Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls

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. 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

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
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4.66 from 23 votes

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! 
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 4


  • 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.


*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. 
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Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 705.6 kcalCarbohydrates: 102.9 gProtein: 22.48 gFat: 24.8 gSodium: 2452.55 mgFiber: 15.78 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See 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.