Delicious Comfort Food: Loaded Mashed Potato and Meatball Casserole
There’s something undeniably comforting about a steaming hot casserole fresh from the oven, especially when it’s loaded with all your favorite ingredients. If you’re searching for the perfect dish to satisfy your cravings and warm your soul, look no further than our recipe for Loaded Mashed Potato and Meatball Casserole. This hearty and indulgent dish is a crowd-pleaser that combines the timeless appeal of mashed potatoes with the savory goodness of meatballs, all baked to perfection with a medley of mouthwatering toppings.
This casserole is a testament to the magic that happens when simple ingredients come together in perfect harmony. Creamy mashed potatoes, succulent meatballs, melted cheese, crispy bacon, and green onions create a symphony of flavors and textures that will have your taste buds dancing. Whether you’re preparing a family dinner, entertaining guests, or just treating yourself to some self-care in the form of comfort food, this recipe will not disappoint.
But before we delve into the step-by-step instructions, let’s take a moment to appreciate the beauty of casseroles. These one-dish wonders have been a staple of home cooking for generations. They offer a convenient way to transform humble ingredients into extraordinary meals that are both delicious and satisfying. Casseroles also have a unique ability to bring people together, fostering a sense of togetherness and nostalgia that few other dishes can match.
Now, let’s embark on a culinary journey to create a Loaded Mashed Potato and Meatball Casserole that will become a cherished addition to your recipe collection. Get ready to experience the warmth, comfort, and irresistible flavors that only a homemade casserole can provide. So, roll up your sleeves, preheat your oven, and let’s get cooking!
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound lean ground bef
- 1 pound ground pork
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ½ cup diced onion
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
For the Loaded Mashed Potatoes:
- 3 cups mashed potatoes, about 5 potatoes, if using homemade
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
For the Marinara Sauce:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ cup onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 4 large basil leaves, minced (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
For the Topping:
- 12 slices mozzarella cheese
Make the Meatballs:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a cookie sheet or cake pan with nonstick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients and mix until well-combined.
Using a large ice cream scoop, divide the meat into 12 even pieces, and roll between your hands to form meatballs.
Place on the cookie sheet, and bake for 28 – 30 minutes, until cooked through.
Remove from oven and set aside.
Make the Loaded Mashed Potatoes:
Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the loaded mashed potato ingredients, and mix well.
Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop 12 large balls of mashed potato mixture, and line them up in the baking dish in rows of 3.
Using a small scoop or spoon, create a dip in the center of each potato ball for the meatball to sit on top.
Place the baked meatballs in the hole on top of the potato balls.
Make the Marinara Sauce:
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook the onions for 5 minutes, until softened, and then add the garlic. Cook for an additional 60 seconds.
Pour in the tomato sauce, and stir. Add the basil to the sauce and cook the sauce for 10 minutes.
Add the salt, sugar, pepper, thyme, and oregano, and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
Place a scoop of sauce on top of each meatball, and top each mound with a slice of mozzarella cheese.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Turn on the broiler to 500°F, and move the casserole to the top rack. Broil until the cheese is lightly browned, about 3 – 5 minutes. NOTE: Broiling is safest in metal baking pans. Glass and ceramic pans may break under high heat.
Remove and serve with your favorite side dish and bread.
Pro Tips For Success :
Homemade Mashed Potatoes: While instant mashed potatoes can be convenient, making your own from scratch with real potatoes will greatly enhance the flavor and texture.
Meatball Variation: Experiment with different meats and seasonings for your meatballs. Ground turkey with a Mediterranean twist or vegetarian meatballs are great alternatives.
Toppings: Feel free to get creative with your toppings. Chopped fresh herbs, diced tomatoes, or even a drizzle of sour cream can add extra layers of flavor.
Nutrition Facts (per serving, based on 6 servings):
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Total Fat: 30g
Saturated Fat: 15g
Note: Nutrition facts may vary depending on specific ingredients and portion sizes.
Loaded Mashed Potato and Meatball Casserole is a heartwarming dish that combines the best of comfort food into one delicious casserole. With creamy mashed potatoes, savory meatballs, and a cheesy topping, it’s a meal that’s sure to satisfy the whole family. Whether you’re looking for a weeknight dinner or a comforting dish for a special occasion, this casserole recipe delivers. So, gather your ingredients and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!
This is an easy one and oh so good.
Try it out and don’t forget to RATE and COMMENT below!