'The Pioneer Woman': Ree Drummond's One-Pan Cowboy Casserole Is Loaded With Bacon, Cheese, and a Crispy Potato Topping

On her Food Network series The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond has spoken unabashedly of her love of casseroles. It doesn’t matter if they are for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, or a delicious dessert, she loves them all. Her admiration for these one-pan meals comes out of having food at the ready to feed her large brood, which includes husband Ladd, daughters Alex, Paige, and sons Todd, Bryce, and Jamar. Many of her most popular can be prepared ahead of time or are ready in less than 30 minutes. Drummond’s one-pan Cowboy Casserole ticks off both those boxes.

Cowboy Casserole can easily be made ahead of time

The base mixture for Drummond’s Cowboy Casserole can be made ahead of the time you plan to serve.

It can be prepared and refrigerated up to one day ahead of time.

In a post shared on her Pioneer Woman website, Drummond wrote the following preparation notes for this particular dish.

“You could make the entire filling a day ahead, let it cool, then refrigerate. When ready to bake, heat the filling on the stovetop over medium heat until warm, then top with tater tots and cheese and bake as directed.” the passage explained.

“Any recipe that starts with crisping bacon then cooking onions in the bacon fat is bound to be delicious. With easy prep and a 30-minute bake, dinner can be on the table in less than an hour. Plus, because there’s corn and spinach in the filling, there’s no need for any additional sides,” Drummond wrote.

The ingredints for Ree Drummond’s Cowboy Casserole

The ingredients for Ree Drummond’s Cowboy Casserole are hearty, delicious, and comforting.

These include bacon, onion, garlic, ground beef (Ree uses ground Sirloin), and cream of mushroom soup.

Also needed are milk, salt, black pepper, baby spinach, frozen corn, cheddar cheese, tater tots, and parmesan cheese.

How to prep and cook Ree Drummond’s one-pan wonder

This one-pan-wonder, which comes together in a half-hour, begins by preheating the oven to 375 degrees.

Thaw the tater tots slightly prior to topping the casserole.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat then add bacon and cook until golden brown and crispy.

Remove bacon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Do not remove the grease.

Following, add onion and cook until soft.

Add garlic and cook, followed by ground beef, and break into small pieces.

Cook meat until meat is no longer pink inside.

Drain off excess fat. Stir in the soup, milk, salt, and pepper. Mix until smooth. Fold in spinach and wilt slightly, followed by the corn.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole. Place tater tots on top of the mixture in a single layer, Then sprinkle cheese on top and more pepper.

Bake until the tater tots are golden. Then add crumbled bacon on top. Return to oven to warm bacon through.

The recipe can be found on the Pioneer Woman website.

The Pioneer Woman airs Saturdays at 10 a.m. EST on the Food Network.

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