My Little Man is such a picky eater. I honestly do not get it. Sometimes he will eat a whole bowl of sliced peaches and other times he throws it on the floor in disgust. I’m sure all parents out there have been through this endearing phase however, even though I know I am not alone, it is still a tough mountain to climb. When you never know if the foods you choose will be welcomed or trashed, planning meals can be stressful!
The one and only thing he will always eat is potatoes. Mashed potatoes. Baked potatoes. Sweet potatoes. Cheesy potatoes. Hash browns. Tater tots. If there is a potato on the table, he is right there ready to eat it. I’ll consider myself lucky that I have at least one food I can count on!
So, naturally breakfast casserole has become a weekly staple in our household. Actually, not a weekly staple, more like a daily staple! Most breakfast casseroles consist of potatoes (yay!), cheese, some eggs and maybe a veggie or two mixed in. Wanna get fancy, toss in some meat and you have a complete meal!
Since breakfast casseroles have those magical potatoes inside that my son will always eat, i can also get away with all the more nutritious additions(eggs for protein, veggies, etc) without him noticing too much. Yes, breakfast casseroles are my current favorite food to make and serve for sure!
One Pan Breakfast Bake
What is especially great about breakfast casseroles and breakfast bakes is that they are essentially made from start to finish in one pan. That means only one dish to get out and only one dish to clean. One pan recipes are my favorite!
So while mornings are getting more and more hectic these days, I know that I can take out my one casserole dish, reach for a few simple ingredients (potatoes of course) and have a meal ready in no time that everyone will actually eat. It’s like magic!
Breakfast Casserole With Ham
So as I said before, we make breakfast casseroles frequently. Like every day frequently. Can you blame me? When you know that a meal will be eaten and not wasted, it has to be a household staple.
I have my recipe down to a science and I could probably make it with my eyes closed. My kids come down for breakfast and they already know there will be a casserole on the table. (They don’t know how luck they are…) Luckily, they are excited about it too- hopefully this casserole phase will last because I am getting so good at it!
However, the other day I had a casserole catastrophe. With all of the hustle and bustle during the holidays, super mom here forgot to buy hash browns. That’s right- we were out of the one food that saves my mornings and there was no time to go to the store before the kids needed to be out the door.
Ripping apart the freezer I was thankful we had leftover ham from Christmas. Perfect, ham in a breakfast casserole is perfect! Then I found a half bag of tater tots in the freezer- perfect again! Tater tots are totally potatoes! I mean, they are just hash browns in smaller, rounder form right?
Hillbilly Breakfast Bake Recipe
While this wasn’t up to par with my normal breakfast casseroles, full of veggies, coordinating meats and ‘real’ shredded potatoes, I didn’t think it was looking half bad. Then, with tater tots and chopped ham sitting on our kitchen counter, my husband walked by and said “what are you making a hillbilly breakfast?”.
I guess I can’t blame him for this comment as my casserole was looking a little rough around the edges compared to the masterpieces that I had been creating lately (like I said, I am a casserole pro at this point!). However, my kids sat down at the table, saw the cheesy tater tots and they all thought they were in heaven.
Everyone took great big scoops and devoured the casserole, telling me it was one of the best they ever had. I was shocked. Happy, elated, but surprised. This easy dish that took me a matter of seconds to make was their favorite casserole yet? Even my super picky son was reaching for more. I was thrilled.
And that was that. The Hillbilly Breakfast Casserole was born. Sure, it isn’t fancy and it’s made primarily of left overs but it tastes delicious, it’s fast and, let me reiterate here, my picky eater loves it! A 100% win. Oh, and since the fateful day when the Hillbilly Casserole was born, I have made it for many breakfasts but also for dinner too. I mean, ham, cheese and potatoes all sound like a delicious dinner too! Then you can even have the leftovers for breakfast the next day…genius!
Tater tot casserole, ham breakfast bake, one pan breakfast bake….Call it whatever you like but this is a delicious Hillbilly Breakfast Casserole indeed.
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Hillbilly Hamburger Casserole Recipe Requirements
Hamburger Casserole Recipe Ingredients
- Frozen Tater Tots
- Ground Beef (Chicken or Turkey also works)
- Yellow Onion
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Ranch Seasoning
More Simple Casserole Recipes
- Sausage Egg Hashbrown Casserole
- Slow Cooker Mexican Hashbrown Casserole
- Spicy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Love this recipe? Let us know in the comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
*This recipe was previously published on Simple Green Moms. We’ve updated and expanded the post on 11/20/18 to make it even better for our readers!Print
All you need to make this delicious recipe is 5 ingredients, one skillet, one casserole dish and that’s it!
- 1 bag of frozen tater tots
- 1 1/2 lb. ground beef (chicken or turkey works!)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450(F) degrees and prepare 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Brown meat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the meat is fully cooked, add in seasonings and chopped onion.
- Place half of the tater tots, meat and cheese in prepared dish. Season with salt and pepper then add the remaining tater tots, meat and cheese.
- Season with more salt and pepper if desired, then place uncovered in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tater tots are golden brown
- You can fully bake this casserole the day before. Reheat in the morning in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and then serve.
- This casserole will keep in the fridge, tightly wrapped, for up to 5 days.
- Hillybilly casserole does not freeze well (the freezer tends to dry it out a little) so make it fresh and eat it up- this won’t be a problem!
- If you have no tater tots, packaged hash browns will work fine as well.
- Replace the ham with 1 ½ cups cooked chopped bacon for a crunchier casserole addition
- Feel free to add any cooked or raw veggies you’d like to the mix. Chopped peppers, broccoli, zucchini and tomatoes all work well.
- If the cheese on the casserole begins to get too brown before the cooking time is complete, cover the casserole with foil for the remaining cooking time to prevent the oven heat from directly reaching the cheese.
- Serving Size: 6
Keywords: hamburger casserole, casserole, meat