Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole starts with buttery Yukon Gold potatoes cooked to fork tender and mashed together with butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and fresh snipped chives. The mashed potatoes are spread in a buttered casserole dish, topped with a buttery crumb topping and baked to perfection! Once you try it, Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole is going to be your favorite mashed potato casserole recipe!

A serving of loaded mashed potato casserole on a white plate with corn and beef ready to eat

Why this recipe works

I've been making mashed potatoes for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I remember having mashed potatoes at least once a week and I was always in charge of preparing them. I've probably peeled a mountain of potatoes in my 50 some years!

So when I say this recipe for Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole is a great recipe, I have some authority to do so. While I wouldn't say I'm a mashed potato expert, I would say I know my way around mashed potatoes. 

The stir-ins is really what sets this mashed potato casserole apart from the rest. Cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon, and chives are so good in this mashed potato casserole recipe!

What I really love about this Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole recipe is that you can prepare this dish up to 3 days before you plan to serve it. For me, that means one more easy way to make the holidays or large family gatherings less stressful! 

But this Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole is also versatile enough to be served the same day you prepare it too! So, it's your choice whether you choose to use this recipe as a make ahead mashed potato casserole or as one you are planning on serving right away.

Don't you just love it when you have choices?

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole by Renee's Kitchen Adventures is an easy recipe for a mashed potato casserole that can be made up to 3 days ahead and then baked before serving. Full of cheese, bacon, sour cream and chives. Perfect holiday side dish or side dish for any meal. #mashedpotatoes #casserole #holidaysidedish #sidedish

How do you make the perfect mashed potatoes?

The perfect mashed potato casserole starts with perfect mashed potatoes. Perfect mashed potatoes start with choosing the right potato. For me, that's choosing the Yukon Gold variety of potatoes. They are slightly less starchy than russets, have a thin skin that's easy to peel, and a slightly buttery flavor and texture. These qualities make them the perfect choice for perfect mashed potatoes. 

Most grocery stores sell Yukon Gold potatoes these days, so they are also easy to find. You always want to make sure your potatoes are free of dark spots or green areas when you purchase them.

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole on serving spoon

Tips for making the perfect mashed potatoes

Since this Mashed Potato Casserole starts with mashed potatoes, here are a few tips to help you make the perfect mashed potatoes:

  • Cut the potatoes into uniform sizes for cooking. This is an important tip to ensure the potatoes all cook to the same degree of doneness at the same time. I like to slice my potatoes because I find they cook quicker than dicing them because they are not as dense. 
  • Always start to cook the potatoes with COLD, salted water! Never use warm or hot water to speed up the cooking. You won't get the right texture. 
  • Make sure the water is at least an inch or two above the top of the raw potatoes.
  • Bring the water up to a boil slowly and allow the potatoes to cook slowly.  Just a nice slow boil is best! 
  • Once they are fork tender and break apart when stabbed while cooking, the potatoes are done. Drain the potatoes well. You can even add the drained potatoes back to the empty warm pot they cooked in and put it back over low heat for a minute or two to absorb any excess water in the potatoes before mashing them.
  • Generally, you will want the butter and what ever other dairy you are adding to the potatoes (in this case sour cream) to be at room temperature. This will allow those ingredients to easily incorporate into the hot potatoes. 

How do you mash potatoes?

There are several ways to mash potatoes. 

You can use a fork, a hand held potato masher, a potato ricer, or like I do, a mixer. We like a more fluffy texture to our mashed potatoes, so for me, a hand held mixer does a great job!

I like to break up the potatoes with the blades first, before turning the mixer on. Then I whip them up on medium speed until most of the lumps have been whipped out.

How do you make Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole?

This mashed potato casserole recipe is so easy to make. The first part involves making mashed potatoes. With my handy tips above you're assured some great mashed potatoes. 

Once the mashed potatoes are made, you stir in the cheese, bacon, and fresh chives.

Making mashed potatoes with potato slices in pan

This recipe for Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole does not call for any milk in the mashed potatoes. This the casserole is made with sour cream instead. Sour cream does give the mashed potatoes a slightly tangy flavor, but it's not over powering. 

Using sour cream in place of milk or cream give the mashed potatoes a more sturdy texture, which is perfect for this mashed potato casserole.

If you aren't a fan of sour cream, I would suggest subbing heavy cream. You might have to adjust the amount you use if you do.

4 photo collage of the process of making loaded mashed potato casserole

After all the mix ins have been added and you've spread the potato mixture in the prepared casserole dish, you can cover and refrigerate for UP TO 3 DAYS before serving or you can bake it off right away.

If you are planning on serving right away, you simply continue with topping the mashed potatoes with the bread crumb mixture and bake right away. Keep in mind that bake time, of course, will be less than if you started with cold mashed potatoes.

2 photos of process of making loaded mashed potato casserole

Don't forget to pin this Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole recipe to your Pinterest boards!

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole by Renee's Kitchen Adventures is an easy recipe for a mashed potato casserole that can be made up to 3 days ahead and then baked before serving. Full of cheese, bacon, sour cream and chives. Perfect holiday side dish or side dish for any meal. #mashedpotatoes #casserole #holidaysidedish #sidedish

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole, Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole Recipe, Mashed Potato casserole, make ahead mashed potatoes
side dish, potato
Yield: 15 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Prep time: 40 MinCook time: 44 MinTotal time: 1 H & 24 M
Mashed potato casserole recipe that can be made up to 3 days before serving. Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole is full of smokey bacon, cheese, and chives with a crunchy bread crumb topping.


  • 5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (or yellow or russet potatoes), peeled and sliced
  • 2 TBSP kosher salt (for the water)
  • 14 TBSP unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 16 oz. sour cream (can be light)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 5 slices thick bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (can use Panko)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Put the potato slices in a large Dutch oven type pot. (I use a 5 quart pot) Add enough COLD water to completely cover the potatoes and 2" over the top of the potatoes. Add 2 TBSP kosher salt to the water and stir.
  2. Bring to boil, uncovered, over medium heat. Once boiled turn down heat so the water doesn't boil over, but so it will continue to boil. Boil potatoes are soft and cooked through. About 20 minutes. You can check with a fork or knife. Once it goes through easily, the potatoes are done.
  3. Drain potatoes well and place back into warm pot. Let the potatoes sit in pot 1 - 2 minutes to help evaporate excess water in the potatoes. (You can even put them back on low heat for a minute or two.)
  4. Add 10 TBS butter and container of sour cream to the hot potatoes. Mash the potatoes with the butter and sour cream until incorporated and smooth. You can mash the potatoes with a hand held masher or use an electric mixer, like I do. Season with your desired amount of salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in the cheese, bacon, and chives. (reserve about 2 tsp. chives for garnish, if desired).
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If the casserole has been refrigerated, remove from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before putting it in a hot oven to avoid cracking your baking dish.
  8. While oven is preheating, mix the crumb topping by combining the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Pour in remaining 4 TBS. melted butter and mix to combine. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the casserole.
  9. Bake uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes. (Less time if the casserole has not been refrigerated, more time if it has). Casserole is done with heated through and the topping is golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the top with reserved chives, if desired.


This casserole can be made ahead and stored in refrigerator 3 days before you intend to serve it. See directions above for details.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

21.57 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

12.28 g

Cholesterol (grams)

59.4 mg

Carbs (grams)

33.67 g

Fiber (grams)

3.67 g

Sugar (grams)

2.7 g

Net carbs

30.01 g

Protein (grams)

8.53 g

Sodium (milligrams)

1168.13 mg

Nutritional Information is an estimate

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