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On the Side- Loaded Mashed Potatoes

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We celebrated Steven’s birthday a few weeks ago by heading to our favorite local restaurant at lunch time. Lunch dates are our favorites- no extra babysitter needed, you can still be home to your jammies early, and you don’t have to go to bed feeling like you ate too much. It’s a win-win-win 🙂

We like the lunch menu at this restaurant, but ended up ordering off the full menu since it was a special occasion. Goat cheese jalapeno poppers to start, and then filet medallions with garlic mashed potatoes for me, and a ribeye with a loaded baked potato for Steven. After our server left to put in our order, he returned shortly to say that they couldn’t do a loaded baked potato until 4 PM, but asked if he wanted to try loaded mashed potatoes instead. He said yes, and then we both laughed wondering if that meant there was one specific person that makes loaded baked potatoes? Like how odd is that?

Well, spoiler alert, the loaded mashed potatoes were delicious (their regular garlic mashed potatoes are my absolute favorite of any mashed potatoes anywhere). And based off how much Steven liked them, I knew I wanted to try to recreate them at home.

Saturday Steak Night is fairly popular around here, so we decided to reverse sear some 44 Farms ribeyes a week or two later, and give the loaded mashed potatoes a try. These are based off Ree Drummond’s mashed potatoes (some of the best in the land!), with the loaded twist!

First step, get yourself a cute helper 😉

Then peel 4-6 large golden potatoes (the original recipe calls for 5 lbs of potatoes, which would make an absolute ton of mashed potatoes. I was good with about half the bag, which would be about 2.5 lbs, or about 4-6 large potatoes), and cut into chunks.

Put your potato chunks in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil the potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender.

While these are boiling, cook 4-6 pieces of bacon until crispy. I cook mine on parchment paper in a 400* oven for about 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, allow to cool, and then chop finely- for this, I ran mine in the food processor for a few pulses to get it pretty fine. Also during this time, grate about 1 cup of cheddar cheese. We are huge Tillamook people around here, and I like to grate it from the block, but you are also welcome to buy it grated!

Once the potatoes are tender, drain the water off, and return the pot with the potatoes to a burner on low. Add one sliced stick of butter and one cubed block of cream cheese, and start mashing! I know it’s easier to run mashed potatoes through a stand mixer, but I’ve always had issues keeping them warm that way, so hand mashing it is! This also leaves a little bit of texture to them, which I prefer. Once they are a creamy consistency, add in a 1/4 cup of half and half (up to 1/2 cup if they are too thick). Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then add in the cup of grated cheese and chopped bacon. If you are a green onion or chives lover, feel free to toss those in as well! (We are bacon, butter, cheese people, haha!).

And enjoy! Like I said, Steven reverse seared 44 Farms ribeyes (some of the best steaks you can find!), and then I also pan sauteed some squash and zucchini with butter, olive oil, and garlic salt. Not a bad Saturday Steak Night! 🙂

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Creamy mashed potatoes loaded with cheddar cheese and crispy bacon!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish


  • 2.5 lbs golden potatoes about 4-6 large potatoes
  • 1 stick sliced butter
  • 8 oz cubed cream cheese
  • to taste salt and pepper
  • ¼-½ cup half and half
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese medium or sharp
  • 4-6 slices cooked crispy bacon


  • Peel potatoes and cut into quarters or large chunks. Place in a large cooking pot or pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let potatoes boil for 30 minutes, or until fork tender.
  • While potatoes are cooking, cook 4-6 slices of bacon until crispy. Once cooked, allow to cool and chop finely (food processors work well for this!). Grate 1 cup of cheddar cheese (or measure out 1 cup of grated cheddar).
  • Once potatoes are fork tender, drain water off and return the pot with potatoes to a burner on low. Add sliced butter and cut up cream cheese. Mash the potatoes with a hand masher together with the butter and cream cheese. Once mashed, add in salt and pepper to taste. Add the half and half (I usually just need 1/4 cup, but add more if they are too thick), and stir until incorporated and creamy.
  • Add in the grated cheese and bacon and stir until the cheese is melted and the cheese and bacon are evenly distributed and incorporated. Optional- stir in or top with sliced green onions or chives!

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