The creamiest, cheesiest mashed potatoes EVER!  This easy to make LOADED POTATO CASSEROLE is topped with extra melty cheese, crispy bacon, and chives.  The best part?  You can make this dish ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven to heat back up!  This dish will end up being the highlight of any meal! 

Round baking dish with baked mashed potato casserole, topped with melty cheese, crisp bacon and green chives.

All about this Mashed Potato Casserole…

This mashed potato casserole is melt in your mouth creamy and smooth, loaded up with tons of melty cheese, crunchy panko bread crumbs, topped with crisp salty bacon, and bits of chives for color and a pop of fresh flavor.

Here’s just some reasons why this will be your new favorite:

  • Smooth & creamy
  • Totally decadent
  • Flavor & texture in every bite
  • Buttery and cheesy mashed potatoes
  • Salty crumbled bacon
  • Easy to prepare
  • The perfect side dish for Holiday meals

Ingredients:

Ingredients needed for mashed potato casserole laid on the counter.

Notes on some ingredients:

  • Potatoes: this recipe calls for russet potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes would also be a good option. 
  • Cheese: mild cheddar cheese goes nicely with this casserole. However, you can substitute for any cheese of preference. 
  • Sour cream: adds a creaminess and a tang to the mashed potatoes. 

How to Make (step-by-step):

How to make mashed potato casserole, boiled potatoes in a bowl, butter and sour cream added.
Cheese being added to mashed potatoes then mixed and showing a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Step 1: Prepare the potatoes, peel, chop and boil until they are fork tender and easily mashed. 
  • Step 2: Add in the butter, sour cream and milk and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with garlic powder and salt to taste. Be careful not to over mash the potatoes to give them a gummy texture. 
  • Step 3 & 4: Add the cheese and stir to combine. This makes the entire dish extra cheesy.
  • Step 5 & 6: Add the potatoes to a baking dish, top with the toasted panko. This gives a wonderful toasty taste, plus some added texture to the finished dish. Then top with additional shredded cheddar cheese. Bake this until warmed through and the cheese on top is melted. 
  • Step 7: Top with crumbled bacon and chives.
Preparing a casserole by spreading out mashed potatoes, topping with toasted panko and then shredded cheese.
Toppings added to the mashed potato casserole after baking, showing melted cheese and crispy bacon with bits of fresh chives.

Expert Tips:

  • Add toppings after baking. This ensures the bacon doesn’t burn and the chives stay nice and fresh to give a pop of flavor. 
  • Shred your own cheese. Cheese always melts better when shredded off the block, pre-shredded bagged cheese has preservatives added that can hinder the melting. 
  • Don’t overmix your potatoes, or they will have a gummy texture. Check out my post on making Perfect Mashed Potatoes for more tips and information. 

FAQ’s:

Can I prepare this casserole ahead of time?

Yes. Prepare this dish the day before, cook the potatoes and mash them, then add to the casserole dish. Cover and bake the next day and add all the toppings. 

What is the best potato for this casserole?

Russets are the standard potato used, however, Yukon Golds are another great option. Red potatoes could also be used.

Can I make this vegetarian?

Yes! This is an easy variation. Simply leave off the bacon or top with another favorite topping of your choice.

Dish of loaded potato casserole with servings removed by a spoon.

More Side Dish Recipes to Try:

If you tried this recipe please leave a comment and a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below! Thank you so much!

Round baking dish with baked mashed potato casserole, topped with melty cheese, crisp bacon and green chives.

Mashed Potato Casserole

Mashed Potato Casserole all dressed up! Silky smooth, cheesy mashed potatoes topped with crisp, toasty panko, extra cheese, salty bacon, and fresh chives. This side dish is sure to be the star of any Holiday table setting.
5 from 7 votes

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes
  • water
  • 7 tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Topping

  • ¼ cup panko
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 5 strips bacon , cooked
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Peel and chop the potatoes. Add to a large pot. Cover with water and heat over high heat, boil the potatoes in the water about 20 minutes or until softened.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Drain the potatoes and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, sour cream, milk, garlic powder, and salt. Mix with a potato masher or for creamier potatoes use a hand or stand mixer.
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir to combine.
  • Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon the potato mixture into the dish. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
  • In a small saucepan add the tablespoon of butter and the panko bread crumbs. Cook over medium heat until just toasted. Sprinkle on top of the potatoes.
  • Top with shredded cheese and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Top with bacon and chives. Serve warm and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Potatoes: this recipe calls for russet potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes would also be a good option. 
  • Cheese: mild cheddar cheese goes nicely with this casserole. However, you can substitute for any cheese of preference. 
  • Vegetarian Option: leave off bacon, add another topping of choice if desired.
Make Ahead Directions: Prepare this dish the day before, cook the potatoes and mash them according to the directions, add the cheese, then add to the casserole dish. Cover and bake the next day and add all the toppings. 
Storage: Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat covered in the oven until heated through or in the microwave. 
Freezing: store without toppings. Allow the mashed potatoes to cool in a prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and then cover with foil. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw by removing to the refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350 degrees F until warmed through, then add toppings according to the recipe. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 347kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 353mg, Fiber: 3g
Did you make this recipe?Tag @HouseofYumm on Instagram and hashtag #houseofyumm!

Recipe first published October 28, 2016. Updated November 12, 2021 with new images.

Photography done by the talented @KJandCompany.co