Loaded Baked Potato Cubes

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About a year ago, I ran across a recipe over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook for Buttermilk Dressed Potatoes.  That was the inspiration for this dish.  Although I love the flavors in ranch dressing, hubby is not particularly fond them. He does love loaded baked potatoes so I decided to make something along that line and came up with Loaded Baked Potato Cubes.

The Mennonite recipe had the potatoes cooked separately and then cooked in the oven.  Since I am inherently lazy, I decided to see if I could just cook the potato cubes in the oven and then add the “loaded” ingredients.  This worked really well, and I have made this dish often over the last few months.

Red potatoes, russets, Yukon gold potatoes, both unpeeled and peeled have been used for this dish, and they all have worked just fine.  Although I prefer a 3-cheddar cheese blend made by Kraft, I usually use whatever cheese I happen to have on hand.

The temperature at which the potatoes bake is very forgiving so this is a great side dish for a main dish that is being cooked in the oven.  Anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees will work.

If there are people who don’t like bacon (they don’t live at my house) or green onions, reserve them and serve them on the side for people who like them to use.

Loaded Baked Potato Cubes
6 to 8 medium potatoes, peeled or not
1 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1/2 t. coarse ground pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/3 to 1/2 c. water.
1/2 to 3/4 c. sour cream (low fat is fine)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 c. crisp cooked bacon bits
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onion

Peel potatoes if desired.  (If peeling, I usually peel six and see if that amount covers the bottom of my jelly roll pan.  If not I peel one or two more or whatever it take to make a single layer.)  Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes and mix until the cubes are well coated.  Combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl and mix well.  Sprinkle evenly over the potatoes and stir until well mixed.   Spread potatoes out in an even layer on a non-stick sprayed 10x13-inch pan.  Pour enough water into the pan to just cover the bottom.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are just tender and water has evaporated.  (If potatoes are tender, but there is still some water, just pour it off.)  Remove from oven and  gently mix the sour cream into the potatoes until they are evenly coated.  Sprinkle the cheese over the top and then the bacon bits.  Return to the oven and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with the green onion.  My hubby uses additional sour cream on his, I don’t on mine.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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