Four-Layer Meat and Potatoes in a Skillet

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Comfort food for when you feel like eating meatloaf and potatoes but don’t have the energy or the time to prepare it.

Are you like me? I’m always looking for simple but tasty recipes to keep in my back pocket for those days when I’m too exhausted to cook.

This is one of my favorites and belongs in the category of super simple supper recipes. In my life, such recipes must contain few ingredients, use few pans and utensils, and take only a few minutes to cook. In other words, they help keep me out of the drive-through.

I’m not trying to sell this particular recipe as some amazing gourmet delight that will make your dress fly up, your pants fall down or, your life turn out perfectly. No, it’s a kind of comfort food assembled with ingredients you probably already have on hand, so hopefully, you won’t have to make a special trip to the grocery store just before dinner–an exercise in patience I try to avoid.

Original picture posted near the beginning of this blog–I called it “Camper’s Special”

On the off chance you are a long-time reader, you may recognize this recipe from the early days of this blog. I decided to redo the pictures because this recipe deserves better.

As I mentioned in the original post, we first came to love this recipe when camping. I know just about anything tastes better when you eat it in the woods, but whenever I’m in the mood for meatloaf and potatoes, this is a great substitute that takes much less time to prepare. It’s comfort food for me.

4-layer meat and potatoes collage

Start with the bacon, second: ground meat, third: sliced potatoes, and finish with carrots.

If you like ketchup with meatloaf, I highly recommend you serve this with ketchup, also.

Four-Layer Meat and Potatoes in a Skillet
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Bacon, ground beef, sliced potatoes and carrots are layered in a skillet to make a delicious supper in minutes.
Author:
Recipe type: entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5-6 slices bacon (thin-sliced works better)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5-6 carrots, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut bacon in half crosswise and place in a single layer covering the bottom of a large skillet.
  2. Crumble raw ground beef evenly over the bacon.
  3. Arrange potatoes over meat.
  4. Distribute carrots on top.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and cover.
  6. Cook about 15 minutes on medium to medium-low until bacon is crisp and vegetables are tender. Carefully drain excess grease before serving.
Notes
The only tricky part of this recipe is figuring out exactly where to set the heat so the bacon turns out crispy but not burned. If the bacon is still limp and light colored when the vegetables are soft, turn up the heat a bit. The correct setting will be affected by the type of pan you use and your particular stove. I can only suggest you experiment and stay close to the stove the first time or two you make this.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Rita February 16, 2013 at 3:21 am

Oh, my, Paula! It doesn’t get any easier than that! We all have days that fill up too fast, leaving less time to cook dinner. Thank you!

One question: You do not cover the skillet with aluminum foil to hold the heat in to help the potatoes and carrots cook? Maybe I’m overthinking this one! It’s too easy!

Reply

Paula February 16, 2013 at 6:42 am

Rita,
Yes, yes. You must cover it to hold the heat in. I use a lid but aluminum foil would also work.

Reply

Sally February 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

I make a version of this in a casserole — my husband’s all-time favorite dish! I put the sliced carrots, potatoes, layer of onion, salt & pepper (lightly.) Then add a layer of ground beef ( I usually brown it,) salt & pepper, pour over a can of tomato soup, diluted with half can of water. Cover with foil, bake 350 1 hr. — so good!

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Paula February 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

Oh Sally, That sounds wonderful! Must try when I have an hour for it to bake.

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Gary February 16, 2013 at 9:51 am

This should be a very popular recipe on your blog, for sure, Paula. Heinz now makes a ketchup with balsamic vinegar which I use on meatloaf. The leading photo is gorgeous.

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Paula February 16, 2013 at 9:54 am

Thanks for the heads-up about the catsup Gary. I think I must pick some up ASAP.

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pt February 16, 2013 at 10:22 am

You know what I love? There’s a good amount of veggies here! I know you get it, but I am often in disbelief how many one pot recipes lack enough veggies. Looks great! Thanks for sharing!

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Betty February 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Quick, easy and delicious- what more could you need? That bacon on top (or bottom, whichever way you look at it) looks good! :)

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Cyn; -) in S. Calif February 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Looks delish, Paula, and really takes me back a few decades. My Mother used to make something like this quite frequently. We add sliced onions and sometimes bell pepper to what you use. If it’s on hand, we throw in a little sliced green cabbage. Also, a little leftover cooked brown rice is in the bottom of the Dutch Oven. Everything is layered with a sprinkling of S&P, then a 28oz can of tomatoes is poured over the top. Put lid on and cook about 30 minutes. We never tried bacon… good idea. Now-a-days we layer and put it all in a crockpot and let it cook itself all day. Yum; -). Thanks for a great post.

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Suzanne February 16, 2013 at 6:30 pm

This is definitely a mans meal for sure, my husband would love this, I’ll have to give it a try for him!

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Lorraine February 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Looks delicious especially with the crisp bacon to top! Yum!

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Joan February 19, 2013 at 11:18 am

The picture definitely looks better than anything we ever produced camping!!!

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The Café Sucré Farine February 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Wow, this must be loaded with flavor, I love that the bottom becomes the top with that yummy bacon!

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Julie Sherman February 21, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Wow! This recipe looks really good (and easy!). I don’t think I would have ever thought to put everything in the skillet at once. Brilliant! I will definitely be giving it a try in the near future. Thanks for sharing!

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Paula February 21, 2013 at 5:57 pm

My husband’s loves meatloaf and I never make it!! Perhaps if I prepared this he’d be just as happy :)

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Natasha February 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

Looks beautiful Paula!
Do the potatoes really cook in 15 minutes?

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Paula February 24, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Hi Natasha,
How’s it going? Yes, the potatoes will cook in 15 minutes. Slice them very thin and of course, the skillet it is covered as it cooks so it doesn’t take long.

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Sue March 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm

OK-made this last night and DH said Yum! We named it Campfire Skillet. I did saute 1/2 onion until soft and spread on the beef and my stove must have come over on the Mayflower bcuz it took 45 minutes to get done. DH is a gravy freak so a small batch of brown gravy was served on his. We both brought it today for lunch. Highly recommended.

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Jeanine March 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Your pictures are great. I do have a question — It appears that you did this yummy 4-layer meat & potatoes in an iron skillet. It also looks like you have a glass top stove. I had been told iron skillets were a no-no with ceramic or glass top stoves, so do I dare try this with my Granny’s iron skillet? Can’t wait to taste it!

Reply

Paula March 17, 2013 at 7:23 am

Hi Jeanine,
I have never heard that about glass top stoves and iron skillets. You could be right for all I know. But I use them with no problem I am aware of. HOWEVER, I normally prefer to use non-stick skillets because I don’t like to wash things by hand. The skillet in the picture is only a prop but you could certainly make this in an iron skillet. Again, I, myself, make this in a non-stick skillet for ease of clean-up.

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Jeanine March 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Thanks for your quick reply. I plan to try the recipe this week and will likely use the non-stick skillet, but I might try it sometime in the iron skillet in the oven. Blessings to you today!

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Sue April 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

Update-had this again Wed. night and it was really yummy. My DH ate all the leftovers for lunches and said it reminded him of camping with his family when he was a little guy. He is a total fan of this dish!

Reply

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