Food fantasy moment…picture warm, gooey Dutch oven cheesy potatoes dripping with butter and cheese all coated in a crispy bacon crumb crust. Sound tempting? Well read on, I promise this recipe brings this dream to reality. Plus, it’s super easy to make!
My family and cheesy potatoes
So back in May for Saige’s birthday, I asked her what she wanted to eat. Her immediate answer was Cheesy Potato Soup, and Dutch Oven Cheesy Potatoes. I mentioned that might be A LOT of potatoes (and a lot of cheese) for one meal. Since it was still in the 40s temp wise she picked the soup with the premise that I’d do the potatoes for Sunday dinner. (Which we did, and BTW, check out that smoke ring on the smoked pork loin slice…Go Jeff!)
Potatoes are kind of second nature for our family. We spent 15 years in Driggs, Idaho living in the shadow of the Tetons. And in Idaho, you best know how to cook up some spuds. This recipe has been done literally countless times while camping, for comfort food at home, and yes, these are the quintessential “Funeral Potatoes”.
It wasn’t until a couple years ago when we bought smokers and started smokin’ just about every weekend that we tried the cheesy potatoes that way. Smoking them added just a whole other level of flavor dimension to the dish. And, we added bacon because why not!
Dutch Oven Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon Crumb Crust
This recipe isn’t for the faint of “heart” if you get the drift. You can certainly use reduced fat sour cream, reduced fat cream soup, less butter, and no bacon. But, in its true full fat glory it is sinfully delicious.
The potatoes we use are actually the dehydrated ones you can buy in Alaska at Costco in small and big cartons (I’m sure many more places in lower 48) as they are great for food storage and lightweight camping fare. But I’ve also used the frozen shredded potatoes (defrosted), or cooked then shredded fresh potatoes. I do like the shredded version better than cubed or scallop cut because they meld so well with all the creamy gooeyness.
A fun variation for this recipe is to use different flavors of cream soup. While my go to is Cream of Chicken, I’ve also used Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Broccoli (with fresh broccoli chunks cooked in), Cream of Asparagus (fresh asparagus cooked in) and Cream of Celery.
Finally, although this recipe makes a big batch as in enough to do a 12″ Dutch oven or full 9 x 13″ pan, it is easily halved. So, give it a try…smoke em’ if you’ve got one or throw it on over the coals in a Dutch oven. Any way you make it, it’s all good.
Dutch Oven Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon
For the Cheesy Potatoes:
- 10 c. Shredded Potatoes rehydrated cooked, or defrosted*
- 2-10.5 oz. cans Cream of Chicken Soup**
- 1 c. Sour Cream
- 2-3 c. shredded Cheese***
- 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder or 2 Tbsp fresh Onion chopped
- 2 tsp. minced Garlic
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. Butter, melted
- 1 ~12 oz. pkg Bacon
- 2/3 c. Bread Crumbs
To Make the Dutch Oven Cheese Potatoes
- Fire up your method of cooking: Heat smoker to 350****, or light ~ 25 charcoal briquets for Dutch oven cooking.
- While mixing ingredients, cook bacon crisp.
- Mix together shredded potatoes, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and shredded cheese.
- Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and 1/2 of melted butter.
- Spoon in and smooth out potato mixture in 12 " Dutch oven or cast iron pan for smoker, indoor~ 6 qt enameled Dutch oven, or 9 x 13" baking dish.
- Crumble bacon (depending on how fine you want it, dice or use food processor-what we do- to desired crumb size) then mix or pulse with bread crumbs.
- Top potato mixture with bacon & bread crumbs then drizzle remaining melted butter over top.
- Bake for ~ 45-60 minutes uncovered in smoker; outdoor Dutch oven-7 coals bottom/18 coals top.
- *For potatoes, use dehydrated (rehydrate before prepping recipe ~ 3 pints or 6 c. dehydrated), frozen defrosted, or fresh cooked, peeled and cut to your liking (shredded, cubed, sliced using 6-10 potatoes depending on size).
- **This recipe works well with Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Broccoli, Cream of Asparagus, and Cream of Celery. Be creative with additives like fresh veggies, additional meats etc.
- ***For cheese, I like the jack/cheddar blend so choose your favorite.
- ****When selecting woods for smoking this recipe we've found we like hickory or mesquite, and apple wood.