Loaded Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet
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This bacon cheddar ground beef and potatoes skillet layers thinly sliced potatoes with seasoned ground beef and is baked potatoes au gratin style.
It’s basically the epitome of comfort food. But thanks to a few lightened up ingredients, the nutrition facts are a bit friendlier than you might expect. One serving of cheesy ground beef and potatoes has 22 grams of protein and will only run you 215 calories, 8 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, and 6 WW Smart Points.
You probably won’t need much help with this recipe, but I’ll walk you through everything below and touch on ingredient modifications as well. You can find the printable ground beef and potatoes skillet recipe at the bottom of this post.
Loaded Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet Recipe Walkthrough
The stovetop portion of this recipe cooks fast so I’d start with slicing your taters. I went with the same red and gold mini potatoes I used in my rosemary parmesan potatoes and cheesy air fryer potatoes recipes, but you’re welcome to use any tater you’d like.
If you use a starchier potato like a russet, you may need to extend the bake time or cut thinner slices. As you may be able to tell from the photo below, I did a rough 1/4-1/2″ slice with a knife. Don’t sweat perfection here.
Cooking the Bacon and Ground Beef
If I could change one thing about my ever popular sticky sweet ground beef and broccoli recipe it would be cooking raw bacon in the pan before the beef instead of using precooked bacon. Though it was meant to be a super fast recipe, I guess.
Anyway, that’s what you’ll do for this ground beef and potatoes skillet. Cook a bit of bacon before browning the ground beef in the bacon grease. As you’d expect, this creates loads of flavor!
And in case you’re wondering, yes, you can omit the bacon. Though I’d still replace it with at least a half tablespoon of oil.
You can see in the far left photo above that I like to chop my bacon raw before pan frying. I find this allows the bacon to cook faster and more evenly. Feel free to throw the slices straight in the pan, though.
Since I just gave my spiel on browning ground beef in yesterday’s sweet chili ground beef and brussels sprouts recipe, I’ll spare you that. Just season the beef, add to the skillet, and leave it alone for a few minutes. That brown action you see in the center photo above is magical.
After a few readers reported troubles with too much liquid remaining at the end of baking, I re-tested things to see what could go wrong. My best guess would be not cooking off excess liquid before adding the potatoes. You can see an example of this in the photos below.
Once you’ve reduced the liquid, give the ground beef one more stir in the remaining thickened liquid and push it back to one side.
Adding the Potatoes, Milk, and Cheese to Bake
In my first test of this ground beef and potatoes skillet I simply tossed the potatoes in the cooked ground beef. It was fine, but I found taking the extra step to add a bottom layer of potatoes made the finished product much easier to serve and eat.
The recipe calls for skim milk, but you should be able to use any milk. If you’re using a lower fat cheese or hard cheese like parmesan, you might want to cover with foil or save the cheese for the last 10-15 minutes of baking.
P.S. Don’t use a lower fat cheese. The extra calories are worth it.
Final Ground Beef and Potatoes Recipe Notes
The recipe mentions using paper towels to blot excess grease with fattier bacon or ground beef, but you might want to do this regardless to make serving a bit easier. There’s meant to be a small amount of moisture remaining in the bottom of the skillet, but it should be minimal.
If you use a smaller skillet or don’t have an oven-safe skillet, cook the bacon and beef on the stovetop before transferring everything to a baking dish. You can find the cast iron skillet and other kitchen equipment I recommend on my Amazon storefront, if you’re interested.
And I think that’s all you need to know! If you have a question about this ground beef and potatoes skillet, leave a comment below or join my Facebook group with more than 10k healthy home cooks that would love to help you out!
- 1 lb Ground Beef, 96/4
- 20 (550g) Red and Gold Mini Potatoes, thinly sliced
- 4 slices Center Cut Bacon
- 1/4 C (60mL) Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 C (480mL) Skim Milk (or your choice of milk)
- 1 C (112g) Shredded Cheddar
- 2 tsp Ground Mustard
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- Preheat an oven to 350F.
- Mix the ground mustard, black pepper, and chili powder together and sprinkle half over the top of the ground beef. Set aside.
- Cook the bacon in a 12" cast iron skillet (or a large oven-safe skillet) over medium-high heat before transferring to a paper towel. (Crumble and save for later.) Leave the bacon grease in the skillet.
- Place the ground beef in the skillet seasoned side down and add the remaining spices to the top of the beef. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom develops a slightly browned crust. Flip the beef and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully add the Worcestershire sauce around the beef to deglaze the skillet and remove any crispy bits from the bottom before crumbling the beef using a spatula. Cook until no pink remains. Push the ground beef to one side of the pan and gently tilt the skillet to one side. Be sure to cook off any excess liquid before adding the potatoes to the skillet.
- Once the excess liquid has cooked off, give the beef one more stir and push it back to one side. Place the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the skillet before covering with the beef and repeating on the other side, creating a bottom layer of potatoes covered with the ground beef. Top with remaining potatoes.
- Add the milk to the skillet and top with shredded cheddar.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until very little liquid remains and the cheese begins to bubble and slightly brown around the edges. (If you use a fattier cut of meat or bacon, you may want to tilt the skillet and use a paper towel to blot any extra grease runoff towards the end of cooking.)
- Let the skillet cool briefly before serving. Top with the crumbled bacon and chopped green onion. Enjoy!
Each serving has 6 Smart Points.
- Different skillet sizes may affect bake time. If you use a smaller skillet and need to extend bake time, you can cover the top to avoid burning the cheese if necessary.
- Be sure to reduce the liquid from cooking the ground beef (the skillet should be mostly dry) before adding the potatoes.
- If all else fails, you can use paper towels to blot any remaining grease/liquid or tilt the skillet over a container to drain it.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Servings Serving Size: 160g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 8gCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 22g
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