Loaded mashed potatoes are decadent, rich, and take an average potatoes casserole to the next level with just a few ingredients.
They elevate pan-fried chops and are one of the best comfort foods around.
Or of course it’s one of our holiday gatherings and I’m trying to make everyone happy.
There is a potato recipe out there for every picky person, but everyone is giddy when I tell them I’m making this particular homemade casserole. It always gets rave reviews, but honestly, put enough butter and bacon on anything, and people get happy.
Our loaded mashed potato casserole recipe can be kept warm in a slow cooker with the lid on if you are doing buffet style.
Pro Tip: Mashed potatoes cool and dry out quickly, so reheat the crock right as you put the potatoes on to cook, so it will be nice and warm when the potatoes are ready to go in.
For the best loaded mashed potatoes, I recommend taking your time. For example, I recommend that you oven bake the bacon.
Yes, you can make mashed potatoes in the microwave but I recommend the stove top method instead.
So, all that said, even fast mash potatoes is better than no mashed potatoes.
So if it is Tuesday and you are tired, cook that crispy bacon in the microwave and do the fast version of this recipe.
It will still be delicious. Butter. Bacon. Yes.
Loaded mashed potatoes are buttery, creamy mashed potatoes that have loads of cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon pieces and green onions (or chives) folded in.
Sometimes they also get topped with crunchy toasted garlic, black pepper, and more of everything good. Who doesn’t want MORE BACON?
Should you peel the potatoes?
Whether to peel the potatoes or not peel the potatoes when making the best loaded mashed potatoes is a hot topic at my house.
I lean towards not peeling the potatoes but I do love skin-on mashed potatoes.
Other family members, whom I shall leave unnamed, prefer to peel the potatoes.
The decision is yours but I do hope that you make the right choice here.
By the way, I know that sometimes people experiment with adding cream cheese to this recipe but that takes this recipe from perfect to too rich for me.
Want that rich cream cheese anyway? Try our Cheesy Mashed Potatoes recipe instead.
However, feel free to experiment with it. Thumbs up? Thumbs down?
Ingredients in loaded mashed potatoes
Russet potatoes – Yes, you can use Yukon golds or red potatoes but I believe that russet potatoes are best for this loaded mashed potatoes recipe.
Butter – This would be a good time to break out that Kerrygold butter https://amzn.to/3AXF5UV. I feel like a rich butter adds so much flavor and richness to any delicious side dish.
Andi says butter is one of the best parts of a loaded baked potato.
Milk – When making mashed potatoes I do generally use whole milk but you can use whatever kind of milk you prefer.
If all you have is heavy cream or half and half, cut the heavy cream and use half and half sparingly because this is already mixing in a lot of rich, heavy ingredients.
Cheddar cheese – Buy a big block of cheddar cheese and shred it yourself. It will melt better that way.
Pre-shredded cheese has cellulose in the bag to help keep the shreds from sticking together, but it also makes it harder to make melted cheese.
Bacon bits – Cook the bacon in the oven and let it get a bit crispy. That will make breaking it into small pieces easier.
Sour cream – This is an optional ingredient but I am a big fan so almost always you will find it on top of the potatoes.
Chives – I love chives so much that we started keeping a container of dried chives in the fridge at all times.
Note: You could substitute green onions for the chives if you would like. If you are looking for a substitute for chives we got you covered.
Toasted garlic – Peel and chop garlic heads (about one whole head per potato if you’re a garlic lover like me). Toss into a DRY, nonstick frying pan on medium heat. Use a spatula to toss the garlic pieces. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Stir on low until all of the garlic is brown and toasty. Offer as a topping on the plated mashed potatoes.
- 6 medium russet potatoes
- 1/4 c real butter (one whole stick)
- 1/4 c milk
- 1/2 c sour cream
- 1 c cheddar cheese
- 8 pieces of bacon, fully cooked
- 2 T dried chives or chopped green onions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: Garlic, peeled, sliced and toasted
- Cook the bacon until it is crispy, break into small pieces and set aside.
- Wash and dry the potatoes. Peel IF YOU MUST.
- Cut potatoes in halves, then quartered.
- Place potatoes into a large pot and cover potatoes with cold water. Add 1 t. of salt to water.
- Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, around 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are boiling, shred the cheddar cheese. Set aside.
- Drain potatoes. Return potatoes to a large bowl.
- Run potatoes through a food mill (or potato ricer or use hand mixer).
- To the mashed potatoes, add milk and butter gradually. If using a hand mixer or electric mixer, beat just long enough to incorporate or the potatoes can become gummy.
- Fold in remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon. If very thick, incorporate a couple more T of milk.
- Serve warm in a serving dish.
- If your cheese isn't melting you can add the loaded mashed potatoes to a baking dish and heat them in the oven for a few minutes.
- If you will be using a slow cooker to keep your potatoes warm, start preheating on low 20 minutes in advance.
- Mashed potatoes cool and dry out quickly and you’ll want the crock to be nice and hot when you add the potatoes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 432Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 537mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 15g
The bottom line
Ah, who needs to wait for the next holiday meal? Not I, said the duck. Call it a homemade casserole, call it the world’s most blissful, perfect side dish, but indulge your stressy week with something delicious.
Even a small serving will go a long way toward your gastronomical joy, and your leftover mashed potatoes may be better the next day.
Add parmesan cheese to your casserole dish, or top with pepper jack cheese, and just keep adding the good stuff until you have convinced yourself you are worth it, baby.
Just can’t finish it all? Here’s our article with tips for How To Freeze Mashed Potatoes.