If you need a great recipe for a dish to take to a potluck or family holiday dinner, this is the one. Of course, our recipe is scaled to a single family meal. However, if you are going to feed a crowd, you can double the recipe to make a huge 9 by 13 pan of Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole. When you put the pan on the buffet table at Grandma’s house, you had better step back quickly. The family will quickly crowd around and empty the whole dish, one spoonful at a time.
Do you love mashed potatoes? This recipe for Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole takes mashed potatoes to a new level. With cheese, bacon, sour cream, and, of course, potatoes, this recipe will please everyone at the dinner table.
1tspChicken Bouillon Powder (Use Vegetable Bouillon for a Vegetarian Version)
¾cupsGrated Cheddar Cheese
¼cupGreen Onions Sliced(Optional)
6Slices of Bacon Cooked and Crumbled (Omit for a Vegetarian Version)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and chop the potatoes into roughly one inch chunks. Put the potatoes into a medium sized saucepan and put it on the stove on medium heat.
Bring the potatoes to a boil for about 15 minutes or until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then put the potatoes back into the pot.
Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until no large chunks remain.
To the potatoes in the pot, add the sour cream, butter, milk (or half and half), and garlic powder. Stir these ingredients into the potatoes and mix well.
Add the Parmesan cheese, half of the cheddar cheese and about half of the bacon bits.
Spray a nine inch square pan with cooking spray and spread the potatoes into the dish.
Bake the pan of potatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the top of the potatoes with the rest of the cheese and the remainder of the bacon. Bake the pan of potatoes for about 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly bubbly.
Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle it with the chopped green onions if desired. Serve.
The recipe starts the same way that traditional mashed potatoes begin. You will boil some potatoes and mash them with a potato masher. You can mash them fully so they are smooth and creamy or you can leave some larger chunks in the mixture. Then, you will stir in most of the ingredients, including several savory ones to add to the flavor profile. The mixture is baked for a bit before you add a final topping of cheese and bacon bits.A really great thing about this recipe is that you do not have to cook it the same day that you want to eat it. You can prepare this dish a day or two ahead of time. When cooking ahead, do not add the final layer of cheese and bacon bits. Cover the pan with a lid and store it in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat the casserole, take off the lid and bake it as directed, adding the cheese and bacon bits for the last five minutes of bake time.One thing to keep in mind when you are preparing this dish is that this recipe really does need russet potatoes. Other kinds of potatoes just won’t work. The reason for this is that the russets have the highest levels of starch of any of the potatoes. This extra starch means that the potatoes cook until they are ready to fall apart. When cooked, these potatoes have a mealy texture. Later, when you mash the cooked potatoes, they will whip up nice and fluffy. Other kinds of potatoes will not be as fluffy and light when mashed.If you want to adapt this recipe to appeal to your own tastes, that is definitely an option. If you want to add extra onion, chives, or garlic, that will change the flavor, but it will still be great. Also, instead of bacon, you can add cooked diced ham to the recipe if you want.For a vegetarian version of this recipe, feel free to leave the meat out altogether. In fact, this is an excellent side dish to adapt, if you are cooking for a vegetarian family member, or if you are vegetarian yourself. Most people won't care that bacon or ham is missing because the potatoes are so delicious. Those who follow special diets really do enjoy making food that the whole family can enjoy together.