Sunday, July 19, 2015

Fully-Loaded Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Last week, I was shopping for groceries at Whole Foods, and I realized that I hadn't eaten lunch. My stomach was growling at me, and so I bought a twice-baked potato from their hot food bar. The potato was on the small side, and the melted cheese and broccoli looked really appealing.

 
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When they cashier rang it up, I gasped. $8.00.  Ouch!  But, I was hungry and I have to say-- it was one of the tastiest twice-baked potatoes I've ever eaten.


I made a mental note that I should make these at home-- for a lot less than $8.00, thank you very much.  I had family over for Craig's Amazing Baby Back Ribs, and I couldn't decide between making American Potato Salad or Twice-Baked Potatoes.  

I absolutely adore baked potatoes.  For years, I used to wrap russet potatoes in foil, and bake them that way. After all, that's how my mom made them.  However, we love crispy, seasoned potato skins. So, for the last few years I scrub my potatoes, pat them dry, sprinkle them with olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning.  I place them in a cast-iron skillet and bake them at 400F for about an hour-- or until a knife easily slips in and out.


What you end up with are potatoes that are crispy browned underneath, and the seasoning makes these taste just like Outback Steakhouse baked spuds  (in my honest opinion).



Then an idea hit me-- instead of cutting each potato in half, and scraping out the cooked potato...and adding my ingredients (which can be time/labor intensive) ...


...why not cut them up (skin and all) and make one big fully-loaded baked potato casserole out of this?! Brilliant!  Well, I was not alone, because there are plenty of recipes already posted.  In a way, the ingredients are similar to my Loaded Baked Potato Soup.  Fine, I'll post one, too!

So, here I've added sour cream and mayonnaise, cooked bacon, plenty of green onion and sharp cheddar cheese.

I added some non-stick spray to a casserole dish, and spooned in all the mixed up ingredients.

A sprinkling of reserved chopped bacon, and extra cheese and this took about 20 minutes to put together. I covered it with foil and waited for our guests to arrive.

I baked the casserole at 350F for about 30 minutes, covered with the foil. Then, I removed the foil and baked the casserole for 10 additional minutes.  Then, I added some reserved green onion on top.


I present to you, twice-baked potatoes-- fully loaded!  The works!  

TASTING NOTES:  If you've ever had a twice-baked potato, then this is it in a deconstructed form, so to speak.   This was a perfect side dish to any kind of barbecue.  This was a true crowd pleaser, and people were diving in for seconds.  I think that the mayonnaise adds a creaminess to the potato, so I wouldn't skip it.  Sour cream and green onions kicked up the flavor, and of course, who doesn't love melted sharp cheddar cheese?  Make this for any pot luck dinner, and people will love you for it. This recipe is adapted from "Mom On Time Out".

 Barbecued Baby Back Ribs and Potatoes... yummy!

As always, a printable recipe card is at the end of this post.  If you can't view it, please email me and I will send you a direct link. Just keep scrolling...down, down, down...to the very end of the post.  The recipe card should be there!
 







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10 comments:

Velva said...

It can be difficult to pass up the food bar at Whole Foods but it was tasty and you were inspired. This twice baked potato casserole is no doubt soulful and comforting.

Velva

Big Dude said...

Looks fabulous Debbie

Kate said...

Yum! I am not limited to one potato this way. Ha.....sounds delicious and I will definitely give it a try....

Anonymous said...

How did you know? One of my all time favorite sides, yours adds a few extra ingredients that I want to try. Thanks!!
As wonderful as Whole Foods can be, your $8 potato experience is the principal reason that I rarely visit their stores. Food is not a budgeted item in my home and I buy what I want. That said, I dislike getting [ugly word, deleted] and they are masters of the art. A very practical tip that I learned decades ago: never shop for groceries on an empty tummy. -The other Craig...

Joanne said...

Love that this was inspired by a random Whole Foods meal! I sometimes take pictures of the ingredient lists on their salads and hot bar food for inspiration.

Barbara Bakes said...

I love this idea. So much easier.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

We don't have a Whole Foods in our area and knowing that a twice baked potato is $8.00 I'm kind of glad we don't. I'd much rather have a helping or two of your delicious sounding casserole.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

All I can say is WOW. That looks so decadently delicious and I want to eat that whole casserole. I can't wait for an excuse to make this.

Marcelle said...

I love potatoes in every form and I'm definitely gonna put this potato casserole to use! Yum! Looks delicious!

Penny said...

That $8.00 baked potato must have been because they sell there prepared food by the pound. Just imagine how much lettuce salad you could get for $8.00. LOL. Your casserole looks delicious Debby and a great way to serve a crowd. Those ribs like mighty tasty too.