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Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

This homemade Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole recipe is perfectly rich and creamy, full of great flavor, easy to make, and always a family favorite in our house! Prepare ahead of time and bake it in the oven for only 15 minutes! So easy, and did I say cheesy?!

Casserole out of the oven set on a wood cutting board and striped towel

Super Easy Make-Ahead Dinner

On a busy day, there’s nothing better than knowing you can pull a delicious dinner out of the refrigerator and re-heat it in the oven. I usually make this loaded mashed potato recipe in the morning when I know I have a crazy-busy day ahead. But guess what?! You can make this recipe up to 2 days in advance!

Mashed potatoes with hot melted cheese, green onions and bacon on spoon

Secret to Best Mashed Potatoes

Always make sure to cook the potatoes in cold water so they cook evenly. Be careful! If you add your potatoes directly into hot or boiling water, the outsides of the potatoes will cook and soften while the middle of the potatoes stay hard and crunchy.

Always add salt to your water. Salting the water not only seasons the potatoes, but it allows the potatoes to boil to a hotter temperature. As a result, the starch of the potatoes will cook more thoroughly which will have creamier texture.

Fresh Ingredients laying on a brown wooden cutting board

Ingredients for Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

All you’ll need for this easy Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole is russet potatoes, real bacon bits, sour cream, salted butter, heavy cream, two cloves of garlic,  shredded cheddar cheese, and salt. To top your casserole, you’ll need bacon, green onions, and additional shredded cheese. That’s it! Just a few ingredients, and you’ll have one delicious comfort food recipe ready to go in no time.

Flavorful Topping ideas

Not a fan of green onions?! Rest assured, baked potato topping ideas are limitless, which means you can channel this into your Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole. For extra flavor try adding fresh chives, or even shredded cheese. I suggest Pepper Jack, Smoked Cheddar, Extra Sharp Cheddar, or Monterey Jack Cheese.

If you end up having leftover toppings, try my easy halfway homemade Tater Tot Skewer recipe next! It’s seriously the easiest recipe that only takes a few minutes to make.

Collage of 6 images showing how to make Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Here’s How to Make ThisStep by Step

  1. Prep your potatoes first. Add water and salt to a pot, add potatoes cut in half, and boil for 30 minutes until tender. After that, drain the potatoes.
  2. Next, with a hand mixer, mix in the potatoes with heavy cream, butter, and salt. 
  3. Fold in the sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, and garlic.
  4. Spread mashed potatoes into a 9×13 baking dish and top with additional cheese and bacon. Wait until you taste how all these amazing flavors come together!
  5. Bake your potato casserole at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  6. Finally, top that loaded mashed potato casserole off with garnishing it with chopped green onions or your toppings of choice. It’s that easy!
Two hands holding bowl of chopped green onions above casserole in pan.

Recipe FAQ

Can you make Loaded Baked Potato Casserole in advance?

Yes, you can make this recipe up to 2 days prior to baking it in the oven.

What are the best potatoes to use for mashed potatoes?

Always choose higher starch potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds. You will get the fluffiest, smoothest and most flavor-packed mashed potatoes ever! We used Russet potatoes as they will mash up light and fluffy.

Can I use half-and-half instead of heavy cream for my mashed potatoes?

As long as you still have enough for your coffee in the morning, you can substitute the heavy cream for half-and-half. Overall, your mashed potatoes will not be as rich, but still pack a great flavor!

Mashed potato casserole out of the oven with fresh green onions sprinkled on top.

More Easy Dinner Recipes You’ll Love

Serving spoon scooping a piece of casserole out of the 9x13 rectangular baking dish.

Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

casserole dish with mashed poatoes
This super easy Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole  is packed with flavor! Make it ahead of time and bake it in the oven for only 15 minutes!

Equipment

  • 1 Hand Mixer

Ingredients

  • 7 pounds russet potatoes peeled halved and boiled
  • 1 cup cooked real bacon bits
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup bacon for topping
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions for topping
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese for topping

Instructions

  • Prep your mashed potatoes first. Add water and salt to a pot, add peeled potatoes that are peeled, halved, and boil for 30 minutes until tender. Drain the potatoes.
  • With a hand mixer, mix in the cream, butter, and salt.
  • Fold in the sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, and garlic.
  • Once your mashed potatoes are ready, spread them into a baking dish and top with additional cheese and bacon.
  • Bake your casserole at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Finish off the casserole with chopped green onions before serving. It’s that easy!

Notes

1. Make ahead: You can make your loaded mashed potato casserole ahead in the morning and add tin foil on top until you’re ready to bake the casserole in the oven.
2. Bacon: For all my busy friends, this recipe calls for bacon bits.  However, we all know  fresh bacon is always best! Cooking bacon in the oven gives you perfectly crispy slices and tastes oh-so-good!  In other words, fresh bacon will take this to the next level!
3. How to make bacon: My favorite bacon recipe is from New York Times! Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange your bacon on a single layer on 2 aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Only bake until the bacon is browned and starts to ripple.  This should take about 10 to 20 minutes.  As always, the cook time ultimately depends on the thickness of the bacon and how you like it cooked.
4. Freshly grated cheese: Freshly grated cheese always taste better than shredded cheese because it does not contain added preservatives.  Freshly shredded cheese will always have a fresher, creamier taste to pack the flavor!
5. Cheese: The sky is the limit with cheese toppings. I recommend Pepper Jack, Smoked Cheddar, Extra Sharp Cheddar, or Monterey Jack.

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