Bacon Cheddar Loaded Mashed Potatoes — If you like loaded baked potatoes, you’ll LOVE these mashed potatoes with bacon, cheddar cheese, butter, sour cream, and more! A family-favorite side dish that’s perfect for weeknight dinners or holiday celebrations. Irresistible, EASY comfort food!
Fully Loaded Mashed Potatoes Recipe
If there was ever a rich, decadent, and comforting side dish recipe that your whole family will devour, these loaded mashed potatoes with bacon, cheddar cheese, butter, sour cream, and heavy cream is the one!
Easy to make, and ready in less than a half hour, they’re a perfect recipe for entertaining because they’re no-hassle, no-fuss, and loaded with everything fabulous.
It’s hard to go wrong when there’s bacon and cheddar cheese involved!
Ingredients in Loaded Mashed Potatoes
For this comfort food side dish that will have everyone ooh’ing and ahh’ing, you’ll need just a few common fridge and pantry ingredients:
- Red potatoes
- Salted butter
- Heavy cream
- Sour cream
- Cooked bacon
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Chives or green onions, optional for garnishing
How to Make Loaded Mashed Potatoes
These cheesy bacon mashed potatoes are so fast and easy to make! I’ve given detailed step-by-step instructions in the recipe card below, but here’s a quick overview of how the mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon are made.
Step 1: Begin by boiling chopped potatoes in water for about 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat. Make sure not to overcook them!
Step 2: Drain the potatoes well and place them back in the stock pot. Mash them by hand with a potato masher until they’re mostly smooth with a few lumps.
Step 3: Add in all the remaining ingredients. All that glorious butter, cream, garlic, sour cream, bacon, cheese, salt, pepper, and stir to combine.
Step 4: Garnish with chives if you’d like and get ready to dig into your bowl of comfort.
What Are the Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes?
Normally, I make my mashed potatoes with Russet potatoes like in these scrumptious, rich, and buttery Slow Cooker Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes. Or, you can use a mixture of half Russet and half Yukon Gold potatoes like I do for The Best Classic Mashed Potatoes.
For a change of pace, for this mashed potato recipe I used baby red potatoes with the skins kept on.
Should You Peel Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes?
The benefit of red potatoes is that the skins are thinner and peeling them is unnecessary for me. However, if you want to of course you can peel them. I am always happy to get away with less work!
If instead you plan to use a Russet or Russet and Yukon Gold combo for your loaded mashed potatoes, then peel them because those skins are tougher and more fibrous.
How to Mash Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
When mashing the potatoes, I strongly recommend a good old-fashioned potato masher for the best mashed potato consistency and texture. For those who prefer smoother mashed potatoes with less texture, then this smooth potato masher is your ticket.
To make them even smoother, then look for a potato ricer. It’s more work because you have to run the potatoes through it, batch by batch, and I don’t really love the consistency of mashed potatoes pureed down to baby food consistency, but some people do.
I do not use a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer to mash the potatoes. It will overmix them rapidly and you’ll be left with gummy potatoes.
Can You Lighten Up Loaded Mashed Potatoes?
You can try using reduced or lower fat versions of the sour cream and cheddar cheese.
You can try using fat-free half-and-half in place of the heavy cream. As well as using a lighter buttery substitute in place of the real butter. The loaded mashed potatoes will still probably taste, fine, just not next-level.
For next-level, so good that everyone will be licking their plates clean mashed potatoes, make the recipe exactly as written.
After all, these are a rich and comforting side dish that you’re probably not making often so you may as well enjoy them to the max when you do.
As a bonus, this loaded mashed potato recipe is naturally gluten-free.
Can Loaded Mashed Potatoes Be Made in Advance?
Yes, these loaded bacon cheddar mashed potatoes can be made in advance. I suggest up to 48 hours in advance, but do what you think is best.
You’ll want to add some additional cream or some milk to them to help loosen them up when reheating.
See my tips below for baking them in a casserole dish if you plan on making this tasty side dish in advance.
Make-Ahead Casserole-Style Mashed Potatoes
Rather than making the recipe exactly as written, you can also make the loaded mashed potatoes in a casserole dish, with cheese sprinkled on top.
This route is especially helpful if you want to prep the potatoes in advance.
- Make the recipe as indicated, minus the cheese incorporated.
- Place the potatoes in a casserole dish, sprinkle the cheese over the top, cover tightly with foil, and you can refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking them off.
- Bake in a 350F oven until the cheese melts or becomes as lightly golden browned as desired. Anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes is my suggestion, but keep an eye on your cheese if you opt for this route.
Tip: Make sure to set the potatoes out at room temp for a half hour or so to make sure that they will warm through completely in the oven.
All you’re really doing with the oven is melting the cheese, which will happen quite quickly. Melted cheese on top but with cold potatoes underneath wouldn’t be a good look!
Can You Make Mashed Potatoes in a Slow Cooker?
Yes, these fully loaded mashed potatoes can be made in a slow cooker.
Follow the general gist of the recipe in these Slow Cooker Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes. Then, add the bacon and cheddar cheese at the end, after you’ve mashed the potatoes.
For me, it’s always easier to make a recipe on the stovetop like this recipe, but I know some people love their slow cookers and if you’re one of them, go for it.
How to Store Mashed Potatoes
These buttery, creamy bacon and cheese mashed potatoes will keep airtight in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for up to 4 months.
How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes
For mashed potatoes that have just been in the fridge, I recommend reheating them gently in a kettle on the stove over low heat until warm or reheat them carefully in the microwave.
