Trying to keep dinner different and exciting can be tiresome every once in a while. And then sometimes I get these crazy “What would happen if” ideas and get excited all over again. While I typically have meals planned out a week in advance, some times I get to the day and either I don’t want to make what I planned, I forgot to take out the protein for it or I simply don’t want to. That’s when I start looking for other options with what I have in hand. And that was how the Sloppy Fry Casserole came to be. It started out as a Burger and Fries concept, but then I started adding the flavors of sloppy joes to the ground beef and it evolved into the delicious recipe you see below.
I used some shoestring fries because it’s what I had in my freezer at the time. They worked just fine. You could probably do a slightly more traditional, thicker fry, but I wouldn’t go all the way to a steak fry. You could probably do a crinkle cut but I would stay away from curly or waffle fries. You aren’t trying to make a pie crust or anything, just letting them all cook together in the same casserole dish.
Because I love bacon so much, and I always have some in the fridge, I decided to add it in to enhance the smoky flavor from the Worcestershire sauce. It really worked with the dish, but you could omit it if you wanted to. I selected a regular cheddar cheese, you could totally do a pepper jack or a sharp cheddar to get a slightly different flavor.
I added a few pickles on the side because, well I love pickle but also because I thought it rounded out the burger/sloppy joe flavors well. Two of my boys got out the hamburger buns and made sandwiches with it. They really liked the fries already in, since they like to put their fries on their burgers anyway.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
Sloppy Fry Casserole
- 1 13×9 Baking Dish
- ½ lb Bacon
- 2 lb Ground Beef
- ½ Medium White Onion minced
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 15oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes
- 1 tsp Ground Mustard
- ½ cup Ketchup
- 2 tbsp Dill Pickle Juice
- 3 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded, divided
- 1 28oz bag Frozen French Fries
- 1 tsp Parsley
- Dill Pickle Chips for garnish, if desired
- Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
- In a saute pan over medium high heat, cook bacon. Fry until crispy and remove to paper towel covered plate. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Once cooled some, cut bacon up into bits.
- Add onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes then add ground beef, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook and crumble until no longer pink. Add cooked bacon, tomatoes, ketchup, ground mustard and pickle juice. Stir to combine, then add in 2 cups of shredded cheese.
- Transfer meat mixture to 13×9 pan. Add frozen fries in a single layer across top of mixture. Place in oven to bake for 30 minutes.
- Increase heat to 450degF and cook another 10 minutes (or until fries are golden brown). Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining cheese and parsley.
- Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Add a few pickle chips on the side for garnish, if desired.
Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:
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