If you love scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin so much that you could eat it as a main dish, this easy and delicious hamburger potato casserole is the meal for you! It a great dinner idea, and it takes beef and potatoes to a whole new level!
Hamburger Potato Casserole
I’m always a sucker for scalloped potatoes, but adding ground beef brings this meat and potato casserole to a whole new level. It takes it from being just a side, to something you can serve as a main dish.
You can taste the thyme popping through, and it’s all coated in a delicious creamy sauce that sets just right. There’s cheesy goodness in every single bite of this sliced potato casserole (just the way I like it).
Even though it takes a bit of time before it reaches your table, it’s not too hard to make, and the end result is definitely worth the wait. My whole family ate every bite on their plates, and some nights that’s unheard of!
We’re making this recipe without cream of mushroom soup, so we need the ingredients to make our own creamy sauce from scratch. For this recipe, you’ll need lean ground beef, butter, onion, garlic, flour, milk, chicken broth, dried thyme leaves, dried parsley, salt, pepper, russet potatoes, and sharp cheddar cheese (you could also use parmesan or Colby-Jack if you prefer).
How To Make Hamburger Potato Casserole
Start by preheating the oven. While the oven preheats, brown the hamburger meat and saute the onions. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Make a roux by melting butter in the skillet, then adding the garlic, and stirring in the flour.
Whisk in the milk and chicken broth, a little bit at a time. When the sauce is silky smooth, stir in the spices.
Mix in some of the cheese, then let the sauce simmer for a minute to thicken.
Slice the potatoes, and then begin layering the potatoes with the creamy sauce.
Continue layering the potatoes with the cheesy sauce and ground beef to make a total of three layers.
When you’re finished layering the casserole, top it with the remaining cheese and bake covered with aluminum foil. When it’s finished baking, broil it until it’s hot, bubbly, and browned. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
Should I Peel The Potatoes?
I like the potatoes unpeeled, but a lot of people prefer old-fashioned layered potato casseroles like this with peeled potatoes. If you normally prefer dishes like scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin with peeled potatoes, then go ahead and peel your potatoes for this recipe before you slice them.
What To Serve It With
This hotdish makes a great comfort food meal, or a perfect side dish for the holidays. If you’re serving it on a weeknight, try lightening it up with a side of Broccoli Cranberry Salad or a simple Tomato Cucumber Salad. If you’re serving this for the holidays, it would pair so well with Copycat Honey Baked Ham and a delicious homemade Green Bean Casserole with Bacon.
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BEST Hamburger Potato Casserole Recipe
If you love scalloped potatoes, this easy hamburger potato casserole is the meal for you! It takes beef and potatoes to a new level!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion (finely diced)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 3 pounds russet potatoes (sliced into rounds about 1/4” thick - to stop them from browning keep them submerged in a bowl of water until you’re ready to assemble the casserole, about 8 - 9 medium size potatoes) *
- 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C).
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef and onion, and cook until the beef is no longer pink (about 10 minutes). Once it’s finished cooking, remove the beef from the pan, discard any grease, and wipe out the skillet.
- Return the skillet to the stove on medium heat, and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic and saute for about 2 minutes (or until it’s aromatic).
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and whisk in the flour (mix until the flour and butter have combined and reached an even texture). In a large bowl (or large liquid measuring cup), mix together the milk and chicken broth, then whisk the liquid into the butter and flour roux, about 1/3 cup at a time at a time. In between each addition of liquid, whisk until the sauce has reached a smooth consistency. Continue until all the liquid is incorporated into the sauce.
- Once all the liquid has been added and the sauce is smooth, whisk in the parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring sauce to a light boil over medium-high heat for about 1 minute to thicken, then stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
- Lightly grease an 13 x 9 casserole dish and lay 1/3 of the potatoes evenly along the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper, then spread 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the ground beef evenly over the potatoes.
