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If you’re looking for a super easy dinner recipe, this crockpot hamburger potato casserole is your savior. With less than 15 minutes of prep time and only 5-6 ingredients, you can have an amazing dinner on the table effortlessly.
What Makes This Crockpot Hamburger Potato Casserole Recipe So Amazing?
This meal is deliciously comforting, satisfying, and gluten-free (as long as the cream of mushroom soup is). It’s like a cheesy hamburger with fries and creamy mushroom sauce all coming together into a beautiful masterpiece.
Besides it being easy to make and not needing to babysit the casserole while it cooks, this hamburger potato casserole also requires minimal clean-up. The only cooking appliances you need are a pan, a bowl, a grater, and a crockpot.
You can even layer the crockpot ceramic bowl with casserole ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. This way you can prep the casserole on the weekend and simply turn on the crockpot 4 hours before dinner time.
This crockpot 4-layer hamburger potato casserole is super versatile. You can switch up some of the ingredients, spices, and add-ins, and you’ll get a totally different meal. Shhh..no one will know you’re using the same recipe.
What Do I Need For This Crockpot Hamburger Potato Casserole Recipe?
You can make this hamburger potato casserole easy with just 5-6 ingredients. Check the Notes and Variations to transform this dish into a multitude of dinners.
For this easy crockpot hamburger potato casserole, you’ll need:
- 3 large potatoes (about 25 oz)
- 2 lb. ground beef
- 2-10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of asparagus soup)
- 1 cup milk (full-fat is best)
- Salt and pepper to taste (just a little bit)
- 1 ½ cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese (or more if desired)
- Optional: ½ onion, diced
- Optional: Onion and garlic powder to taste (or other spices of choice)
How To Make Crock Pot Hamburger Potato Casserole
Step 1: Brown the beef
Before assembling the casserole, you need to cook the ground beef and optional onions until the meat is browned. Then drain any excess fat from the beef so that your casserole doesn’t turn out greasy.
Note: If you want, lightly season the beef with salt and pepper, optional onion powder, and garlic powder. Just remember that the cream of mushroom soup is already salty and flavorful.
Step 2: Prepare the hamburger mixture and the potatoes
In a large mixing bowl, combine the browned beef with the cream of mushroom soup. Mix well and set aside.
Meanwhile, wash, peel and cut the potatoes into thin rounds. You can leave the skins on if your family or guests like them. Otherwise, reduce food waste by saving the potato skins and making crisps in the oven.
Step 3: Assemble the casserole
Line the bottom of the crockpot with a layer of potatoes, then follow with a layer of hamburger mixture, and top with some freshly grated cheese. Repeat the layers until you’ve finished all the ingredients. Top with a layer of cheese.
Now, pour the milk around the sides of the casserole to add liquid when it’s cooking.
Step 4: Cook the crockpot hamburger potatoes cheese casserole
Place the lid on the crockpot and cook it on high for 3-4 hours or until the potatoes are soft. Then turn off the crockpot and allow it to cool for 10-20 minutes. This allows the dish to thicken slightly.
Step 5: Balance Your Plate & Feast Away
Serve with a side of fresh salad or roasted veggies for a complete meal. Dig in!
Notes & Variations
- I like adding ½ an onion for flavor, but if you have picky eaters you can omit it. You can also add more onion if you love it. I also like to add some freshly minced garlic to the beef while it’s browning on the stovetop.
- The best potatoes for this hamburger potato cheese casserole are yellow gold potatoes, white potatoes, or russet potatoes. But you can use any potatoes you have at hand. Semi-starchy or starchy potatoes work best.
- This recipe is made for a crockpot, but you can definitely adapt it for the oven. Simply grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish and bake it for 1 hour covered in aluminum foil. Then uncover and bake it for another 15 minutes to let the cheese broil and any excess moisture evaporate.
- You can use pre-shredded cheese as a shortcut, but it’s so much better to grate your own block of cheddar cheese. The taste and texture of freshly grated cheese are better, while pre-grated cheese has additives that compromise both.
- To make this into crockpot hamburger potatoes au gratin, simply omit the milk. The consistency will be thicker and less soup-like. I like this recipe both ways and this is a great way to mix it up.
- You can easily make this into a crock pot hamburger hash brown casserole by substituting the sliced potatoes with 25 oz of frozen hash brown potatoes. In this case, you can reduce the cooking time to 3 hours instead of 4 hours.
- Add some bell peppers, freshly minced garlic, zucchini, or even some leafy greens like spinach, kale, or collard greens. That’ll make the casserole healthier and lower in calories per serving. Plus, veggies can add some gorgeous colors to the dish.
- This crockpot hamburger potato casserole can also be made Cajun style. Instead of onion and garlic powder, add some Cajun seasoning. Fry some chopped onions, celery, and green bell pepper with the beef, and you’re set.
- To make a Mexican-style hamburger potato casserole, use taco seasoning and replace some of the beef with pinto beans. You can then use cheddar cheese or opt for Colby or Monterey Jack cheese. I like to top it off with crushed tortilla chips before serving.
- Ground beef can be partially or entirely replaced by ground turkey. If you replace only half and cook both types of meat together, it’ll still taste like beef. But if you don’t mind the flavor of turkey, you can replace it all and make a leaner version.
- Of course, you can use another meat of choice such as ground lamb, ground pork, shredded chicken, or even texturized vegetable protein (TVP) for a meatless version. This recipe is very flexible.
- If you don’t want to use store-bought cream of mushroom soup, you can make your own or even use homemade cream of asparagus soup. You can also try cream of celery, cream of potato, or cream of chicken soup. Or even plain sour cream.
- For a quick cream of mushroom substitute, mix equal parts milk and vegetable or mushroom broth. You need 21 oz for this recipe.
- 3 large potatoes
- 2 lb. ground beef
- 2-10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup or cream of asparagus soup
- 1 cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese
- Optional: ½ onion diced
- Optional: Onion and garlic powder to taste
- All ingredients ready? Let's begin!
- Cook the beef and onion until the meat is browned. Drain any excess fat.
- Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into thin rounds. You could leave the skins on.
- In a large bowl, mix the browned beef with cream of mushroom soup.
- Line the crockpot with layers of potatoes, beef mixture, and cheese. Repeat the layers until you’ve finished all the ingredients. Top with a layer of cheese.
- Pour the milk around the sides of the casserole and place the lid on the crockpot.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the potatoes are soft. Turn off the crockpot and allow it to cool for 10-20 minutes.
- Serve with a side of fresh salad or roasted veggies for a complete meal. Enjoy!