Loaded mashed potatoes are always a crowd-pleaser. They’re the ultimate side dish and pair well with everything!
This recipe has everything you love about loaded baked potatoes in mashed potato form.
With plenty of cheese, bacon, butter, sour cream, and green onions, they simply can’t be topped.
After making this recipe, you’ll never go back to regular mashed potatoes again!
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Do you want to know what’s so good about loaded mashed potatoes?
They feature all the phenomenal flavors of a loaded baked potato. But they have the fluffy, creamy consistency of mashed potatoes. It’s a total win-win.
They’re full of buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. And they’re loaded with melted cheese, salty bacon, and umami-packed green onions.
The common staples of butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper are in there too. Simply put, loaded mashed potatoes are the very best of both worlds. You can never go wrong with them.
- Potatoes. Russet potatoes are always my pick for making mashed potatoes of any kind. They provide the fluffiest texture and the best taste. Don’t forget to peel and cube them before adding them to the Dutch oven.
- Sour cream. Sour cream adds a rich, slightly tangy flavor and plenty of moisture.
- Milk. I prefer whole milk because it has the best taste. But any milk will help make the potatoes moist and fluffy.
- Butter. You can use salted or unsalted butter. Just take whichever one you use into account when adding salt and pepper. Margarine also works.
- Salt and pepper. Add as little or as much as you like to season the potatoes.
- Shredded cheddar cheese blend. You can swap this out for a Mexican cheese blend or something else to slightly tweak the flavor.
- Bacon. Remember to cook and crumble the bacon beforehand. Don’t add it raw to the potatoes. I prefer baking mine, as it gets crispier that way. But you can cook it on the stove or use microwavable bacon instead.
- Green onions. Substitute leeks or chives if you don’t have green onions.
How to Make Loaded Mashed Potatoes
1. Prepare. Wash, peel, and cube the potatoes. Cook and crumble the bacon, and slice the green onions.
2. Boil the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover them with water. Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat, cover them, and let them simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Prepare the loaded mashed potatoes. Drain the water and transfer the potatoes to a bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients except the cheese, bacon, and onions.
Mix everything with a hand mixer on medium-low speed until it reaches a fluffy mashed potato consistency. Then, stir in 2 cups of the cheese. Add the bacon and onions as well.
4. Bake. Transfer the potato mixture to a baking dish and top it with the remaining cheese. Then, bake it uncovered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes.
When they’re ready, remove them from the oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Tips for Success
- Dice the potatoes evenly. Doing so ensures they’ll cook more evenly.
- Don’t over-boil the potatoes. You want them tender enough to pierce with a fork but not “fall apart” tender.
- Return the potatoes to the pot after draining them. Giving them a few minutes in the hot pot will help evaporate any excess water.
- Save time by not peeling the potatoes. I prefer to make mashed potatoes with peeled potatoes. They have a smoother consistency. However, you can leave the peels on if you don’t mind a more textured mouthfeel.
Here are a few variations to try:
- Experiment with add-ins. These aren’t the only things you can add to your loaded mashed potatoes. Try herbs, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, etc.
- Make them spicy. You can easily do this with a dash or two of hot sauce or a few jalapeno slices.
- Add garlic and herbs. Garlic and herb mashed potatoes are incredible, even when loaded. Use minced garlic and your choice of seasonings to make them supremely herby.
- Cut back on calories. Substitute turkey bacon or vegan bacon, low-fat cheese, and Greek yogurt (for the sour cream). You can also substitute cauliflower for about half of the potatoes. Doing so gives you the same great taste but lowers the carb and calorie counts. (It doesn’t taste as different as using cauliflower for all the potatoes, either.)
What to Serve with Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Loaded mashed potatoes pair well with most proteins and other side dishes. But avoid pairing them with other potatoes, as it’s a bit much.
Here are some good suggestions for the main course:
- Cheeseburger Meatloaf
- Sirloin Tip Steak
- Buttermilk Baked Chicken
- Hellman’s Parmesan-Crusted Chicken
- Oven-Fried Pork Chops
Here are a few side items that pair well with loaded mashed potatoes:
Make Ahead Instructions
Believe it or not, you can actually make these loaded mashed potatoes ahead of time. Simply follow the directions in the recipe but stop short of baking the dish.
Prepare the mashed potatoes and stir in the add-ins. Then, transfer the mixture to a casserole dish and top it with cheese. Instead of baking it, wrap it in aluminum foil.
Then, stick it in the fridge for up to 48 hours. When you want to bake it, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes.
Then, pop it in the oven and bake as directed. (Depending on how cold the potatoes are, you may need to add up to 10 extra minutes.)
How to Store
If you have leftover loaded mashed potatoes, you don’t have to discard them! Instead, you can store them in the fridge or freeze them. Here’s how:
- Refrigerate. Let the potatoes cool, but store them within 2 hours of cooking. To do so, transfer them to an air-tight container and pop them in the fridge. The potatoes should remain fresh for up to 5 days. Add a little milk if necessary when reheating them. Then, heat them in the microwave using 30-second intervals.
- Freeze. Again, let the potatoes cool, then transfer them to an air-tight, freezer-safe container. Store them in the fridge for up to 30 days. Let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating them. (You can use the microwave or the oven.)
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