Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes

8 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Loaded Mashed Potatoes are creamy and buttery, topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, and scallions. Perfect for making ahead.

These Loaded mashed Potatoes are perfect for family dinners, holiday feasts, or just when you need a little food for the soul. Check out other must-try Side Recipes such as the timeless Beef Stroganoff, the hearty Chicken Pot Pie, and the ultimate comfort dish, Baked Ziti.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes hero photo

Imagine a dish that brings together the fluffy, starchy goodness of potatoes, the rich decadence of butter and sour cream, the sharp tang of cheddar cheese, and the smoky crunch of bacon. That’s precisely what you get with the Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes. Like a potato casserole, each bite of this creamy, savory dish is a delightful experience that will make you want to reach for more.

The beauty of the Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes lies in its simplicity. The ingredients are everyday staples that when combined, create a dish that is nothing short of extraordinary. Whether it’s the earthy russet potatoes that provide the perfect base, the generous dollop of butter and sour cream that give it a luxurious creaminess, or the sprinkling of sharp Cheddar cheese and crunchy bacon that elevate it to a whole new level, each component has a role to play in this symphony of flavors.

What makes this dish even more special is its versatility. It’s the perfect side dish to serve at family dinners, BBQs, holiday feasts, and potlucks. It pairs well with just about anything – be it a juicy steak, grilled chicken, or a heaping portion of veggies. Moreover, this dish has a unique ability to turn an ordinary meal into a special one, making it a must-have in your culinary repertoire. For another delightful potato-based dish, take a look at the Twice Baked Potatoes

At its core, the Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes is about celebrating the humble potato. But what makes it truly ‘ultimate’ is the generous baked potato toppings of Cheddar cheese and crispy bacon. It’s like taking the comfort of classic mashed potatoes and amplifying it by a hundredfold. This dish isn’t just food; it’s a warm, delicious hug on a plate!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes collage

How to Make Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Creating the Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes at home is a straightforward process that will reward you with a dish that’s incredibly delicious and comforting. What’s more, this dish allows for a great deal of customization, so you can tweak it to suit your personal preferences. Check it out!

  • Step One: Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Then, peel and cut the russet potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them into a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes and season with salt. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes.
  • Step Two: Once the potatoes are cooked to fork tender, drain them and put them back into the pot. Add the butter and sour cream, and mash them well with a Potato Masher. Make sure to incorporate the remaining salt and pepper at this stage.
  • Step Three: Next, scoop the mashed potatoes into a 9×13 Baking Dish. Layer the top with shredded cheddar cheese and crispy bacon bits, ensuring that each scoop will get an equal part of these mouth-watering toppings.
  • Step Four: Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted. Finish the dish by garnishing it with sliced green onions for a burst of freshness. And voila! Your Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes is ready to be served.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of potatoes should I use for making mashed potatoes?

Russet potatoes are the preferred choice for making mashed potatoes. They have a high starch content, which results in a fluffier and creamier texture when mashed.

Can I use a different type of cheese for this recipe?

Absolutely! While this recipe calls for cheddar cheese, you can experiment with other types of cheese. For example, Gouda or Monterey Jack could add a unique flavor to the dish.

Is there a vegetarian option for this dish?

Yes, you can make this dish vegetarian by omitting the bacon or replacing it with a vegetarian alternative such as tempeh bacon or vegetarian sausage crumbles.

Can I add other toppings to the mashed potatoes?

Of course! This recipe is versatile and customizable. You could add other toppings like sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, or even some roasted garlic for an added punch of flavor.

What can I serve with these loaded mashed potatoes?

Loaded mashed potatoes can be paired with a variety of main dishes. They go well with meats like steak, roast chicken, or grilled pork chops. Alternatively, they could be served alongside a hearty salad for a lighter meal.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes process

Key Ingredients in Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes

The Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes is a simple and easy-to-make dish that uses everyday ingredients to create a flavor-packed comfort meal. Let’s dive deeper into some of these key ingredients and their roles in the dish.

  • Russet Potatoes: These potatoes, known for their starchy content, are perfect for mashing. They absorb the butter and sour cream well, resulting in a creamy and fluffy mash.
  • Bacon: The bacon adds a smoky and salty flavor to the dish, perfectly balancing the creamy potatoes. Moreover, the crunch of the bacon contrasts the soft texture of the mashed potatoes.
  • Sour Cream and Butter: These two ingredients add a rich, tangy creaminess to the mashed potatoes, making them extra decadent.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese brings a sharp, tangy flavor to the dish, providing a nice contrast to the smooth, creamy potatoes. It also adds a wonderful gooey texture when melted.

Can Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, this dish can be made ahead of time. Prepare the mashed potatoes and assemble the dish with the toppings. Before you’re ready to serve, just pop it into the oven until the cheese is melted. If you’re storing it in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before baking.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes with spoon.

