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This Loaded Twice Baked Potato Casserole will be the star of your side dish show this holiday season! A base of creamy spuds is combined with all of the best things in life – grass-fed cheese, butter, sour cream, and crispy bacon for a dish you just might eat out of the pan with a spoon before you offer it to your guests!
Not to toot our own horns, but we consider ourselves potato EXPERTS around here. We smash ’em up, turn them into soup, fries, casseroles, and even pie! Truth be told, there’s just not a lot we haven’t done with potatoes, but I will say this loaded twice baked potato casserole tops the list.
When we were thinking about how to jazz up the traditional Thanksgiving mashed potatoes (hey, we love mashed potatoes as much as the next person, but Thanksgiving calls for something extra-special right?), one of our first thoughts was twice-baked potatoes. The problem? They’re a little high maintenance with having to essentially make potato skins, and they aren’t so crowd-friendly. The solution? Get rid of the potato skins and make a twice baked potato bake instead! Let’s dive into this family favorite side!
Why is it called twice baked potatoes?
Twice baked potatoes are (just as they sound) baked TWICE! Though mashed potatoes are made by first boiling potatoes and then mashing them, twice baked potatoes require no boiling at all, but two separate bakes instead. The first bake simply cooks and softens the potato, and the second bake is responsible for marrying the flavors of the potato and toppings and creating a crispy, delicious outer crust.
Just a few REALLY delicious ingredients are needed here, and you may even find several of these ingredients hanging out in your fridge right now! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Yukon Gold Potatoes – to start, you’ll need about 2 lbs of Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed clean and dried.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil really helps to build flavor during the first potato bake.
- Bacon – now for the FUN part! This twice baked potato casserole is loaded with bacon (6 slices, to be exact),…
- Butter – …4 tablespoons of butter (substitute ghee or other oil of choice for dairy-free),…
- Sour Cream – …a ⅓ cup of sour cream (use full-fat coconut milk for dairy-free),…
- Sea Salt + Pepper – …1 teaspoon salt, a ¼ teaspoon pepper, and…
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese – …1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (mild or sharp cheddar cheese work great here)…DROOL!
What type of potato is best for twice baked potatoes?
Russet potatoes are traditionally used for twice baked potatoes because they’re typically pretty large with thicker, sturdier skin than other potato varieties – important qualities for traditional twice baked potatoes since scooping out the potato flesh and then repacking it into the skin is required. Because we’re doing this fuss-free loaded potato casserole-style, though, we actually opted for Yukon gold potatoes – they’re incredibly creamy and make for a REALLY delicious twice baked potato casserole base!
How to Make Twice Baked Potato Casserole
This casserole is easy peasy! Here’s how you’ll bring it all together:
- Preheat the Oven to 375°F.
- Bake the Potatoes – rub potatoes with the olive oil to coat, place them on a rimmed baking sheet, and place them in the oven to bake for 1 hour (until they are easily pierced with a fork).
- Cook the Bacon – while the potatoes are baking (yay for multitasking!), cook your bacon on the stovetop, let cool on a plate lined with paper towels, and then crumble the bacon.
- Remove the Potatoes from the Oven + Let Cool – once the timer goes off, pull the potatoes from the oven and set them aside to cool. Once they’re cool to touch, remove the peels, and add the potato flesh to a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Add the Good Stuff – add the butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper to the potatoes, then whip them with an electric mixer or the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. Taste for seasoning and stir in additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Transfer to a Baking Dish, Top, and Bake – transfer the heavenly potato mixture to a large skillet or an 8×8 baking dish. Then, top with the cheese and bacon and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
- Serve + Enjoy!
Can I make potato casserole ahead of time?
You can! This casserole can be made up to two days in advance, actually, but we do recommend waiting for the second bake until the day-of. You’ll go ahead and assemble the casserole and top with the crumbled bacon (leave off the cheese for now!), and then, on the day-of, sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes!
- Use Greek Yogurt – feel free to swap plain Greek yogurt in for the sour cream. We recommend full-fat Greek yogurt, but any will work.
- Use a Different Type of Cheese – if you don’t love cheddar cheese, feel free to use any cheese that you do love!
- Add Sliced Green Onions – if green onions are your thing, top your casserole with them just before serving!
- Add Garlic – if garlic makes everything better in your world, feel free to stir fresh minced garlic OR garlic powder into your potatoes at the same time as you stir in the sour cream, butter, salt, and pepper.
- Top with Chipotle Brisket – if you’re enjoying this as a meal rather than a side dish, top it with this chipotle BBQ beef brisket, a drizzle of BBQ sauce, and sliced jalapenos!
How to Store
This twice baked potato casserole is best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you have a lot of leftover casserole, feel free to cover the top of your baking dish with aluminum foil for easier storing. Stored this way, these potatoes will last for up to 5 days.
We hope you love this decadent twice baked potato casserole recipe (I mean, who doesn’t love cheesy potatoes, right?!) – we know your holiday guests will!
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes scrubbed clean and dried
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 slices bacon
- 4 tablespoons butter substitute ghee or other oil of choice for dairy-free
- 1/3 cup sour cream use full-fat coconut milk for dairy-free
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese omit for dairy-free
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Coat the potatoes with the olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven to bake for 1 hour, until they are easily pierced with a fork.
- While the potatoes are baking, cook your bacon on the stovetop and crumble once cooled.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and set aside to cool. Once potatoes are cool to touch, remove the peels. Add the potatoes to a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Add the butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper to the potatoes, then whip them with an electric mixer or the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Transfer the potatoes to a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an 8x8 baking dish. Top with the cheese and bacon and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
- Feel free to add fresh herbs to this dish: chives, green onion, or thyme would all be delicious!
- For dairy-free: try adding 1/4 cup nutritional yeast to the potatoes if you want a cheesy flavor!