Baked Potato Casserole

I have to be honest, I do not know why we call this dish is called “casserole”. My geographic roots put this meal firmly in “hotdish” territory, although the ingredients do lack the ubiquitous cream of something soup. Not that it matters. We love Baked Potato Casserole, and now we share it with you!

Really, there is no “recipe” here, just steps and assembly. Add and subtract ingredients depending on your tastes and what is in your kitchen. Keep it meat-less (almost time for some of us to remember “it is a Friday during Lent!”), dairy-free, or even vegetable-free. Or, make ahead of time and heat when needed. A flexible dish with no rules that can be made the night before? That is my favorite kind.

First, of course, you are going to need your spuds. Start by cubing 3-4 decent sized potatoes (I usually use Russet) for a 9X13 dish.

Steam until tender, around 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375º or so.

Now is where to add your flare! Here, I chopped broccoli (added to the steaming potatoes about 3 minutes before done). Then, red onion got sliced and fried with some butter. Season the potatoes generously with salt and pepper, and layer with the broccoli and onion in a greased pan. Top with cheese and precooked bacon (stashed in the freezer for just such an occasion).

Ready for the oven

Bake for 20-30 minutes, and everything should be pleasantly warm and melty. Remove and serve with additional toppings (Sour cream or plain yogurt? Salsa? Hot sauce), as desired.

Now I am hungry…..

And, of course, it does not matter if it is called “casserole” or “hotdish” or whatnot. Baked Potato Casserole is a wonderful dish. The taste is the same regardless of the name, and that is really all that matters…speaking from experience.

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