Casseroles are a classic one-dish meal. They’re a welcome staple on any dinner table, especially in the winter, because they’re so warm and hearty. In Minnesota and other parts of the Midwest, it’s often called a “hot dish”.
The magic of casseroles is that they contain all the components of a full meal. Most casseroles contain meat, starch, vegetable, and some type of cheese or sauce. With only one pan used to prepare them, you won’t have much to clean up. You can spend more time with your family and less time in the kitchen.
This casserole is modeled after the flavors of the famous Denver omelet. The Denver omelet contains ham, hash brown potatoes, sweet bell peppers, onion, cheese, and eggs. Most people really enjoy a good Denver omelet, but it can be a challenging dish to make. Omelets require standing over the stove as you make each omelet individually, making sure not to burn it.
In casserole form, you still get all of the delicious flavors of a Denver omelet. You don’t have to reserve it only for breakfast, although you can also serve it for breakfast or dinner! But this casserole is a lot less effort than standing over the stove making omelets for everyone in your family. You’ll love how quickly this comes together.
Pork Potato Casserole
Because a casserole can contain any combination of meat, starch, and vegetables, a Denver potato casserole is just the starting point for a whole lot of other tasty meals. Making a good pork potato casserole just requires a little bit of imagination.
You could make this with ham and potatoes, but add some sour cream and broccoli instead of the bell peppers and cheese. But you could also switch the ham for some bacon or sausage instead to make another variation on pork potato casserole.
The amazing thing about casseroles is that your imagination is the limit for what you can put in them. Still want some cheese even though you’re adding sour cream, for example? Go for it. Although it may not be the healthiest choice, you can certainly do it.
The traditional Midwest way to make a casserole is to use canned cream soup as the base that holds everything together. Popular choices include cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup because both have such adaptable flavors.
Cheesy Potato Casserole
Diets that give up either cheese or potatoes are incredibly tough to stick with, because both cheese and potatoes are some of the best-tasting foods around. Both foods are warm and comforting. Cheesy potato casserole is a great way to combine these two magically delicious ingredients. But like the other recipe ideas, there are tons of ways to use cheese and potatoes to come up with a tasty casserole.
One popular type of cheesy potato casserole is the recipe sometimes called “funeral potatoes”. They’re called that because they’re the type of comforting dish you take to feed a crowd. Funeral potatoes use cheese, sour cream, and shredded or diced frozen potatoes. The recipe also usually calls for a can of cream of chicken soup, a diced onion, and a top layer of crushed potato chips.
You can make cheesy potato casserole with a bit of a Southwestern kick by adding a chopped, de-seeded jalapeno and a teaspoon of cumin. Ham goes well with this too, but you can also add other meats like sausage or ground beef. If your family likes a little bit of a mildly spicy flavor, you can kick it up a notch without losing the comfort food factor of cheese and potatoes.
If you prefer, you can also go in more of an Italian-inspired direction. You can use either sour cream or cream of chicken soup and add a packet of Italian dressing mix. Chopped broccoli or asparagus would go well in this dish. Instead of using Colby Jack or cheddar cheese, you can use shredded mozzarella cheese. It might even turn out better if you use cubed chicken instead of ham.
Whether you make a Denver potato casserole or a creative variation on baked cheese and potatoes with other ingredients added, you’ll still have a dish that will keep your family happy. It’s not an expensive meal and it doesn’t require a lot of time spent in the kitchen, which are our two biggest criteria in what to cook. So what are you going to make today with cheese and potatoes? The choice is up to you.
Can Your Kids Help With This Recipe?
Many parents enjoy cooking with their kids. Kids tend to make a lot of activities a lot more fun with their care-free and laid-back attitudes. Cooking can be one of those activities. Of course, your experience cooking with your kids will depend on the recipe you're making!
You want to avoid making anything that's too complicated, or that they can't help much with. With this recipe, they can definitely help you layer the ingredients in the baking dish. Kids love using their hands, especially with food. They'll enjoy being able to help you with this aspect of the casserole. Just make sure hands are washed beforehand!
As always, it's important to ensure your children are aware of kitchen safety practices before they cook with you. Make sure they know to keep their hands away from hot surfaces, to handle sharp objects with care, and to never use the stove or oven unsupervised.
As your kids get older, you can trust them with more difficult cooking tasks. Nothing about this recipe is hard, however, even for younger kids. That means it's a perfect recipe to make with your children. Pick a weekend day when you don't have much going on and make this recipe with your family.Print
Casseroles are a classic one-dish meal. They’re a welcome staple on any dinner table, especially in the winter, because they’re so warm and hearty.
- 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced (1 1/3 pounds)
- 8 ounces cubed cooked ham
- 1 medium sweet pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)
- 1 small sweet yellow onions, chopped (1/3 cup)
- 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese (4 ounces)
- In a greased 2-quart square baking dish layer half of the potatoes, half of the ham, half of the pepper, half of the onion, and half of the cheese.
- Repeat with the remaining ham, pepper, and onion.
- Top with the remaining potatoes.
- Bake, covered, in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until potatoes are tender.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 60 Minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pork potato casserole, cheesy potato casserole