Healthified Four-Cheese Mashed Potato Casserole – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Healthified Four-Cheese Mashed Potato Casserole, found over at Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice, and by “my choice” what I mean is “Fred found it, and I thought it would be a good tandem recipe, so I suggested it to Nance.”

First, you’ve gotta mash your taters. Five pounds of white potatoes, fresh from Publix.

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That’s a lot of potatoes. I had decided, after seeing that the recipe had 24 servings, that I would split the casserole into two 8″ square dishes and freeze one of them. But oh-ho-HO, those potatoes had another idea entirely. After I was done peeling potatoes and cutting out the black spots…

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“Hmm,” said I. “It’s almost as though I’ve got as much peel and black-spot potato as I’ve got potatoes I can actually use.”

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Started out with five pounds of potatoes, able to use a little more than half that. That is a FINE QUALITY PRODUCT, Publix. Awesome! I usually love the shit out of Publix, but this made me want to go on a slappin’ spree. They’re just lucky I wasn’t wearing a bra and didn’t want to put one on to make the trip to Publix to complain.

So I cut the recipe in half.

Boil the potatoes, drain them, and toss them back in the pot.

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Mash them.

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If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have bothered to mash the potatoes at this point.

Oh, and a side note here: I would have preferred to make this recipe using the flaked potatoes that the evil Nance introduced me to, and which are so damn good that I don’t EVEN care that they’re probably made up of chemicals and just the idea of real potatoes. But I wasn’t sure how to make it so that I’d have the correct amount of mashed potatoes. SO what I did, after I’d mashed my potatoes for this recipe was measure how much potato I had, and found that I had 5 cups.

In summary: if you’re making this recipe with instant mashed potatoes, use 5 cups for the half recipe or 10 for the full recipe. YOU’RE WELCOME.

More ingredients:

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Reduced-fat Neufchatel, crumbled blue cheese, Parmesan (not pictured), reduced-fat sour cream, reduced-fat cheddar, garlic salt, paprika, fresh chives.

Beat Neufchatel, blue cheese, cheddar, and Parmesan together with an electric beater ’til smooth.

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Add in your sour cream and garlic salt.

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Now, the original recipe said that you should stir your cheese mixture into your mashed potatoes. I figured that they thought you should do that by hand, and frankly? My thoughts on the topic:


So I threw the potatoes in with the cheese mixture.

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The potatoes were a bit stiff, so I added milk, 1 T. at a time, until it was a bit softer. You’ll have to go by your own preferences. I think I added 2 tablespoons of milk, though it might have been more.

Spoon your mashed potatoes into an ungreased glass baking dish. If you’re doing the full recipe, use a 9×13. If you’re doing a half recipe, use an 8×8.

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Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped chives.

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The verdict? Two thumbs up! I liked it, and Fred liked it even more. I’ll definitely be making this again, though I’ll be using the potato flakes, because if I can possibly make my life easier, I am ALL FOR IT.

It was even better the next day, reheated!


Dear Robyn,

If you want to eat healthier mashed potatoes  just leave all the cheese out. Or make the other recipe we tried and only eat a tablespoon.  A day.  How would you survive without me?


True Confessions:  I did not use Bleu Cheese. I did not use anything fat-free or reduced-fat. I don’t like doctored mashed potatoes. I don’t understand why anybody would want to mess with regular ol’ mashed potatoes because I think they are fabulous just the way they are. Sometimes I wonder if Robyn isn’t drinking alky-haul when she’s picking out recipes.  Or maybe she picked this one because she didn’t want Amanda to get upset again.


If you read my true confessions above (skimmer!), you already know that I didn’t even try and follow the actual recipe. I would rather eat a little bit of something great than a whole lot of something shitty. And nobody can tell me that reduced fat stuff isn’t shitty. Been there, done that, bought the plunger. Shitty, plunger, get it?

Hey, it made me laugh.

