Typically, casseroles aren’t really my thing.
While I appreciate the convenience of a one pot dish, I find that casseroles often tend to have indistinct flavors and an unappealing consistency. That’s not to say I’ve never found a casserole I enjoy; I have. But they aren’t a dish I really choose to make for my family.
With that being said, there are certain flavors and textures that beg to be squished and crammed together in a pan and baked until they’re all hot and steamy and beautiful. The flavors of a loaded baked potato certainly fit that bill.
Sure, this recipe is more difficult than regular baked potatoes. Barely. Besides, bring a dish of these potatoes to your next work or family gathering? You’re a hero. Haul in a bag of lukewarm baked potatoes and an assortment of room temperature dairy toppings? Not so much.
So, if you don’t want your family and coworkers to hate you and/or you don’t want to give anyone food poisoning, you’re going to want to go ahead and make this.
(sidebar: can we just take a moment to acknowledge the difficulty level of photographing potatoes? It’s high.)
Twice Baked Potato Casserole
adapted slightly from here
6 large baking potatoes- about 4-5 pounds
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
16 oz. sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
6 slices bacon (1/4 to 1/2 cup- really, can you have too much bacon?), cooked and diced
Wash, prick, and bake your potatoes for one hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees. (If you’re looking for a summer BBQ recipe and don’t want to heat up your kitchen for that long, you can bake the potatoes in a crockpot.) Let them cool thoroughly or use a folded kitchen towel to hold the potato. Cut your potatoes lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop the insides into a bowl. Be sure to scrape out as much potato as you can.
When potato skins are scooped out, combine potato insides, cream cheese, butter, sour cream, half of cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and bacon. I usually use my KitchenAid, but you could use a hand mixer or just a spoon.
Transfer potato mixture to a greased 9 x 13 dish. At this point, you can bake it and serve it, or you can refrigerate it to bake later. When you’re ready, bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese and bake for 5-8 minutes more, or until cheese is melted.
I want to know: what’s your go-to potluck dish?