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Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet with Bacon for Tired Cooks

Sneak Peek: Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet with bacon is a go-to recipe for a busy day when you are too tired to think about what to cook, and the pantry is almost empty.

After a hard day of work with a growling stomach providing background music, I find it hard to think clearly about what to fix for dinner. However, when the only vegetables in the fridge are carrots, wilted celery, and a month-old cabbage, this Ground Beef and Potato recipe sounds pretty good.

picture of Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet with Bacon in a black iron skillet with catsup on the side.

We first came to love this recipe when camping. I know just about anything tastes better when you eat it in the woods, but whenever I’m in the mood for meatloaf and potatoes, this is an easy substitute that takes much less time to prepare.

Recipe inspiration:

Know what else makes food taste better? (Not cooking it yourself doesn’t count.)

Bacon! Like I said in my recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Chicken Bites, bacon makes any food fly off the table.

Flipped over Hamburger and Potatoes Skillet --ready to eat

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not trying to sell this particular recipe as some incredible gourmet delight that will make your dress fly up, your pants fall down, or your life turn out perfectly.

Nope. This easy one-skillet recipe is a kind of comfort food assembled with four ingredients you probably already have on hand.

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Hopefully, you won’t have to make an extra trip to the grocery store. Such a trip just before dinner is an exercise in patience that I try to avoid.

Ingredients and substitutions:

4 ingredients needed for this simple skillet recipe
  • BACON: Nothing substitutes for the smoky flavor of bacon. Thinly-sliced bacon fries up best. You want it to be crispy, not limp and greasy. You could leave the bacon out, but I wouldn’t. It’s what makes this dish.
  • GROUND BEEF: Any kind of ground beef will work. I like 85/15 ground beef. Ground turkey is an acceptable substitute.
  • POTATOES: Substitute sweet potatoes for the white potatoes if you prefer. They cook a tad bit faster. However, since they are the same color as the carrots, the whole dish is not as pretty as it is with white or buttery yellow potatoes.
  • CARROTS: Not much to say about carrots other than they need to be sliced. Use baby carrots if you like, but I would still cut them into half-inch slices.

Secrets for success with this recipe:

  1. The correct setting and timing for cooking this dish will be affected by the type of pan you use (the heavier the better) and your particular stove.
  2. The thinner you slice the vegetables, the faster this dish will cook. I use a mandolin to get thin slices in a hurry, but a knife or slicing with a food processor is good, too.
  3. If you slice the potatoes ahead of time, be sure to let them sit in a bowl of water so they won’t discolor.
  4. This makes a good camping recipe. Cook it in an electric skillet or an iron skillet.

What should I serve with this hamburger and potatoes one-dish wonder?

Ketchup! Lots of it. Or barbecue sauce or ranch dressing. This recipe begs for your favorite condiment.

A light salad on the side will add some fiber to the menu. Fresh bread like this Crusty French Bread you can make with your bread machine would be another welcome addition.

Can I make this ahead of time?

I never do. It’s more of a last-minute recipe–best eaten immediately.

How to layer Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet:

  • FIRST LAYER: Bacon
  • SECOND LAYER: Ground Beef
  • THIRD LAYER: Sliced Potatoes
  • FOURTH LAYER: Carrots
collage showing each layer of this hamburger and potatoes dish

Recipe after cooked in a skillet with two small plates served up beside it.
Flip the layers over if you want to see the bacon on top.

Would you like to see more beef recipes?

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Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the comment section below. No comment is required.

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

ground beef and potatoes in iron skilet

Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet Recipe

Bacon, ground beef, sliced potatoes and carrots are layered in a skillet to make a delicious supper in minutes.
Paula Rhodes
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Beef
Servings 4 servings


  • 5-6 slices bacon - thinly-sliced works better
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3-4 medium potatoes - peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5-6 carrots - sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt - divided
  • Freshly-ground pepper


  • Cut bacon in half crosswise and place it in a single layer covering the bottom of a large skillet. Fry the bacon on one side over medium heat. When it starts to turn brown and gets a little crispy, turn each piece over. Remove the skillet from the heat immediately before it browns on the second side. Drain excess bacon grease.
  • Crumble raw ground beef evenly over the bacon. Season with a half teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of freshly ground pepper.
  • Arrange potatoes over the top of ground beef.
  • Distribute carrots on top of the potatoes.
  • Season with remaining salt and pepper. Cover.
  • Cook about 15 minutes over medium-low heat until the bacon is crisp and vegetables are tender.



The only tricky part of this recipe is figuring out exactly where to set the heat so the bacon turns out crispy but not burned. If the bacon is still limp and light colored on the bottom, but the vegetables are cooked through, turn up the heat a bit. The correct setting will be affected by the type of pan you use and your particular stove. I suggest you keep an eye on it the first time or two you make this.


Serving: 4gCalories: 454kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 23gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 721mgPotassium: 1223mgFiber: 6gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 12742IUVitamin C: 36mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 4mg
Keyword dinner ideas with ground beef and potatoes, easy skillet recipe with ground beef and bacon, easy weeknight supper, ground beef and potatoes skillet
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating


Friday 20th of November 2020

I made this tonight as I was looking for a quick dinner. The only change I made was to add a sprinkle of garlic powder to the meat. I thought this tasted like a bacon cheeseburger. My family really liked it.


Sunday 10th of April 2016

Obviously, deep skillet is needed for French Potato Pie. :-)


Sunday 10th of April 2016

This looks yammy. I also make similar to this what I found on Russian website. In cold skillet put a layer of half portion of ground meet (or any meat combinations: beef and pork, beef and chicken, etc), salt and pepper. Then layer of thinly sliced potatoes, salt pepper. Then thinly sliced onion, salt and pepper. Repeat same layers with second half of meat, potatoes, onion, salt and pepper. Put on a top mayo and shredded cheese, cover with lid. Cook 20-25 min on low-med heat until you see steam coming out from underneath of lid. Put aside, let it rest 10 min. My husband and son love this dish. For reason not understandable to me Russians call it French Potato Pie.


Tuesday 12th of April 2016

Interesting variation. I must give it a try.


Saturday 7th of February 2015

Ohhhh! Yum. AT the end of the day, I need some winning no-brainers, thank you! My husband is not the biggest cooked carrot fan...does anyone have a substitution suggestion?


Friday 19th of April 2013

Update-had this again Wed. night and it was really yummy. My DH ate all the leftovers for lunches and said it reminded him of camping with his family when he was a little guy. He is a total fan of this dish!