Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

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This loaded baked potato casserole is rich, savory and extra delicious. We start with fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes and load them up with cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and sour cream. These twice-baked mashed potatoes are a classic side for potlucks, Thanksgiving, and weekday dinners.

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Loaded baked potato casserole in a round white baking dish with a silver serving spoon.

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🥔 Why We Love This Make-Ahead Dish

Assemble this recipe up to 2 days in advance. Prepare the recipe as stated. But don’t add cheese and bacon toppings to the dish. Instead, store the toppings in zip-top bags and refrigerate. Tightly cover the top of baking dish with thick aluminum foil and refrigerate.

When ready to enjoy, let the dish sit out on the countertop for 30 minutes to shed off some of the chill. Preheat oven to 350°F. Tent the baking dish with foil. Bake for 45 minutes then remove the tent. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with cheese and bacon bits. Return the dish to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

These twice baked mashed potatoes pair well with BBQ meatloaf, brown sugar glazed ham and roasted Cornish hen.

Twice baked potato casserole with melted cheese, bacon bits and green onions on top.

🥣 This Recipe Helps Avoid Food Waste

This recipe is a great way to use up left-over baked potatoes. Start by removing and discarding the skins from the baked potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and mash until smooth. Proceed with the recipe instructions for loaded baked potato casserole, starting with Step 4.

It’s satisfying to find ways to use leftovers for different meals. If you have leftover potato bake, serve it as main by pairing it with a crisp green salad. Or use leftover casserole to make breakfast burritos. Wrap up spoonfuls of casserole in Grandma’s flour tortillas with some scrambled eggs.

A serving spoon digging into a dish of loaded baked potato casserole topped with melted cheese and savory bacon.

🛒 Ingredients

  • Potatoes: For baked potato casserole I favor Russet potatoes because they’re low in moisture, not waxy, and are super fluffy. But you can use Idaho, Yukon gold, etc. I peel mine, but you can leave the skins on. And instead of boiling the potatoes, feel free to use baked potatoes instead.
  • Butter: Adds savory richness, making the casserole more creamy and delicious. Feel free to use salted or unsalted butter. If time allows, you can brown the butter – which will give this dish outstanding flavor.
  • Heavy Cream: Adds rich moisture. It thins out the texture of the potatoes so they’re not too thick or dry.
  • Sour Cream: Adds delicious tang to balance out the flavors.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Garlic Powder: Brightens the potatoes while adding depth of flavor. Feel free to adjust the garlic to taste.
  • Cracked Black Pepper: Adds a rustic woodsy touch of heat.
  • Medium Cheddar Cheese: I recommend hand grating a block of cheese on a box grater rather than using a package of shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating to keep the pieces from sticking together. This coating prevents the cheese from melting smoothly.
  • Bacon Bits: Thick-cut bacon works well. Trim off the wide fatty parts on the bottom and sides of the strips with kitchen shears before pan frying to make the bacon leaner. Chop up the cooked crispy strips into bacon bits. If no bacon on hand, use diced ham instead. Pan fry it until crisp.
  • Green Onion: As a crisp garnish, it adds beautiful color and freshness to the loaded baked potato casserole. But if you don’t have these onions on hand, use freshly-chopped chives instead.
Ingredients for loaded baked potato casserole (aka: twice-baked mashed potatoes).

📖 Recipe Steps

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch (2-quart) baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.

  1. Add the diced potatoes to a large pot of heavily-salted water. The water should cover the potatoes so they’re fully submerged. Boil over medium-high heat until fork tender – about 18 to 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer cooked potatoes to a colander to drain off all the water. Return the potatoes to the empty pot.
  3. Mash them to the desired consistency. You can leave them a bit chunky or mash them well.
  4. Drizzle in the warm melted butter. Add heavy cream, sour cream, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Stir to combine. But do not overwork the potatoes or they’ll release too much starch – the texture will turn from fluffy to gummy.
How to make loaded baked potato casserole, step by step.
  1. Add half the cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups) and half the bacon bits (1/2 cup) to the pot. Stir until just incorporated. Again, do not over-process the potatoes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and bacon bits over the top.
  4. Bake uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish the loaded baked potato casserole with sliced green onions. Serve immediately.
How to make twice-baked mashed potatoes with cheese, bacon and sour cream, step by step.

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

These are commonly-asked questions for achieving the BEST loaded baked potato casserole, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

How to achieve a creamier potato casserole?

Stir in 4 ounces cream cheese (softened) at the same time you’re adding in the heavy cream and sour cream.

How to make twice baked potato casserole in a slow cooker?

Use a 4-quart slow cooker, or double the recipe for a larger slow cooker. After all the ingredients are incorporated into the mashed potatoes, transfer the mixture to the crockpot. Cook for about 1 hour on low. Stir the mixture briefly. Sprinkle the top with bacon and cheese. Cook for 1 more hour or until warmed through with the cheese melted on top.

What to eat with twice-baked mashed potatoes?

Pair potato casserole with baby back ribs, chicken, or pineapple ham. Or serve it as a main dish with a crisp garden salad.

Twice baked mashed potatoes garnished with cheese, bacon and sliced green onion.

🍽 More Delicious Potato Sides

Complete your dinner menu with one of these delicious potato sides. Add these hearty recipes to your meal plan rotation. They’re special enough for holiday meals and easy enough for weekday dinners.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated this the BEST loaded baked potato casserole. They loved the thick creamy texture and the savory flavor of bacon and cheese. Testers appreciated how easy it is to make these twice-baked mashed potatoes.

If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it on Facebook. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

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Loaded baked potato casserole in a round white baking dish with a silver serving spoon.

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole


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5 from 8 reviews

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Description

This loaded baked potato casserole is hearty and decadent. It features mashed potatoes with sour cream, savory cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and fresh green onion. It’s an ideal make-ahead side.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 6 medium potatoes*, peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (add more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup bacon bits, divided
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (for garnishing)

*Note: We’ll be boiling the raw potatoes until fork tender. But if desired, feel free to use baked potatoes instead.


Instructions

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch (2-quart) baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.

  1. Add the diced potatoes to a large pot of heavily-salted water. The water should fully cover the potatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until fork tender – about 18 to 20 minutes. 
  2. Transfer cooked potatoes to a colander to drain off all the water. Return the potatoes to the empty pot. Mash them to the desired consistency. You can leave them a bit chunky or mash them well.
  3. Drizzle in the melted butter. Add heavy cream, sour cream, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Stir to combine. But don’t over-process the potatoes or they’ll release too much starch – the texture will quickly turn from fluffy to gummy.
  4. Add half the cheddar cheese and half the bacon bits to the pot. Stir until just incorporated. Again, do not over-process the potatoes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese and bacon bits over the top.
  5. Bake uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish the loaded baked potato casserole with sliced green onions. Serve immediately.

Notes

Best potatoes for potato casserole: Russet, Idaho, and Yukon Gold.

How to achieve a creamier baked potato casserole: Stir in 4 ounces cream cheese (softened) at the same time you’re adding in the heavy cream and sour cream.

No bacon on hand? Use ham instead. Dice it up and pan fry the bits until crisp.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole 👉🏻 Join the Convo

Are you excited to make this cheesy casserole? Will it be for a holiday dinner or a weekday meal? Share your thoughts on these twice-baked mashed potatoes in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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