This Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole enjoys fully loaded baked potato flavors in a ridiculously easy casserole dish. It has all the good stuff. Bacon, cheese, sour cream, and onions make regular mashed potatoes the life of the party.
My whole family absolutely loves mashed potatoes, especially when I add roasted garlic. We also love loaded baked potatoes.
The first time I saw loaded mashed potatoes, I knew it was going to be heavenly. Think of mashed potatoes on ecstasy.
It makes the perfect side dish for special occasions and even everyday weeknight dinners. What’s even better is that you can make it the day before, store it in the fridge, and take it straight from the refrigerator to the oven.
With cheese, sour cream, and bacon, this recipe can qualify as a one-dish meal. Win-win!
The Best Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
It’s tough to say how many potatoes the recipe will take. That’s why it’s better to weigh your potatoes.
I usually use leftover mashed potatoes and measure them by the cup. A bag of potatoes that you’d buy at the store is usually five pounds. Three pounds is a little more than half of the bag.
Making mashed potatoes is therapy for me. Whipping those babies up into a frenzy with roasted garlic, butter, and sour cream is a dream come true. Then taking it over the top with bacon and cheese is too much to bear!
I’ve explained below how to store the leftovers, but I really doubt you’ll have any.
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole Ingredients
- Potatoes are the main ingredient in this smooth, creamy, and luscious dish. You can use leftover mashed potatoes or cook them fresh.
- Roasted garlic – Roasting garlic adds depth of flavor that intensifies the garlickiness. It’s the perfect match with cheese and bacon.
- Butter is on my list of must-haves when it comes to mashed potatoes. Butter makes everything better.
- Sour cream for a hint of tart adds a rich creaminess to the potato puree.
- Bacon, next to the butter, makes everything better. The salty, smokey flavor balances the sweet creaminess of the sour cream and butter. I do think it should be its own food group.
- Cheese and potatoes were just made for each other. Nice stringy melty umami is so soul-satisfying. My favorite mix is cheddar, parmesan, and gouda.
Potatoes – It’s hard to replace the scrumptiousness of potatoes. However, sweet potatoes, taro, malanga, and yuca will all work if you don’t have or can’t eat potatoes. You can even cook and mash green plantains for this one.
Sour cream – Yogurt, heavy cream with a little lemon juice, or cream cheese can substitute it. You can replace half of the sour cream with cream cheese and half with milk or heavy cream.
Bacon – If you’re not crazy about bacon (are you ok?), cooked and crumbled sausage will work. If pork is the issue, turkey bacon will work just fine.
Make-Ahead & Storage Instructions
Being able to make this ahead is one of the beauties of this recipe. You can assemble it a day or two in advance and keep it covered in the fridge. There’s no need to bring it to room temperature or preheat your oven. Uncover it, put it in the oven, then turn the oven.
By not preheating the oven, you will reduce the risk of your glass dish breaking or cracking. Then increase the cooking time slightly because a cold casserole takes a little longer to cook.
The leftover casserole will last two or three days stored correctly in the fridge, although I’ve never had it stick around that long.
This is one dish I would not freeze. Sorry guys, but I’ve never liked the texture of previously frozen potatoes. But you can try it if you want.
Yes, you can. In fact, that is one of my favorite ways to make this dish. Have you tried my Roasted Garlic Red Mashed Potatoes? You can make extra and use the leftovers for this casserole.😉
You can use just about any cheese you’d like. At least half of the mix should melt well. My personal favorites are sharp cheddar, gouda, Colby, and parmesan. Fontina adds an exciting zing, while mozzarella and mild cheddar will give you a softer flavor.
There are various ways to personalize your loaded mashed potato casserole recipe to what your family loves. These are some of the additions I throw in:
– Crispy fried onions
– Minced roasted garlic
– Sun-dried tomatoes
– Chopped chives
– More cheese if you like it cheesier
– Diced shrimp or shredded crab meat for a seafood version
Potatoes go with about anything. However, BBQ Chicken is one of my all-time favorites. If it’s not chicken, it has to be steak. Steak Tips are a budget-friendly friend of loaded mashed potato casserole.
And you can’t forget a good salad. A hearty Kale Salad is always a big hit at dinner time.
