Home Recipes Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

If you’re feeling extra hungry today, you should definitely give the cowboy meatloaf a try.

Complete with protein, starches, and fat, this casserole is a complete meal all on its own.

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Cowboy Meatloaf on White Plate

I do suggest you double the recipe, though. It’s as hearty as it is addictive, so I’m sure you’ll want more than just a slice.

While the roster of ingredients is a tad lengthy, don’t be intimidated.

If you look closely, they’re all common necessities I’m sure you already have in your pantry!

Plus, thanks to items such as pre-cooked mashed potatoes and packaged French-fried onions and bacon, it’s a lot easier than you think.

Cowboy Meatloaf

If you think meatloaf couldn’t get any better, think again!

This cowboy meatloaf is the stuff of legends. It’s not just for cowboys and cowgirls, but anyone who’s extra hungry.

When I say this meatloaf is fully loaded, I mean it. It’s not just a meatloaf, but a hearty casserole.

It has moist and juicy meatloaf at the bottom and creamy mashed potatoes on top.

Consider it as a mash-up between American meatloaf and English shepherd’s pie.

Boy, this is the crossover you didn’t know you needed.

The meatloaf layer is flavored with sweet honey barbecue sauce and chili powder, giving it a wonderful combination of sweet and savory with a kick.

The topping isn’t just your basic mashed potatoes, either. Studded with bacon bits and French-fried onions, it’s both creamy and crunchy at the same time. 

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Oh, and did I mention this meatloaf is smothered with melted cheese on top? It doesn’t get any better than this!

Cowboy Meatloaf on Clear Container

What to Serve with Mashed Potato Meatloaf Casserole 

Cowboy meatloaf is already a very filling dish as it is. But still, meals are just more fun with sides!

Make your lunch or dinner table more exciting with these perfect meatloaf accompaniments.

Dinner Rolls

Serving meatloaf to a huge crowd? Dinner rolls are a great way to stretch out a dish into an even more hearty meal. 

This recipe is a copycat of Texas Roadhouse rolls. It calls for yeasted dough, which means you’ll need to wait a while before you bake it, but it’s worth it.

Green Beans

This meatloaf is extra rich and heavy, so something light and refreshing like green beans can really balance things out. 

If you think there’s no way you can improve the taste of a bland can of green beans, think again! I have 11 ways to spruce up green beans in this article.


Pair that savory meatloaf with something sweet and buttery. This cornbread perfectly fits the bill.

With a wonderfully moist and tender crumb, this cornbread is irresistible. Together with meatloaf, they make a heavenly pair.

Mac and Cheese

Whatever your main entree is, mac and cheese is always a good idea. If you’re looking for a side dish that no kid can refuse, the search is over. 

Corn Pudding

Think of corn pudding as the love child of corn custard and corn casserole.

It’s crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and bursting with corn goodness all throughout.

Cowboy Meatloaf Top View

Tips and Tricks

  • I like to use Ore-Ida’s mashed potatoes for convenience, but you can also whip up the mashed potatoes yourself. Feel free to infuse the potatoes with your choice of herbs and seasonings as well.
  • Stick to 80/20 to 85/15 lean ground beef for best results. Any leaner or fattier than that, and your meatloaf will be dry or greasy, respectively.
  • For a healthier alternative, use ground turkey instead of beef.
  • When you’re not on a time crunch, shred your own cheese. Not only is blocked cheese cheaper, but it also melts a lot better.
  • Give the casserole even more substance by adding a layer of cooked frozen vegetables (such as peas, corn, and carrots) before the potatoes and cheese. This is an easy way to incorporate veggies into your kids’ diets. Sauteed mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers work great as well.
  • To make it ahead, follow the recipe but skip the broiling. Once it’s cooled, cover the meatloaf with plastic wrap and foil and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve it, remove the wrappings and cover with foil. Bake it for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Broil it for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  • Have leftovers? Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or store it in an air-tight container. Refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before you reheat it.

More Incredible Meatloaf Recipes to Try

Alton Brown Meatloaf
Trisha Yearwood Meatloaf
Cracker Barrel Meatloaf
Cheeseburger Meatloaf
Boston Market Meatloaf

Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 pound 1 ground beef

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 finely chopped yellow onions

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 seasoned dry bread crumbs

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 sweet honey barbecue sauce (i.e. Kraft)

  • 1 1 egg, beaten

  • 2 teaspoons 2 chili powder

  • 1 1 (24-ounce) package Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Russet potatoes

  • 1 tablespoon 1 butter or margarine

  • 1 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk

  • 1 tablespoon 1 chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 teaspoon 1 garlic powder

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 bacon bits

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 French fried onions

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 Mexican style shredded cheese mix


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with baking spray.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the ground beef, onions, bread crumbs, barbecue sauce, beaten egg, and chili powder just until well-combined. Press the meat mixture into the bottom of the greased baking dish.
  • Bake it for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer. It should read 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • While baking, microwave the potatoes according to package instructions in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Mix in the butter, milk, parsley, and garlic powder until well-combined. Gently mix in the bacon bits and French-fried onions.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and turn on the broiler. Top the meat mixture with the potato mix, followed by the shredded cheese.
  • Place the baking dish 4 inches from the heat. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Let the cowboy meatloaf rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve and enjoy!
Cowboy Meatloaf

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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