When it comes to winning combinations, it’s safe to say bacon, cheddar, and ranch take the lead. Add a batch of seasoned red potatoes, and you’ve got yourself a side dish that reigns supreme. Loaded Potato Salad made with creamy red potatoes, crispy, thick-cut bacon, and freshly grated Cheddar tossed with a homemade ranch dressing impresses your guests with every bite. The perfect potluck side dish for BBQ’s, holidays, potluck parties, and everything in between!
Potato salad possibilities are practically endless. Take our classic, Southern-style Old-Fashioned Potato Salad, for example, with tender Russet potatoes are tossed in a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing with a squeeze of yellow mustard and a medley of finely chopped veggies.
If you love red potatoes in potato salad, you could keep it classic and knock it out of the park with a creamy Red Potato Salad with chopped, hard-boiled eggs. But, the fact of the matter remains — it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with the time-honored trio of bacon, ranch, and Cheddar cheese.
LOADED POTATO SALAD INGREDIENTS
- Red Potatoes – Red potatoes are sturdy little potatoes and tend to hold on to their shape during the cooking process. They have a smooth and velvety texture that’s perfect for your Loaded Potato Salad!
- Bacon – For better quality and flavor, use real, thick-cut bacon over bacon bits.
- Cheddar Cheese – You’ll want to start with a block of Cheddar. Again, fresh is besT. Freshly grated cheese will go a long way in the flavor department.
- Ranch Dressing – Homemade Ranch Dressing is simple to mix up, requires very little in the way of chopping, and just a few extra spices. For this Loaded Potato Salad Dressing, you’ll need mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, garlic powder, fresh parsley, dried chives, and onion powder. If you’d like to omit the fresh herbs and dried spices, feel free to do so and sub a packet of pre-made ranch seasoning in their place.
HOW TO MAKE LOADED POTATO SALAD WITH BACON
- Prep the Potatoes – Start by cutting the potatoes into equal sizes. Quarter the medium to large sized red potatoes, and half the smaller ones. Then, drizzle them with oil and season with salt, pepper, and dill.
- Bake the Potatoes – Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes, until fork-tender. While the potatoes are baking, cook the bacon.
- Cook the Bacon – Dice the bacon and add it to a large saute pan over medium-high heat and sauté until browned and crispy.
- Make the Dressing – As mentioned earlier, homemade ranch dressing is extremely easy to make. Simply combine mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, spices, and herbs in a bowl and stir.
- Combine, Stir and Chill – Once the potatoes have cooled, add them to a large mixing bowl, along with the dressing, bacon, and Cheddar, and stir until well-combined. Refrigerate your Loaded Potato Salad for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight. Serve and enjoy!
4 MORE POTATO SIDE DISHES YOU’LL LOVE
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes are baked until hot and bubbly and served up in casserole form for the ultimate comfort food side dish!
- Twice Baked Potatoes with cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, bacon, and chives is a fun spin on baked potatoes!
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole features cream cheese, crispy thick-cut, bacon, freshly grated Cheddar, and chopped green onions. The perfect make-ahead side dish casserole for feeding a crowd!
- Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes is the perfect combination of both flavors and textures. Red potatoes are baked under a sea of melty cheese and crispy bacon!
The very best Loaded Potato Salad with crispy, pan-seared bacon and freshly grated cheddar cheese.
- 4 pounds baby red potatoes rinsed and dried
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt, separated
- 1 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, separated
- 1 3/4 teaspoon dried dill, separated
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon diced into 1/4" pieces
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons good, quality mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 teaspoons white wine or distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready 2 rimmed sheet pans lined with aluminum foil.
Quarter the medium to large sized red potatoes, and half the smaller ones. Add them to a large mixing bowl, drizzle with canola oil, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon dill. Toss until evenly combined and divide amongst the two sheet pans.
Bake the potatoes for 40-50 minutes, until fork-tender. While the potatoes are baking, cook the bacon.
Add the bacon to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Sauté, stirring often until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess grease. Allow to cool. You should have about a 1/2 cup of bacon pieces.
To make the ranch dressing, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, garlic powder, parsley, chives, 1 teaspoon dill, 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and onion powder in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside until ready to use.
Once the potatoes have cooled, add them to a large mixing bowl, along with the dressing, bacon, and Cheddar, and stir until well-combined. Refrigerate the potato salad at least 3 hours, or up to overnight. Serve and enjoy!