Twice Baked Potato Casserole takes the lowly baked potato to new heights with bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream and butter to create an amazing side dish that is creamy and cheesy. It’s perfect for the holidays and family get-togethers when you want a spectacular dish. Twice baked potato casserole can be made ahead of time and leftovers, if any can be reheated in the microwave.
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Table of Contents
I used the following ingredients for this amazing dish: Russet potatoes, cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, sour cream, butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper. I also added some sliced green onion tops to the finished dish as a garnish for both color and flavor.
Two Different Ways to Bake Potatoes
The baked potatoes are the star of the show. There are two basic ways to bake a potato – in the oven or in the microwave.
Baking the potatoes in the oven can between an hour and an hour and a half. When potatoes are baked in the oven, the skins somewhat dry out and maintain their structure. This makes it easy to cut and scoop out the potato with a spoon.
Baking the potatoes in the microwave is significantly faster. When potatoes are cooked in the microwave, the skins still have some structure, but are quite easy peel with one’s hands.
I could have used either way but decided to use the oven. The real differences between the two methods are the time it takes and the texture of the potato skins.
Preparing the Potatoes
I started by scrubbing the potatoes. Then, I used a fork to pierce the potatoes all over. The reason for piercing the potatoes was to allow steam to escape.
I made a mistake one time and skipped the piercing. To my horror, the potato exploded! Never again.
The next thing that I did was to bake the potatoes at 400°F for an hour and a half. If the potatoes had been smaller, it would have taken less time.
Once the potatoes were done, I removed them from the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes.
Then, I cut the potatoes in half. Using a spoon, I scooped the pulp into a large bowl.
Putting the Twice Baked Potato Casserole Together
Once I had removed the pulp from the potatoes, I added the shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, sour cream, melted butter, salt and pepper.
At this point, I went back and forth as to whether I should use a potato masher or my electric mixer. I wanted to combine all of the ingredients but didn’t necessarily want a lump-free mixture.
Sometimes, I use the electric mixer which works fine,
This time, I used the potato masher which also worked fine. It’s ultimately a matter of preference.
Once all of the ingredients were mixed together, I dumped the mixture into a 2 ½-quart baking dish that I had sprayed with non-stick spray. I used the back of a spoon to smooth out the mixture.
Then, I sprinkled the top with some additional shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.
I popped the casserole into a preheated 375°F oven for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the cheese was melted and the casserole was nice and bubbly.
I removed the casserole from the oven and sprinkled on some chopped green onion tops as a garnish before serving it.
To say that the Twice Baked Potato Casserole was amazing was an understatement. In every bite, the ingredients perfectly complimented one another.
Since it’s just the two of us, I refrigerated the leftovers and re-heated them in the microwave for the next evening’s dinner. The leftovers were equally delicious. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
Baking the potatoes in either the microwave or the oven will yield consistent results.
My personal preference is to remove the potato skins. However, the dish can definitely be made with the potato skins on. In this case, bake the potatoes in the oven. Then just cut up the baked potatoes and mash with the other ingredients.
Sometimes, I’ll use the potato masher and other times I’ll use the electric mixer. I haven’t detected any difference between the two methods.
It’s best to use Russet potatoes in this dish because of their starch content. C
The taste of the dish should be the same regardless of the fat level of the sour cream that is used.
You can use whatever Cheddar cheese you have on hand.
One of the beauties of this dish is that it can be made ahead of time and baked right before you’re ready to serve it. Also, it reheats beautifully.
Since the potato skins will be discarded, it is not necessary to coat them with oil prior to baking.
Looking for additional potato dishes? Try these:
- Grated Potato Galettes à la Julia Child
- Pommes Anna
- Easy Cheesy Potato and Onion Au Gratin
- Irish Stacked Potato Bites
- My Mother’s Southern Style Scalloped Potatoes
- Fried Loaded Potato Balls
- Make Ahead Duchess Potatoes
- Irish Pan Haggerty
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Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- 3 to 4 large russet potatoes (2 ½ to 3 pounds total)
- 8 slices cooked, drained and crumbled bacon, divided
- 6 Tablespoons (3-ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup (4-ounces) sour cream (See Tip 1)
- 1 ¼ cups (5-ounces) shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese, divided (See Tip 2)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons chopped green onion tops for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 2 ½ quart casserole dish with non-stick spray. Set aside
- Scrub potatoes; pierce with fork. (See Tip 3)
- Bake potatoes in 400°F oven for, 1 hour to 1 ½ hours depending on size. (See Tip 4)
- Cook bacon until crispy. Drain and crumble. Set aside.
- Let baked potatoes cool for about 15 minutes. Scoop pulp from skins; place in large bowl. (See Tip 5)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Set aside ½ cup of cheese and 2 tablespoons of crumbled bacon.
- Add ¾ cup of the cheese, remaining bacon, sour cream, melted butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Mix with potato masher or electric mixer on medium until combined.
- Transfer to prepared 2 ½ quart casserole dish. Top with reserved ½ cup of cheese and 2 Tablespoons of crumbled bacon. May be prepared in advance up to this point.
- Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. (See Tip 6)
- If desired, garnish with chopped green onion tops.
- Yield: 6 servings. (See Tip 7)
Chula’s Expert Tips
- I used light sour cream.
- You could also use mild or sharp Cheddar cheese instead of extra sharp Cheddar cheese.
- The reason that you want to pierce the potatoes with a fork is to allow the steam to escape. Otherwise, the potatoes could explode during cooking. I can personally attest to the exploding potato and resultant mess!
- You could also microwave the potatoes rather than baking them in the oven.
- If you prefer, you can actually leave the skins on the potatoes. In this case, cut up the potatoes and mash with the other ingredients.
- If prepared in advance and refrigerated prior to baking, allow an extra 5 minutes or so in the oven.
- Leftovers can be reheated for several minutes in the microwave, or in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.