Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls

$6.73 recipe / $1.68 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.72 from 28 votes
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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!

A huge bowl of Loaded Mashed Potatoes with jalapeños and roasted corn on the side.

Toppings, toppings, and MORE toppings!

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.

And yes, chicken would still be awesome with this if you don’t want to do vegetarian (try our Honey Chipotle Chicken). I’d go with diced grilled chicken pieces to keep with that smoky theme.

Use Your Favorite Mashed Potatoes

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. Two other options are my dairy-free Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes or my classic Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes.

A fork digging into Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls, cheese pulling
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Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls

4.72 from 28 votes
Creamy potatoes make the perfect base for a pile of colorful and flavorful toppings in these Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls. Perfect for meal prep! 
Creamy potatoes make the perfect base for a pile of colorful and flavorful toppings in these Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls. Perfect for meal prep! BudgetBytes.com
Servings 4
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 0 minutes
Total 20 minutes


  • 6 cups prepared mashed potatoes ($2.17)
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels* ($1.49)
  • 1 15oz. can 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.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


*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. 


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 705.6kcalCarbohydrates: 102.9gProtein: 22.48gFat: 24.8gSodium: 2452.55mgFiber: 15.78g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Close up of Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls

How to Make Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Season Black Beans

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 Toppings

Prep the rest of your toppings. Shred about 4 oz. cheddar cheese, thinly slice one jalapeño, and slice two green onions.

Start bowls with a layer of mashed potatoes

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 cheese to mashed potatoes

Add about 1/4 of the shredded cheese to each bowl.

Add seasoned black beans to bowls

Add about 1/2 cup of the corn kernels and about 1/3 cup of the black beans to each of the bowls.

Add jalapeños, green onion, and sauce to 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.

A fork digging into the Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls

Yessss. There’s nothing beige about this bowl.

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  1. I wanted mashed potatoes for supper and this hit the spot. Halved the recipe for the 2 of us, rehydrated a couple of ounces of soy curls, roasted them with the corn, and 1/2 cup black beans (all that we had) with a little oil and chili podwer until they were all warmed through. Topped with ranch dressing, didn’t have bbq sauce. Yum

  2. This was so perfect! I also was thinking about those KFC mashed potato bowls, and am thankful you had a vegetarian option because I am vegetarian now! Instead of BBQ sauce, I used vegan ranch, but I will try the BBQ tomorrow when I make another bowl! Thank you for an inexpensive and amazingly satisfying meal!

  3. I was inspired by one of the comments below that said they made the slow cooker BBQ chicken for this recipe. I did it too, and I’ve got to say it was INCREDIBLE. I made my 8 month old his own mashed potato bowl and he LOVED it.

  4. Just made this – so easy & so good!! Love that almost everything is a pantry staple or shelf-stable

  5. This was a great meatless meal! I used what I had and it all came together quickly. Family ate theirs with salsa but I preferred bbq sauce. Thanks for this recipe!

  6. This is one of my favourite recipes! Works pretty good with daiya cheese for the veg people too :)

  7. I’ve subscribed to you for a long time, and you keep coming up with the most ingenious, accessible ideas! Greetings from Aotearoa New Zealand and I celebrate the ongoing growth and success of Budget Bytes!!

  8. This recipe was begging to be combined with your slow cooker bbq chicken recipe.


    So that’s exactly what I did. Added the beans,  (regular) corn, and chili powder towards the end of the chicken’s cooking time and that eliminated the need to warm them up separately. The chicken cooks in bbq sauce but definitely add a squirt of fresh sauce to the finished bowls along with the toppings.

    I never tried the fast food version but I know for a fact this is better. :)

  9. Eating and typing this.. What a good idea for a fast easy and delicious meal. Thanks again Budget bytes!!