Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Loaded smashed potatoes are a sure crowd-pleaser! With cheddar cheese, cream cheese, bacon, and cream, the potatoes may seem over-the-top and a bit much for an everyday meal, but they are perfect for a holiday feast or Sunday dinner.  

You don't have to peel the potatoes for this dish, which makes preparation nearly effortless. The boiled potatoes are combined and lightly mashed with cream cheese, half-and-half, and butter, and then they're briefly baked with layers of bacon, cheddar cheese, and scallions. It's a deliciously decadent side dish that everyone will appreciate.

The potatoes are versatile, too. Add some roasted garlic to the mixture if you like, or mix a few tablespoons of parsley or chives into the potatoes. If you aren't serving a crowd, feel free to cut the ingredients down by half.

Serve loaded smashed potatoes with a turkey or baked ham dinner along with everyone’s favorite holiday side dishes. And they’re an excellent side dish to take along to a potluck dinner.

“Loaded smashed potatoes are rich and delicious, and sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The decadent dish is the perfect potato casserole for a holiday meal or Sunday dinner. The potatoes are not peeled, so prep is fast and easy. They’re worth the splurge!” —Diana Rattray

loaded smashed potatoes A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup, divided)

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for salting water

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups half-and-half, or cream depending on how rich you like your potatoes

  • 8 ounces cream cheese

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese, about 2 cups

  • 5 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

  • 2 medium scallions, sliced into rounds

  • Sour cream, for topping, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Loaded Smashed Potatoes ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 2 1/2-quart heatproof baking dish with about a teaspoon of the butter.

    greased baking pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2-inch chunks, leaving the skin on.

    potatoes on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Put them into a large pot and cover them with cold water. Add enough kosher salt to make the water taste as salty as soup.

    potatoes in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Bring the water to a boil, and cook until very tender and easy to pierce through the center with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain.

    potatoes in a colander

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Put the rest of the butter, 1 cup half and half (or cream), cream cheese, very generous grindings of black pepper, and the 1 teaspoon salt into the large pot. Warm over medium heat. Once the butter melts and the cream cheese softens, in about 4 minutes, stir the mixture together until combined.

    cream mixture in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Put the cooked potatoes back into the pot with the cream mixture. Crush the potatoes into the mixture with a potato masher until partially mashed and very lumpy. There will be a little liquid, which will absorb into the potatoes. If it's dry, add more half and half. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

    mashed potatoes in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Transfer half of the smashed potatoes into the serving dish and top with 1/2 each of the bacon, scallions, and cheddar cheese, and some black pepper.

    bacon, scallions, and cheddar cheese in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Layer on the remaining potatoes and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Slide into the oven until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are hot, about 15 to 20 minutes.

    Loaded Smashed Potatoes in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  10. Top with remaining bacon and scallions, more black pepper, and dollops of sour cream if using. Serve.

    Loaded Smashed Potatoes in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • For that "smashed" texture, avoid over-mashing the potatoes.
  • To make ahead: Follow the recipe to step 7; cover and refrigerate up to two days ahead. When ready to eat, preheat the oven, and bake for 30 minutes to heat through and until the cheese is melted.

Recipe Variations

  • To lighten the casserole slightly, use milk instead of cream or half-and-half.
  • For a smoky, spicy flavor, add 1 minced chipotle chili pepper from a can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus a teaspoon or two of the adobo sauce.
  • Top the casserole with cooked broccoli florets before adding the cheese topping, and then bake as directed.
  • For lumpier potatoes, swap out the russets for less starchy new potatoes, red potatoes, or Yukon Gold.
  • For roasted garlic flavor, add 6 or more cloves of roasted garlic.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover loaded smashed potatoes in a shallow, airtight container within two hours, and eat within 4 days.
  • To freeze the potatoes, transfer them to an airtight freezer container and freeze them for two to three months.
  • To freeze the potatoes in portions, use a large scoop or measuring cup to scoop the potatoes onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze the potatoes until solid, then transfer the frozen mounds to zip-close freezer bags.
  • Defrost frozen loaded smashed potatoes in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The best way to reheat leftover smashed potatoes is in a double boiler over simmering water. You may need to add a small amount of milk or butter to get the desired consistency. Alternatively, put the potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl and cover them with a dampened paper towel. Cook on high for one minute, then stir. Repeat cooking and stirring until the potatoes are hot.

How many russet potatoes are in 1 pound?

You'll need about 2 medium (8-ounce) russet potatoes for each pound or about 1 1/2 large (12-ounce) potatoes.

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