Make-Ahead Loaded Potato Casserole is a tasty, convenient, and versatile dish that is sure to be a hit with friends and family. Made with frozen hash brown potatoes, this dish is quick and easy to make. In addition, it is packed with all of the classic flavors of a loaded baked potato, including crispy bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, tangy sour cream, and green onion tops.
This casserole is perfect for busy days when you need a quick and easy side dish that everyone will enjoy. You can make it ahead of time and bake it when you’re ready to serve. It’s also great for potlucks, special occasions, and holidays.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- Amazingly Delicious: This casserole has all of the classic flavors of a loaded baked potato and is sure to satisfy your most discriminating taste buds.
- Quick and Easy to Make: With frozen hash brown potatoes as the base, this recipe is incredibly simple to make and requires only a few additional ingredients. Plus, it can be prepared ahead of time, making it a convenient option for busy weeknights or special occasions.
- Versatile: This casserole makes a great side dish for a variety of meals, from brunch to dinner. It’s also a crowd-pleaser and is perfect for potlucks, parties, and holiday gatherings.
- Budget-Friendly: Using frozen hash brown potatoes is a cost-effective way to make a large-batch casserole without breaking the bank. Plus, the leftovers are just as tasty.
- Customizable: This recipe can be easily adjusted to suit your preferences. For example, you can substitute ham for the bacon, add some chopped bell peppers for extra flavor, or add shredded chicken for a complete meal.
Ingredients for Loaded Potato Casserole
- Potatoes: What’s nice about this recipe is that it uses frozen hash brown potatoes as opposed to uncooked potatoes – quick and easy!
- Cheese: What’s a loaded potato without cheese? My cheese of choice in this recipe was extra-sharp cheddar cheese.
- Bacon: Also, you have to have bacon – cooked, drained, and crumbled.
- The Binders: To bind everything together, I used sour cream and unsalted butter.
- The Seasonings: Rounding out the ingredients were Kosher salt and black pepper.
Steps: Here’s How I Made This Loaded Potato Casserole
This quick and easy recipe only takes a few simple steps.
- For starters, I added the hash brown potatoes that had been thawed, shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, crumbled bacon, melted butter, salt, and pepper to a large bowl.
- Next, I stirred everything together.
- After that, I transferred the combined ingredients to a casserole dish that I had sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Finally, I sprinkled some additional shredded cheese and crumbled bacon on top of the loaded potato mixture.
- At this point, the casserole can be covered and refrigerated until it’s time to bake it. To bake it, I popped the casserole into a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes (35 minutes if the casserole had been refrigerated), or until the cheese was melted and bubbly.
Overall, this Make-Ahead Loaded Potato Casserole is a tasty, convenient, and versatile dish that’s well worth making and is sure to be a hit. Yum!
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
You can omit the bacon from this loaded potato casserole. If you want a substitute, try diced ham or cooked sausage.
You can freeze this loaded potato casserole. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and freeze for up to two months. When you’re ready to bake it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then bake it as directed.
You can assemble the casserole and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking. When you’re ready to bake it, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, and then bake it as directed.
While Cheddar cheese is a popular choice, you can use other types of cheese, such as Monterey Jack, Colby, or Swiss cheese.
Other Delicious Potato Side-Dishes
If you’re a fan of potatoes like I am, you should check out these easy potato recipes that make perfect side dishes:
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Easy Make-Ahead Loaded Potato Casserole
- 30 ounce package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
- 2 cups (8 ounces) extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 8 slices of bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled, divided
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons sliced green onion tops (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 2 ½ quart casserole dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Combine hash brown potatoes, 1 cup of cheese, 6 pieces of crumbled bacon, sour cream, melted butter, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Transfer the mixture to a 2 ½ quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Sprinkle on remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and remaining 2 pieces of crumbled bacon.
- Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Yield: 8 servings.