- Repeat this step two more times, creating 3 layers. Add the rest of the shredded cheese to the top layer. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil (make sure that the foil isn’t touching the casserole so that the cheese doesn’t stick to it), and bake for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, remove the foil from the dish, and bake for another 15 minutes. Finish it off by broiling it for 3 - 4 minutes (or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown in some areas).
- Carefully remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
*I like the potatoes unpeeled, but a lot of people prefer potato dishes like this with peeled potatoes. If you normally prefer dishes like scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin with peeled potatoes, then go ahead and peel your potatoes for this recipe before you slice them.
To make pouring the sauce into the casserole dish easier, I first transferred the sauce from the skillet into a large liquid measuring cup.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452Total Fat: 21.3gCarbohydrates: 39.2gFiber: 2.6gSugar: 4.9gProtein: 26.3g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
The next time you’re wondering what to make with ground beef and potatoes, try this Hamburger Potato Casserole! This hotdish really is the best comfort food.
19 thoughts on “Hamburger Potato Casserole Recipe”
Love this recipe! This was very tasty!
I have made this recipe twice at my husband’s request and it is absolutely delicious! I have been telling everyone about it!
Hi Melissa, I’m so happy to hear you and your husband enjoyed this hamburger potato casserole so much! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave feedback! -Alexa
I was very hopeful about this being easy and toddler friendly, but 3 lbs potatoes seemed like too much for the amount of sauce- 2 would have been fine. It was a bit bland, even with extra seasoning. Perhaps a richer type of cheese or using sausage plus some spice (being from MN its not like i eat lots of spicy food). I used a mandolin to slice and the dish still took over an hour to prep. Just want to warn others who might try it.
Hi Amy, Sorry to hear that it took you so long to prep and that it didn’t turn out quite the way you expected. Thanks so much for sharing your adaptations about the sauce ratio and seasonings. -Alexa
Hello, can I freeze the dish?
Hi Joanna, I haven’t tested freezing and thawing this dish, so I can’t say for sure. I think it would work though since scalloped potatoes are a popular freezer dish. Hope that helps! -Alexa
I cannot stand casseroles with cream of anything in it or cream cheese so finding this was a pleasant surprised. We added ranch flavored cheese and red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning and loved it. Thx for the alternative to the typical “cream of something” soup
This was so delicious! I messed up and forgot to add the cheese to the sauce before assembling. It was still delicious, I just added some extra cheese to the top, and to each portion. I’ll try to do it right next time and may also add some crumbled bacon 😋
Hi Kendra, I’m so happy to hear that the recipe still worked for you without the cheese in the sauce. Love the idea of adding some crumbled bacon – it sounds delicious! -Alexa
I’ve got this in my oven right now, but my question is, what if my potatoes were sliced thinner than 1/4? Is it going to dry them out?
Hi Veronica, I don’t think it would dry them out, they’re just likely to cook more quickly, so you might have to adjust the cooking time. -Alexa
I have used a mandolin for other recipes like this and the potatoes don’t get mushy at all.
I have made this multiple times. I agree it is a bit bland but that’s a personal preference. I added more cheese and some onion on each layer. I also use beef broth instead of chicken since it has beef in it. I use 3 cups of milk and 1 cup of broth to have enough to cover the potatoes.
I took it to a family reunion. It’s a good casserole to make and take. It will continue to be on our dinner rotation!
Hi Jodi, I’m so glad you like this hamburger and potato casserole! Thanks so much for sharing the adaptations that work for you – I appreciate it. -Alexa
I am going to try this tonight. I like that it doesn’t use canned soup. I will be altering it to make it low fodmap so we shall see if it is a winner or not:)
I’ve made this recipe several times and my family absolutely LOVES it!! I found to keep it from being bland to salt and season the potatoes before adding the sauce and meat. Turns out amazing every time.
Can I actually put glass on broil?
It’s not recommended to broil glass dishes. That’s why we used a ceramic baking dish for this recipe. Hope that helps! -Alexa