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The Pioneer Woman’s Twice Baked Potato Casserole

This Twice Baked Potato Casserole recipe from The Pioneer Woman is loaded with creamy mashed potatoes, bacon, cheese and bites of potatoes skins. PLUS, it’s make-ahead and freezer friendly!

Love Pioneer Woman Recipes? Try her Meatloaf Recipe next!

A close up image of a wooden spoon filled twice baked potato casserole in a casserole dish.

This recipe is everything, and I mean everything. I have always been a sucker for twice baked potatoes and making it in casserole form is just everything I need in life. Especially since you can make it two days ahead of time. 

As if the convenience of making it ahead of time isn’t enough, you can easily freeze leftovers! Read on for everything you need to know about this ultimate side dish idea!

Ingredients

  • Russet Potatoes- Starchy potatoes such as Russets or Yukon Gold are best when making mashed potato casserole. Avoid red or new potatoes as they tend to have a gluey consistency when mashed.
  • Canola Oil
  • Bacon
  • Salted Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Whole Milk
  • Cheddar Cheese- Shredded from a block at home for best results
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Green Onions- to Garnish

How to Make it

  • Clean the potatoes, wipe completely dry. Rub with Canola oil.
  • Bake at 400° for 40 minutes.
  • Take butter, sour cream, and milk out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.

A baking tray with Russet potatoes next to a bowl of butter and sour cream for making twice baked potato casserole.

  • Cook bacon while the potatoes bake.
  • Remove potatoes from oven and wait until cool enough to handle.
  • Leave skins on 2 of the potatoes and peel the rest. Cut into thirds. 

Uncooked bacon in a pan next to a bowl of cooked and sliced russet potatoes.

  • Crumble the bacon. Add half of the bacon to the bowl of potatoes along with the milk, cream, butter, cheese, seasoned salt, salt and pepper. Mash until creamy.
  • Place in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with remaining bacon and additional cheese.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Top with green onions and serve.

A bowl of mashed potatoes next to a casserole dish filled with twice baked potato casserole.

Make-Ahead Method

This casserole can be prepared up to two days ahead of time:

  • Assemble the casserole as noted in the recipe but hold off on baking and refrigerate ready to serve.
  • When you’re ready to bake,  cover the top and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove the top, and bake for 25-30 minutes.

See below for instructions on heating it in the Crock Pot:

Crock Pot Method

  • Follow the instructions as outlined, but assemble the casserole in the Crock Pot instead of a casserole dish.
  • Heat on low for 2 hours or on high for 1 hour. Once the cheese is melted, switch it to warm.
  • If you’re reheating it from a cold state, add an additional 1-2 hours of heating time.

Storing Leftovers

  • Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator and is best if eaten within three days.
  • If frozen, they are best if used within three months. 

Freezing Leftover Potato Casserole

-This potato casserole is perfect for freezing as the butter, sour cream, and whole milk help hold up the consistency. If the potatoes are a little watery when reheated, adding some additional butter or sour cream will help mitigate this.

  • Method #1: Freeze portion sizes in foil packets and place in a Ziploc freezer bag.
  • Method #2: Use a measuring cup to scoop portion sizes onto a plate and put the entire plate in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Stack the frozen potatoes on top of one another in a freezer bag.

It’s best to use the potatoes within three months of freezing.

 

Reheating Frozen Potatoes

Here is how to reheat these potatoes from a frozen state:

  • Oven: Wrap the frozen potatoes in foil or place in an oven-safe covered dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or so. The exact amount of time depends on the portion size.
  • Microwave: Place the frozen potatoes on a microwave-safe plate or bowl and heat for about 5 minutes at half power, stirring them occasionally. The exact amount of time depends on the portion size.
  • TIP: This resource provides additional information and images regarding how to freeze, store, and reheat mashed potatoes.

A wooden spoon scooping out twice baked potato casserole topped with melted cheese, bacon, and green onions.

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Twice baked potato casserole in a casserole dish with a wooden spoon scooping it up.

The Pioneer Woman's Twice Baked Potato Casserole

4.97 from 104 ratings
This Twice Baked Potato Casserole recipe from The Pioneer Woman is an easy make ahead side dish idea for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any family dinner!

