Loaded Mashed Potatoes Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Total Time
Prep: 35 min. Bake: 30 min.
Take a classic dish for a spin with this loaded mashed potatoes recipe, with fresh, savory flavors elevating one of our favorite comfort meals.

Updated: Jun. 05, 2024

We love the classics, but sometimes, a remix can be fun. This loaded mashed potato recipe plays up everything you love about traditional mashed potatoes but with a few additions. Cheddar cheese and bacon heighten the savory notes, and the final dish is topped with bright, fresh green onions. It’s what you want to make when you’re craving a little plate of comfort or preparing for a gathering.
This recipe has a hefty output, so we recommend using it as a make-ahead recipe for larger group events (holidays, we’re looking at you). It also stores well in the fridge for several days so you can have it as a side dish to your fried chicken or steak.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes Ingredients

  • Potatoes: Boiled and mashed until fluffy, these potatoes (of course) are the star ingredient. Whether or not you choose to leave the skin on is a personal preference, so feel free to skip peeling if desired.
  • Sour cream: Adding a little tang, sour cream is one of the drivers of the dish’s creaminess and richness.
  • Milk: Milk primarily helps the potatoes become smooth and creamy. If you prefer, you can swap in chicken broth.
  • Butter: Butter helps the potatoes become silkier, rather than starchy, and elevates the flavor.
  • Cheddar cheese blend: We use cheddar here because its sharper flavor balances the dish. For optimal flavor and texture grate it fresh, but pre-shredded works, too!
  • Bacon: Salty and crunchy, bacon is a fork-licking accompaniment to the creamy potatoes. Crumbling the pieces ensures they’re well-distributed throughout the dish.
  • Green onions: Green onions (also known as scallions) cut through the creaminess of this dish with a fresh zing. They bring sharp, grassy notes to the potatoes but are not as strong as regular onions. They also add a pop of color.


Step 1: Boil the potatoes

Place potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and place the potatoes in a large bowl.

Editor’s tip:

Salt the water beforehand. Potatoes absorb the water, so seasoning it slightly will boost the flavor.

Step 2: Make the potatoes

Add the sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Beat the mixture on medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in 2 cups of cheese, bacon and onions.

Editor’s tip:

Add the sour cream and milk at room temperature or slightly warmed. Add in cold butter.

Step 3: Bake the potatoes

Transfer to a greased 3-quart baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes Variations

  • Caramelize the onions: Swap out green onions for caramelized onions. It’ll make it a little sweeter and more rich in taste.
  • Out on the ranch: Add some ranch seasoning alongside the bacon bits. The flavors play well together and the ranch will complement the green onion.
  • Thyme for garlic: Elevate the dish with fresh minced garlic and herbs, like parsley and thyme.

Can you make this loaded mashed potatoes recipe ahead of time?

Yes. You can prepare the potatoes a day in advance, refrigerate them and then bake them when you’re ready to eat. Follow the instructions above.

Can you freeze loaded mashed potatoes?

You definitely can. Freezing these loaded mashed potatoes is a helpful way to make the most of a bigger recipe and a good way to have a hearty side dish prepared for future meals. You can keep them in the freezer for up to three months in an airtight container and reheat them in the oven at 350°. Thawing them in the refrigerator the night before may help keep them from becoming runny or losing their fluffy consistency.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes Recipe Tips

What should I do if my loaded mashed potatoes are too thick/thin?

You can add more or less milk depending on how thick your potato mixture is.

Can I make this recipe with instant mashed potatoes?

If you’re short on time (or potatoes), you can make this with instant mashed potatoes. Just follow the instructions on the package, and prepare the rest per the recipe above.

Can I make this loaded mashed potato recipe dairy-free?

Yes! Other readers have successfully substituted dairy ingredients with dairy-free alternatives.

What are the best types of potatoes to use?

Potatoes high in starch, like Yukon Golds or russets, yield the fluffiest mashed potatoes and best absorb the dairy. Potatoes that are lower in starch can lead to gummier potatoes because they don’t break down as well when mashed.

Watch how to Make Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time 35 min
Cook Time 30 min
Yield 14 servings


  • 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese blend, divided
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 green onions, sliced


  1. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Beat on medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in 2 cups cheese, bacon and onions.
  2. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 307 calories, 16g fat (9g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 281mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 3g fiber), 11g protein.