Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cheesy Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

A cheesy potato casserole, made with potatoes that are baked twice, and including all my favorite loaded baked potato ingredients - bacon, butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onion - all in a simple casserole form.

Cheesy Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

Y'all pretty much know by now how I feel about potatoes. Being married to a meat and potatoes man, they are certainly a pantry staple in this house, making a regular appearance on the supper plate in some form. Truth is, being a lover of carbs, I love them too, and pretty much any way you can make them - including casseroles like this, that center around potatoes.

Recipes very similar to this casserole can be found everywhere, but mostly they come in a mashed potato form. When I set out to make my version though, I had some specifics in mind that I wanted it to have.

  • I was trying to recreate something akin to the taste of the cheesy potato casserole I had before at a local Stonewall's BBQ restaurant that is now gone.
  • Their casserole had more texture to it than just a mash, and I wanted mine to be similar to that.
  • Although their version was likely made with smoked potatoes, I also wanted my home version to have the unique flavor that only comes from a potato being twice-baked.
  • And last, I wanted it to have the flavor elements of my favorite version of a loaded baked potato - butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon and green onion - all the goodies we love to indulge in every once in awhile.
It took me a few times to get it right where I wanted it, but in the end, it was sure worth the extra cooking remakes and calories.
Just inserting a quick reminder here.... that this is a blog, not just a "recipe site," and yes, there is a difference! I want to first thank all of you who have supported my work over the years, but if you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, photos, tips and such in a post, as always, you'll find the complete recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down to the bottom of the post!
To make it even easier, plan this recipe to follow that steak and baked potato supper, baking extra potatoes just for this casserole. You could also simply bake some potatoes ahead and let them chill in the fridge until you need them.

This casserole is ideal as a side dish for any potluck, church supper, or even for your upcoming Labor Day cookout, though you'll probably want to double it, since I've written it here for more of a supper size serving of 4 to 6. Here's how to make it.

I used some medium sized, scrubbed, but unpeeled, red skinned potatoes. Drizzle them with a little oil, sprinkle with some salt and bake at 400 degrees F until tender, about 45 minutes or so. Let them cool, cut in half lengthwise, and slice.

While the potatoes are baking, cook 4 slices of bacon to crisp and once cooled, chop it up, setting aside about half to use as a garnish. When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter an 8 x 8 inch casserole. Add 1 cup of Cheddar cheese to the potatoes, plus half of the bacon and 2 green onions, sliced, but saving a big pinch of the green onion for garnish. Toss everything together.

For the sauce, whisk together 1 small can of evaporated milk, a cup of sour cream and 1/2 stick of butter that has been melted and cooled. Add parsley, garlic salt and pepper and whisk that in.

Pour mixture over the potatoes and gently toss to coat.

Use a potato masher to break down some of the slices to desired texture. Some people completely mash the potatoes, but I left them mostly whole slices.

Turn out into the prepared baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until heated through.

Remove, top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese, return to the oven, uncovered, until cheese is melted about 5 minutes.

Garnish top with remaining bacon and green onion.

Dig in!

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Posted by on August 22, 2012
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