Do you remember when KFC started doing bowl meals? I don’t know if they still make them, I just remember a few (?) years back seeing advertisements for a bowl full of mashed potatoes, fried chicken pieces, and some cheese. Despite being an incredibly beige looking bowl of food, I liked the concept. I’ve wanted to throw my own colorful twist on those bowls for years. Well, today I finally did it with these Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls. Yay!
I decided to make my Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls vegetarian, with a mixture of fire roasted corn and black beans as the main topper. I added the requisite cheddar cheese (because cheeeeeese) and then jazzed it up with a few SUPER thin slices of jalapeño, green onion for freshness, and a light drizzle of BBQ sauce. Yes, BBQ sauce. Trust me.
I’m going to leave it to you to prepare your mashed potato base using your favorite recipe, but the more flavorful they are the better your bowl will be. I made some quick Instant Pot mashed potatoes because it’s my favorite and easiest way to make them, and I used vegetable broth this time instead of chicken broth to keep the bowl vegetarian. You can find my recipe for Instant Pot mashed Potatoes in this Apple Spice Pork Chop Meal Prep blog post.
And yes, chicken would still be awesome with this if you don’t want to do vegetarian. I’d go with diced grilled chicken pieces to keep with that smoky theme.
Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls
Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls
Creamy potatoes make the perfect base for a pile of colorful and flavorful toppings in these Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls. Perfect for meal prep!
- 6 cups prepared mashed potatoes $2.17
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels* $1.49
- 15 oz. can black beans $0.79
- 1/2 tsp chili powder** $0.10
- 4 oz. cheddar, shredded $1.00
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce $0.68
- 2 green onions, sliced $0.22
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional) $0.33
Allow the corn kernels to thaw, or heat them through if you plan to eat the bowls immediately. Rinse and drain the black beans, then add them to a bowl along with the chili powder and stir until the beans are coated.
To build the bowls, place about 1.5 cups mashed potatoes in each bowl, then top with about 1/2 cup corn kernels, 1/3 cup black beans, about 1/4 cup shredded cheddar, 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce, and a sprinkle of sliced green onions and jalapeño.
Serve the bowls immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. To reheat, simply microwave until the mashed potatoes are hot and the cheese is melted.
*I used "fire roasted" frozen corn kernels from Trader Joes, which are more expensive but lend a wonderfully smoky flavor.
**This is not spicy red chile powder, but a mild, earthy blend of spices used to season American chili.
Step by Step Photos
I’m going to assume you have 6 cups of your favorite mashed potatoes made already. Take 2 cups frozen corn kernels out of the freezer to thaw (or heat them through if you plan to eat your Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls right away). Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans, add 1/2 tsp chili powder to the beans and stir to coat.
Prep the rest of your toppings. Shred about 4 oz. cheddar cheese, thinly slice one jalapeño, and slice two green onions.
I ate one of my bowls for lunch today, and prepped these other three for meals later this week. To build each bowl, start with 1.5 cups of mashed potatoes.
Add about 1/4 of the shredded cheese to each bowl.
Add about 1/2 cup of the corn kernels and about 1/3 cup of the black beans to each of the bowls.
Finally, drizzle a couple tablespoons of BBQ sauce over each bowl and top with some sliced green onion and sliced jalapeño (optional). Either refrigerate, or dig in! If you want your cheese more melty, just microwave for a minute or so.
Yessss. There’s nothing beige about this bowl.