Cheesy mashed potato casserole with an easy bread crumb topping is a great family casserole that is also perfect as a holiday side dish. Made with Russet potatoes, light and fluffy potato that is super commonly used in home kitchens provides an excellent base for a seriously loaded potato casserole. This perfect side dish goes well with turkey, chicken, and pork.
Cheesy mashed potato casserole is a great substitute for mashed potatoes (the plain stovetop kind) and is one of the more accepted potato recipes for kids.
Why mashed potato casserole just works!
Everyone loves potatoes: Who doesn’t love melty potatoes! There is a reason the comforting, filling, and savory warm potato is one of the best side dish choices ever. Homemade potatoes with fresh bagged potatoes may take a little bit longer in prep, but really have no comparison over the flaky boxed ones most people keep in the pantry.
Make-ahead recipe: With loaded mashed potato casserole being able to be made and prepped ahead, it is also a perfect holiday side dish choice. It’s basically prepping potatoes, seasoning, combining melted butter, and baking with lots of cheese and panko bread topping. Prep, season, and bake making this make-ahead recipe a perfect holiday choice.
Leftover potatoes work too: While this recipe starts with fresh potatoes, it’s fine to use leftover mashed potatoes and start with adding the ingredients!
This delicious cheesy potato casserole version is one of the best-mashed potato recipes. Even mashed potato purists will agree that adding garlic, Dijon, and cheddar cheese will turn regular potatoes into outstanding garlic mashed potato casserole in no time at all. These perfect potatoes will make a potato lover out of you!
Here are the ingredients this recipe needs, then scroll through to read the recipe, with final measurements at the bottom in an easy-to-use printable recipe post.
- 3 lbs. russet potatoes – cut into 1″ chunks (no potato peels)
- sour cream
- Dijon mustard
- minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- cheddar cheese
- Italian bread crumbs
- butter, melted
What to serve with potatoes: Air Fryer Chicken Tenders, Parmesan Chicken, Ritz Cracker Chicken, Alice Springs Chicken
Most use cheddar cheese and I will agree that cheddar cheese is a complementary cheese to almost any recipe situation.
That being said, Colby Jack, mixed cheeses, Mexican cheeses, and even cheese like Gruyere is all really delicious and creamy.
How to make Mashed Potato Casserole
- Peel potato skins and cut into 1 inch chunks (this helps potatoes boil faster).
- Add potatoes to a large stockpot and cover with water, at least 1″ above the potatoes. Heat on medium high and boil potatoes until tender, easily sticking a fork into them. This typically takes about 15 minutes.
- Carefully drain excess water and return soft, warm potatoes to pan.
- Directly on the potatoes, add milk, sour cream, 4 tablespoons butter, Dijon mustard and minced garlic.
- Mix all ingredients together well and season with salt and pepper.
- Grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spoon potato mixture into casserole dish and spread evenly.
- To the top of the casserole, add shredded cheese evenly over the potatoes.
- In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Mix well.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of cheese in dish.
- Bake potato casserole for 20-25 minutes or until center is hot.
- Remove casserole from oven and serve while cheese is melty.
How to tell if Potatoes are bad
Its very typical to purchase a bag of raw potatoes for a meal and then forget about them. I try to leave them on the counter so I can insert into fresh homemade potato side dish recipes for a few weeks but somehow they often end up on the bottom of the pantry and then you know what happens….they sprout and that is the end of it.
Depending on the type of potatoes in question, they can last as little as 2 weeks to as much as 3 months. A lot depends on the storage, moisture, darkness – it all matters to the potato.
So how do to you tell if potatoes are bad before putting them in a casserole?
- Potatoes should be firm and not soft.
- Potatoes should not look dehydrated or wrinkly.
- Sprouts: This is somewhat controversial. There are some places that say eating potatoes with sprouts are ok and some that disagree. Personally, potatoes with sprouts in my home usually come from a forgotten bag, so I throw out.
- Potatoes should not have green marks.
- To help prevent potatoes from going bad quickly, store in a dry (and dark) area for about 2 weeks.
Personally, I love cheesy mashed potatoes as is but there is something about a crispy topping that just takes this regular mashed potato recipe to a hold new (and totally unique) level.
Keeping it simple, panko crumbs are my very favorite choice, but I have been known to substitute Ritz Crackers, Italian Bread Crumbs, and even Lay’s potato chips (like my mom did on tuna casseroles) as I was growing up.
Of course, this is only one way to make Mashed Potato and Cheddar Cheese casserole.
As you get to know the base recipe, it may be time to experiment with flavors and your side dish choices by adding garlic, bits of onion, chives, bacon pieces and even changing up the type of potatoes themselves.
I have shared this recipe with so many people and had family and friends taste it and everyone has an opinion on ways to make it even more perfect for the holidays.
Absolutely! You can prep and assemble this casserole all the way up to the panko crumbs, then wait till adding those toppings till baking. This makes sure that the breading doesn’t soften in the fridge. As far as timing, the fridge makes casseroles extra cold, therefore either bringing the chill off by sitting at room temp for about 15 minutes prior to baking is helpful, or adding additional time as needed.
If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Please note that panko crumb topping may soften in the fridge.
There is no doubt that potatoes make the best and most traditional holiday side dish. There are so many ways to make potatoes that I had to share a few more recipes!
Try out super-viral Fouchy potatoes, a family recipe that belongs to the world now!
While the name Funeral Potatoes isn’t that flattering, this side dish with potato chip topping is SO good.
Russets are the most popular potato, but using baby potatoes provides different flavors and textures. Try out smashed red potatoes, creamer potatoes, or crispy parmesan potatoes for a new potato side each night.
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