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!
Meat and Sweet Potato Casserole (Paleo, Whole30 + Dairy-Free)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 yams or sweet potatoes, shredded in the food processor or grated
- 6 pieces bacon, diced
- 4 cups arugula, (or sub other greens)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 leek or onion, diced
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Baking Dish
- Shred potatoes in a food processor or grate with a hand grater. Dice bacon and chop onion and bell pepper as noted.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add in avocado oil. Once hot place the shredded yams or sweet potatoes in the skillet in an even layer. Let them cook undisturbed for 5 or so minutes, until they develop a crisp crust on the bottom. Then, flip the potatoes completely to cook for another 5 minutes on the other side.
- While the potatoes are cooking, in a separate pan cook the diced bacon over medium-high heat until the pieces are mostly crispy. Set them aside on a paper towel lined plate.
- After the potatoes have cooked on each side, you may need to stir them up some to get the middle cooked. Stir as needed and cook until the potatoes are cooked completely through. Note that they won't get really crispy throughout, that's ok.
- Once the potatoes are finished, 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 and mix with the meat to cook.
- Stir occasionally and cook until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. When the meat is almost done add in the garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir and remove from heat once the meat is done.
- 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 uncovered 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!