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Not So Traditional Loaded Mashed Potatoes
This year, up your Thanksgiving side dish game with Loaded Mashed Potatoes topped with melty cheese, plenty of herbs, crispy bacon, and snappy scallions. This is a wow-worthy vegetarian dish that will disappear quickly on your holiday table.
There are always your holiday menu staples like roast turkey, cornbread, and stuffing. But every year, I like to put my own spin on the classics to add some extra fun to the table and surprise my family's taste buds. This year, it's all about the mashed potatoes.
Instead of making smooth and creamy white potatoes that everyone douses in gravy, I'm turning mashed potatoes into a flavor-packed side dish loaded with savory and cheesy flavors. If you're looking for a fun way to impress guests and step things up a notch this year, you'll want to add these loaded mashed potatoes to your menu.
First, gather the ingredients for your not-so-traditional mashed potatoes. Here's what you need:
Potatoes. Use russet or Yukon gold potatoes for the best texture.
Sweet potato. This is a sneaky way to add a bit of sweetness and extra flavor to your mashed potatoes.
Bacon. Use crispy cooked bacon.
Butter. I recommend using unsalted butter so you can control the flavor.
Dried parsley. You could also use oregano, thyme, or basil if you prefer.
Cheddar cheese. I like mild cheddar, but sharp will also work.
Gouda. This is a delicious melty cheese that's unexpected at Thanksgiving.
Almond milk. Feel free to use any milk you like or heavy cream for extra hardiness.
Scallions for garnish.
Ingredient Substitutions and Swaps
Here are a few simple substitutions and swaps to make this potato recipe work for you:
Replace one of the regular potatoes with another sweet potato for a sweeter flavor.
Use another dried herb like thyme, rosemary, or oregano instead of parsley.
Use more or less cheddar or gouda to meet your desired flavor.
Replace the bacon with crispy chickpeas or another vegetarian-friendly topper.
Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Get a head start on your holiday cooking with this recipe. You can prepare the cooked potatoes and bacon ahead of time. Store the components in separate airtight containers in the fridge and assemble everything on the stove when you're ready to eat.
The Best Way to Cook Mashed Potatoes
You can either boil or roast your potatoes. If you already have the stove on, it's easy to toss them in and keep the stove clear for other dishes. To make them in the, bake your potatoes in the skin at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes. The potatoes are done when you can easily insert a knife without any resistance. Then peel and mash the potatoes as directed.
You could even skip the stove and oven and cook your mashed potatoes in a slow cooker! To do this, peel and cube your potatoes. Cover them with water (or broth for extra flavor) and slow-cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 7 hours. Then simply mash and follow the rest of the recipe as written.
What to Serve with Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Looking for holiday menu inspiration? I have plenty! Here's what I'll be serving alongside these loaded cheesy mashed potatoes:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add cubed potatoes. Cook for about 30 minutes or so, until potatoes are soft + tender. NOTE: See Notes for Slow Cooker + No-Boil options.
Once done, drain potatoes and mash in a large bowl using potato masher. NOTE: If you want a nicely whipped mashed potato, add cooked potatoes to the bowl of an electric mixer using a paddle attachment.
Once mashed, add the butter, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, parsley, cheeses, and milk, mixing until well combined and fully smooth.
Toss in half the chopped cooked bacon and green onions and stir to incorporate.
Serve mashed potatoes in a large serving bowl, top with remaining chopped cooked bacon and green onions.
Tips & Tricks
POTATOES: Instead of Yukon potatoes, you can also use baby red potatoes or russet potatoes.
MAKE AHEAD: All ingredients can be made (cooked potatoes, bacon, etc) and individually stored as meal prep and assembled + heated when ready to serve.
NO-BOIL MASHED POTATOES: To cook them alternatively without boiling---place potatoes on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) and lightly dress them with olive oil. Bake in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25-30 minutes, until tender and knife goes through each potato smoothly. Once done, remove from oven and continue recipe.
SLOW COOKER OPTION (MASHED POTATOES): Just place the peeled + cubed potatoes and water (or veggie broth/stock for flavor) into your slow cooker. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours, stirring every hour or so or until tender. Then using a hand masher, mash potatoes until smooth and then stir in butter and milk.