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Loaded mashed potatoes are a tasty way to use up extra mashed potatoes from holiday meals or Sunday dinners. A cheesy, creamy side to so many meals!
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Loaded mashed potatoes are a terrific answer to the question “What do we do with all these leftover mashed potatoes?” For some reason I can’t ever estimate how many potatoes to make for a meal, so I always end up with plenty left over.
This mashed potato casserole recipe completely changes the flavor of regular mashed potatoes and can be served alongside ham, chicken, steak, fish, and just about anything! They’re creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor.
Ingredients for the Best Mashed Potatoes
- Mashed potatoes – Make the mashed potatoes ahead of time or use your leftover potatoes from the night before.
- Sour cream – This plays a huge role in making the mashed potatoes creamy but also flavorful.
- Ranch salad dressing mix – The big secret to the loaded mashed potatoes is adding a Hidden Valley Ranch packet. That’s what gives you the most flavor in the actual potatoes.
- Cheddar cheese – Freshly grated cheddar cheese
- Bacon – Cooked and chopped-up bacon is added to the mixture. Chop the bacon into small pieces before cooking. This speeds up the cooking process and I don’t have to worry about burning myself when I try to crumble it later.
- Onions – Slice the onions into small pieces.
How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes
To start off this recipe, you’re going to need some good mashed potatoes. Try our perfect mashed potatoes recipe for the creamiest fluffiest mashed potatoes ever. Usually, we make this recipe for Sunday dinner, then turn the leftovers into Loaded Mashed Potatoes during the week. Here’s how to get perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes every time:
- Boil potatoes – Dice your potatoes into bite-size pieces all about the same size. This will ensure they boil evenly.
- Simmer – Place potatoes in cold water in a large pot, then simmer on medium heat to high heat until they are tender.
- Mash potatoes – Drain potatoes, then mash using a potato masher or a hand mixer. I season them with a little salt, pepper, and butter.
Suggestions for Loaded Mashed Potatoes
These loaded mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food! Everyone loves these mashed potatoes and are a family favorite side dish.
- Casserole dish – Place the loaded mashed potato casserole in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Smooth it out in the pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
- Make sure to have plenty of bacon, cheese, and green onions on hand for this recipe.
- Cheeses – I love using extra sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe for a tangy flavor, but you could use any cheese you like. Monterrey Jack, Mexican Blend, or even Pepper Jack cheese are delicious alternatives.
- Green onion tip – If you are worried about the green onion flavor being too overpowering, soak them in water for a few minutes before dicing and adding to the potatoes. Soaking green onions takes down the flavor just a bit. You can do that with red and white onions as well! Just make sure to dry off the onions really well with a paper towel before adding them to the potatoes.
“I didn’t have leftover mashed potatoes so I made fresh. My family loved it! Definitely making these again. Looking forward to trying your other recipes!”-Ned
Frequently Asked Questions
There are several different variations and options to choose from when adding to mashed potatoes. For this recipe, we used chopped onions, cooked bacon, sour cream, grated cheese, and a ranch mix.
This is a great question and really needs to be taken into consideration when making mashed potatoes. The butter comes first to help coat the mashed potato’s starch molecules. It helps give the mashed potatoes a more creamy and smooth texture rather than a gluey texture that holds the potatoes together. Once the butter is on the potatoes and melts then the milk or water added gives it that creamy and smooth texture when stirring it together.
Most mashed potatoes do not include gluten in the produce.
The best tip is to avoid overworking the mashed potatoes. Once the potatoes are properly mashed and there are no longer lumps or hard bumps within the potatoes, you do not need to continue to mash any longer. If you have over mashed the potatoes and they seem sticky add in more milk or water.
More Tasty Potato Recipes
Much of our family resides in Idaho, so we know and love our potatoes! Here are a few of our most cherished potato recipes. Try them all and find your favorites!
How to Make Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, 1 cup cheese, bacon and onions.
- Spread into large casserole dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese on top is melted.
- Garnish if desired with extra bacon and green onions.
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