During my pregnancy with both boys, I must have had a potassium deficiency. I craved potatoes. With Big Brother, it was French fries. I could smell a McDonald’s from a mile away. I salivated at the sight of yellow Lay’s potato chip bag.
With Little Brother, I craved this casserole. I experienced some nausea in the beginning with him and this seemed to be the one thing I could eat that would fill me up without turning out my stomach. My mother-in-law introduced me to this recipe and — bless her — if she happened to be making one she would make an extra for me too.
My MIL’s recipe calls for one (16 oz.) box if instant mashed potatoes. And if you are in a pinch or in a hurry, that’s fine. Go ahead and use instant. But for the sake of this post, I decided to go all-out and use real potatoes. Because, I don’t know, there is something unnatural about instant potatoes. Am I right? Once my potatoes were fork-tender, I ran them through my food mill. I used the medium blade, but next time I make it I run the potatoes through the food mill a second time using the fine blade. You can mash your potatoes using a traditional potato masher, a ricer, or a mixer. I like the food mill because it still have my potatoes that creamy, fluffy texture that I would have gotten had I used instant.
What I love about this casserole is that it works on a Thanksgiving dining room table just as easily as it does on a picnic table for a family backyard barbecue. There are only FIVE ingredients. And it freezes beautifully, meaning you can whip up a few casseroles now and save them for later. Like when your family is driving you crazy during the holidays. Or you get a pregnancy craving that just won’t go away.
Mashed Potato Casserole
- 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened
- 1 (16 oz.) container green onion dip, room temperature
- ½ - ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain potatoes and mash.
- Add cream cheese and green onion dip. Mix until thoroughly combines. If potatoes are a little stiff, add enough warm milk until potatoes reach desired consistency. They should be creamy and fluffy, not runny.
- Pour mixture into an 8 x 8 inch casserole dish. Top with shredded cheddar. If freezing, stop here.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.