The Simple Method To Transform Mashed Potatoes Into A Cheesy Main Course

mashed potato casserole
mashed potato casserole - Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Whenever Thanksgiving rolls around, we turn to mashed potatoes as the ultimate creamy side dish. But what about every other day of the year? There's no reason to punt mashed spuds out of the spotlight. To transform them into an entree worthy of the center of the table, you'll need to add one key ingredient: cheese.

While the resulting dish is typically called mashed potato pie, it usually turns out as more of a casserole than a traditional pie. Since the main ingredients here are spuds and cheese, you'll get a warm, rich, creamy dinner that is pure comfort food. If you want to add layers of flavor, you can incorporate the meat and vegetables of your choice, as this dish is easily customizable. To make it, you'll simply stir all your ingredients together, including the mashed potatoes, and bake it in a casserole dish until you get the texture you're looking for — it couldn't be easier. It's natural to confuse mashed potato pie with shepherd's pie, in which a meat-and-vegetable mixture is topped with a layer of mashed spuds in a casserole dish. But the difference here is that everything is blended together, making for a simpler recipe, and a clear focus on the potatoes and the cheese.

Read more: 17 Types Of Potatoes And When To Use Them

How To Make Mashed Potato Pie

hands mashing potatoes
hands mashing potatoes - Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Before you get started on your pie, make sure your potatoes are mashed and ready to go. This recipe is ideal for when you have leftovers from a holiday dinner, but you can whip them up anytime, or use instant mashed potatoes, which give the final product a little more texture. As for the cheeses, Parmesan, mozzarella, and shredded cheddar are all delicious on their own or as a combo. You can also incorporate cream cheese for (what else?) extra creaminess, or sour cream for a little tang. And don't forget to add butter and eggs, the latter of which helps fluff up the entire pie.

You can make this recipe in either a casserole or pie dish, whichever you prefer. If you'd like to make it more like a true pie, line the bottom with a crushed cracker crust. Before you dump in your filling, don't forget to add some delicious mix-ins, which can include green onions, chopped bacon, onion, minced garlic, peas and carrots, diced tomatoes, chopped jalapeños, and herbs. To turn your potato pie into a Cajun-flavored version, add chopped andouille sausage, onion, and bell pepper, along with some Cajun seasoning. Bake your casserole as-is, or sprinkle extra cheese and breadcrumbs on top to create a bubbly golden crust.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.