Loaded with veggies and covered in melty cheese, this Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet is a hearty one pan meal the whole family will love!
We are just two weeks out from my little one’s first day of preschool, and I’m trying to keep all of my conflicting emotions from boiling over into an ugly cry fest. This has been a special summer with my dinosaur-loving three year old. We have watched him move from baby into full toddlerhood, complete with potty training, tackling four syllable words (triceratops, anyone?), and throwing some major tantrums. These have been some of the most challenging and hilarious days of my life.
We’ve fully embraced the summer schedule, making allowances for late night fireworks and bonfires, and pushing nap times off so we can spend just a few more minutes at the pool or the zoo. We’ve gone to bed dirty and smelling vaguely of sunscreen, then slept in and spent the morning lounging in our pjs. We’ve made the most of a relaxed summer schedule, but I know in two weeks that 3 year old who loves running around with his matted hair and Thomas undies is going to have to show up to preschool at 9 AM fully dressed and ready for the day.
With the change in schedule looming ahead, we’re aiming for earlier bed times, which also means earlier dinners. I’m saying goodbye to summer nights when I didn’t think about dinner until 7 PM and then threw some popsicles at the kiddo and called it good. The days ahead will require a bit more planning, but that nerdy part of me who loved back to school season as a kid is still excited about a return to structure and routine.
My favorite meals for this time of year are simple and fuss free, but hearty enough to satisfy on cooler fall nights. While we eat our fair share of burgers over the summer, I find myself cooking with beef much more in the fall and winter. Quick cooking ground beef lends itself well to crowd-pleasing casseroles like this Johnny Marzetti, lunch-box friendly recipes like Cheesy Ground Beef Empanadas, and of course, family favorites like Walking Tacos and 30 Minute Ground Beef Gyros.
I love to buy our ground beef in bulk, either at the grocery store or through purchasing a share of beef. I’ve written before about the process of buying a side of beef before. It’s not as intimidating as it may seem, and we love the money savings and convenience of having beef in the freezer year round. Still, if buying a side of beef isn’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to save on beef as well!
For this recipe, two of my comfort food favorites–ground beef and potatoes–combine with a slew of other veggies to create a single skillet meal that’s perfect for busy school nights. I like to think of this Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet as the quick, stovetop equivalent of stew. It’s rich and filling, but only takes about 40 minutes, a cutting board, and a single skillet to make.
The first time I made this, the Mr. said he wanted it to be even more savory, so I amped up the flavor with extra beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. I always forget about the power of tomato paste, but it’s really an unsung hero in the flavor department. Give it time to caramelize and soften with your other vegetables, and you’ll be rewarded with a rich punch of umami that’s just what the Mr. ordered.
This Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet is a really flexible recipe that’s begging for you to make it your own. Start with your base of sautéed ground beef and onions, then substitute other ingredients for whatever you have on hand. Sweet potatoes could be a nice sub for white potatoes. In the winter, nix the corn and try frozen peas instead. Green beans and celery could also be great additions.
I almost didn’t cover this skillet with cheese and broil it, and then I thought, “Who am I kidding? Everything is better with melty cheese.” And that was certainly the case with this dish. A few minutes under the broiler gave this casserole/stew hybrid the perfect crispy, cheesy, golden brown crust.
The final dish was a huge hit with the whole family, including the 3 year old, who ate more vegetables in this one meal than I think he normally eats in a week (can I get a hallelujah)?
If you’re looking for a hearty, quick, and budget friendly meal to serve your hangry families this back to school season, definitely give this skillet a try. Whenever you purchase and cook with Ohio beef, you’re supporting not just the 17,000 beef farming families in our state but an entire community of small business owners, animal caretakers, nutritionists, and environmentalists who are committed to providing you and your families with safe, nutritious beef.
This recipe is sponsored by Ohio Beef. As always, all opinions are my own.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups diced yukon gold diced potatoes
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 ears corn, cut off the cob
- 1 cup beef broth
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Heat the oil in a large oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onions and saute until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Drain all but one Tablespoon of fat from the skillet.
- Stir in the garlic cloves, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce and stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the diced potatoes, carrots, and corn and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in the beef broth, using a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Increase the heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until melted and golden brown.
The vegetables in this skillet can definitely be swapped out based on your family's preferences or what you have on hand.