Ingredients

  • ½ pound bacon
  • 8 medium russet potatoes, Equal to about 6 pounds
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened and sliced into cubes.
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Take out the butter, sour cream, and milk and set them aside, they shouldn’t be cold when combined with the potatoes.
  • Scrub the potatoes clean. Wipe them dry and rub them with canola oil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, until they can be easily sliced through.
  • While the potatoes bake, cook the bacon in a large pan slowly on low heat. As the edges begin to curl, use tongs to flip them over periodically until evenly cooked. Set them aside on a paper towel-lined plate to cool once finished.
  • Remove the potatoes from the oven and decrease the heat to 350 degrees.
  • Leave the skins on two of the potatoes and peel and discard the remaining skins. Cut each potato into thirds and add them to a large mixing bowl.
  • Crumble the cooked bacon and set some aside for topping the casserole. Add the rest to the mixing bowl along with the butter, sour cream, grated cheese, seasoned salt, and salt and pepper. Give it a rough mash.
  • Add the milk gradually, mashed in between additions, until desired consistency is obtained. (I usually add all of it, but doing it gradually will ensure your desired consistency is obtained.)
  • Transfer to a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Top with reserved bacon and additional shredded cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Notes

Make-Ahead Method

-This casserole can be prepared up to two days ahead of time. You will prepare the entire casserole as noted in the recipe but you'll hold off on baking it until you're ready to serve it, and will need to refrigerate it until then.
-When you're ready to bake it, you'll want to cover the top and bake for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the top, and bake for 25 minutes.

Crock Pot Method

Follow the instructions as outlined, but assemble the casserole in the Crock Pot instead of a casserole dish.
Heat on low for 2 hours or on high for 1 hour. Once the cheese is melted, switch it to warm.
Garnish with green onions just before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 317kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 693mg, Potassium: 832mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 339IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 159mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @TheCozyCook on Instagram or tag #thecozycook!

Source: The Food Network

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426 comments on “The Pioneer Woman’s Twice Baked Potato Casserole”

  1. Big family here with small bites. Lol! Going to cut this in half and try tonight! 9×9 dish! Thanks for the recipe! 

  2. I don’t see a number of servings for the recipe or how to make it for more etc. I need it for 15 people at Thanksgiving…. how do I adjust it?

    • Hi Brandy! The number of servings are at the top of the recipe card in the middle. This makes 15 serves. If you hover over the number of servings, a slider will appear. If you slide it right, the ingredient quantities will automatically adjust. Just note that the verbiage in the written instructions will remain the same. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Can I make this without the sour cream? 

  4. I had made this before from the Pioneer Woman website & it had cream cheese in the recipe. Is this a different recipe? It was a hit!

    • The Pioneer Woman’s Website and her version on The Food Network’s website is always different, with any recipe. ❤️ I used The Food Network’s version, it’s my favorite of the two.

  5. Sounds so delicious! I am certainly going to make this casserole, as my entire family loves the traditional method, but very time consuming! Is there a reason why you use the 2 potato skins and not the others? More flavor?

    • Hi Carol! The reason for not using all of the potato skins is just to ensure that there isn’t “too much” of it in the casserole. But you are welcome to use more if you prefer! Enjoy! 🙂

  6. This was my first time making this type of potato casserole 
    I love lee Drummond recipes 
    I would definitely make it again 
    However, I’m not a fan of soupy potatoes 
    So I mashed potatoes first, then added the sour cream and milk, cheese and bacon as I mashed the potatoes 
    I used all the sour cream and milk, but not all the butter, the cheese made up for the excess butter 
    Being careful to not get the gluten going in the spuds 
    Thank you cozy cook
    I love your recipes 

    • I’m so glad that you loved it and I like your technique! Just a minor note, potatoes don’t have gluten but I think you meant starch! 🙂 I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying the recipes!! -Stephanie

  7. Can this be frozen before baking? I’m making it in hopes of using it this weekend, but I’ve suddenly got a sick birthday boy and the party may need to be postponed. If that happens I was thinking of just putting the chilled casserole into the freezer, then thawing before baking it later.

    Sorry if you’ve answered this before! I read some of the comments but not all of them.

    • Hi Sharon! Yes, you can freeze it! Be sure to let it thaw completely before baking, it can take a good 24 hours to thaw in the fridge. I hope the party works out as planned this weekend! Take care!

  8. My family and I love this recipe!  I have made it several times now.  So creamy and flavorful.  

  9. This recipe does not include cream cheese which Lee Drummond’s does. Did you forget to include it here? Is is ok to leave it out? How does it affect the recipe?

    • Hi Kathy, my source is The Food Networks version of her recipe, their site and her site always seem to vary. I didn’t forget it though and have never used it in here. I love it as written here! ❤️

    • Even Ree Drummonds’s recipes from her cookbooks and her webpage don’t even match half the time.

  10. Very good and very easy. I left all the skins on and it was great! Made it for the first Kymera and took it to a bbq… lots of compliments!

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