Mashed Potato Casserole

Super creamy, so cheesy, this Mashed Potato Casserole is a delicious, comforting make ahead side dish! Not only can you make this casserole in advance, but it feeds a crowd making it perfect for the holidays.

potato casserole with cheese and bacon on top

Make Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole

Planning a big meal around the holidays is always a chore. Not that it’s a chore that we dread, I love planning holiday meals or meals for a big party. When I do pick recipes to make, I pick some that are more labor intensive and some that aren’t.

This Mashed Potato Casserole is one that’s not. So easy to make, so creamy and fluffy, and can be sitting in your refrigerator waiting for you. This is how you do mashed potatoes for a crowd you guys, this casserole will serve at least 8 people, if not more.

How Do You Make Mashed Potatoes In Advance?

You make them in a casserole form, like this mashed potato casserole! Start by making 5 pounds of mashed potatoes, we’re using russet potatoes but Yukon gold are popular for mashed potatoes as well.

Yukon gold are going to make creamier mashed potatoes, where russet or Idaho potatoes are going to make fluffier mashed potatoes. A combination of both also works wonderfully!

Pick your mashing method, either use a potato masher or grab a potato ricer like we use for our Perfectly Smooth Mashed Potatoes. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, shredded cheddar cheese, butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, milk and heavy cream to the potatoes and then whip until smooth.

Make sure you taste the potatoes for seasoning, then pour them into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Spread the potatoes into a smooth layer and then top the mashed potato casserole with crispy bacon and cheddar cheese.

Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes until the center of the potatoes are warm and the cheese on top is melted.

Spoon in mashed potato casserole topped with cheese and bacon

What Other Ways Can I Top This Mashed Potato Casserole?

If bacon and cheese aren’t your thing, then I guess we can’t be friends. But really, all kidding aside you don’t have to top this casserole with bacon or cheese if you don’t want to. If you want these potatoes to be a vegetarian option, for instance, they definitely can be.

You can simply bake the casserole as is, without any toppings. Maybe a pat or two of butter on top is all you need. Or you can try adding grated parmesan cheese, chopped chives or parsley, or different types of cheese like gruyere or Monterey jack.

spoonful of mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon

What Main Courses Go Well With Mashed Potatoes?

If we’re talking holiday dinners, we’ve got lots of main course ideas for you, traditional and some not traditional. Or if you’re looking for regular, every day main course dinners, we’ve got ideas here for you too.

In my opinion, pretty much everything goes with potatoes, but I guess a baked ziti might not be a great option, carb on top of carb and all. Here are some of our main course dinner favorites!

Holiday Main Courses

Everyday Main Courses

spoonful of mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon

Mashed Potato Casserole

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

This cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole is perfect for the holidays! A delicious, comforting, make ahead side dish that feeds a crowd!



  • 5 pounds Russet, Idaho or Yukon Gold potatoes (or a combination)
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup cooked, chopped bacon


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and peel the potatoes, then cut them into large cubes, roughly the same size. Place the potatoes into a large pot and then fill the pot with just enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add kosher salt to season the water and then turn the heat down the a simmer. Simmer for 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the same pot.
  3. Add the butter to the potatoes and then mash the potatoes with a potato masher until you have the consistency that you like. Alternately, you can pass them through a potato ricer for completely smooth mashed potatoes.
  4. Now add the milk, cream, cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, salt, pepper and 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the potatoes. Stir to combine and then pour into a buttered 9″ x 13″ baking dish, smoothing out into an even layer.
  5. Top the casserole with bacon and the remaining cup of shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes until the potatoes are warm in the center and the cheese is melted.

Recipe Notes

To Make In Advance: Make the mashed potato casserole following the directions up until the point of baking. Cover the baking dish with foil and store in the refrigerator. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking to take the chill off.

Store: Store leftover potatoes in a container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Reheat: Reheat leftover mashed potatoes in the microwave with a splash of milk, cream or chicken broth to loosen the potatoes again.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top / Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: mantitlement, mashed potato casserole, potato side dishes, make ahead mashed potatoes, casserole recipes, thanksgiving sides, holiday sides

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