Easy Cheesy Potatoes

These easy cheesy potatoes are the perfect side dish recipe for all of your holiday parties and family get-togethers! Think of them as the best mashed potato alternative for Thanksgiving, Christmas or a weeknight side dish!

A casserole dish with a wooden spoon in it.
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Easy Cheesy Potatoes Recipe

Thanksgiving has always been my second favorite holiday, right behind Christmas. It's probably the fact that there's a lot of food and fellowship around the table.

This easy cheesy potatoes recipe is an old family recipe that my grandmother has made for us every year for Christmas. It's the most comforting side dish for any holiday dinner.

Cheesy potato casserole on a white plate with a fork.

The tender potatoes are cooked to perfection then shredded by hand and mixed with sour cream, cream of chicken soup and lots of shredded cheese. An easy cheesy side dish recipe that is full of yumminess!

This potato side dish is a great alternative to mashed potatoes, which can be really time-consuming and are actually pretty easy to mess up. And they're more of a classic comfort food than easy roasted potatoes.

Make these delicious potatoes for family dinner, special occasions, and everything in between!

Why you'll love this recipe

  • Cheesy potato bake is very easy for a novice to put together. So if you're looking for beginner recipes, this will be a hit.
  • This easy recipe is ready in under an hour. If you forgot a side dish, just throw these together and pop 'em into the oven.
  • You only need four ingredients to make cheesy potatoes.
  • Potatoes loaded with cheesy goodness are an instant hit with adults and kids alike!

Cheesy potatoes are the perfect recipe to make for Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving), Easter or really any holiday gathering, but they work well as a weeknight dinner side dish too. They are wonderful comfort food!

A person holding a fork over a casserole dish.

Ingredients

Here is what you will need to make cheesy potatoes:

  • Yukon Gold potatoes - You can use other kinds of potatoes but Yukon Golds have a waxy texture that makes them perfect for shredding and holding together.
  • sour cream - Full fat or light sour cream will work fine. However, full fat sour cream will give the best flavor to this dish.
  • cream of chicken soup - Find this in the canned soup aisle. Need a vegetarian option? Then grab cream of mushroom soup as a substitute!
  • cheddar cheese - The best shredded cheese is grated from a block, if you have the time. Otherwise pre-shredded works fine! You can use sharp cheddar cheese, mild, or any other types of cheese that you prefer
  • salt and pepper - Sea salt or kosher salt is best for cooking. Fresh black pepper is so good, but use whatever works for you!

Variations

Cheesier cheesy potatoes: Add more grated cheese on top before baking the potatoes for ultra-cheesy potatoes.

Vegetarian cheesy potatoes: Use cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken soup.

Garlic cheesy potatoes: Stir in 1 tablespoon of minced garlic to the cream mixture before adding it to the potatoes.

Spicy cheesy potatoes: Use shredded pepper jack cheese. This would be great for Mexican Christmas dinner.

You can also add a crunchy topping to these creamy potatoes! Bread crumbs, corn flakes, crushed ritz crackers, and crushed potato chips would all work as a yummy topping.

A white baking dish filled with shredded cheese.

Are Shredded Cheesy Potatoes Difficult to Make?

I hesitate to even say there's a tricky aspect to this recipe, because it really is super easy, though it may be a bit time-consuming. Just follow the simple steps, and these party potatoes turn out perfect.

These family favorite cheesy potatoes are a bit of a labor of love and trust me, over the years my mom and I have tried to cut corners to make these in a quicker way, but they are never the same. Diced potatoes aren't the same as shredded, so I don't recommend trying to save time that way!

The steps are EASY and you don't need to be a 5-star chef make this recipe. However, cheesy potatoes are just one of those recipes that takes a little bit longer to be perfect. It's kind of like microwaving a baked potato. You can do it, but it's just not as good as one baked in the oven.

The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the potatoes to be cooked just right. You don't want them to be totally cooked, but they need to be cooked enough that they don't require extra cooking in the oven.

Cheesy chicken casserole in a white dish with a wooden spoon.

How to Make Cheesy Potatoes

The best way to cook these potatoes is to clean them really well first. Make sure you preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit so it is ready to go when the potatoes are mixed and ready to bake.

Place potatoes in a pot of boiling water, and cook them until a fork goes into the potato with a little force.

Hot Tip: Be careful here! Do not overcook the potatoes. It is best to err on the side of potatoes that are a little bit undercooked.

While the fresh potatoes cook, grate your cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts so much better than store-bought shredded cheese. This is because the store-bought stuff has anti-clumping agents added that don't let the cheese melt as well as shredding your own cheese.

Once potatoes are cooked, use the same grater you used for the cheese to shred them. Shred each one into a large bowl.

A bowl of whipped cream with a spoon in it.
A bowl of whipped cream with a black spatula.

In a separate bowl, stir together the sour cream, canned soup, and cheese. Add that cheese mixture to the shredded potatoes and carefully toss to coat.

