This casserole really is a complete meal in one dish. With meat, potatoes, veggies and dairy, you will love that you don't have to make anything else for dinner but this! But you will especially love that you don't have to peel your potatoes for this recipe...
“Whaaaat?” you say. Yep, it's true. But we do things the way we do because it's how we've always done them; the way we were taught. For example, I was recently at some friends’ for dinner and they were baking their potatoes in foil, so I asked them why they did it that way. I never bake my potatoes in foil.
Old habits die hard.
They had no idea why, except that it was because their Moms did it that way. They assumed that it helped them cook faster (Nope! See below). But did you know there are good reasons you shouldn't wrap you potatoes in foil, unless you are cooking them directly on coals or something they can't touch? However, you'd also want to wrap them in foil if you are cooking a hasselback type of potato with a filling that can run, like in my 3 Ingredient Onion Baked Potatoes in Foil.
But otherwise, there's no good reason. But there are several reasons not to bake your potatoes in foil (see below)! Nor do you need to peel your potatoes....
Why you don't need to peel potatoes
If you are peeling your potatoes, unless you really enjoy extra work, you can stop now. It's the most nutrient filled part of the potato so why would you want to peel all those nutrients away and add more unnecessary waste to the environment? Potato peels contain more iron than the flesh of the potatoes and they're also a good source of fiber, vitamin B, and vitamin C. And I don't know about you, but I really hate peeling potatoes. Maybe it was the endless buckets I peeled at my grandparents farm when I was a kid. Or the zillion I peeled that summer I worked at the fly-in fishing camp. But I'm guessing I'm not alone in my loathing of this task. You can read more about why not to peel potatoes HERE and HERE.
Why you don't need to wrap your potatoes in foil
Getting back to wrapping your potatoes in foil...
Dr. Potato, from the Idaho Potato Foundation says, "No." Wrapping a potato in foil prior to baking traps the potato’s natural moisture, so you're actually steaming your potato instead of baking it! The result is a soggy baked potato, not the fluffy baker, with the crispy skin, that most of us prefer. Then there's also the misconception that wrapping potatoes in foil speeds up the baking process; but on the contrary, since the foil itself has to be heated before the potato begins to bake, cooking time actually slightly increases. Not only do you get better baked potatoes when you bake them unwrapped, you also save money (and the environment.)
You should only wrap potatoes in foil AFTER BAKING and only if you need to keep them warm for more than a few minutes before serving. You can read more HERE.
Sliced Potato Casserole
Now all that potato slicing doesn't seem so bad when you don't have to peel them, does it?
I really love casseroles, but I don't make enough of them, mostly because it's really hard to find a good casserole recipe. But sliced potato casseroles are just so delicious! This one has a similar texture to scalloped potatoes, which I also love. But sometimes you need to switch things up. And this casserole does an amazing job of that!
Ground Beef and Spinach Recipes
Ground beef and spinach are such a great combo, especially with cottage cheese. I love it in my lasagna so why not in another casserole? But it's really the Swiss cheese that elevates this casserole to an entirely new level. Yum!
So... if you're also looking to expand your casserole horizons, then do give this one a try! And be sure to check out my other casserole recipes. You won't be disappointed!
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Potato, Spinach and Beef Casserole
- 8 small - medium potatoes * I use red because I think they look really nice, but you could use white as well
- 5 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 2 clove garlic
- 1 ½ lbs extra lean ground beef
- 2 -10 ounce pkgs of frozen spinach Defrosted, drained with liquid squeezed out
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 2 cups grated Swiss cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- chopped chives (shown in photos) or green onions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and Grease and 9" X 11" casserole dish
- Cook ground beef in skillet with diced onion until browned and cooked through. Drain and set aside.
- Slice potatoes into ¼ inch thick rounds.
- Place sliced potatoes on a plate and cover with saran wrap. Alternatively, you can simply cover it with a microwave safe cover if you don't want to use saran wrap.
- Cook in the microwave for 8 minutes or until fork through easily. *I do this in 2 batches**BE CAREFUL when you take the saran wrap off ( if you use it) as lots of steam is released and it's HOT!
- Melt butter in separate bowl in microwave safe bowl.
- Arrange half of the potatoes in bottom of dish and drizzle with butter.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, mix ½ cup grated Swiss cheese, spinach, cottage cheese, garlic and egg. Then add ground beef. Mix well.
- Spread the spinach and ground beef mixture over the first layer of potatoes and butter.
- Cover with remaining potatoes, drizzle with remaining 2 ½ tbsp butter.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1 ½ cups Swiss cheese.
- Bake 40-50 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Cool for 5 minutes
- Garnish with chopped chives or green onions