Again, likely you will want to add a splash of milk or cream since they’ve probably thickened up and reheating will only cause them to become even thicker.
Tips for the Best Cheesy Bacon Mashed Potatoes
- A half pound of bacon is about 6 slices.
- I used regular bacon although thick cut bacon can be used. Use whatever type of bacon you love since it does play a starring role in the loaded bacon cheddar mashed potatoes.
- You can always add more bacon and more cheese to the recipe. Either incorporate them within the mashed potatoes, or garish with extra cheddar cheese and bacon. No one will complain!
Pin This Recipe
- 3 pounds red or baby red potatoes, sliced into 1.5-inch chunks (I do not peel them)
- ½ cup salted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ pound bacon, cooked and diced small
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced chives or green onions, plus more for garnishing
- To a large stockpot, add the potatoes, cover with 1-inch water above them, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender and done; don't overcook.
- Drain potatoes well and then return them back to the stockpot.
- Using a potato masher, mash them by hand until they’re mostly smooth with a few lumps.
- Add all remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Taste and if desired, add additional salt and pepper.
- Optionally garnish with chives or green onions and serve. Potatoes will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 4 months. Reheat gently and you will likely need to add additional cream or milk when reheating if the potatoes have thickened up. *See Notes for Make Ahead and Casserole Style Directions.
Make ahead option:
You can make the recipe exactly as written, up to 48 hours in advance. Store airtight in the fridge. Add additional cream or milk when reheating them, as necessary.
Addtionally, rather than making the recipe exactly as written, you can make the loaded mashed potatoes in a casserole dish, with cheese sprinkled on top.
Bake in a 350F oven until the cheese melts or becomes as lightly golden browned as desired. Anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes is my suggestion, but keep an eye on your cheese if you opt for this route.
This route is especially helpful if you want to prep the potatoes in advance. Make the recipe as indicated, minus the cheese incorporated. Place the mashed potatoes in a casserole dish, sprinkle the cheese over the top, cover tightly with foil, and you can refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking them off.
Make sure to set the potatoes out at room temp for a half hour or so to make sure that they will warm through completely in the oven since all you’re really doing with the oven is melting the cheese which will happen quite quickly. Melted cheese on top but with cold potatoes underneath wouldn’t be good!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 554Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 959mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 18g
Favorite Easy Potato Side Dishes:
Slow Cooker Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes – Creamy and decadent from the herbed browned butter, these EASY mashed potatoes are a family favorite side dish! Made in the slow cooker to free up stove and oven space. No one will be able to resist these comforting buttery mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or your next family gathering!
BEST Mashed Potatoes Recipe — Buttery, creamy, PERFECT mashed potatoes that rival your favorite restaurant’s version but EASY and ready in 45 minutes!! The quintessential holiday side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a great family-friendly weeknight comfort food side dish!!
Parmesan and Herb Roasted Potatoes — These herb roasted potatoes are sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and are made with seasonings you already have on hand. So easy to prep, and crazy delicious!
Crispy Parmesan Ranch Roasted Potatoes – The BEST roasted potatoes you’ll ever eat!! Tender potatoes seasoned with ranch mix and topped with a CRISPY Parmesan breadcrumb topping! So DELICIOUS you don’t even need a main course!!
Classic Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole – An EASY recipe for the BEST classic marshmallow sweet potato casserole with pecans! Tender and creamy sweet potatoes, the subtle crunch of a buttery pecan crumble, and gooey marshmallows make this comfort food side dish an automatic family FAVORITE! It’ll be on repeat for your Thanksgiving, Christmas, and holiday celebrations every year!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping — This is the BEST sweet potato casserole ever!! The sweet potatoes are tender and creamy, while the streusel topping adds a delightful buttery crunch thanks to the pecans!
Candied Bacon Sweet Potato Casserole – If you thought sweet potato casserole couldn’t get any better, wait until you taste it topped with candied bacon and pecans! The sweet potatoes are smooth and creamy and the candied bacon topping is the perfect texture and flavor contrast! A WONDERFUL family-favorite side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties and events that’s easy to prepare with make-ahead directions!
Sweet and Savory Sweet Potato Casserole — A fun and EASY twist on classic sweet potato casserole that uses potato chips in the topping for a SALTY-SWEET flavor the whole family will love!! Great for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations!!
Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole — A HEALTHIER and DELICIOUS twist on sweet potato casserole!! The potatoes and apples retain some texture with the perfect amount of crumble topping! Put it on your holiday menu!!
Twice Baked Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes – Sweet, creamy, decadent, and reminiscent of sweet potato casserole but individually portioned! FAST and EASY enough for family dinners or make them for more formal holiday celebrations! Either way, these are always the PERFECT comfort food side dish that everyone devours!
Sweet Potato Bites with Marshmallows and Pecans – Slices of sweet potatoes are brushed with a maple cinnamon-and-sugar mixture, baked, and then topped with marshmallows and pecans! Sweet, decadent, FAST and EASY! Great for busy weeknights especially when the weather is chilly. Or put these perfect little bites on your Thanksgiving and holiday menus!
Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey-Cinnamon Dip – The honey glaze and the creamy cinnamon dip make these potatoes irresistible!!
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad — Goodbye mayo-loaded, mushy, boring potato salad. Hello to a Mexican-inspired potato salad full of flavor and texture with corn, black beans, peppers, and cilantro!