Loaded German Potato Bake is a cross between German potato salad and baked potato casserole and is altogether a SERIOUSLY tasty side dish!
Potato dishes are easy and cheap family favorites that offer that little bit of comfort in every bite!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Loaded German Potato Bake
If you’ve ever tasted German potato salad, then you are familiar with its rich and tangy almost sweet and sour profile. And then of course a generous topping of salty crumbled bacon!
Loaded German Potato Bake incorporates many of the same ingredients found in German potato salad like the bacon, green onions, and chopped pimento. It also incorporates a few unique ingredients which, when combined, give the dish some seriously delicious dimension. These unique ingredients include mayonnaise, melted cheese, and a scant amount of apple cider vinegar.
This loaded baked potato casserole recipe has all of the hallmarks of a twice baked potato while holding true to the flavors of an authentic German potato salad!
Funny enough, I’d never had anything but German potato salad until I was a teen. Why? My great grandparents on my Mom’s side arrived to the United States in the early days of the last century. From Ukraine and what is now Poland.
With them, they brought their traditions and their foods. Potato dishes were the most common items to be set on our table.
Knishes, crullers, bread, and any number of actual potato bakes and variations of mashed potatoes were kind of our meal plan. And they were easy, cheap favorite recipes that eventually found their way to me when I began this blog.
What You’ll Need To Make Loaded German Potato Bake
- russet potatoes
- Velveeta or other pasteurized melty cheese
- cream cheese
- extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
- unsalted butter
- bacon and a bit of the bacon drippings
- hard boiled eggs
- green onions
- sour cream
- Worcestershire sauce
- apple cider vinegar
- jarred chopped pimentos
- black pepper
- sweet paprika
How This Recipe Came About…
In trying to “nail” the taste for my great grandmother’s baked potato soup, I inadvertently discovered the secret to her Loaded German Potato Bake. Nothing other than a couple of baked potatoes.
And it made me think of all of the things she’d cook and bake with those delicious baked potatoes…it was high time I tackled a hot German-inspired potato bake similar to the German potato salad I LOVED as a kid.
What Is The Best Kind Of Potato To Use In A Potato Bake?
Russet potatoes are the best variety of potato to stand up in a recipe like this one. They bake evenly and are not waxy like other varieties tend to be.
The beauty of a russet, too is that you get a whole lot of potato when you peel and dice one or bake one. There is NOTHING small about a russet.
Can I Omit The Bacon?
Absolutely. And if you still want to use a protein, I’ve gone a couple of interesting routes with this dish in the past and had it be great.
Just like you would be offered on restaurant loaded baked potatoes, consider chopped ham, thinly sliced grilled steak, or shredded cooked turkey.
Can I Substitute Something Else For The Pimentos?
If you want to stay on track, substitute 1/4-cup finely chopped red pepper for the pimentos. If you think you’ll not get a forkful of this otherwise heavenly loaded mashed potato casserole to pass across your kids lips with either pimento or red pepper in it, feel like you can omit altogether.
How To Make A Potato Bake?
For this easy baked potato casserole, you will need to start with four cups of hot cooked potatoes. How you arrive at them, baked or boiled, is entirely up to you and the amount of time you prefer (or not!) to spend in the kitchen.
Beyond the hot potatoes part, everything else is done in a couple of large mixing bowls. To maintain the integrity of the quartered hardboiled eggs, I use a large olive wood spatula to GENTLY incorporate the ingredients.
Into the first bowl go the potatoes, chopped eggs, and all but two tablespoons each of the crumbled bacon and sliced green onions.
Bowl number two is for the wet ingredients which are whisked together until everything is well combined. Then, I combine them together.
I do grab a third bowl and add the cubed Velveeta, the cream cheese, and the shredded cheddar and give all a toss.
Assembly is easy. Have your oven preheated, because this is ready to go in less than five minutes. Yep…seriously.
Add half the potato mixture to a buttered casserole dish. Top with half the cheese mixture. Repeat by adding the remaining potato mixture and cheese right on top of that first layer.
Top it all off with some reserved bacon and green onion and sprinkle with sweet paprika. That’s it. There’s nothing left to do except bake it off until it’s toasty and bubbly, about twenty-ish minutes.
How Long Does A Potato Bake Take To Prepare?
This depends on how you prefer to prepare your potatoes. For this recipe, there are three methods to getting those potatoes “hot and ready.” Let me explain…
- The Slow Cooker Method: if you are somebody who rocks the crock pot, you already know full well that baked potatoes are absolutely awesome this way. Just “bake ’em” as you would normally and remove from the cooker once they’re done. Allow them to cool part way before removing the skins and rough chopping to assemble for this recipe.
