The Cozy Cook

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!


  • 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
  • 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 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 33 votes
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!


  • 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


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • 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, milk, grated cheese, seasoned salt, and salt and pepper.
  • Smash the potatoes with a potato masher until well-combined and creamy.
  • Add the potatoes to a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Top the casserole with reserved bacon and additional shredded cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Top with sliced green onions and serve!



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.


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

Source: The Food Network

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

  1. Ours was a little liquify- I would add a little less sour cream and milk and then adjust as necessary. We made it on Christmas and put it in the crockpot. Then when it was time we roasted the skins and added the hot filling to the skins and melted cheese on top. They were a show stopper. 

  2. I’ve made these for the last three years as part of our Christmas dinner. I don’t usually peel the potatoes after cooking I usually scrape out the potatoes from the skins then I make a potato skin appetizer with ranch dipping sauce. 

  3. What temperature do heat after refrigeration for 1 day.

  4. Do the potatoes need piercing before baking? And approx how much salt and pepper?? Also, when I tried to adjust the servings, the pounds of potatoes stayed the same.
    Making this for tonight’s Christmas Eve dinner. Sounds like the kind of potatoes my fussy son-in-law will love. Can’t wait to see if I’m right. 

    • Merry Christmas! I am baking this for Christmas too 🙂 From my experience and what I have read online, piercing the potatoes isn’t necessary. It’s is recommended so air can escape and the potatoes won’t “explode” but this appears to be a very rare occurrence… Hope that helps… as for the salt and pepper, I think it’s to taste depending on how salty/peppery you like your food. It can always be added once it’s been plated, depending on personal preference. Good luck! 

      • Hey Jessie! Super big thanks to you for answering that question for me!!! I agree with everything you said!! Christmas Eve is busy so I really appreciate it! Cheers! -Stephanie

  5. I cut this recipe in thirds, I am only cooking for two any more. My husband like this side dish and has asked for them again. So easy and delicious!

  6. Can you make this ahead and freeze it? If so, what are the cooking instructions for that? Thank you!

    • Hi MaryJo, I haven’t personally done this, you can try it but I worry that the consistency wouldn’t be totally the same since there is dairy in it. If you try it, let it thaw completely after taking it out of the freezer before you bake it. (It will take 1-2 days to thaw in the refrigerator.)

  7. Made this for a crab leg dinner. So easy.  Wayyyy good.  I used the crock pot method and made it so easy to cook and transport to the dinner.  This one will be a favorite. 

  8. This recipe is requested regularly at our house. And usually for birthday dinners! Thanks so much for a much easier alternative for twice baked potatoes! Cuts the time in half not having to fill the skins up again.
    I did only use half the butter though and used 2% milk. Still turned out super creamy and thick.

    • You’re very welcome Meagan! I’m so happy to hear it’s part of your birthday celebrations! I totally agree with how much quicker this one is then normal twice baked potatoes. It’s one of the things I really like about this recipe! Thanks so much for the review!😀

  9. What is the consistency of this once baked?  It is thick like mashed potatoes?  I plan to make it today but don’t want it to be too thin and spread out on the plate.  

  10. Can you use low-fat milk instead of whole milk?

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