Dolly Parton is best known for country music, but it turns out she should carry some clout in the cooking arena too. Her Five Layer Dinner is comfort food done best – simple flavors that are combined in a bake that is both easy to make and entirely satisfying. With layers of ground beef and just a few simple veggies, it’s economical too, so it’s just the kind of great down-home family-friendly fare you’d expect from the Queen of Country herself.
This is an easy bake. If you can slice and layer, you can handle this. It starts with a layer of sliced potatoes, followed by a layer of browned ground beef.
That’s topped with a layer of sliced onions…
… and that’s topped with either diced tomatoes or sliced fresh ones.
The final layer is chopped green peppers, but you could use another color if that suits your fancy.
So yes, there are only five major ingredients here, but the secret is in seasoning each and every layer as you go and then baking it low and slow.
It’s a two hour cooking time, but while it bakes the juices from the veggies and the meat release and combine in a marvelous way.
That means that while you don’t have to create any kind of separate sauce for this dish, you still end up with a bake where every bite is juicy and flavorful. (And it only took five ingredients to get there.)
It’s not fancy food, but it’s the kind of food that’s delicious in its simplicity – simple flavors that are simply prepared and somehow become much more together than the sum of its parts.
Dolly Parton's 5-Layer Dinner
Serves 6; 15 minutes prep, 2 hours cook time
- 3 large russet potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 lb lean ground beef, browned and crumbled
- 2 large onions, sliced and rings separated
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced OR 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 green bell peppers, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Olive oil, as needed
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with butter or nonstick spray.
- Layer potatoes in bottom of baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Top with the ground beef, followed by the onions, then the tomatoes, and the bell peppers, seasoning with salt and pepper between each layer.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 hours. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Chin Deep.