Living in the middle of potato country, we eat a LOT of potatoes. One of our favorite ways to eat them is mashed with gravy. Once in a while we have leftover mashed potatoes. I don't enjoy them reheated as much as fresh since they are often dry, but this recipe using leftover (or fresh) mashed potatoes is so tasty I purposely make extra mashed potatoes now so we can have this later in the week! I love all the delicious toppings on a baked potato, and that is what I added to create this dish. I think chives would be good on it as well - but we'll try that in the summer when my chives are growing and fresh.
"Real" mashed potatoes are best.... but in a pinch you could use instant. Here in Idaho it's just a shame to not use fresh potatoes though.
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
3 C. mashed potatoes (leftover or freshly mashed)
1/4 C. melted butter
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese, reserving 1/2 C.
1/4 C. fried & crumbled bacon, more if you want to use it for topping (I use the real bacon pieces already cooked and crumbled - otherwise it's about 4 slices of bacon)
1/4 C. sliced green onion
salt & pepper to taste
Mix potatoes, butter, and sour cream well. Add salt and pepper now. Add 1 C. cheese, bacon, and onion, mixing well. Pour into greased casserole dish, top with reserved cheese, more bacon bits if desired. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through.
Joy's Notes: If you're making this with freshly mashed potatoes, you can cut your baking time to 20 minutes. This can be mixed up a day ahead and baked when you're ready to use it. (I'll bet you could freeze it too but I haven't tried that yet.) I buy the large (1 1/4 lb) bags of crumbled bacon at Costco. I just keep that in the freezer and add a handful to all sorts of things... scrambled eggs, omelets, cream of potato soup, pizza, baked potatoes, all sorts of things!)