Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Happy Wednesday! I’ve officially made it through my first week of classes. Getting back into my “school” routine is going to take some getting used to. Case in point: I slept until 9:30 today.  But, the year seems to be off to a good start. I’ve gotten called “Mom” a handful of times, and none of my dancers have gotten injured yet. I’m excited to see what week two brings…

Fall weather is starting to take over the Midwest, and I couldn’t be happier! Time to pull out the comfort food recipes. Mmmm. I’m pretty sure everyone out there has their own spin on loaded mashed potatoes, or has, at the very least, eaten someone’s spin on loaded mashed potatoes. My own version has evolved significantly over the last few years, but I’m very pleased with my current (and final?) result. This creamy side dish is perfect for a cold day, and has just the right amount of each flavor. Warning: it contains bacon grease…so it’s extra good!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

loaded mashed potatoes

What I’m Listening to: The Avett Brothers on my Mumford and Sons Pandora Station

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

-2 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced

-1 individual serving Greek Yogurt

-1/8 cup of milk

-1/4 pound of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (If you’re like me and can’t eat a whole package of bacon before it goes bad, get your bacon at a meat counter! I paid a little over a dollar!)

-1/8 cup of chives (I recommend freeze-dried, as they last for ages!)

-2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping

-Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 350. Boil the diced potatoes in a large pot of salted water for 10 minutes. While the potatoes cook, fry the bacon in a small skillet to your desired consistency. (I like mine extra crispy.) DO NOT DRAIN! You’ll need the bacon grease for later.

Drain the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl with the Greek Yogurt. Add a splash of milk, and begin mixing on low speed with an electric mixer. Add the milk as needed. You may not use it all. Beat until the mixture comes together. I love lumps in my mashed potatoes, but if you don’t, beat for 2-3 minutes longer. Add the bacon and grease, chives, and 2/3 cup of cheddar to the potatoes, and beat until just combined. Salt and pepper as needed. 

Place the potato mixture in a greased 8×8 pan. Top with shredded cheddar. (Don’t be afraid to go crazy here. Extra cheese is ALWAYS a good thing.) Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are cooked through. If it’s that kind of day, eat the potatoes alone. Otherwise, they make an excellent side to this Baked Parmesan Caesar Chicken.

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