Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole


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Are you looking for a comfort dish that combines the savory flavors of meatloaf with the creamy delight of mashed potatoes? Look no further than the Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole. This dish is not just a meal; it’s an experience, blending rich flavors and textures into a casserole that’s sure to become a staple in your family’s recipe book. Below is a step-by-step guide to creating this delectable dish, along with tips to ensure it comes out perfectly every time.


1 lb. ground beef – The foundation of our meatloaf, offering a rich and hearty flavor.

1 package of premade refrigerated mashed potatoes – For convenience and creamy texture.

1/3 cup bread crumbs – Helps bind the meatloaf while adding a slight crunch.

1/2 large onion, chopped – Adds a sweet and aromatic flavor to the meat mixture.

1/4 cup BBQ sauce – For that tangy kick that elevates the taste.

1 large egg – Acts as a binder, holding the meatloaf mixture together.

2 tsp. chili powder – Introduces a smoky heat, enhancing the overall flavor profile.

1 cup Mexican blend cheese – Melts beautifully, adding a gooey, cheesy layer.

Salt and pepper to taste – Essential for seasoning and bringing out the flavors.


  1. Preheat and Prep: Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). This ensures your oven is ready to evenly cook the meatloaf.
  2. Mix the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, chopped onion, bread crumbs, BBQ sauce, egg, chili powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mixing these ingredients thoroughly is key to a flavorful and cohesive meatloaf.
  3. Shape and Bake: Transfer the meat mixture into a well-greased 9×9-inch baking dish, pressing it down to form an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatloaf is fully cooked through. This is crucial for achieving the perfect texture and ensuring food safety.
  4. Add the Toppings: After removing the meatloaf from the oven and draining any excess fat, prepare the mashed potatoes as directed on the package. Spread them over the cooked meatloaf, then sprinkle with shredded cheese for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  5. Broil to Perfection: Switch your oven to broil and return the dish to the oven for a few minutes. Keep a close eye on it, as this step is all about getting the cheese melted and bubbly without burning it.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Once the cheese is perfectly melted, remove the casserole from the oven. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before serving. This rest time allows the flavors to meld together and makes serving easier.

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Tips for Success:

  • Meat Quality: Opt for lean ground beef to reduce the amount of fat that needs to be drained off after baking.
  • Customize Your Casserole: Feel free to add your favorite vegetables into the meat mixture for added nutrition and flavor.
  • Cheese Varieties: While Mexican blend cheese is recommended, feel free to experiment with different types of cheese to find your family’s favorite.

Serving and Storage Tips for Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

Once you’ve mastered the art of making the Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole, knowing how to serve and store it properly can elevate your dining experience and ensure that any leftovers remain delicious for days. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Serving Tips:

  • Let it Rest: After removing your casserole from the oven, allow it to rest for about 5-10 minutes. This resting period lets the juices redistribute throughout the meatloaf, ensuring that every bite is moist and flavorful.
  • Garnish for Extra Flair: Sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley or green onions on top before serving. This not only adds a pop of color but also introduces a fresh element to balance the rich flavors.
  • Serving Size: Cut the casserole into squares for easy serving. A standard 9×9-inch dish can yield 6 to 8 servings, depending on the size of the portions you prefer.
  • Pair with Sides: While this casserole is a hearty dish on its own, pairing it with a simple side salad or steamed vegetables can round out the meal, adding freshness and balance.

Storage Tips:

  • Cool Before Refrigerating: Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating. This prevents condensation from forming inside the container, which could make the topping soggy.
  • Airtight Container: Store leftovers in an airtight container to keep them fresh and prevent them from absorbing odors from the refrigerator. Properly stored, the casserole will last for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing for Later: If you want to extend the shelf life of your casserole, consider freezing it. Cut the casserole into individual portions, wrap them securely in plastic wrap, and then in foil. Stored in a freezer-safe container or bag, it can last up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • Reheating: Reheat leftovers in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven until warmed through. Covering with foil can prevent the top from burning. If microwaving, consider covering the dish with a damp paper towel to keep the moisture in and prevent the mashed potatoes from drying out.

Following these serving and storage tips will ensure that your Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole remains as delicious as when it was first made. Whether you’re enjoying it fresh out of the oven or as a comforting leftover meal, these practices will help maintain its quality and taste.


1. Can I make the Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole ahead of time to make mealtime easier. You can assemble the casserole up to a day in advance, cover it, and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. If you’re starting from cold, you may need to add an extra 5-10 minutes to the baking time. Additionally, you can bake the casserole fully, let it cool, then cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.

2. How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

To make a vegetarian version of the Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole, substitute the ground beef with a plant-based ground meat alternative of your choice. Ensure that the meat substitute is cooked according to package instructions before assembling the casserole. You can also add more vegetables, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini, to the mixture for added flavor and nutrition.

3. Is there a way to make the Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole healthier?

Certainly! For a healthier version of this casserole, consider using lean ground beef or ground turkey to reduce the fat content. You can also substitute the premade mashed potatoes with homemade mashed cauliflower for a lower-carb option. Additionally, using whole wheat bread crumbs and a reduced-fat cheese blend can decrease the calorie count without sacrificing flavor.

4. How do I store leftovers, and how long will they last?

Leftover Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole should be cooled to room temperature, then transferred to an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it will last for 3-4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the casserole in a freezer-safe container or tightly wrapped in aluminum foil and plastic wrap for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in the oven or microwave.

This Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole is more than just a meal; it’s a comforting hug in the form of food. Whether you’re gathering around the table for a family dinner or need a dish that’s sure to impress at your next potluck, this casserole is guaranteed to satisfy. Its hearty, flavorful, and utterly delicious nature makes it a perfect choice for any night of the week. So why wait? Preheat your oven and start cooking up this beloved classic today!

📖 Recipe

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Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

  • Author: Isabella
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8


Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with our Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole recipe. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen newbie, this casserole will become a fast favorite.


1 lb. ground beef

1 package of premade refrigerated mashed potatoes

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1/2 large onion, chopped

1/4 cup BBQ sauce

1 large egg

2 tsp. chili powder

1 cup Mexican blend cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, onion, bread crumbs, BBQ sauce, egg, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Press the mixture into a greased 9×9-inch baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Spread mashed potatoes over the cooked meatloaf, top with cheese.
  5. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


Feel free to customize the recipe by adding your favorite veggies to the meat mixture or using different types of cheese.

For a leaner option, consider using ground turkey instead of beef.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cowboy Meatloaf, Potato Casserole, Ground Beef Recipe, Family Dinner, Comfort Food, Easy Casserole Recipe, American Cuisine, Hearty Meal, Oven-Baked, Cheese and Bacon, Meatloaf Recipe

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