More Thanksgiving Sides
- Scalloped Corn – How can you go wrong with Creole seasoning, rich buttery crackers, cheese, and cream spiking delicious corn to make an ideal side dish for potatoes and turkey.
- Southern Mustard Greens – You can make this fantastic and versatile dish with spinach or collard greens just as easily. And it’s packed with flavor and nutrition. No guilt is involved here because bacon is a health food in my book.
- Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes – This flavor-packed, creamy, and fluffy mashed potato side is a regular on every holiday table.
- Sweet Potato Casserole – It won’t be Thanksgiving without this sweet and creamy casserole that could also double up as a dessert.
How to Make Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
Prepare the mashed potatoes
- Prepare the potatoes – Peel the potatoes, removing any spoiled spots, such as bruising and discoloration. Cut into big even-sized chunks. Place potatoes in water as you peel to prevent discoloration. Wash the potatoes and rinse until water runs clear. Place the potatoes in a large pot with about 1-2 teaspoons of salt and enough water to cover the potatoes. (Photos 1-4)
- Boil the potatoes – Bring to a boil, cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain water from the potatoes. (Photo 5)
- Dry the potatoes – Return potatoes to the stove and simmer for about a minute to remove moisture from the potatoes. (Photo 6)
- Roast the garlic – This is an optional step that really does make this recipe even more incredible. (Photos 7 & 8)
- Mash the potatoes – Transfer potatoes into a large bowl then, add the soft butter, sour cream, garlic, and black pepper. Start mixing while adding warm milk as you go until mashed potatoes is soft and fluffy. You may add more milk if desired. (Photo 9 & 10)
Season the mashed potatoes
- Add bacon and cheeses – Stir in the bacon, cheeses, parmesan, cheddar cheese, gouda cheese (optional) half of the bacon (reserve the other half to top the casserole). Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. (Photo 11 – 15)
Bake the mashed potato casserole
- The first layer – Scoop the mashed potatoes into a 9×13 baking dish or casserole dish. (Photo 16 & 17)
- Prepare to bake – When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. If desired, place the dish on a cookie or baking sheet (this helps facilitate carrying the dish).
- Bake uncovered 18 – 20 minutes or until heated through and the top is slightly puffed and golden brown.
- The final layer – Using an oven mitt, carefully remove from the oven and spread remaining cheddar cheese and bacon. Bake an additional 5 minutes. (Photo 18)
- Serve – Remove from the oven, sprinkle with green onions, and serve.
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
- 2 ½-3 pounds russet potatoes
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 4 ounces soft butter
- ½ cup sour cream (room temperature) (room temperature)
- salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
- ¾-1 cup or more warm milk
Loaded Casserole Assembly and Toppings
- ⅓ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated gouda cheese optional
- ½ cup bacon crumbles (about 4-5 bacon strips)
- 3 green chopped onions or chives (½ cup)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel the potatoes, removing any spoiled spots, such as bruising and discoloration. Cut into big even-sized chunks. Place potatoes in water as you peel to prevent discoloration.
- Wash the potatoes and rinse until water runs clear. Place the potatoes in a large pot with about 1 -2 teaspoons of salt and enough water to cover the potatoes.
- Bring to a boil, cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain water from the potatoes.
- Return potatoes to the stove and simmer for about a minute to remove moisture from the potatoes.
- Transfer potatoes into a large bowl then, add the soft butter, sour cream, garlic, and black pepper. Start mixing while adding warm milk as you go until mashed potatoes is soft and fluffy. You may add more milk if desired.
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole Assembly
- Stir in cheeses, parmesan, cheddar cheese, gouda cheese (optional) half of the bacon (reserve the other half to top the casserole). Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop the mashed potatoes into a 9×13 baking dish or casserole dish.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. If desired, place the dish on a cookie or baking sheet (this helps facilitate carrying the dish).
- Bake uncovered 18-20 minutes or until heated through and the top is slightly puffed and golden brown.
- Using an oven mitt, carefully remove from the oven and spread remaining cheddar cheese and bacon. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with green onions, and serve.
Tips & Notes:
- The sour cream and milk don’t have to be at room temperature for this recipe.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.