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Twice Baked Potato Casserole

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Twice Baked Potato Casserole is the ultimate comfort food, combining the creamy, cheesy goodness of twice-baked potatoes with the ease of a casserole. This dish is perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or holiday gatherings. Let’s dive into the recipe step-by-step.

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Ingredients

  • 6 medium to large potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup whole or 2% milk
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  • 4 green onions, chopped

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Bake Potatoes:
    • Wash the potatoes and pierce them several times with a fork. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Cool and Scoop:
    • Allow the potatoes to cool slightly. Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl, leaving a small border in the skins if you plan to use them for another dish. Discard the skins or save them for another use.

Step 2: Prepare the Potato Mixture

  1. Mash Potatoes:
    • Mash the scooped-out potato flesh with a potato masher or an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add Ingredients:
    • Add the unsalted butter, sour cream, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to the mashed potatoes. Mix until well combined and creamy.
  3. Stir in Cheese:
    • Stir in ¾ cup of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese, ¾ cup of the shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and half of the crumbled bacon.

Step 3: Assemble the Casserole

  1. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Transfer the potato mixture to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  2. Top with Cheese and Bacon:
    • Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of sharp cheddar cheese, ¼ cup of Monterey Jack cheese, and the remaining crumbled bacon over the top of the potato mixture.

Step 4: Bake the Casserole

  1. Bake:
    • Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Garnish:
    • Sprinkle the chopped green onions over the top of the casserole.
  2. Serve Hot:
    • Serve the Twice Baked Potato Casserole hot, straight from the oven. Enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness!

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Potato Types: Russet potatoes are great for a fluffier texture, while Yukon Golds provide a creamier texture.
  • Cheese Variations: Feel free to use other cheeses like Gruyere, Fontina, or even a smoked cheese for a different flavor profile.
  • Bacon Tips: For extra crispy bacon, bake it in the oven on a wire rack over a baking sheet at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes.

Variations

Loaded Twice Baked Potato Casserole

  • Add More Toppings:
    • Add cooked, crumbled sausage, sautéed mushrooms, or steamed broccoli to the potato mixture for a loaded version.

Vegetarian Twice Baked Potato Casserole

  • Omit Bacon:
    • Simply omit the bacon and add extra vegetables like bell peppers, spinach, or zucchini.

Spicy Twice Baked Potato Casserole

  • Add Heat:
    • Add chopped jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the potato mixture for a spicy kick.

Serving Suggestions

With Protein

  • Grilled Chicken:
    • Serve alongside grilled chicken breasts for a complete meal.
  • Steak:
    • Pair with a juicy steak for a hearty dinner.

With Vegetables

  • Green Beans:
    • Serve with steamed or roasted green beans.
  • Salad:
    • Pair with a fresh garden salad to balance the richness.

With Bread

  • Garlic Bread:
    • Serve with garlic bread or dinner rolls to soak up any extra cheesy goodness.

FAQs

Q: Can I make this casserole ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the casserole up to the point of baking, cover it, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.

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Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.

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Q: Can I freeze this casserole? A: Yes, you can freeze the assembled casserole before baking. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.

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Q: Can I use low-fat ingredients? A: Yes, you can use low-fat sour cream and milk, but the casserole may be slightly less creamy.

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Q: What if I don’t have green onions? A: You can substitute with chives or finely chopped red onions for a similar flavor.

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Twice Baked Potato Casserole is a creamy, cheesy, and comforting dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a family dinner, attending a potluck, or celebrating a holiday, this casserole is sure to be a hit. Enjoy making and sharing this delicious recipe with your loved ones!

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