Simply irresistible Cheesy Ranch Potato Salad loaded with bacon and Creole seasoning. A healthy and satisfying side to match any dish. With extremely rich and creamy ranch dressing covering the fork-tender potatoes. Refreshing and enticing comfort food you can eat any time of the day!
Let me brag about my famous Potato Salad. Whether it’s for a potluck, picnic, or weekend brunch, it’s always a hit! My secret? Bacon and Cheese. Yes! The winner combo. No doubt about it!
But I didn’t stop there… I unleashed the adventurous side of me and added a dash of Creole Seasoning to my ranch dressing and baaam! The result is out-of-this-world delicious! The distinct flavor of blended herbs perfectly matched the rich, creamy, and luscious dressing.
The dressing really goes well with the red potatoes. Just the right amount of sweetness and tanginess complementing the potatoes. It is safe to say that this is by far the best-tasting Bacon Ranch Potato Salad you’ll ever taste. Satisfaction guaranteed! 😉
German Potato Salad vs American Potato Salad
They mainly differ on the dressing used. The American version usually uses mayonnaise-based dressing and always served cold. While, the German version, commonly uses vinegar-based dressing and mostly served warm and sometimes cold too. Either way, both of them taste amaaaazing!
- Red Potatoes – are low in starch and not mushy once cooked. They also have a nice crisp and slightly sweet makes them ideal for salad. Plus, the red color makes the salad more appealing and appetizing.
- Salt – don’t forget to add salt while boiling your potatoes so they won’t taste bland.
- Bacon – my favorite addition to this recipe. It’s extremely flavorful and works wonders in any dish. But don’t get too excited and add too much, you don’t want this salad to be too salty. 😉
- Mayonnaise – the most versatile salad dressing, it has a nice and smooth texture with a rich taste that goes along with other ingredients.
- Sour Cream – has a rich and distinct tangy taste with a creamy texture. It adds richness and awesomeness when added with mayonnaise resulting in a lovely salad dressing.
- Mustard – a basic condiment that goes well with mayonnaise. It adds more sweetness to balance the slight sourness of the mayonnaise and sour cream.
- Ranch Salad Dressing Mix – a premixed packet complete with all the seasonings you need. (Here’s my Homemade Ranch Dressing recipe.) You wouldn’t want to skip on this ingredient because it’s what makes this dish A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! 😉
- Cheddar Cheese – always works like magic, all the time! The perfect balance of creaminess and saltiness is exactly what you need in this showstopper potato salad.
- Green Onions – their subtle spiciness and distinct pungent taste create wonderful flavor when added to almost any dish.
- Creole seasoning (salt-free) – because bacon and cheddar are already salty enough, so remember to omit the salt when making your own creole seasoning. The combination of spices makes this dish simply addicting.
- Pepper – the other half of salt. Any dish won’t be complete without these two.
- Miracle Whip – a good replacement for mayonnaise. It’s creamy and sweet perfect for loaded potato salad as well.
- Greek Yogurt or Plain Yogurt – also a popular substitute for sour cream.
Make it Vegan. Use dairy-free vegan mayonnaise and omit the bacon.
Although you can easily buy ingredients from local grocery stores, nothing beats homemade. You get the control the taste according to your liking and skip all the unnecessary preservatives.
Click here for my Homemade Ranch Dressing recipe.
And to make Sour Cream at home, you’ll need:
- 1 cup (8oz / 240g) heavy whipping cream with 36% fat content
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice (or white vinegar)
- ¼ cup (2oz / 60g) milk
Mix everything in a clean glass jar or glass bowl. Shake (if your jar has a secured lid) or stir them well. Remove the lid and use a breathable cloth (or a paper towel) to cover the jar or bowl and secure it with a rubber band. Let it sit in the counter overnight or up to 24 hours to set. Transfer to a dry and clean air-tight container. It can be stored for up to 2 weeks inside the fridge.
Best Potatoes for Salads
Unlike starchy potatoes that can easily fall apart and turn mealy and mushy when cooked. Waxy potatoes or those with low starch content are the best candidates for this ranch potato salad recipe. They remain creamy and can hold their shape even after boiling. Examples of waxy potatoes are:
- Red Potatoes – has super thin skin and sweeter than round whites potatoes.
- Fingerling – is usually a small and narrow, stubby, finger-shaped type of potato, hence the name fingerling. Has a mild, nutty, and earthy taste with a firm and moist texture.
- Yellow Finns – oval shape with a rich, buttery, and has a mildly sweet taste.
- Yukon Gold – one of the most commonly used potatoes for salad. It’s slightly sweet with smooth and moist flesh.
Note: Starchy potatoes like Russets and Idahos are best for mashed potatoes, soup, and chowder. They can easily absorb moisture when boiled and becomes creamy and fluffy.