The recipe gave me pause when it called for 5 pounds (14 cups) of freaking potatoes.  That seemed like an awful lot of potatoes for a 13 x 9 ” pan.  To me, anyway.  I don’t really know that much about whether or not potatoes shrink when cooked, etc.  And if you fuckers thought I was going to ask Mr. Science and risk the possibility of another mass, volume, blahblahblahblah lecture…um, no. I was also not going to sit around peeling motherfucking potatoes when I have my favorite instant mashed potatoes right in the cupboard. Think of this as the unhealthy, but much easier alternative to Betty Crocker’s™ bullshit healthified recipe.  Yeah, Betty.  I just made you my bitch.


We decided to make the amount on the box that feeds 8 people.  Why?  I don’t know.  Probably because that’s what Rick told me he was making.  He’s in charge of instant mashed potatoes because he does it like a boss.  This is the action shot I took.  Please note that my husband is using a wooden spoon in my non-stick pan.  This is the same man that has the audacity to blame the kids for ruining the pans.  Men.  They’re so silly.


Another action shot! Once I post this I’m going to go see how many dishes/bowls Robyn dirtied to make this goofy recipe. I’m already in for 3 dirty dishes and I didn’t have to use a colander to strain my potatoes – that would have been 4, dammit. If I’m using 4 dishes/bowls there better be cake involved. Tasty, tasty cake. Not to be confused with Tastykake™.  As if.


Pro tip*: Always try to grate your own cheddar if you can. It tastes so much freaking better than that bagged crap.

Imagine there are pictures here of everything else I dumped in because for some reason I didn’t bother snapping any. I guess I got busy.


This is what it looked like when I tossed it into a casserole dish and sprinkled paprika over it. Man, just looking at this picture is making me crave deviled eggs.


Done. We had this with a pork roast and it was good.


Everyone loved it (of course, since it’s a heart attack waitin’ to happen). Weird cropping compliments of the single cat hair on the edge of the plate that I didn’t notice until I was re-sizing pictures. Fucking cats.

*not to be confused with a genuine pro tip because, GET REAL.

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Healthified Four-Cheese Mashed Potato Casserole - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: side dish
Cuisine: Irish?
Serves: 24
  • 5 lb white potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 14 cups) (If you're using instant potatoes, you'll need 10 cups of mashed potatoes)
  • 3 oz reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 container (8 oz) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives, if desired
  1. In large pot, place potatoes. Cover with water. Heat over high heat until boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered for 15 - 18 minutes or until tender. Drain; mash potatoes in saucepan with potato masher or electric mixer (or skip this step if you're a lazy ass and will just toss them into the bowl with the cheese mixture at the end.)
  2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, blue cheese, Cheddar and Parmesan with electric mixer on low until smooth. Beat in sour cream and garlic salt.
  3. Heat oven to 350ºF. Stir cheese mixture into mashed potatoes until well blended (lazy asses, just toss the potatoes into the mixer with the cheese mixture and blend.) If potatoes are too stiff, add milk 1 T at a time until they've reached the preferred consistency.
  4. Spoon into an ungreased 13x9 (3-quart) glass baking dish. (If you prefer, you can split the potatoes between two 8x8 baking dishes and freeze one; in the future, just thaw the frozen potatoes in the refrigerator for a day, and cook as directed below.)
  5. Bake uncovered 35 - 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with paprika and chives.


Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes – Nance & Robyn Make the Same Recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes found over at Six Sisters’ Stuff. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice, and by “my choice”, I mean that I turned to Fred and said “Find a recipe you want me to make so that if it doesn’t turn out, I can blame you.” So he did whatever he does when he’s looking for a recipe (probably Googled “I want my bitchy wife to make me pork chops, O Google, please help.”) and passed it along to me.

Whenever I don’t know what I feel like making for dinner and ask him what he wants, he inevitably suggests either meat loaf or pork chops. We always have a lot of pork chops in the freezer, due to the whole raising our own pigs thing. And while rubbing them with spices and broiling them is always tasty, it’s kind of boring. So I was willing to try this one so I got the okay from Nance.

