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Baked Potato Casserole


For new years I made potato skins one of my husbands must have party foods. I always save the pulp from the skins for later use so when I found this recipe I was excited to try it out. It was PERFECT!!! THE only downfall now my husband wants the potato skins all the time so we can have these too. Oh well I aim to please. You can also make baked potatoes for a different meal and throw in extra for this one then scoop out the pulp and have it ready for another day. See 2 sides done pretty easily.

9 medium russet potatoes

4 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

4 tablespoons butter

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 to 1/2 cup milk (if potatoes are too thick)

1 jar bacon bits, or a half pound of bacon, fried and cut into bits, or cut into bits and fried

2 1/2 to 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

canola oil to fry in

sour cream, if desired

3 green onions, sliced

Bake potatoes at 350° for about an hour, or until potatoes give when squeezed gently with an oven-mitted hand.

When potatoes are done, cut in half and carefully scoop out insides, leaving about a 1/4-inch layer of potato inside. Set skins aside*.

Place potato insides in a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix briefly to break potatoes down a little. Add cream cheese, sour cream, butter, chopped garlic, and about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon or so of pepper. Beat until thoroughly mixed, but don't mix to the point of gumminess. If the mixture seems really thick, add up to 1/2 cup milk to smooth it out to the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread potato mixture into the prepared pan.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 325°.

Immediately after removing from oven, cover the top with 1 cup of cheese. Then sprinkle with about 2/3 of the bacon and sliced green onions, if desired. Allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes before serving. The heat from the potatoes will melt the cheese perfectly.

Makes about 6-8 servings

*Now you can use the skins to make the baked potato skins recipe I have on my blog :)

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