In our kitchen, this meat and sweet potato casserole was originally called the impossible casserole. The first time I made it, I felt like it took too long and required more pans and steps than I am typically willing to endure. Maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this, but I think it is important to be real with you. My first go at this recipe did take too long and required more effort than I am typically in the mood for. However, once Justin got home from work and we sat down and enjoyed the impossible casserole for dinner and then had it again the next morning with a fried egg on top, and it was even better as leftovers for breakfast, we decided the impossible casserole was perhaps worth the extra effort. I guess it is true, sometimes in life the things that take extra work really are worth the effort.
Sometimes I don’t want to spend my evening in the kitchen after a long day at work, and sometimes I don’t want to spend half of my Sunday preparing for the upcoming week. That said, my future self always thanks me. So for those days, we plan accordingly. We plan for quick 30 minute meals, crockpot meals, or leftovers on days we know in advance will be busy. Then on the weekends, and other non-busy days, we play in the kitchen and spend time making things like the impossible casserole possible.
Justin has some serious stamina in the kitchen. He genuinely loves to cook and spend time turning our ideas into masterpieces. I love being in the kitchen, too, especially with him. I don’t have quite the tenacity Justin has. I like things that are quick, easy and delicious…and preferably all three things in one dish or dessert. That is what I like to create. I enjoy learning from Justin though, and learning to cultivate my patience in the kitchen.
Truly great things happen, like this meat and sweet potato casserole.
It is the casserole that doubles as a great dinner and tasty breakfast with the leftovers.
See if you can’t turn the impossible into your next favorite casserole in your own kitchen! We’ve streamlined the recipe and instructions to make it easier so you can get to the good part a little faster!
If you try this recipe, we’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment below and add a rating. Also, take a picture and tag it on Instagram #realsimplegood so we can check it out!
- 1 tbsp fat of choice (we use bacon fat)
- 2 yams or sweet potatoes - shredded in your food processor or grated
- 6 pieces of bacon - diced and cooked like bacon bits
- A few large handful of greens (we enjoy arugula)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork Italian sausage
- 1 bell pepper - diced
- 1/2 leek or onion - diced
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
Melt your fat of choice in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Once the skillet is hot place your shredded yams or sweet potatoes. Let them cook....for a little while. This is the part that took longer than I'd like, but it's a crucial step. Good news though, while the potatoes are going you can start your bacon and kill two birds with one stone.
Cook your bacon bits over medium-high heat until they are mostly crispy and then set them aside on a paper towel lined plate.
Stir the potatoes around every once in a while. If you don't give them long enough, they won't crisp up. You want them to get a little crispy. Just note they won't get as crispy as white potato hash browns, and that is quite alright.
Once the potatoes have cooked up to your desired level of crispy, remove from the heat and place them in a casserole dish. The potatoes will serve as the bottom layer of your casserole.
Next, place your ground beef and Italian sausage in your large skillet (the one the potatoes were just in) and cook over medium heat.
Add your diced leeks or onions and bell pepper.
Stir occasionally and when the meat is almost done add your garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.
Once your meat is finished cooking, remove from heat.
Layer greens on top of your potatoes in your casserole dish. Add the meat mixture, and then top with your bacon bits.
Now, you can serve as is for dinner. Or if you've prepped this earlier in the day, you can cover the casserole and place it in the fridge and then reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until it's hot again. And the best part....use the leftovers the next morning for breakfast. Just reheat it on the stove in a medium skillet over medium heat, and fry an egg to layer on top. Enjoy!