An Italian Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole is a perfect side dish for a comfort food dinner. Filled with smoked provolone and salami, topped with breadcrumbs for a crunchy top, this is will be a new family favorite. Learn how to make mashed potatoes from scratch, what the best potatoes for mashed potatoes are, and how to use leftover mashed potatoes in this casserole.
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Years ago, my mom blew my mind with a version of this mashed potato casserole. She claims this is from Emeril Lagasse, but even with my detective skills, I couldn’t find who she really got this idea from. But I love this dish so much that I had to share this with you, with my own twist of course.
To be frank, I was having the most difficult time coming up with a name for this dish. Casserole kept coming up for me and in my chef’s voice, I kept saying “no way! I can’t call this a casserole.” I couldn’t taint my reputation of being a chef by calling this beautiful and amazing dish a casserole.
The forces of nature reminded me that this what a casserole is. I’ve come to learn on this blogging journey that you can’t fight the forces of nature and you just “go with the flow.” So, keep reading on about this awesome Italian version of a loaded mashed potato casserole and make it for your family!
What’s the Best Potato for Making Mashed Potatoes: Russets or Red Potatoes
The basis for perfect mashed potatoes is using the correct kind of potato. I went over the differences in potatoes in my gnocchi post but using the right potatoes makes a huge difference in the dish. I highly recommend using Russet potatoes or for a fun variation, a Yukon Gold would bring a nice yellow to this dish.
There are many recipes out there that make mashed potatoes from red potatoes. I’m actually a huge fan of them but they aren’t as fluffy as mashed potatoes made from Russets are. If you make mashed potatoes from red potatoes, they’re going to be much creamier and a bit denser. Still delicious but not what we’re looking for in this recipe.
How to Make THE BEST Mashed Potatoes
You may be tempted to just boil the potatoes in salted water and call it a day. But let me tell you of a secret to making amazing tasting potatoes. Creating a little sachet of herbs and spices and cook the potatoes with those aromatics in the water. I go over the importance of incorporating flavor in foods at the beginning of cooking and other good tips in this FREE 7 Simple Hacks to Elevate Your Dinner Guide.
I have a secret weapon in making awesome mashed potatoes because let’s be honest, perfect mashed potatoes are the foundation of this incredible casserole. It’s sour cream!
I warm my sour cream, slightly, with the milk and melted butter and add it to the potatoes while it’s mixing in my stand mixer.
What’s in Loaded Mashed Potatoes
You’ll never go back once you add sour cream to your mashed potatoes. It just makes sense though, right?! When you think of a loaded baked potato, you think of:
- Sour cream
- Cheddar Cheese
This is essentially what this mashed potato casserole is! An Italian version of a loaded mashed potato casserole. With a few swap outs, this Italian Mashed Potato Casserole has:
- Sour Cream
- Smoked Provolone Cheese
How To Make Italian Mashed Potato Casserole
Now, what makes this mashed potato casserole Italian is the addition of smoked provolone and salami. The salami adds a great salty and briny flavor that cuts through the richness of the cheese and the creamy potatoes. The smokiness from the cheese adds a nice little earthy tone to the dish that is unexpected. Biting into this dish and getting a nice string of cheese is everything you could ever want in your life.
To achieve the crust on top of this mashed potato casserole, I just top with breadcrumbs (they don’t have to be seasoned really, there’s a lot going on in the dish already) and butter and bake for 20 minutes. The result is a gorgeous, golden brown crust that is just begging to be dived into.
Can You Make Italian Mashed Potato Casserole Ahead of Time
Absolutely! And this recipe is perfect for using up leftover mashed potatoes, say from Sunday Dinner or the holidays. If you are in a super prep mode, make the mashed potato casserole like nothing was different and wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. The only adjustment I would make to this recipe if you’re planning on doing this a day ahead is to check the internal temperature of the casserole with a thermometer until it’s reached 165 degrees!
I wouldn’t make this more than one day in advance, as the potatoes will start to grey, and the moisture of the potatoes will start to separate from the casserole. In short, it will start to get weird.
How to Freeze and Reheat This Mashed Potato Casserole
If you happen to have leftovers, which is super unlikely, you wouldn’t want them to go to waste. Place the leftovers of the casserole in a Ziploc bag and seal shut with no air in it. Then place in the freezer (labeled and dated!) until you’re ready to have more.
To reheat this, simply bring a pot of water to a simmer and place the baggy of leftovers in the water. This allows you to reheat the mashed potato casserole without having to add any milk, maintaining the right texture and taste of the casserole!
There you have it! A super easy and delicious Italian mashed potato casserole that has some tasty surprises tucked inside! I love to enjoy this alongside a roast or some chicken! This also makes some tasty leftovers!
If you have enjoyed this recipe as much as I have, leave a comment (along with a rating) down below!
For a full holiday dinner, be sure to check out these posts:
Check out these delicious potato recipes:
- Vegan Lemon-Herb Potato Salad
- Sweet Potato Bake with Fresh Cranberries and Apples
- Homemade Gnocchi
- Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Romanesco and Swiss Chard
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- 4 russet potatoes, Yukon golds could be substituted, peeled and large chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup sour cream
- To taste salt and pepper
- 2/3 lb smoked provolone cheese, cut into pieces
- 2.5 ounces sliced salami, cut into thick ribbons
- ½ ounce chives, chopped
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup butter, cubed
- In a medium sauce pot, bring potatoes to boil in heavily salted water, along with the sachet of spices and herbs. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 35-40 minutes. Drain from water, once potatoes are done, and discard sachet.
- In a small sauce pot, warm up together milk and butter. Add sour cream.
- Using a stand mixer, fixed with the whisk attachment, beat potatoes until mealy and broken up. Slowly add milk mixture to potatoes. Once liquid has been added, speed up mixer and beat potatoes until creamy texture is achieved. Add cheese, chives, and salami to potatoes. Mix until well incorporated.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish with butter and line with bread crumbs. Scrape potato mixture out of mixing bowl and into breaded casserole dish. Even out the top and top with more bread crumbs and butter. Place in heated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Serve alongside your favorite roast or other main dish.
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Serving Size1/2 cup
Amount Per ServingCalories 446Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 75mgSodium 736mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 17g