These loaded mashed potatoes have it all! With bacon, sour cream, chives, cheese, and garlic, they’re absolutely packed (or loaded!) with flavor.
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What makes loaded mashed potatoes so good? Is it the creamy mashed potatoes? The savory toppings? The fact that it’s all brought together in one delicious dish?
I think it’s all of those things! But of course, we can’t forget: they’re easy to make too!
Simply start with creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes. Then add in cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, garlic powder, and fresh chives. Basically, loaded mashed potatoes are everything you love about baked potatoes or potato skins, but with mashed potatoes instead!
Easy Loaded Mashed Potatoes Recipe
With so much comfort food goodness in one dish, loaded mashed potatoes are the perfect side for a chilly winter night. But they’re also a fun addition to any holiday table—I mean, mashed potatoes are good, but mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon are even better!
The fun thing about making loaded mashed potatoes is that you can customize them with your favorite potato toppings and mix-ins. There’s so much room for variation, so feel free to get creative with this recipe and put your own spin on it.
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Yukon Gold potatoes – Yukon gold potatoes are nice and buttery, perfect for mashing! You can substitute Russet potatoes if you’d like, though.
- Whole milk – Whole milk will give you the creamiest results.
- Unsalted butter
- Garlic powder
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheddar cheese – Use sharp cheddar for the most cheesy flavor, or a mild cheddar if you prefer a cheese that’s less strong.
- Chives – Thinly sliced green onions can be used instead.
- Salt & black pepper
- Make it healthier – You can make this recipe with cauliflower for a low-carb side, or just lower the carbs a bit by using half potatoes, half cauliflower.
- Use a different cheese – Smoked gouda or pepper jack would be delicious!
- Give it a kick – Add your favorite hot sauce for some spicy flavor.
- Make it meatless – Swap the bacon for frozen chopped broccoli or steamed broccoli.
How to Make Loaded Mashed Potatoes
- Boil the Potatoes: Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill the pot with enough water that it comes up about 1-inch above the potatoes. Add 2 generous pinches of salt, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes.
- Cook the Bacon: While the potatoes boil, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it’s crispy, flipping every 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess grease. Crumble and set aside for later.
- Warm the Dairy: Combine the milk, butter, and garlic powder in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low.
- Finish: Drain and mash the potatoes. Slowly add the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly, then add the sour cream, cheese, and bacon and stir to combine. Season to taste, then transfer the mashed potatoes to a serving bowl and scatter the chives on top.
Make Ahead! Transfer the mashed potatoes to an oven-safe casserole dish, cover with foil, and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the potatoes until warmed through, about 30 minutes.
How to Store Leftover Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Leftover loaded mashed potatoes can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through.
These are some of my favorite main dishes to serve with loaded mashed potatoes:
Outback Steakhouse’s version of loaded mashed potatoes includes cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, garlic, and bacon. This loaded mashed potato recipe is like an Outback copycat!
If you’re in a time crunch, you can use instant mashed potatoes in this recipe. I recommend using a flavored version (like sour cream and onion), then garnish with the cheese, chives, and bacon.
Loaded mashed potatoes can be frozen, but they may not have the same creamy consistency once they’re thawed and reheated. If you do freeze them, allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Yes, you can make them ahead of time and reheat when you’re ready to serve. Just follow the instructions above, then transfer the mashed potatoes to an oven-safe casserole dish, cover with foil, and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the potatoes until warmed through, about 30 minutes.
More Crowd-Pleasing Side Dish Recipes
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
- 3-4 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1” pieces
- 8 slices bacon
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 tbsp chives finely sliced
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add 2 large pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes cook, cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, flipping every 4-5 minutes, until done and crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Crumble the cooled bacon and set aside.
- Add the milk, butter, and garlic powder to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce to low and set aside.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and return to the pot. Mash with a potato masher (or push through a tamis or food mill.) Slowly add the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly, to combine and emulsify.
- Add the sour cream, cheese, and bacon and stir to combine. Season to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with chives.