Substitutions in Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes

  • Bacon: For a vegetarian version, you can substitute the slices bacon with vegetarian bacon or sautéed mushrooms for that umami flavor.
  • Cheddar Cheese: If you don’t have cheddar on hand or want to try something different, other cheeses such as Monterey Jack, Gouda, or mozzarella also work great in this recipe.
  • Sour Cream: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier substitute for sour cream while still providing that creamy texture.

Variations on Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes

The beauty of the Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes lies in its versatility. Here are a few variations you could explore.

  • Garlic and Herb Loaded Mashed Potatoes: Add some minced garlic and your choice of fresh herbs (like rosemary or thyme) to the mashed potatoes for an added layer of flavor.
  • Spicy Loaded Mashed Potatoes: Spice up your dish by adding some chopped jalapenos or a dash of hot sauce for a kick.
  • Cheesy Loaded Mashed Potatoes: Add an extra dose of cheese by mixing in some Parmesan or cream cheese into the mashed potatoes before baking.

How to Store Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes

  • Serve: Once prepared, the Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes should be served immediately. However, if there are any leftovers, they should be refrigerated within two hours to prevent any bacterial growth.
  • Store: Leftover mashed potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When ready to eat, reheat in the oven or microwave until warmed through.
  • Freeze: Mashed potatoes can be frozen for up to a month. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave. Be aware that the texture may change slightly upon thawing.
Loaded Mashed Potatoes close up

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Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Loaded Mashed Potatoes are creamy and buttery, topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, and scallions. Perfect for making ahead.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 8 ounces bacon , or more to taste
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes , peeled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 container (16 oz) sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt , divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup green onions , sliced


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Put the potatoes into a large pot and cover with water and 2 teaspoons of the salt.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pot with the butter and sour cream.
  • Mash them well and add in the remaining salt and the pepper.
  • Scoop the potatoes into a 9×13 casserole dish and top with the cheese and bacon.
  • Cook the potatoes for 5-10 minutes covered with foil, or until the cheese is fully melted.
  • Garnish with green onions before serving.


If making ahead for a party, stop at the step before it goes into the oven. If refrigerated in between, cook the potatoes for 15-20 minutes covered.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1636mg | Potassium: 801mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 680IU | Vitamin C: 10.3mg | Calcium: 234mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes Pin 1

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

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About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  2. Made this for a dinner party last night, alongside beef ribs. I used red potatoes out of our garden. It was nice to get most of it done, before people showed up. Everyone loved it, and went back for more! Thank you 🙂

  3. I made these for Father’s Day dinner. My husband and boys loved them!!! They all agreed that they were “the star of the show”.

  4. Another great recipe. This is exactly like one of my favorites at Chili’s the “Loaded Mashed Potatoes”. I’d love to eat there still, but they just charge so much when you are taking a family or friends. So, thanks for sharing and helping us to learn how to do it ourselves.

    1. If you are not a fan of sour cream, cottage cheese is a great substitute for this recipe! Hope that works better for you!

  5. Everybody loved them. I did stir in the bacon and most of the cheese and then sprinkled a bit of cheese and the green onion on top before baking.

  6. You said to use one stick of butter. Is that 1/2 a cup? You never specified if the butter should be softened or melted

    1. Yes, it’s 1/2 cup butter. No need to melt or soften the butter and the heat from the potatoes will do that for you. Enjoy!

  7. Made them, ate them, loved them!

    While the recipe, as posted, is simply wonderful, I cut the bacon and cheese in half to better suit our own nutritional limits, and the potatoes turned out fabulous. I’ll definitely make this again, and again, and would not hesitate to serve them to company.

    They look lovely, they taste fabulous, and will no doubt be wonderful leftovers, if we’re lucky enough to have any.

    Thank you, Sabrina.

    1. You can easily adjust the recipe down using the slider tool in the recipe card for only 2 servings. Personally, I don’t mind having leftovers the next day to give myself a break from cooking every now and again. Hope this helps!

  8. Can I cook the potatoes in the oven instead of the stovetop? I’m making this for thanksgiving and going to make it the night before and will add the cheese and garnish with the onions before heating it in the oven.

    1. You can always cook them first in the oven like baked potatoes and then mash them. Otherwise, besides boiling the potatoes, this recipe is made in the oven. Hope this helps!

  9. The recipe calls for 4 teaspoons of salt.. I see that you only used 2 to boil in the water? Where is the other salt incorporated? And the ground pepper?


        1. Sabrina,
          Can I cook this potatoe dish, like the crockpot recipe?
          Then should I place in oven safe roasting pan when adding the cheese & bacon – or will the cheese crisp up, with lid off crockpot, for 30min, like the crockpot dressing?
          I can cook the bacon just before, it is to be added & served.
          Sorry, to ask about changing the recipe(s) but think they both look & sound great, want to try both for Thanksgiving meal.

          1. That sounds right – I would recommend baking the cheese and the bacon part, so that they get melty and browned.

          2. Thank you, for your speedy response. I hope you & your family have a safe & wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.