First thing I had to do was go to the grocery store because although I have it in my mind that I always have the pantry stocked with cream of chicken soup, the truth is that I’ve been out for ages and keep forgetting to stock up. So when I saw that the recipe called for cream of chicken soup, off I went to the grocery store.

(Note that over at Six Sisters’ she has instructions on how to make your own cream of chicken soup to use in the recipe, as well as your own ranch dressing recipe. I thought about doing that, but decided I’d rather not, at least this time around. Maybe next time.)

I love my grocery store – Publix – but for the love of god, they are forever out of the MOST OBVIOUS things. Last time I was there, they were completely out of Olive Oil Pam. I mean, seriously? This time, they had ZERO cans of cream of chicken soup on the shelf. I was like “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”, but I wasn’t too worked up, because both Fred and I like mushrooms , so I bought two cans of cream of mushroom soup instead.

(And then I immediately started worrying that using cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken would fuck EVERYTHING up, because I’m a worrywart like that.)


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Pork chops, potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, dry Ranch dressing mix, milk. The recipe calls for dry parsley, but I have a hatred for parsley (it tastes like dirt to me), so I left it off. That’s right, NO PARSLEY. I’m a rebel.

I could have taken pictures of my chopping-up-the-potatoes process, but I forgot. I just, y’know, cut ’em up. In large pieces. Then dumped ’em in the slow cooker, which I had already sprayed with Pam (which I obviously did not buy at Publix).

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In a bowl, mix together the condensed soups, dry Ranch dressing mix, and milk. Then put the pork chops on top of the potatoes, and dump the soup/ milk mix on top of the pork chops.

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I always opt to cook on low for the longer time, but this time around I’d had to go to the grocery store before I could throw everything together, so I intended to cook it on high for an hour and then turn it down to low to four more. Except that I am an airhead, and I put it on low for an hour, and then I was all “What the hell?” and put it on high for an hour and then turned it back down to low.

In retrospect, I should have just left it on low and it would have been fine, but I’m a dork.

Fred helpfully said, after I had let this stuff cook all day “Oh, did I mention that you maybe shouldn’t cook it as long because our pork chops are kind of thin?” SO HELPFUL. I expected that I’d lift the lid off the crockpot and the pork chops would disintegrate in a puff of smoke.

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So I was a little trepidatious about this meal, and the first bite was… okay.

But the funny thing is that after about three bites, we were both saying “This is SO GOOD!” And it was, it was really good. The pork was perfectly tender, the potatoes were perfectly done, and the soup and dressing mix added the perfect spices to the meal.

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This is definitely going into permanent rotation – the only change I’m going to make is that next time, I’m going to dump a container of fresh mushrooms on top of the potatoes before I add the pork chops and the sauce on top. Like I mentioned, we like mushrooms, and they can only make it better!

Nance’s take:

Robyn raises her own animals and therefore has a LOT of chicken and pork in her possession. I couldn’t even raise my kids right. Although I will say that I have never tried to raise kids with the intention of eventually sending them off to freezer camp. But there are days, man. Many, many days. heh. My point was that I had to go to the store for pork chops because I didn’t have any in my freezer. But I can’t even bitch about that because Rick picked them up for me and wah, wah, wah, I’m married to a man that will run errands without bitching about it. I need to shut up now. Did you ever have one of those days when you can’t ever get to your point even when you’re declaring what your point is?  My point was really all about how I never buy pork chops because I don’t like them.  JESUS H.

The tube-top w/sweat pants wearing Shirley (my mom) is very into this web site and being involved with the trying out of new recipes. God love her, at 71-years-old she is happy to peel potatoes and clean up my various kitchen disasters. It’s okay to be jealous. Just remember one thing: My mom is crazy and I have to put up with that on the daily. I print out a recipe and use my iPad because without fail my recipe disappears when I need it.  Translation:  Shirley takes the recipe to read it and never puts it back where I had it.  When I want to check something, it’s gone.  Since she’s afraid of the iPad my recipe is always where I want it to be and she can do whatever she wants with the printed version.  God help me when I have to start scanning the recipes from those old cookbooks (I’ll be printing two copies).


