Sunday, March 3, 2013

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Potatoes topped with bacon - what's not to love?!
I grew up eating potatoes probably five days a week. My dad used to joke that it wasn't even a meal if potatoes weren't in the table. When you are feeding a big family, potatoes make the perfect side dish...they are inexpensive, can be prepared a hundred different ways, and they are a hearty, fill-you-up, option. When I was asked to bring a side dish to a friends house, these loaded mashed potatoes quickly came to mind. They can be prepared in advance and then heated through right before serving.
You will see that I used Yukon gold or yellow potatoes instead of a classic russet. We love the golden potatoes for their rich color, smooth texture and flavor.

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

5 lb bag golden/yellow potatoes, peeled
2 bay leaves
4 oz cream cheese
2/3 c sour cream
5 Tbls butter
3-5 Tbls milk or half and half
1/2 bunch green onion, chopped
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and cut in bite-size pieces
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Peel potatoes and place in a large stock pot. Cover potatoes with water and add bay leaves. Boil potatoes for 30-45 min until tender. Drain water and remove bay leaves. In a stand mixer add cream cheese, sour cream, butter, milk and potatoes. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Place mashed potatoes in a buttered casserole dish or 9x13 pan. Top with shredded cheese and cooked bacon. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with green onions.

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