Pour the potato mixture into a 9x13 baking dish. Cover the top of the potatoes with more shredded cheese if you like.

Then bake this cheesy potato casserole recipe for 30-45 minutes in the preheated oven until the top is just golden brown. Serve warm!

How to Store Cheesy Potatoes

Place leftovers of this cheesy potato recipe into an airtight container and store for up to 5 days. You can also store this easy side dish in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, place into the oven until warmed through. You can also reheat in the microwave if you prefer, but the texture is better when reheated in the oven.

What to Serve with Cheesy Potatoes

This is the best side dish for so many any main dish! Serve it alongside a hearty steak or some pork medallions. Great to serve with chicken drumsticks too!

And of course this is perfect for Thanksgiving with a big turkey and some green beans! For an easy weeknight dinner, serve cheesy potatoes with grilled chicken thighs or grilled pork chops.

To compliment this side dish, add stovetop sausage stuffing, garlic brown butter green beans and finish with pumpkin sheet cake for dessert!

Cheesy potato casserole in a white dish.

Tips for Success

  • Overcooking potatoes can be easy to do if you haven't made this before. Use a meat thermometer on hand to check the temperature of the potatoes. You're aiming for a temp in the sweet spot between 205°F and 212°F. Below that, the texture may still be too dense, and above that, it may become a gummy mess.
  • Shred the potatoes by hand. We've tried a food processor before and they just aren't as good that way. Use the side of your cheese grater with the biggest holes to shred the potatoes.
  • Although leftovers of this ultimate comfort are delicious, it is best when served fresh and hot. So make sure you schedule out your cooking time to serve these immediately as they come out of the oven!
Cheesy chicken casserole on a white plate with a wooden spoon.

FAQ

What is a substitute for sour cream in cheesy potatoes?

The most common substitute for sour cream is Greek yogurt. You can also use crème fraîche as a 1:1 substitute. Buttermilk has a similar tangy flavor, but could make certain recipes too liquidy. A good vegetarian option is coconut milk!

What is the difference between scallop potatoes and cheesy potatoes?

Scalloped potatoes do not contain cheese. This easy recipe contains lots of cheese and the potatoes are shredded instead of sliced. This recipe for cheesy potatoes is not the same as au grain potatoes either.

More Potato Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

A casserole dish with a wooden spoon in it.

Easy Cheesy Potatoes

Shredded Cheesy Potatoes are the perfect side dish for all of your holiday parties and family get-togethers! These shredded cheesy potatoes are the perfect mashed potato alternative for Thanksgiving, Christmas or just because.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 16 ounce container of sour cream
  • 1 15 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
  • Bring water to a boil in a large stock pot.
  • Cook whole potatoes in water (with skins on).
  • Cook potatoes until slightly tender and a fork goes through with a slight force. Be careful not to overcook. (See post for tips.)
  • Let potatoes cool to the touch, then shred by hand using a shredder
  • Combine sour cream, soup, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add mixture to potatoes. Carefully toss to coat the potatoes in the cream mixture.
  • Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the top is browned slightly.

Notes

Be careful not to overcook whole potatoes. Use a meat thermometer to check they are in the sweet spot between 205°F and 212°F.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 503mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g

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58 Comments

  1. I love cheesy potatoes! They are one of my favorite side dishes for any occasion. I always enjoy the creamy, cheesy, and crunchy texture. Thanks for giving me some new ideas and tips on how to make them even better!

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  4. I'm still going to give it five stars since it looks delicious, but I undercooked the potatoes and the oven, no matter how long I cooked them for, didn't help any. Tasted like it would be delicious if I would have left the potatoes cook longer. I'll try again next year. <3

    1. For real, I basically have just started calling it the mac and cheese of potato dishes because that's what I feel like I'm eating!

  5. This is such a new spin to me with hash brown casserole. I would have never thought to use southwest ranch. Looks super yummy

  6. These are such lovely pictures! I agree - Kraft is always delicious. They never disappoint. I may have to try this recipe for my Friendsgiving!

  7. Looks great! Cheese and potatoes are just the perfect match, especially when they are hot and the cheese is all melty and gooey!! 🙂

  8. Cheese. Cheese is the best ingredient! haha We do cheesy potatoes for Thanksgiving too, and love them! Ours is a hashbrown potato recipe that Chris's family always does, so if we're in VA I always make them for Chris to feel at home during the holidays.

    1. That's funny! I didn't know it was so popular! Awe, that's so sweet of you to make the dish for him to feel at home! 🙂

  9. This looks super yummy...do you have the recipe?? I would love to make it!! My friends and I have friends giving every year and I LOVE being able to share the holiday with them too!!

  10. Cheese is a must have! It is sooooo good in potatoes! This recipe sounds like a great addition to Thanksgiving dinner.

  11. I love the idea of "friendsgiving"! Thanksgiving, after all, is about being thankful and I'm so very thankful for my friends! And, yes, CHEESE ON EVERYTHING! 🙂