This is me having faith in a cooking spray again. I would have shit bricks if this recipe would have baked on to the crockpot. Not because the crockpot wouldn’t come clean, but because it would take HOURS of soaking and scrubbing to get everything off of it.  Fortunately, the cooking spray came through. I still have no logical reason why I always expect it to fail. And kudos for another crockpot recipe because with the weather turning warm, I don’t even want to think about turning on my oven.


Two things about Cream of Chicken soup:
1. I don’t like the new pull top cans. Again, no logical reason why. I just find them annoying and apparently I’ve turned into a grandmother who doesn’t like change.
2. My husband eats this shit like it’s chicken noodle soup. GROSS. I have only ever used it in recipes and think that maybe there is something wrong with him because…did I mention GROSS?


My mommy peeled the potatoes for me. I can do it, but it would have taken me hours. Did you know that you cannot put potato peelings down a garbage disposal?  I found out when my entire kitchen plumbing system SHIT.THE.BED. when I tried to throw them down there. It was a major catastrophe that caused flooding, water damage and tears (mine). I have hated that goddamn garbage disposal ever since and want it GONE. Shirley wants it to stay. Rick is firmly stuck in the middle between his wife and his mother-in-law (bwahaha). I’m okay with it staying there, but I refuse to use it (I have a canister with a bag beside the sink) and I bitch loudly every single time someone uses it. That’s called compromise, people.


This is where I have to admit to the world that Shirley and I were not paying attention during any of this food preparation because we were distracted by this. He was across the street and we were both appalled because he was up high and there was no other person spotting him from below. He was totally alone! That’s so high! That’s not safe for chrissakes! Why do companies do that? He’s going to fall! Holy shit! I’m not looking. Wait, I’ll take a picture! Why the hell would he go up there anyway! Is someone getting their cable cut off? I sure as hell wouldn’t go up that high without someone holding my ladder. Blahblahblah…

You just do not put two nervous nellies in front of this kind of situation and expect them to focus on pork chops.


Mixing up the ranch dressing, etc. was pretty simple. It’s not rocket science. You just need your hand. And a spoon. Without the spoon it would be kind of weird. And gross.


Spray. Put chopped up potatoes in there first. Throw porkchops on top. Easy.


Pour soup mixture all over the porkchops. Fret over if this whole mess is even going to cook right.  Then walk away because you don’t like pork chops anyway. Not your problem!


Pretty damn good. This plate would have looked nicer with some green beans or carrots on it, but I couldn’t be bothered. I hate my food getting cold while I’m taking pictures. And everybody else waits for me to be done before they sit down to eat so I kind of whip right through it. We’re real people that eat the food we make, we don’t plate the food for pictures when we can get the best light, etc. Ahem.

I was surprised about a number of things. The first being that I actually liked it. Especially with my not being a big fan of pork chops.  I’m also one of the few people on the planet that does not appreciate Ranch dressing. I would go without dressing if the only choice given to me was Ranch. But it did add a good flavor to everything. And the pork chops weren’t tough at all. It was a good meal and I plan on throwing it into the rotation from now on. Rick and Shirley liked it. Rick said it was even better the next day (he took it to work for lunch) and Shirley ate it on the third day and said it was FANTASTIC.

Robyn picked a winner!

Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes - Nance & Robyn Make the Same Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: entree, main
Serves: 4
  • 4-6 pork chops
  • 6-8 medium potatoes, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 cans fat-free cream of chicken soup
  • 2 packages dry Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • Dried parsley to sprinkle on top (optional)
  1. Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and put potatoes on the bottom.
  2. Place the pork chops on top of the potatoes.
  3. Mix together the condensed soups, Ranch dressing mix and milk. Pour on top of the pork chops.
  4. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  5. Sprinkle with dried parsley if you want to, but I don't know why you would. Blegh.