Hearty Ground Meat and Egg Bake

This Hearty Ground Meat and Egg Bake is the epitome of comfort food, bringing together the rich flavors of lean ground meat and creamy eggs, all topped with a generous layer of melted cheddar cheese. It’s a dish that promises warmth and satisfaction from the first bite to the last. Ideal for any meal of the day, its simplicity belies the depth of flavor within, making it a favorite for both weeknight dinners and leisurely weekend brunches.

What sets this casserole apart is its versatility. You can easily adapt it to include your favorite vegetables, switch out the cheese for a different flavor profile, or even use a mix of meats for added complexity. It’s a recipe that invites experimentation, allowing you to tailor it to your dietary preferences or simply to what you have on hand. Serve it with a side salad for a complete meal, or enjoy it as is for a hearty, fulfilling dish that’s sure to please.

Full Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 450g (1 lb) lean ground meat
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 170g (6 oz) Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent.
  3. Add the ground meat to the skillet, breaking it apart with a spoon. Cook until browned. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Spread the cooked meat evenly in a baking dish. Pour the egg mixture over the meat. Sprinkle shredded Cheddar cheese on top.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the cheese is bubbly and golden.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving, if desired.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes

Kcal: 320 kcal per serving | Servings: 4

Expanded Recipe Insights for Hearty Ground Meat and Egg Bake

The Inspiration Behind the Dish

This dish is inspired by the simplicity and comfort of home cooking. It combines the heartiness of ground meat with the wholesomeness of eggs, all brought together with the melting goodness of cheddar cheese. It’s a recipe that speaks to the soul, perfect for gathering the family around the table or enjoying a quiet, comforting meal on your own.

Flavor Profile and Texture

  • Flavor: The Hearty Ground Meat and Egg Bake offers a rich and savory taste, with the shallot and garlic powder providing a subtle depth of flavor that complements the meatiness of the ground meat. The cheddar cheese adds a creamy, sharp tang that balances the dish.
  • Texture: Expect a delightful contrast in textures, from the tender, juicy ground meat to the soft, custard-like eggs, topped with a crispy, golden cheese crust.

Customization Ideas

  • Meat Variations: While lean ground meat is recommended for a healthier option, you can experiment with ground turkey, pork, or even a plant-based meat substitute for a vegetarian version.
  • Add-Ins: Consider incorporating vegetables such as spinach, bell peppers, or mushrooms for added nutrition and flavor. For a spicy kick, a diced jalapeño or a dash of chili flakes can elevate the dish.
  • Cheese Options: Swap cheddar cheese with mozzarella for a milder taste, pepper jack for some heat, or a blend of your favorite cheeses for complexity.

Serving Suggestions

  • For Breakfast: Serve with a side of toasted sourdough bread and a light arugula salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • For Lunch or Dinner: Pair with a mixed green salad, roasted vegetables, or a simple tomato soup for a fuller meal.
  • As a Leftover: This dish reheats well, making it a perfect option for meal prep. Enjoy it the next day for a quick and satisfying meal.

Nutritional Information

Focusing on lean ground meat and incorporating heavy cream in moderation makes this dish a source of high-quality protein while keeping the fat content reasonable. The addition of eggs contributes to the dish’s high protein content, making it a filling and nutritious option. For those watching their calorie intake or requiring a specific diet, adjustments can be made to suit low-carb, keto, or gluten-free lifestyles.

Cooking Tips

  • Even Cooking: Ensure the ground meat is cooked evenly before adding it to the baking dish to avoid any raw spots.
  • Cheese Topping: For an extra crispy cheese topping, broil the bake for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time, watching closely to prevent burning.
  • Resting Time: Let the bake rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This allows it to set, making it easier to slice and serve.

Conclusion

The Hearty Ground Meat and Egg Bake is more than just a recipe; it’s a canvas for creativity in the kitchen. Whether you stick to the original recipe or make it your own with various add-ins and substitutions, it’s sure to become a beloved dish in your cooking repertoire. Its ease, versatility, and comforting nature make it a perfect choice for any meal, any day of the week.