This easy side dish recipe has been a family favorite for decades! Aunt Bee's 3-Ingredient Cheesy Potato Casserole includes shredded potatoes, sharp cheddar cheese, and rich sour cream for a quick make-ahead side. Perfect for holidays, entertaining, or cozy Sunday suppers, the baked cheesy potatoes go well with beef, ham, chicken and pork!
Baked Cheesy Potatoes
Who knew that 3 simple ingredients could come together in such a magical way?! If you're planning your holiday menu, or even if you just need a new easy side dish for your next weeknight dinner, I hope that you'll add this Cheesy Potato Casserole to your list! It's a staple on our Christmas dinner table, and it seriously couldn't be easier. Best of all, you can make the entire dish in advance and just bake it off when you're ready to enjoy. We could all use simple, reliable, baked cheesy potatoes during a busy holiday season!
Since you only need 3 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) for this dish, it's important to use the best, high-quality products available. Each ingredient plays a prominent role in creating the ultimate cheesy potatoes!
- Potatoes: red potatoes are our top pick for this dish.
- Cheddar cheese: extra sharp cheddar is our preference for maximum flavor, but you can substitute with a mild cheddar or even a combination of cheddar, American, mozzarella, Gruyere, Colby, or Pepper Jack. Use a block of cheese that you grate by hand.
- Sour cream: thick, rich, full-fat sour cream. Don't water down your casserole with low-fat varieties that lack flavor and texture.
Red potatoes work particularly well in this dish because they keep their shape -- giving the casserole that great shredded hash brown texture -- but they also provide a creamy consistency. Red potatoes are low in starch and high in moisture, so they’re perfect when boiled. Other good options include white potatoes or russet potatoes.
How to Make Cheesy Potato Casserole
This make-ahead side dish comes together easily, but you'll need to allow plenty of time to boil, cool and peel the potatoes. That's the hardest part!
- Boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes, or until fork-tender. Cool.
- Peel potatoes and shred with the large holes on a grater.
- Stir together grated potatoes, most of the cheese, and all of the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Transfer to a greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake in a 350° F oven uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are heated through.
What to Serve with Cheesy Shredded Potatoes
This rich, decadent and easy potato casserole is a simple side dish that pairs perfectly with just about any entrée! Here are a few ideas that go well with the cheesy potatoes:
- Southern Bourbon-Glazed Beef Tenderloin
- Virginia Brown Sugar Baked Ham or Pineapple Glazed Ham
- Crispy Roast Chicken
- Garlic and Rosemary Pork Chops
- Maple Glazed Roasted Turkey Breast
- Apple Cider Brined Turkey
- Pork Loin Roast
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- Oven BBQ Chicken Breast
Make Ahead Cheesy Potatoes
This casserole is the perfect stress-free option for a big holiday meal because you don't have to worry about last-minute prep when you're busy with everything else on the menu. Simply assemble the casserole as instructed, but do not bake. Cover and refrigerate the dish for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter at room temperature for about 1 hour before baking in a 350° F oven for 25 minutes. If the dish is still cold when it goes into the oven, you will likely need to increase the baking time to make sure that the potatoes are completely warmed through.
If you have leftover potatoes, you can keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat the potatoes, warm individual portions on a covered plate in the microwave. To reheat a larger dish of potatoes, cover and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes.
I do not recommend freezing these potatoes, as the sour cream may "break" when thawed and the potatoes may have a gummy, mushy texture.
- Instead of sharp cheddar cheese, use a different good melting cheese (or a blend of cheeses). Nice options include Velveeta, Gruyere, Swiss, Colby, Colby Jack or Pepper Jack.
- Instead of the red potatoes, try white potatoes, Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes.
- Add Corn Flakes on top! To do so, toss together 1 cup of crushed Corn Flakes cereal with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Sprinkle on top of the casserole before baking.
Tips for the Best Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe
- Don't over-cook the potatoes. Keep an eye on them and boil them just until they're fork-tender (this will typically take about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes). Overdone potatoes will have a wrinkly skin and the insides will appear gummy.
- Make sure that your sour cream and cheese are at room temperature. This will help them combine with the potatoes.
- I prefer to use cheddar cheese from a block that I grate by hand. It melts smoother into the potatoes.
More Delicious Potato Recipes
- Hash Brown Potato Casserole
- Crispy Seasoned Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Make Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- German Potato Salad
- Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole with Corn Flakes
Aunt Bee's 3-Ingredient Cheesy Potato Casserole
- 6 large red potatoes (about 2 - 2½ lbs. total)
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 16 ounces sour cream (about 2 cups total)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley; chives; dash of paprika
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until fork-tender (about 10-15 minutes).
- Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and coarsely shred on the large holes of a grater.
- Place grated potatoes in a large bowl. Stir in 2 ½ cups of the cheese and all of the sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer potato mixture to a greased 1 ½ - 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of cheese on top.
- Bake, uncovered, for approximately 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and potatoes are heated through.
- Garnish with parsley, chives, or a dash of paprika just before serving.
This post was originally published in November, 2017. It was updated in December, 2020.