This make ahead loaded mashed potato casserole is full of bacon, cheese, sour cream and chives – it’s the perfect no-fuss side dish for a holiday meal.

These mashed potatoes have all the flavors of a fully loaded baked potato in the form of an easy to make casserole. I serve this dish every year for the holidays and it always gets rave reviews! Serve your casserole along with other Thanksgiving recipes such as roasted turkey breast, candied sweet potatoes and Southern cornbread dressing.

Loaded mashed potato casserole topped with melted cheese, bacon and herbs.

In my family I am always put on mashed potato duty. I’ve made them so many times that I have it down to an exact science. But sometimes I want something a little more interesting than your standard mashed potatoes. This loaded mashed potato casserole jazzes up plain potatoes by adding everyone’s favorite baked potato toppings to the mix.  Best of all, you can make the entire casserole a day in advance and just pop it in the oven to bake before it’s time to eat.

Mashed Potato Casserole Ingredients

To make this recipe, you will need Russet potatoes, milk, butter, sour cream, kosher salt, black pepper, cheddar cheese, bacon, chives and parsley.

How Do You Make Mashed Potato Casserole?

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook the potatoes in the boiling water until they are tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add milk, butter, sour cream, cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Use an electric mixer or potato masher to blend everything together. Preheat the oven and grease a casserole dish. Spread the potatoes into the prepared dish, and top with the rest of the cheese. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake. Uncover the pan, then add the bacon and bake until the cheese is bubbly. Add a sprinkle of chives and parsley, then serve and enjoy.

Potatoes, sour cream, cheese and seasonings in a bowl.

Tips For The Perfect Dish

  • For extra smooth potatoes, use a potato ricer to smash the potatoes before you add them back to the pot. Never use a food processor to make mashed potatoes, as they will turn gummy.
  • I recommend using freshly shredded cheddar cheese. The bagged kind at the grocery store is often coated with preservatives and anti caking agents and does not melt as well.
  • Watch your casserole carefully during the last part of the baking time to make sure your bacon doesn’t get overly brown.
  • This recipe can be prepared up to one day before you plan to serve it. Prepare the mashed potato mixture and place them in the baking dish with the cheese on top. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake the casserole.

Quick Tip

Leftovers will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Mashed potatoes in a baking dish.

Recipe FAQs

Is it better to boil or bake potatoes for mashed potatoes?

It is preferable to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes. The potatoes cook quicker in boiling water, especially when they’re cut into smaller pieces. They also get seasoned by the salt in the water, which makes for a more flavorful final product.

Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time?

You can make mashed potatoes ahead of time. Simply prepare the potatoes, then place them in an airtight container or baking dish. When you’re ready to eat, microwave the potatoes until hot or bake them covered in the oven.

FOLLOW ME

Mashed potatoes in a casserole dish, topped with shredded cheese.

Flavor Variations

While this recipe is delicious as-is, you can customize some of the ingredients to suit your tastes.

  • Potatoes: No Russet potatoes on hand? Yukon Gold potatoes will also work well.
  • Cheese: Swap out the cheddar for other varieties such as colby jack, mozzarella, fontina or Monterey Jack.
  • Flavorings: You can add other ingredients to the mashed potatoes such as fresh garlic, jalapeno, smoked paprika, onion powder or cream cheese.
A casserole of loaded mashed potatoes topped with cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and chives.

These mashed potatoes are on our table for every holiday, and there are never any leftovers. You definitely can’t argue with that kind of success!

A dish of loaded mashed potato casserole with a serving spoon in it.

More Great Potato Dishes

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole Video

5 from 65 votes

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

AuthorSara Welch
Loaded mashed potato casserole topped with melted cheese, bacon and herbs.
This make ahead loaded mashed potato casserole is full of bacon, cheese, sour cream and chives – it’s the perfect no-fuss side dish for a holiday meal.
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Serves 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds Russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 and 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 2/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided use
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Cooking spray

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 2 tablespoons of salt. Place the potatoes in the pot and boil for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Drain the potatoes, then place them back in the pot.
  • Add to the pot the milk, butter, sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or electric mixer. Stir in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the potatoes into a 9 inch square pan or 2 quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining 2/3 cup of cheddar cheese. 
  • Cover the pan with foil and place into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and add the bacon; bake, uncovered for an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and potatoes are heated through. 
  • Sprinkle the chives and parsley over the top and serve immediately.

Notes

  1. For extra smooth potatoes, use a potato ricer to smash the potatoes before you add them back to the pot. Never use a food processor to make mashed potatoes, as they will turn gummy.
  2. I recommend using freshly shredded cheddar cheese. The bagged kind at the grocery store is often coated with preservatives and anti caking agents and does not melt as well.
  3. This casserole can be prepared up to one day before you plan to serve it.

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 1116mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1020IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 375mg | Iron: 7.8mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

Related Posts

Free Bonus

5 Secrets to Meal Planning + Free Toolkit!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe! It made a bit more than my family of four can eat in the next few days. Can I freeze some of the leftovers to save for another meal?

  2. Do you cook the bacon fully before putting it in the oven for 20 minutes? Bacon doesn’t get too crispy?

      1. Hi there-
        I’m making this for a dinner this weekend.
        Can I use heavy whipping cream instead of milk? And would I need to dilute it with water?
        Thank you.

  3. Sounds delicious! I want to make this for Christmas. Can I sub yogurt or cream cheese for the sour cream. I have a picky eater.

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! We made this for Thanksgiving and it is definitely a keeper. I couldn’t find vegan bacon where we were so we used vegan chorizo crumbles instead. Will be making it the same way again for Christmas for many non-vegans.
    Thank you so much!

  5. 5 stars
    I am making this today for Thanksgiving. It hasn’t gone in the oven yet but from tasting I did while putting it together it’s going to be delicious!!

  6. 5 stars
    We have made this recipe on many occasions for our family gatherings and they are always a hit. So easy to make and can always add a little twist to change it up. Just received a text from a friend whom I made a meal for and the Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole was part of the meal. She said everyone raved about them and wanted the recipe. Thank you much. Blessings.

    1. You can double it if you’re looking to feed more people, otherwise just spread it into a thinner layer and bake for less time.