Loaded Mashed Potatoes

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Cooking for company is always Fearless Friday fodder. It’s hard to know exactly how someone else will perceive the dish. Throw in a second challenge and I was quite nervous about Wednesday’s dinner. You see, I was contacted by the folks at Carnation to test a recipe using their evaporated milk. I’ve always been a huge fan of evaporated milk. Anything that I can buy and keep in the pantry for the day I wake up and discover that -Oh no! That was the last gallon of milk- is a good thing. So, not only is it a great emergency coffee fixer -I don’t like black coffee, never have, never will- it is a great addition to the kids’ oatmeal and keeps me from having to run to the store before caffeine.

Get on track, Heather.

Carnation sent two coupons for cans of evaporated milk, a recipe booklet which you are invited to download or receive by mail, and a gift card to cover the expense of ingredients for the recipes I prepared for their campaign. One of the recipes was supposed to be from my own recipe collection and one from the free recipe booklet. As I mentioned, evaporated milk is a staple ingredient in my pantry, so it really wasn’t hard to oblige them with the first half of the agreement. I already use it in both my Tomato Gravy and Macaroni and Cheese. Almost anytime a recipe calls for milk, evaporated milk makes a great substitute with creamier results, as less water content equals greater flavor. It’s also lower fat than using cream.

Then life got busy, and I was unable to get to the second half of the effort, until close to the deadline (that would be today). Wednesday evening the children’s grandparents, as well as my husband’s brother, his wife, and their two kids arrived from Minnesota, so I was cooking for a crowd of people I don’t know that well and would like to leave with a favorable impression, as I’m shallow like that. I based the meal around the Loaded Potato Casserole, also making fried chicken, and green beans.

The recipe turned out well and I’d only make one substitution which I’ll note below. I will be adding pictures this evening, as my camera cord is mocking me from 90 miles away.

Did you have any culinary adventures this week? Did you step outside of your routine and try a new recipe or technique? If so, feel free to share in the comments.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole


  • 8 medium potatoes 2.5 – 3lbs total (I prefer Yukon Gold for mashed) -peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 cup Carnation Evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper (ok, you caught me, I substituted two things. Use fresh ground pepper for better results)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, divided
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled, and divided
  • green onions for garnish

cover potatoes with waterPlace the peeled and diced potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Don’t overcook the potatoes, but make sure they are fork-tender.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Grease a 3qt casserole dish.

Drain the water in a colander, then mash either with a hand mixer, potato masher, or pastry blender. Don’t go crazy mashing the potatoes as overworking them will make them gluey rather than fluffy.

loaded mashed potatoesAdd the evaporated milk, sour cream or cream cheese, salt, pepper, 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar, and 3 slices of the crumbled bacon. Stir until well incorporated.

Place everything in the casserole dish and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Top with the remaining cheese and bacon and bake for about 5 more minutes, just until the cheese has melted.

Garnish with scallions and serve.

This recipe can be prepared the night before. Cook as directed up to putting everything in the casserole dish. Cover tightly and refrigerate. To heat, bake at 350 for 40 -45 minutes or until heated through. Then top with cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes.


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13 thoughts on “Loaded Mashed Potatoes”

  1. My Mom makes a Loaded Potato Casserole….it just kinda happened one time when she was trying to make twice bakes potatoes and the potato skins fell apart on her! Lol–but our family loved it soo much, she just kept making it! Now it's one of our staples…enjoy, it's sooo yum and EASY to make!

  2. i managed to find enough ingredients in my fridge and pantry to throw together a passable last-minute request of turkey/chicken parmesan last night.

    Considering the state of my pantry as of late and the sad emptiness of my fridge and freezer, this was quite the accomplishment. I surprised myself.

  3. For drinking, we only get raw milk. My DH & DD don't feel well on the other stuff.

    For cooking, it's evaporated milk – I get it by the case. It's all I use for mashed potatoes. If you're using instant mashed potatoes, use evaporated milk & real butter, and (most) people will think you're really good at getting the lumps out of real mashed taters.

    I don't know about trying this recipe. If I put bacon in mashed potatoes, DH will never let me make them any other way. Seriously.

    • I won't lie. There is a box of instant mashed potatoes in my pantry. Sometimes I use it for oven fried chicken or to thicken soups. None of my kids like mashed potatoes very much, I guess it's a texture thing. They did however scarf these like there was no tomorrow. At my last place of employment we had a very similar style of mashed potatoes, it's where I learned to use cream cheese.
      Also we had mashed potatoes we called mo' taters which were mashed potatoes with cream cheese, half and half, and caramelized onions. *swoon*.

  4. Mmm…those picture look SO good. Not gonna lie, I'd probably eat that for breakfast. 😉

    I made jambalaya this week! It was actually quite tasty! I went a little crazy with the cayenne, especially because I used hot sausage, but other than that, it's a keeper. Up today: squash soup. I haven't made many soups, so hopefully this one will be good–I'm trying an Alton Brown recipe.

    • You can't simmer the potatoes in the crockpot, but there's no reason you can't do the second half in a crockpot. According to similar recipes it would be 2 hours on high or 4 on low.
      I don't expect a ring. 😉

  5. I made hamburgers for the family while out camping this weekend. Hambuger meat + onion soup mix = yummy burgers! My grandparents, aunt and uncle were impressed. It also really helped that I brought avacado to put on the burgers and my grandmother made queso to go along with it. BEST BURGERS EVER! It was like eating cheeseburger nachos. I'll try to get camping pics up soon, but I'm not making any guarantees.


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