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Mashed Potato Casserole is a delicious side dish with all the flavors of a fully loaded baked potato and silky smooth mashed potatoes. It’s topped with all your favorite potato toppings like two kinds of cheese, bacon, and green onions and then baked in one casserole dish in the oven to cheesy perfection.
Mashed Potato Casserole Recipe (Ultimate Comfort Food)
This loaded mashed potato casserole is the perfect compromise between baked potatoes and having to individually scoop and make twice baked potatoes. Step up your side dish game and make this mashed potato casserole for any holiday table (like the Thanksgiving table) or for a big family dinner gathering.
The best part is that everything bakes in one casserole dish with a cheesy topping and bacon! You can even use the leftovers to make this Leftover Mashed Potato Soup.
Full Ingredients Needed To Make This Potatoes Casserole
- Russet Potatoes : This the potato I recommend using when making this recipe. It mixes really well without becoming gummy and has the best flavor. Another similar option are Idaho potatoes.
- Kosher Salt : This is the best salt to use because it elevates all the flavors without making the potatoes taste salty. Of course, any salt can be used so just taste and adjust the salt content as necessary.
- Cream Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Butter : Salted butter or unsalted butter can both be used depending on what you prefer.
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese : Mild, medium, or sharp cheddar cheese. I use medium cheddar cheese when making this potato casserole dish.
- Real Bacon Bits : Using bacon bits is the easiest way but you can also cook bacon your preferred way until it’s crispy bacon.
- Green Onions
How To Make It (Printable Recipe Card Below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place the peeled and quartered potatoes into a large pot, or large saucepan, and cover the potatoes with cold water and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender and easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes using a colander and place them into a large bowl.
Add the cream cheese, sour cream, butter, milk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Use a potato masher, or an electric hand mixer, to mix just until creamy and combined. Don’t mix for too long or else the potatoes will turn gummy and release too much of the starch.
Evenly spread the mashed potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with 1 cup shredded cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Remove the pan from the oven and top with the real bacon bits and diced green onions.
Serve warm and enjoy!
How To Store Leftovers
To store leftovers cover the entire casserole pan with plastic wrap or a lid, or store in an airtight container, and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, cover the casserole dish with foil and reheat for 20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave. Mashed potato casserole makes for great leftovers!
What Are The Best Potatoes To Use For Creamy Mashed Potato Casserole?
The best potatoes to use for loaded mashed potato casserole are Russet potatoes. But there are a couple other options that will work as well – Yukon gold potatoes or Idaho potatoes are other great options. Make sure to peel the potato skin off so you get that super smooth and creamy consistency for the mashed potato casserole. If using yukon gold potatoes, which are slightly sweeter, it will change the taste of the casserole just slightly. Nothing super noticeable but they are a more buttery and sweeter tasting potato when compared to russet potatoes or Idaho potatoes.
Recipe Tips For The Perfect Side Dish For Any Holiday Meal
- Make It Ahead of Time : This is a great option to make-ahead the day before, for the next day. Simply prepare the casserole as stated but instead of baking it, cover the prepared dish with plastic wrap and then tin foil, or just a lid, and refrigerate it overnight. Leave the casserole out at room temperature for about 20 minutes before baking it so it can come closer to room temperature before putting it into the hot oven.
- Use Your Favorite Cheese : Instead of cheddar cheese try using Monterey Jack, parmesan cheese, Colby Jack, or your other favorite cheese.
- Fresh Herbs : Top the cheesy potatoes with fresh chives.
- Warm Potatoes (Mixing Tip) : Immediately after adding the drained & cooked potatoes into the large bowl make sure you’re ready to add the other ingredients. This way, the warm potatoes will help soften the butter and other diary ingredients which makes it all mix together much more smoothly and creamy.
- Milk : It’s best to use a milk with a higher fat content like heavy cream, half and half, whole milk, or evaporated milk.
- Use Fresh Garlic Cloves : Instead of garlic powder use fresh garlic cloves that have been minced or pressed, chopped garlic from a jar, or garlic paste.
- Room Temperature Dairy : To ensure that you get a smooth and creamy mashed potato mixture it’s best to use room temperature dairy; cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and milk. I measure out those ingredients and put them out at room temperature first thing before peeling, chopping, and boiling the potatoes. Even better, place them next to the stove top so they can absorb that warm heat from the boiling potatoes.
Try These Potato Recipes
- Ranch Potatoes
- Hash Brown Potato Soup
- Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes
- Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Creamy Potato Soup
- Praline Sweet Potato Casserole
- Maple Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder
Mashed Potato Casserole
- 3 pounds russet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 6 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1/2 cup half and half room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (optional)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup real bacon bits (or more to taste)
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Prep : Peel the potatoes and cut into large pieces.* I recommend also placing the cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and milk out at room temperature before starting the potatoes. This way they're closer to room temperature when you add them into the mashed potatoes.
- Place the peeled and chopped potatoes into a large pot and cover the potatoes with cold water and add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender and easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes using a colander and place them into a large bowl.3 pounds russet potatoes, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Add the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, half and half, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Use a potato masher, or an electric hand mixer on low-medium speed, to mix just until creamy and combined. * Don't mix for too long or else the potatoes will turn gummy and release too much of the starch. Just mix until smooth and well combined.4 ounces cream cheese, 6 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup half and half, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Stir in the shredded cheese and mix to combine.1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Evenly spread the mashed potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with 1 cup shredded cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Remove the pan from the oven and top with the real bacon bits and diced green onions.1/2 cup real bacon bits, 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Serve warm and enjoy!