Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes – Tastes Like Loaded Baked Potatoes!

my-yellow-farmhouse-autumn-2016
Happy Thanksgiving from My Yellow Farmhouse

These potatoes can served immediately or they can be made a day ahead.  

You have two choices for heating them the next day.

Potato mixture can be warmed in a slow cooker for 3 – 3 1/2 hours before serving –  OR  –  baked in a 3 quart COVERED casserole at 350F for about an hour. 

Sometimes we make a Happy Mistake, as I just did.  The recipe I was adapting called for 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese. But.. I put in THREE cups of cheese.  Guess what? It’s tastes AWESOME – just like loaded baked potatoes.

So now you have two ways to prepare this. The original version, with one cup shredded cheese-  OR –  the ‘Tastes Like Loaded Baked Potatoes’ version with three cups shredded cheese!  And two ways to heat the potatoes the next day!

small red heart

Ingredients & Method

  • 3 ½ – 4  lbs. white peeled potatoes, cut into small pieces  (About 10 good-sized potatoes.)      OR –  3 packages  (20 oz. each) precooked, diced potatoes like “Simply Potatoes”  ++  I used these for the first time and loved the convenience – no peeling… no cutting!
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
  • ½ cup butter, softened and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • ½ lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled   ++ Reserve 2 Tbs.bacon crumbles for serving      ++  I cut the bacon into pieces using kitchen shears before cooking it  ; o )
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese  ++ I purchased a mixture of both cheeses
  • ++ Add 3 cups shredded cheese for the ‘Tastes Like Loaded Baked Potatoes’ version
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin  ++ Use the green part as well
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 pepper

Place  peeled and diced potatoes in a Dutch Oven.  Cover potatoes with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook potatoes, uncovered, until tender – between 10 to 15 minutes. ++ The more well-cooked the potatoes, the less the likely-hood of having lumpy potatoes.

Dutch Oven - Walmart

Drain potatoes and return to pan. Mash with cream cheese, sour cream, butter and milk. Add bacon crumbles (Reserve 2 Tbs.bacon crumbles for serving.), ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese, ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 3 green onions, 1/4 tsp. garlic salt, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 pepper.

++ Add a total of 3 cups shredded cheese for the ‘Tastes Just Like Baked Potatoes’ version.  

If serving immediately, made sure potato mixture is heated through.  Sprinkle on 2 Tbs bacon bits and serve.  OR – cover and refrigerator overnight.  

You have two choices for heating the potatoes the next day:

 1.  Potato mixture can be warmed in a slow cooker for 3 – 3 1/2 hours.  Sprinkle on 2 Tbs. crumbled bacon right before serving.  

2.  Bake in a 3 quart COVERED casserole at 350F for about an hour – or until heated through.  ++ Stir potatoes midway through cooking. Sprinkle on 2 Tbs. crumbled bacon right before serving.  ++ I suggest taking the prepared potato mixture out of the fridge about an hour before reheating in the oven.