This is a great recipe for a side dish that your dinner guests will love or even as a main course meal great for lunches at work.
Why you might ask? Well it’s simple really – it has bacon in it. Ha! Ok, that’s true, but that’s not the only reason it’s good of course.
Since these reheat well they are a great make-a-head option for quick meals or work lunches.
I brought this to work just the other day and while I was warming my lunch in the microwave a coworker couldn’t stop commenting about how great my lunch smelled! I explained to her what was in it and you could see her jealousy in that it was my lunch and not hers…
The cheese topping gets all melty and runny over the top of these loaded mashed potatoes and they are so darn good! You could swap out the cheddar cheese for a pepperjack cheese if you’d like to add a little heat.
The flavors of the green pepper, onion, black pepper, and garlic all blend together in partnership with the bacon to make your tastebuds dance the happy dance.
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Enjoy the blending of some classic veggies with bacon and creamy mashed potatoes. Top it all off with a thick layer of melty cheese for one awesome meal! (or side dish)
Peel the potatoes and cut them into smaller chunks. Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until soft.
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Remove from the pan and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
Using the same skillet as the bacon, saute the green pepper and onion with the bacon grease for a few minutes. Don't over-cook them as that takes away a lot of the flavor. Once they are close to being done, add the garlic to the pan and saute it for about a minute - just until it gets fragrant. Remove from the hot pan to prevent overcooking.
Once the potatoes are soft, drain and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
Add the milk, salt, pepper, and about 1/4 of the cheese to the potatoes and mix together until smooth and well mixed.
Add the bacon and vegetable mixture and continue to mix together.
Top the potatoes with the remaining cheese.
If you are serving this immediately cover the pan with the lid to melt the cheese or toss in the oven for a few minutes.
If you made this ahead to eat later, place in storage containers and top with the cheese but don't melt it at this time. When you warm it up in the microwave the cheese will melt at that time.
If using instant potatoes, use about 1/2 of the box and make the potatoes according to the directions on the box.
These freeze really well and re-heat in the microwave in about 3 minutes. This makes for a great meal at work!
An option for preparing the ingredients is to use a grill.
Cooking the bacon on the grill reduces cleanup and grease in the kitchen while adding a nice smoky flavor. Be careful though - a fire can start quickly and ruin your bacon or worse if not monitored closely.
Cooking green pepper on the grill is awesome! Place a whole or half green pepper on the grill on all sides for a few minutes to give it some char marks and soften the pepper.
Any milk will work great for this recipe - dairy, almond, coconut, etc. - to add some creaminess and wetness to the potatoes.
When I see a problem, I just want to fix it. And when my mind is set on something I get obsessive about focusing on that task until it is one. Since my early days in front of a computer I have been building websites, graphics, and multimedia presentations that are designed with the end user in mind to ensure that they are easy to use, understand, and fun. If what I'm working on doesn't enlighten someone, then I've done something wrong.
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