The creamiest mashed potatoes are paired with sour cream, cheese, bacon, and chives in the ultimate loaded baked potato casserole.
This loaded baked potato casserole is the comfort food of your dreams! It's the perfect indulgence for holiday entertaining... but feel free to enjoy this dish year-round.
I have two secrets for the creamiest mashed potatoes.
- Use a potato ricer to get the ultimate smooth texture.
- Add cream cheese to provide richness and a silky texture.
When making mashed potatoes ahead of time, cream cheese prevents the potatoes from drying out when reheated, keeping that creamy, just-mashed consistency.
Why you will love this
- The wonderfully creamy texture is everything we love about mashed potatoes.
- Loads of cheese and bacon take these spuds to the next level.
- This make-ahead recipe adds ease, especially when entertaining.
- This recipe can easily be cut in half, making it ideal for small families or gatherings.
- Potatoes - Both Russet and Yukon gold potatoes work well for mashing.
- Cheese - I used cheddar, but Colby, Monterey, and Pepper Jack are also good options. Use freshly grated cheese for the best quality.
- Cream cheese - My secret ingredient for the creamiest mashed potatoes.
- Sour cream - A must for that baked potato vibe.
- Bacon - lots of bacon. A must for any loaded potato situation.
Please see the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Add to a large pot of salted water. (Image 1)
- Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain.
- Meanwhile, add heavy cream, butter, and black pepper to a saucepan. Heat over low heat. (Image 2)
- Add the cream cheese to the warm pan that you used to cook the potatoes. Using a ricer, rice the potatoes into the pot. (Images 3 and 4)
- Pour in the warm cream mixture. Stir to incorporate. (Image 5)
- Stir in the sour cream. (Image 6)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Image 7)
- Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 baking dish. (Image 8)
- Top with cheese and bacon. (Image 9)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly browning around the edges. (Image 10)
Garnish with chives and serve.
These potatoes are sure to impress your family and guests alike. This side dish pairs well with almost anything - try prime rib, beef tenderloin, roast turkey or chicken, glazed ham, pork tenderloin, and seafood.
Fold leftover chopped ham into the potatoes for a main dish casserole.
Tips for the best mashed potatoes
- Peel the potatoes before boiling them for the ultimate creamy texture.
- Use a potato ricer for a perfectly smooth, no-lumps mixture.
- Don't skimp on the cream cheese - it lends the silkiest consistency.
- Be sure the potatoes are fully cooked and fork-tender. Undercooked potatoes will result in a grainy texture.
Yes, the mashed potatoes can be made 1-2 days in advance. Spread the potatoes in a baking dish, cool completely, and cover tightly. Store in the refrigerator.
When ready to use, bring to room temperature and top with cheese and bacon. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes until warm throughout. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes.
Yes, these potatoes freeze beautifully. The fat content of the cream, butter, cream cheese, and sour cream holds up the consistency of the potatoes.
Cool the potatoes completely. Wrap tightly and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat small portions in the microwave. For larger portions, cover the casserole with aluminum foil and heat in a 375-degree oven until warmed through.
More mashed potato favorites
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Loaded Baked Potato Casserole
- 1 pound bacon (cooked and crumbled)
- 5 pounds russet potatoes
- Kosher salt (for cooking the potatoes)
- 1½ cups heavy cream (plus extra if needed)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces cream cheese (softened and cut into small cubes)
- ¾ cup sour cream
- salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- Cook the bacon until crisp. Cool and chop. (Note 1)
- Peel potatoes and cut into one-inch cubes. Add to a heavy pot with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, approx. 10-12 minutes. Drain.
- Meanwhile, add the cream, butter, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper to a small saucepan set over low heat. Warm the cream until the butter is melted.
- After draining the potatoes, add the cream cheese to the warm pot. Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes in batches into the pot.
- Pour the warm cream and butter mixture over the potatoes. Stir gently to combine. Add the sour cream and stir to incorporate. Additional cream can be added if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 baking dish.
To Serve Immediately
- Top the potatoes with cheese and bacon. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are lightly browning around the edges.
- Garnish with chives and serve.
To Serve Later
- Let the dish of potatoes cool. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
- When ready to serve, bring the casserole to room temperature. Top with cheese and bacon. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are warmed through. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Garnish with chives and serve.
- The bacon can be cooked ahead of time to add ease to this recipe. To cook in the oven, arrange the bacon slices on a sheet pan lined with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until brown and crisp. Time will depend on the thickness of the bacon.
- Cut the potatoes into uniform 1-inch pieces to ensure they cook evenly.
- Salt the water used to cook the potatoes to get flavor into the potatoes themselves.
- Drain the potatoes thoroughly so excess water doesn't get into the mashed potatoes.
- A potato ricer creates mashed potatoes with a light and creamy texture. Alternatively, a potato masher can be used.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.