing more than 7 pounds of food and at least 12 serv­ings. That’s around 1/3 tea­spoon per serving. 

The salt is impor­tant. The beef will taste more savory, the pota­toes more deeply “pota­toey” and the car­rots will be sweet. Yup! Salt will bring out the nat­ur­al sweet­ness in your car­rots and help cre­ate a har­mo­nious bal­ance in this com­fort food Ham­burg­er and Pota­to Casserole.

You must do your own research, con­sult your doc­tor and use your own best judg­ment when it comes to salt use. I am cer­tain­ly not a doc­tor. But, if you want a few inter­est­ing arti­cles to read about salt use and intake, these are a good place to start:

Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a shallow white bowl on a concrete counter

How to Make Hamburger Potato Casserole

(See com­plete how-to video in recipe card.)

My Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role recipe is quick to come togeth­er. With prep and cook time, you will have din­ner on the table in 30 minutes.

  1. Start by peel­ing, and then dic­ing, the pota­toes into 1/2″ cubes. 
  2. Slice the car­rots into thin rounds and mince the onion.
  3. Place the ground beef into a stock pot or Dutch oven. (I used my 5 quart pot and it was full to the brim.) and begin cook­ing it over medi­um high heat. Stir to break it into crum­bles as you go.
  4. Sea­son the ground beef with 2 tea­spoons of salt and a tea­spoon of black pepper.
  5. Add the diced onions to the pot and con­tin­ue cook­ing over high heat, stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly to pre­vent stick­ing, until the ground beef is cooked and no pink remains.
  6. Drain the grease from the pan. I use paper tow­els to soak it up and then just toss them. It saves clog­ging the drain with grease.
  7. Add the diced pota­toes and sliced car­rots to the pot with the drained and cooked ground beef and onions.
  8. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/2 tea­spoons of salt. That com­pletes the Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role assembly.
  9. Stir to com­bine the ingre­di­ents and con­tin­ue cook­ing on medi­um high heat, stir­ring to pre­vent sticking.
  10. Once the ingre­di­ents are suf­fi­cient­ly com­bined, and the water is boil­ing, reduce the heat to medi­um and cov­er the pot with a lid.
  11. Allow the hash / casse­role to cook for 5 min­utes. Then remove the lid and give it a stir. If most of the liq­uid seems to have been absorbed, add the last 1/2 cup of water.
  12. Put the lid back on the pan and let the mix­ture cook anoth­er 7 to 10 min­utes until the pota­toes are fork tender.
  13. Do one final taste test for sea­son­ing and add salt and/or pep­per if needed.
  14. Serve your deli­cious Ham­burg­er Pota­to Casse­role with steamed broc­coli or a house sal­ad and some crusty bread for a com­plete and nutri­tious meal.

The Recipe

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Ground Beef and Potatoes Casserole in a shallow white bowl on a concrete counter

Hamburger Potato Casserole


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 30 min­utes
  • Yield: 1012 serv­ings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Easy, one pot, 30 minute ham­burg­er and pota­to casse­role is hearty and deli­cious.  It feeds a crowd on tight bud­get and there’s plen­ty for sec­onds or left­overs.  Savory, deli­cious meal!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned and drained
  • 5 pounds rus­set pota­toes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 pound car­rots, cut into thin rounds
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups hot water
  • salt and pep­per, to taste

Instructions

  1. Start by peel­ing, and then dic­ing, the pota­toes into 1/2″ cubes.
  2. Slice the car­rots into thin rounds and mince the onion.
  3. Place the ground beef into a stock pot or Dutch oven. (I used my 5 quart pot and it was full to the brim.) and begin cook­ing it over medi­um high heat. Stir to break it into crum­bles as you go.
  4. Sea­son the ground beef with 2 tea­spoons of salt and a tea­spoon of black pepper.
  5. Add the diced onions to the pot and con­tin­ue cook­ing over high heat, stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly to pre­vent stick­ing, until the ground beef is cooked and no pink remains.
  6. Drain the grease from the pan. I use paper tow­els to soak it up and then just toss them. It saves clog­ging the drain with grease.
  7. Add the diced pota­toes and sliced car­rots to the pot with the drained and cooked ground beef and onions.
  8. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/2 tea­spoons of salt.
  9. Stir to com­bine the ingre­di­ents and con­tin­ue cook­ing on medi­um high heat, stir­ring to pre­vent sticking.
  10. Once the ingre­di­ents are suf­fi­cient­ly com­bined, and the water is boil­ing, reduce the heat to medi­um and cov­er the pot with a lid.
  11. Allow the hash / casse­role to cook for 5 min­utes. Then remove the lid and give it a stir. If most of the liq­uid seems to have been absorbed, add the last 1/2 cup of water.
  12. Put the lid back on the pan and let the mix­ture cook anoth­er 7 to 10 min­utes until the pota­toes are tender.
  13. Do one final taste test for sea­son­ing and add salt and/or pep­per if needed.
  14. Serve.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Main Dish, Beef Recipes, Casseroles
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

16 thoughts on “Hamburger Potato Casserole — Easy, Delicious One Pot Meal”

  1. What a com­fort­ing meal! This recipe reminds me of my child­hood but so much bet­ter! Added some broc­coli at the end for crunchy green.

    Reply
  2. So quick and easy to make! Per­fect for gath­er­ings, loved the fla­vor and sea­son­ings! High­ly recommended!

    Reply

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