Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes are a cheesy, delicious side dish — full of goodness in every bite.
Mashed potatoes are one of my top favorite foods. Big surprise, right? I mean, I know I’m not the only one. They are a total comfort food for me. I’m also not picky on how I have them. A touch of butter and some salt and pepper is very nice. Adding some roasted garlic and cheese is extra nice.
As a teen, one of my favorite lunches was some instant mashed potatoes. If we had cheese slices, I would cook up the potatoes and press a slice of cheese on top and let is sit for a few minutes so it would semi-melt. Then I would mix it all into the potatoes. Of course, this worked well too if there was some leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge, but that was less common.
These Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes are my way yummier version of my teenage lunch. This isn’t health food…if you want that, you’ll want to move along. Loaded means loaded with delicious goodness like butter, cream cheese, and sour cream. We don’t have this side dish very often, but when we do it’s a special occasion. Everyone goes crazy for it.
While I love the cheese and all, I think the star of this mashed potato side dish is the roasted garlic. I’m so crazy about roasted garlic and even my former garlic-hating husband loves it.
The potatoes, garlic, cheese, sour cream, butter, and cream cheese are all mashed up together, placed in a baking dish, and topped with more Cheddar cheese.
If you are feeling crazy, you can also top with some bacon and sliced green onions like I do. It’s baked in the oven until perfection.
When it’s done, you get enjoy a spoonful of comfort. Sounds pretty awesome, huh?
- 5 lbs russet potatoes, skin peeled & cut into chunks
- 2 heads of garlic
- Olive oil
- ½ cup (1 stick) I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®, cut into pieces
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- ½ cup milk, more or less
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Optional toppings: real bacon pieces and sliced green onions
- Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender. Drain well and return potatoes to pot.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut off the top quarter of the garlic head and set garlic head, cut side up, on top of a piece of foil that is large enough to wrap around the entire garlic head.
- Drizzle the top (cut area) with olive oil. Wrap foil around the garlic head. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until garlic cloves are very tender and soft. Carefully unwrap garlic head. Squeeze out roasted garlic or use a small knife tip or fork to "pop" out the cloves. Set aside roasted garlic and discard skins.
- With potato masher, mash potatoes well. Then mash in I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®, cream cheese, sour cream, roasted garlic, and 2 cups of Cheddar cheese until all ingredients are combined with the potatoes. If needed, mix in some milk to ensure that mixture is smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spray a baking dish (approx 13x9") with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spoon loaded mashed potatoes into baking dish. Top with remaining Cheddar cheese. If desired, top with sliced green onions and bacon. Cover with foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until until cheese is melted and top begins to brown.