Making Ahead and Storage Instructions
The fun part about salad is that it tastes better on the second day. Yes! You read it right! With that said, it is recommended that you make this red potato salad with bacon a day before.
- Store them in an air-tight container. They can stay fresh inside the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze. Potato salad with ranch dressing can be frozen for up to 3 months. However, since we are using a mayo-based dressing, the texture and consistency will be different. Because mayo tends to separate when frozen.
- Thaw. Remember to thaw the frozen salad inside the fridge overnight and not on the counter to prevent bacterial growth.
Note: Mayo or other egg-based ingredients tends to separate when frozen. To fix this, just add a couple of spoons of mayo dressing and a dash of seasoning the bacon ranch potato salad before serving.
What To Serve Them With
Potatoes are loaded with carbs and already satisfying on their own, but it will be best to serve them with entrees rich in protein like:
- Country Style Ribs
- Roast Turkey Breast
- Baked Crab Legs in Butter Sauce
- Teriyaki Salmon
- Perfect Filet Mignon with Herb Butter
More Hefty Recipes
- Southern Potato Salad
- Breakfast Potatoes
- Shrimp Salad
- Egg Salad Sandwich
- South West Chicken Salad and Ranch Dressing (Low Fat)
How to Make Ranch Potato Salad
Cut the Potatoes and Boil
- Prep: Wash the potatoes and cut them into uniform sizes. (Photo 1)
- Add water: Add potatoes to a medium saucepan. Then pour enough water to cover the potatoes. Add salt to the pot. (Photo 2)
- Cook the potatoes: Cover and cook until the potato is tender but still firm to the touch, about 8-10 minutes or more depending on the size of the potatoes. Start checking after 7 minutes and adjust cooking times as needed. (Photo 3)
- Allow it to cool: Drain water and spread out potatoes, to cool. (Photo 4)
Make the Dressing and Coat the Potatoes
- Saute bacon: While the potatoes are cooling add chopped bacon to a large skillet over medium heat, sauté bacon until brown and crisp this may take about 6 -7 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to drain and cool. (Photo 5)
- Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, and ranch dressing. Stir until well combined. As soon as potatoes cool, add to a large bowl together with shredded cheese, green onions, and creole seasoning. (Photos 6-7)
- Mix and season: Add the mayonnaise mixture and carefully mix to coat potatoes. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, as needed. (Photo 8)
- Chill and serve: Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with bacon, and extra cheese, and green onions if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Ranch Potato Salad
- 1 ½ - 2 pounds red potatoes
- salt, to taste
- 6 slices (70 g) bacon, diced
- ½ cup (115 g) mayonnaise
- ½ cup (120 g) sour cream
- 2 teaspoons (10.52 g) mustard
- 1 packet (1 oz) ranch dressing mix
- ½ - 1 cup (117.5-235 g) cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning (salt-free)
- pepper, to taste
- Add potatoes to a medium saucepan. Then pour enough water to cover the potatoes. Add salt to the pot.
- Cover and cook until potato is tender but still firm to the touch, about 8 -10 minutes or more depending on the size of potatoes. Start checking after 7 minutes and adjust cooking times as needed.
- Drain water and spread out potatoes, to cool.
- While the potatoes are cooling add chopped bacon to a large skillet over medium heat, sauté bacon until brown and crisp this may take about 6 -7 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to drain and cool.
- In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, and ranch dressing. Stir until well combined.
- As soon as potatoes cool, add to a large bowl together with shredded cheese, green onions, and creole seasoning.
- Add mayonnaise mixture and carefully mix to coat potatoes. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, as needed.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with bacon, extra cheese, and green onions if desired.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tips & Notes:
- Use the right potatoes.
- Salt. Salting the water for boiling doesn’t make the potatoes salty but will only bring out the best flavors in potatoes.
- Boil. Start with potatoes submerged in cold water and let them boil. And not adding the potatoes to boiling water. This is to ensure cooking the potatoes evenly.
- Steam or Roast. Steaming will prevent watery potatoes; while, roasting will make the potatoes crispy and will add a different texture.
- Don’t overcook and undercook your potatoes. The potatoes are done cooking when you can easily pierce it through the center. Not too soft that they fall apart when poked with a fork.
- Ice bath. Toss the cooked potatoes in an ice bath to stop them from cooking.
- Let the potatoes cool completely before adding the other ingredients. Dressings tend to break down and be greasy when they came in contact with hot potatoes. Note: if using vinegar-based dressing, it is best to put them while the potatoes are still warm.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. The secret to preventing the potatoes from drying out while letting them cool is to toss them in apple cider vinegar.
- Chill. Although it’s tempting to eat the salad right away, chilling it for at least an hour gives the flavor to come together and be absorbed by the potatoes.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. Please keep in mind that it is a rough estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary greatly based on the products used.