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Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet with Bacon for Tired Cooks

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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. 2/11/21

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. 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.

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.

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

Recipe Inspiration

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

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 amazing 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.

Hopefully, you won’t have to make a special 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?

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?

If you enjoyed this recipe, it would help others and me if you give it a five-star rating inside the recipe card below. 🤩 No comment required. Thank you.

Hope to see you again soon!

p.s. Questions or suggestions? Email me: paula at

Yield: 4 servings

Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet Recipe

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.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Crumble raw ground beef evenly over the bacon. Season with a half teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of freshly ground pepper.
  3. Arrange potatoes over the top of ground beef.
  4. Distribute carrots on top of the potatoes.
  5. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Cover.
  6. 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.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 574Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 525mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 6gSugar: 4gProtein: 41g

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