This loaded mashed potato casserole recipe is an incredible side dish for any special occasion or holiday! It's creamy, loaded with bacon and cheddar, and easily feeds a crowd.
Why you'll love it
I love mashed potatoes as much as the next person, but sometimes you want to go all-out and make a phenomenal side dish like this cheesy potato casserole! It's simple and straightforward to make.
These loaded mashed potatoes are smooth and buttery with loads of cheddar and crispy bacon. They also feed a crowd, which is perfect especially for potlucks, Sunday supper, or even a holiday meal like Thanksgiving or Christmas. This impressive side dish will steal the show!
Ingredients you'll need
- Potatoes - Russets are the best variety for mashed potatoes. They produce the creamiest mashed potatoes since they're not waxy.
- Bacon - an essential ingredient in loaded baked potatoes, so we're of course including it here!
- Butter - adds that creamy, rich quality to mashed potatoes that you crave
- Cream - I wouldn't skip out on the heavy cream. It makes these mashed potatoes extraordinarily rich.
- Garlic - what even are mashed potatoes without garlic?
- Scallions - these mild green onions give a burst of flavor and freshness
- Sour cream - another classic with baked potatoes, sour cream gives these baked mashed potatoes more creaminess with a hint of tang
- Cheddar cheese - use good-quality cheddar cheese rather than the pre-shredded kind
How to make this casserole
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Peel the potatoes, cut in half, and boil. Meanwhile, fry the bacon. Add the butter, cream, scallions, garlic, and salt & pepper to a small saucepan.
Once warm, pour the buttery cream mixture onto the cooked and drained potatoes. Mash until smooth. Add in the sour cream and half of each of the bacon and cheddar.
Stir until combined, and then transfer the mashed potatoes to a 9x13 baking dish, smoothing into a uniform layer.
Top with the other half of the cheddar and bacon. Bake to golden, cheesy perfection!
Can I make this casserole ahead of time?
- Yes! You can make this a day or two ahead. Simply cover and refrigerate the mashed potatoes in the baking dish until you're ready to add the toppings and bake. It's great for when you're putting on a big feast!
- As this is quite dairy-heavy, I don't recommend freezing it since it can change the texture.
Substitutions and variations
- If you really have to, you could sub the heavy cream for half-and-half, but the potatoes will be a bit less rich overall.
- Bacon makes these loaded mashed potatoes special, but if it's not your thing, you can just leave it out, sub for another meat like cubed ham, or sneak in some vegetables like peas or diced carrots.
- If you're not feeding a large crowd, simply halve all the recipe ingredients and bake in an 8x8 casserole dish.
- For best results, buy a block of good-quality cheddar and grate it yourself. It tastes way better, and it'll melt much more easily. I use this grater.
- Be careful to not overwork the mashed potatoes or they'll end up a little bit gluey.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep 3-4 days in an airtight container in fridge. Reheat on low in the oven, or microwave until heated through.
- I don't recommend freezing leftovers since recipes that are heavy on dairy generally don't freeze well.
What to serve it with
- This creamy potato casserole complements so many main courses! It's fantastic as a holiday side dish, so you're definitely going to want to make it along with your turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving.
- You can make it any old weeknight, special occasion or not, since it's so easy! Try it with my Parmesan Crusted Chicken or even these Garlic Butter Steak Bites.
Did you make this loaded mashed potato casserole? Let me know in the comments below!
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
- 3 pounds Russet (baking) potatoes peeled
- 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2-3/4 cup scallions chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup sour cream full fat
- 2 cups cheddar grated
- Peel the potatoes, cut them into halves (or smaller), and boil until they're very tender.
- Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Once cooked, transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Prep the remaining ingredients while the potatoes and bacon cook.
- Add the butter, cream, garlic, scallions (add most of them but reserve some for topping the potatoes once they're out of the oven if you wish), salt, and pepper to a small saucepan. Warm it over medium heat until the butter melts and the flavors infuse for a few minutes (don't let it boil). Once warm, take it off the heat.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot they were cooked in. Add the butter/cream mixture and mash until smooth.
- To the pot, add the sour cream, half of the cheddar, and half of the cooked bacon. Stir until combined and transfer to a 9x13 casserole dish and smooth into an even layer.
- Top the potatoes with the remaining cheese and bacon. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. If you want the potatoes to brown on top more, feel free to carefully broil it for a few minutes.
- Top with remaining scallions if you reserved some, and let it sit for 5 minutes or so prior to serving.
- Serves 6-10 depending on portion size.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.