This layered, cheesy meat & potatoes casserole is made even better with the zestiness of Ranch dressing baked right into the cheese sauce. This is a quintessential comfort food, family dinner recipe that is sure to become a regular at your dinner table!
What You Need To Make Meat & Potatoes Ranch Au Gratin
- lean ground beef
- Russet potatoes
- grated sharp shredded cheese
- 1/2 & 1/2
- Ranch salad dressing
- shredded colby jack cheese
- olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic
There are few things more satisfying than a really good meat and potatoes meal. Well, other than a meat and potatoes meal that you can bake all in one dish. Throw in some gooey melted cheese, loaded with the herbs and spices of Ranch dressing, and you just might have achieved comfort food euphoria!
This recipe does require some kitchen time, but don’t let that get you down! There are some shortcuts you can take to get this hearty meat & potatoes meal on the table even on busy weeknights. Like to meal prep and make things ahead? Brown the beef, make the cheese sauce, and slice the potatoes up the night before. Just remember to cover the potato slices with water when you store them!
Prefer slow cooker cooking? You can layer up this dish in your crock pot and cook it on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
Whatever your cooking method, your family is going to love the way these cheesy, tender potatoes just melt into layers of satisfying seasoned beef. Served with warm rolls and green salad, green beans or brussel sprouts, it’s a stick to your ribs kind of meal that makes sure no one leaves the table hungry!
Meat & Potatoes Ranch Au Gratin
- 2 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3-4 large Russet potatoes
- 8 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 C 1/2 & 1/2 cream
- 1/2 C Ranch salad dressing
- 1/4 C grated Colby Jack cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- extra salt for potatoes
- parsley for garnish, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish with olive oil.
- While oven is heating brown lean ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion, bell pepper, salt, pepper and garlic while browning. Drain away any excess fat using a colander. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, warm the 1/2 & 1/2 on low heat. Stir in the Ranch dressing. While constantly stirring, slowly add the grated cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is completely melted and completely incorporated into the cream. Set aside.
- Using either a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/2" thick medallions.
- Line the bottom of the baking dish with potato medallions, allowing them to overlap slightly. Sprinkle with extra salt. Cover with 1/2 of the beef. Pour 1/2 of the cheese sauce on top. Using the back of a spoon, massage the sauce a little to work it down into the beef. Repeat to create a second layer of beef and potatoes.
- Top with a layer of overlapping potatoes, salt and the Colby Jack cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes to an hour until the edges are golden and bubbly.
Do I have to include the green bell peppers if I have family members who don’t like them?
- Of course not! This recipe is delicious without the peppers if that is what will make your family happy.
- Looking for a bell pepper substitute? This meat & potatoes casserole is out of this world with canned diced green chiles! Use 6-8 oz, drained.
Can I make this recipe in the crock pot or prep ahead of time?
- You sure can! Look for specific instructions in the post above!
Even though I drained my ground beef after browning, there still seems to be some “grease” that has risen to the top of my casserole. What happened?
- Cheese can be “greasy” as it does have dairy fat. There are a myriad of reasons that this can happen. See here. Also, there will be some water that cooks out of your potatoes. If you have extra “water” or “grease” on the top of your casserole, just dab away with a paper towel before serving.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Southern Cottage Pie
- Cheesy Beef Noodle Casserole
- Crowd Pleasing Lasagna
- Spaghetti Stuffed Garlic Bread
- Stuffed Party Potatoes
- Easy White Ravioli Casserole
Making It Easy To Host & Serve
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When a recipe calls for Ranch Dressing, is it Bottled Ranch Dressing or A Dry Package of Ranch Dressing?
When a recipe calls for Ranch salad dressing, it does mean the bottled salad dressing (which this recipe uses). The dry mix in a package is referred to as Ranch seasoning mix or Ranch seasoning packet. Hope this helps!
Great recipe! I have a recipe similar to this from 40 years ago. It called for 4 ingredients, ground beef, frozen peas, potatoes and cream of mushroom soup. It was a go-to recipe when I didn’t have a lo of prep time. And while it was in the oven, I helped the kids with homework. BUT this recipe has soooo much more flavor with the green pepper, onion, garlic, ranch dressing and, of course, the cheese! I did add the peas and some mushrooms to mine. My husband asked, “Where was the recipe all those years ago?” Thanks for your posts. I truly enjoy them. Can’t wait to try you BBQ shrimp and cheese grits.
Hi, June! I loved reading your kind comment! I spent so many years with supper in the oven while I helped kids with homework too. Brought back such good memories. And your husband’s remark got me so tickled. Thank you so much! You really made my day!