We Tried Dolly Parton’s 5-Layer Casserole, and Now We’re Making It on Repeat

Is the Queen of Country also the queen of cooking? We put this Dolly Parton casserole to the test!

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Dolly Parton has written and performed plenty of chart-topping country songs. She’s also made countless appearances on TV (like this Netflix Christmas musical), along with penning several books. To us, though, Dolly is famous for her chicken and dumplings as she is for “Jolene.”

This Dolly Parton casserole recipe is rumored to be one of her signature dishes. It’s made up of simple ingredients, jam-packed with potatoes, ground beef and vegetables to make the ultimate comfort food. It’s not fancy, but sometimes, the beauty of a dish is its simplicity.

How to Make Dolly Parton’s Casserole

Dolly Parton Casserole IngredientsMolly Allen for Taste of Home


  • 3 large russet potatoes, sliced
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned and seasoned
  • 2 onions, sliced and rings separated
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, generously to taste


Step 1: Prep your baking dish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Step 2: Layer the potatoes and ground beef

Dolly Parton Casserole MeatMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Spread an even layer of sliced potatoes at the bottom of the dish. Season with plenty of salt and pepper on top. Top the potato layer with the browned ground beef.

Step 3: Add the sliced onions

Dolly Parton Casserole OnionsMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Top the ground beef layer with a layer of sliced onions and season generously.

Step 4: Add the diced tomatoes

Dolly Parton Casserole TomatoesMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Top the onion layer with an even layer of diced tomatoes and season generously.

Step 5: Sprinkle the green peppers

Dolly Parton Casserole PeppersMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Top the tomato layer with chopped green bell peppers.

Step 6: Time to bake!

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake this Dolly Parton casserole, covered, for two hours. Then remove the dish from the oven, uncover and allow it to cool slightly before serving. Have room for desserts? Try making this cuppa cake from Steel Magnolias.

Here’s What I Thought

Dolly Parton Casserole FinishedMolly Allen for Taste of Home

If you’re looking for cold-weather comfort food, this is it. This recipe is easy to follow and comes together with just a few minutes of prep time. The most time-consuming part is slicing and dicing the vegetables, but once that’s done, it’s up to the oven to do the majority of the work.

The most important thing to remember for this recipe is seasoning, seasoning, seasoning. Each ingredient is bland on its own, and you’ll end up with a flavorless dish if you skip the salt and pepper. You might even want to switch things up and use garlic salt or herbs! Be sure to season the ground beef while it’s cooking, and then continue with plenty of seasoning on each layer so you end up with flavor throughout. Dolly Parton definitely has a hit with this recipe, but it will be up to the seasonings you choose to make it a chart-topper! Want to try more of Dolly Parton’s recipes? Learn how to make her favorite pecan chicken salad.

Hearty Casseroles for Cold Days
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Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.