These 30-minute Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls are the perfect gluten free weeknight dinner to satisfy your entire family! Filled with perfectly fluffy homemade mashed potatoes, black beans, red peppers and more delicious toppings, this delicious recipe is a vegetarian copycat version of the KFC Famous Bowl many love!
If you love mashed potatoes as much as I do, you've always hoped they could be front and center of your meal but usually they're just a side dish. This recipe really gives love to the smooth and creamy mashed potatoes while also adding in healthy protein, vegetables and fats from the toppings added to the bowl.
Why you'll love this recipe!
- You get to eat a whole bowl of mashed potatoes - If this isn't reason enough, what is?!?!
- Only 30 minutes to make - Dinner shouldn't take long to get on the table, and with this easy and quick recipe you're sure to have the perfect meal in no time!
- Uses simple pantry ingredients - You will likely have most of the ingredients on-hand already and if not they're super simple to find at any local grocery store.
- Inexpensive - This recipe uses simple ingredients, canned beans and typical pantry spices making it an affordable dinner.
- Serves 2 - I love that this recipe makes two nice size servings, but you can definitely double or triple it!
Here are the simple ingredients needed to make this Loaded Mashed Potato Bowl.
- Russet potatoes & Yukon Gold Potatoes - I really do love a combination of these two potatoes for ideal texture and flavor.
- Unsalted butter - Dairy or non-dairy work perfectly.
- Kosher salt - Salt is essential to bring out the flavors in this dish.
- Garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, chili powder- These spices are used throughout the recipe and give this dish amazing flavor.
- Vegetable broth - Vegetable broth helps to keep the mashed potatoes super creamy without having to use tons of butter.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Olive oil is used to sauté the vegetables.
- Red pepper - A sautéed red pepper adds brightness and sweet flavor to this savory recipe.
- Canned black beans - I add black beans as a topping to provide delicious protein and flavor.
- Sour cream - All mashed potatoes need a healthy serving of sour cream!
- Scallions - Add just the right amount of crunch and are mild.
- Cilantro or parsley - Either herb is delicious as a garnish.
Find the full list of recipe ingredients and instructions in the recipe card found at the bottom of this post.
How to make Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls
Here are the step-by-step instructions of how to make this delicious vegetarian mashed potato bowl.
Step one: Lower potatoes into a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 15-20 minutes until fork tender.
Step two: Strain the cooked potatoes over the sink to discard the liquid.
Step three: Place the potatoes back into the now-empty pot, and add butter, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper.
Step four: Pour in the broth.
Step five: Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until mostly smooth. Set aside.
Step six: Sauté the peppers in a pan with some olive oil and salt for 6-8 minutes or until charred. Transfer peppers to a bowl.
Step seven: To the empty pot, add the black beans, remaining oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder. Cook 5 minutes.
Step eight: Spread warm mashed potatoes in two servings bowls.
Step nine: Decorate the mashed potatoes with the sautéed peppers, black beans, scallions, sour cream and optional radish for a pop of color!
This recipe is super straight forward, but here are a few key tips to make it perfect every time.
- Rewarm the potatoes before serving if they get cold - Nobody wants a cold mashed potato! Feel free to reheat the mashed potatoes on the stovetop before plating for 3-5 minutes, adding a bit more broth if needed to make it extra smooth.
- Meal prep this recipe - These mashed potato bowls are the ideal prep-ahead recipe since they'll last for 3-4 days in the fridge and are very filling.
- Make it dairy-free - Be sure to use a dairy-free butter & dairy-free sour cream alternative to make this recipe dairy free!
- Black beans - If you don't love black beans or simply have other beans at home that you'd like to use, use them! Chickpeas, cannellini beans, black eyed peas or any other canned bean will work well in this recipe.
- Red pepper - Swap red pepper for another vegetable such as zucchini, broccoli or even eggplant! Or add two kinds of vegetables to the recipe.
- Sour cream - Use unsweetened plain Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative to sour cream.
- Make it with chicken - Instead of using black beans, sauté cubes of spiced chicken pieces until cooked through!
This loaded mashed potato bowl is super filling on its own, but it is also excellent served with the following:
- A light and leafy salad: Make a bright and light salad (such as my Summer Fennel Salad with Melon or Cucumber Radish Salad) to serve alongside your mashed potato bowl.
- Meatballs: For an even-more-filling option, pair your bowl with delicious meals. You can make beef meatballs or my Gluten Free Meatless Meatballs!
- Breaded chicken cutlets: Bake a batch of healthy breaded chicken cutlets and serve sliced on top of the mashed potato bowl.
Truly any topping would be delicious! This recipe uses black beans, red peppers, scallions, sour cream, parsley/cilantro and radish. Gravy would be delicious drizzled over too!
Yes, potatoes are naturally gluten free since they're a vegetable.
Yes! To make enough food to fill a casserole dish, double or triple the recipe, then add to a casserole dish. Top with all the toppings before serving!
Storing and Reheating
Storage: Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for 3-4 days. Ideally store the toppings separate from the potatoes. If you choose to store them together, add the sour cream right before serving (not in the container!)
Reheating: If the bowls are pre-assembled, you can microwave for about 2 minutes until warmed through. If each component is stored on it's own, microwave the beans/peppers to reheat & reheat the mashed potatoes on the stovetop in a pot.
Freezing: You can freeze mashed potatoes, but sometimes the texture can become grainy which isn't ideal. Best to not freeze this recipe if you don't need to!
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Have you tried this recipe? Consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? Thanks for visiting!
Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls
- 1 medium-large pot
- 1 large skillet
- 1 potato masher
- 1 mixing spoon
- 2 medium Russet potatoes
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter dairy or vegan
- 1 tablespoon plus ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thin into strips (¼” strips)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ cup sour cream dairy or vegan
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1 radish thinly sliced, optional as garnish
- Fill a medium pot with water and 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Peel potatoes and chop into 4 pieces each. Carefully lower potatoes into the boiling water. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.
- Turn off the heat. Strain the water from the potatoes and place the potatoes back into the empty pot.
- To the pot, add the butter, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, pepper and broth. Use a potato masher to mash everything together until mostly smooth.
- In a medium fry pan, add olive oil, sliced peppers and ¼ teaspoon salt. Saute on medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until lightly charred. Scoop veggies out of the pan and transfer to a bowl or plate.
- Add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan, and add the black beans, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, chili powder. Cook for 3-5 minutes, on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
- Optional: Reheat the mashed potatoes if they are no longer warm over medium heat, and add 1-2 tablespoons more broth if needed to thin out the mixture. Mix all together.
- Transfer the warm potato mixture to a large serving bowl or two individual bowls.
- Top with a layer of sour cream, sauteed peppers, cooked black beans, scallions, and parsley or cilantro. Add radish as garnish if you desire too. Enjoy right away!
- Meal prep - This recipe is excellent prepared in advance for meal prep for the week, lasting 4 days in the fridge.
- Reheat - Reheat assembled bowl (without the sour cream) in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
- Red pepper substitutions - Swap the red pepper with any delicious vegetable you can sauté such as zucchini, broccoli or cauliflower.
- Bulk it up - Sauté 2-3 kinds of vegetables to add more healthy vegetables to this recipe!