- The Oven Method: if you want them baked, but there’s no time for fooling with a slow cooker, a smart choice is to wrap your russets in foil and bake them until they’re done. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool part way before removing the skins and rough chopping to assemble for this recipe.
- The Boiled Potato Method: this is the quickest way to accomplish this recipe lickety-split. Peel and dice the russets into 1/2-inch cubes. If you enjoy the potato skins, just give them a good scrub and chop the potatoes. Add to a large stock pot and add a tablespoon of Kosher salt and enough water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to a boil and cook until the potato cubes begin to fall apart when jabbed with a fork. Drain them well and continue with the recipe.
Time Versus Taste
I go the last route and boil my potatoes the majority of the time when making this dish. So, it’s about 30 minutes prep time, and 20 to 25 minutes baking time.
I will mention this though…if you have time to bake your potatoes, oven, crock pot, or camp fire (kidding…not camp fire), do it.
The texture of the potatoes is entirely different. Fluffy. And they drink in the liquid aromatics very well which is what you are going for.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
To make this dish a bit more rustic and not so entirely average, keep the baked or boiled-on skins and chop them into the potato mixture prior to the final bake. Not only do the skins taste amazing, but they are full of amazing good fiber.
Another thought is to switch up the cheeses. Opt for cubed deli American processed cheese such as Board’s Head White American or an alternate cheese spread such as pub cheese.
Both are generally available in your grocer’s cheese carousel where the fancier block cheeses are sold.
To go all out and make this a main dish as opposed to a side, consider a loaded potato casserole with chicken, a loaded potato casserole with broccoli, or even a loaded potato casserole with steak.
If the idea of cubing the potatoes unappealing, slice the cooked potatoes into 1/2-inch rounds for a sliced potato casserole bake.
Can A Loaded Potato Bake Be Made Ahead?
Yes, and that’s part of the sheer awesomeness of this dish. Especially if you are somebody who participates in pot lucks or cooks for a crowd during the holidays.
Casserole dish recipes like this are easy, cheap, and once the ingredients are assembled, bake in just a handful of minutes.
Can A Loaded Potato Bake Be Frozen?
Yes, and if you have room in your freezer for storing casseroles to enjoy at a later date, you’ll want to earmark this recipe. This method requires a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. I have multiples of basic baking dishes that I use for preparing ahead and freezing.
Simply assemble the casserole and load it into the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and then wrap the entire baking dish in aluminum foil again.
This creates a barrier and you are less likely to experience freezer burn upon removing the casserole from the deep freeze.
Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Heat according to the recipe card and enjoy.
Freezer vacuum bags, assuming your casserole dish is 3 to 4-inches narrower and no wider than the bag itself, work the absolute best.
Simply freeze in the casserole dish, pop out once solid, place in the vacuum bag, and vacuum and seal. Back into the freezer it goes to be enjoyed another day.
What Main Dishes Are Good To Serve With A Loaded German Potato Bake?
This baked loaded potato casserole goes with literally everything, but it happens to be one of my favorite pot roast dinner sides! Or you can pair it with grilled chicken or steak, meatloaf, pan fried pork chops, or even fish sticks to make a complete meal.
Personally, I like a BIG tossed salad and to just have a helping of this potato bake casserole recipe on the side.
Loaded German Potato Bake
- 1 1/2-quart casserole dish
- large mixing bowls, at least 3
- wide plastic or wooden spatula
Ingredients For A Loaded German Potato Bake
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided, 1 tablespoon softened to room temperature, 1 tablespoon melted
- 4 cups cooked russet potatoes hot; rough chopped or a combination of half rough chopped and half rough-mashed
- 4 large hardboiled eggs halved and quartered
- 5 slices bacon cooked crispy and crumbled, 2 tablespoons reserved
- 1/4 cup green onions sliced, 2 tablespoons reserved
- 1 (2) ounce jar pimentos drained well
- 6 ounces Velveeta or other processed pasteurized cheese; cubed
- 2 ounces cream cheese cubed
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
This method begins with hot cooked potatoes. You may boil, bake, or heat in a slow cooker. If using a slow cooker, refer to your appliance's user manual to achieve the correct doneness for "baked" potatoes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Use 1 tablespoon of the softened butter to grease the sides and bottom of a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Set aside.
- Combine the cubed pasteurized cheese, cubed cream cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl. Toss. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently toss the potatoes, chopped hardboiled eggs, crumbled bacon, green onion, and pimentos.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, melted butter, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and reserved bacon drippings. Pour over potato mixture and GENTLY toss to coat making sure to incorporate very well.
- Spoon half the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Top with half the cheeses. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture and the remaining cheeses. Top with the reserved bacon, reserved green onions, and the sweet paprika.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until thoroughly heated through and casserole is bubbling. Serve hot.
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