Culinary Quest #10 – Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

Looking for a crowd-pleaser that won’t break your budget?  This recipe isn’t rocket science, but it tastes out of this world (sorry, I couldn’t resist that one).  Sometimes I want to bring a dish to an event that I absolutely know everyone will like, but after scouring cookbooks and the Internet it usually winds up costing a fortune!  Not this time…

Who doesn’t like a baked potato with cheese, bacon and butter?  Baked potato “bars” are good and all, but the foil-wrapped potatoes can get messy from trying to squeeze in the toppings.  Plus, the toppings always look a little –  well, tired.  This way, you throw it all together, bake it and ta-da!  You have a nice dish for your family or to take with you.  Great for picnics, dinners, brunch or stay-home movie night.  It is also good as a side dish when grilling – one less thing to tend to when family and friends are over.

It’s extra budget-friendly if you shop sales and get the cheese buy-one get-one free and bacon tends to regularly go on sale depending on the brand.  The rest is nominal.

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

8                            Russet baking potatoes

1/2 stick                 salted butter

1/4c                       milk (we use 2%)

8oz                         sour cream (we use reduced fat)

1/2t                        black pepper (to taste)

1T                           salt (to taste)

1 pkg                     center-cut bacon

1 bunch                  green onions; diced

2c                           shredded cheddar cheese (Any favorite variety.  I used Triple Cheese by Kraft (Vermont white cheddar, sharp cheddar & mild cheddar w/cream cheese added)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place bacon on vented baking sheet and bake until done.  Drain fat on paper towel.

Peel, halve and boil potatoes until a fork can easily go through them.

Drain and place potatoes in a mixing bowl.

Add butter, milk, sour cream, salt & pepper.

Mix with electric mixer on medium until creamy (no lumps).

Bacon should now be cooled.  Using a large kitchen knife, dice bacon on cutting board into bits.

Blend in green onions and bacon with large spoon into the potato mixture.

Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Spoon potato mixer into the dish and spread evenly.

Top with cheeses and bake @ 350 about 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and it is hot all the way through.

***This dish can be made a day ahead.  Simply hold back the cheese, bake the potato mixture COVERED (to keep from drying out) until hot, then add the cheese and bake a few more minutes until it melts.

***For added flare as a dinner side dish, instead of using a baking dish, use individual crocks – fill, top with cheese & bake as directed.

 This is what it looks like prior to adding the cheese.

One thought on “Culinary Quest #10 – Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

  1. Wish I had made this for Eric’s Graduation Party yesterday instead of 3 Potato Salad (Tampa favorite.) It would have been less labor intensive especially if I had used potato flakes….. So glad to know you had such a wonderfu lmission and are back here in USA….. hope you are using this time for snoozing. GKYS MOM

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