This dreamy Easy Puffed Potatoes Casserole is a dish worthy of company but simple enough for weeknights! Plus you don’t have to peel even one potato!

Starting with a box of instant potatoes makes this Mashed Potato Casserole a breeze to whip up and very easy to make disappear.

Easy Puffed Potatoes Casserole on a small white plate with a red handled fork.

Why You Must Make

  • Starting with a recipe with instant potatoes makes quick work of a hearty side dish.
  • No peeling or mashing is needed!
  • If you have picky children that don’t like rustic mashed potatoes, these are smooth and delicious!

When our children were younger, one of my dear friends and I got together with our stacks of recipe cards and exchanged favorites. These doctored-up instant mashed potatoes made frequent appearances on her holiday table but are simple enough for any meal.

I always have these ingredients on hand; so when I decided to make a beef stew on this snowy Saturday, these yummy potatoes were the perfect accompaniment. 

Easy Puffed Potatoes Casserole in a rectangular ceramic dish.

Expert Tips

  • I use Potato Buds for this recipe, but follow the instructions in this recipe, not on the box.
  • The picky hubby likes more rustic, traditional mashed potatoes, but when I don’t have gravy, these are a delicious alternative.
  • I used my large (affiliate links) OXO Offset Spatula (affiliate links) to make a repetitive pattern across the top of the casserole before baking. This is totally optional but nice for a special occasion.
  • I like a sprinkle of paprika to give this instant mashed potato casserole a little color. I was a little overzealous this time! I love this OXO Dusting Wand for sprinkling powdered sugar, spices, etc.
Lambeau, the dog, eying these Easy Puffed Potatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Instant Potatoes?

Instant Potatoes, Potato Buds, and Potato Flakes are all cooked, dehydrated potatoes. When reconstituted with milk or water, they become mashed potatoes.

Are Instant Potatoes Bad for You?

Instant potatoes contain more sodium and less fiber than traditional mashed potatoes. But they still have other nutritional benefits found in mashed fresh potatoes, like B vitamins and Vitamin C.

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Easy Puffed Potatoes Casserole | Simple enough for a weeknight, but impressive enough for company!

Puffed Potatoes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 8

An easy potato casserole worthy of serving to company!


  • 2 ⅔ cups Instant Potatoes, I use Potato Buds
  • 2 ⅔ cups water
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon instant onion (I used 1 teaspoon Penzey's Minced White Onion)
  • Paprika to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Prepare potato buds following the recipe on the box, using the above ingredient amounts, but only 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
  3. Turn the burner off and add the softened cream cheese, egg, instant onion, and the rest of the salt.
  4. Put potatoes into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan or use a smaller pan for thicker potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika if desired and bake 45 minutes.


Adapted from my friend, Sarah.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 251Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 495mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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