|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 30g||38%|
|Saturated Fat 17g||85%|
|Total Carbohydrate 41g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
A loaded baked potato is a beloved side dish, often including bacon, sour cream, and plenty of cheese. This recipe combines all of these indulgent ingredients and layers them into a hefty casserole. The beauty of this dish is that it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser with the flexibility to riff a little on the ingredients to your taste. It can also be prepped ahead and refrigerated until it's time to bake. It is perfect to serve while watching the game and makes a great accompaniment to a meaty main dish.
- 3 1/2 to 4 pounds russet potatoes (peeled and quartered)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt (divided)
- 1/2 cup cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup whole or low-fat milk (room temperature)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
- 8 slices bacon (cooked, chopped, divided)
- 1/2 bunch green onions, white and green parts (thinly sliced)
Gather the ingredients.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan or pot. Cover with cold water by 2 inches and add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain well.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly oil or butter a 3-quart casserole dish.
Return potatoes to the saucepan and using a potato masher, mash potatoes until almost smooth.
Continue mashing until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper, if desired.
Stir in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese and half of the bacon.
Spoon the mixture evenly into prepared casserole dish.
Use a spatula or fork to spread potatoes and make an irregular surface. (This will create ridges to capture the additional cheese and crisp while baking.)
Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and scatter the remaining cheese and bacon over the potatoes. Top with green onions.
Return the casserole to the oven and bake until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.
Glass Bakeware Warning
For premade casseroles or leftovers that are in a glass baking dish and have been refrigerated, do not place directly into a hot oven as the glass can shatter. Instead, place any cold glass bakeware into a cold oven to warm up while it preheats. Or, allow the bakeware to rest outside of the fridge for 30 minutes to reach room temperature while the oven preheats.
When preparing the casserole in advance, assemble and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
While russet potatoes are usually the go-to potato for baking and mashing (thanks to their high starch content and low moisture), Yukon gold potatoes can also be used. Yukons are slightly lower in starch, but they're very versatile with a mild buttery flavor that works well in this creamy casserole. When using Yukon gold potatoes, you can choose to leave the skin on, if desired, for a more rustic presentation (the potatoes will not be entirely smooth)—simply wash the potatoes well before using. Alternatively, consider using sweet potato for a different and nutrient-rich option.
Other recipe variations can include substituting different types of melty cheese, such as Monterey Jack or Grûyère, for all or part of the cheddar, and omitting the bacon for a meatless option.