Cheddar bacon ranch potato salad is like a loaded baked potato in picnic salad form. It is a great make ahead side dish that is perfect for potlucks, BBQs, game day and more.
Potato salad is a classic BBQ and potluck side dish. It is fabulous in all of its forms, but this cheddar bacon ranch recipe is especially popular with our friends and family. I am sure it will be a hit with yours as well.
My husband really loves potato salad. (As long as it is a good one… and he’ll let me know if it’s not!)
So I try to make it for him every once in a while. This time I was in the mood for something a little different.
I scoured the fridge and decided ranch would be wonderful. And what goes better with ranch and potatoes than bacon? Nothing of course.
And we love cheese! So, really how could this not be good?
The best part is, it is even better when you make it ahead of time. You can make it a couple of hours ahead of time or even the day before.
Then there is no cooking or cleanup when the guests arrive. The first time I tried it, I used more ranch in the dressing.
I felt it was a bit too heavy. So I added some sour cream and the results were pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself.
If you are a huge ranch fan, you can up the ranch to sour cream ratio. We like it lightly ranch, but you could easily use a cup of each or more ranch than sour cream.
Tips and Tricks
If you want the bacon to stay crisp, wait until you are ready to serve the salad to stir it in.
Taste the potato salad after you put it together. Add salt and pepper if you think you need it.
Garnish with more cheese and fresh herbs if desired.
Cool the potatoes before adding the dressing. Adding the dressing too soon can make the potatoes absorb too much of it or give it a greasy feel.
How Long Should I Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad?
For red potatoes, you’ll need dice the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Add the potatoes to a pot of cold water, then bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes. Once the potatoes are evenly pierced with the tip of a knife, they are ready.
Can I use another type of cheese?
Of course! Feel free to experiment. However, mild cheeses may get lost in the mix. A sharper cheese will stand out more.
More Make Ahead Side Dish Recipes
If you like potato salads as much as we do, you may want to try my deviled egg potato salad as well. The dressing is based off our favorite deviled egg recipe and it is loaded with hard boiled eggs.
For a bacon loaded salad, try German potato salad. It has a vinegar dressing and lots of yummy bacon!
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Cheddar Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
- 3 lbs red potatoes russets or yukon gold work as well
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider or white vinegar
- ½ pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- ¾ cup ranch dressing
- 1¼ cup sour cream
- ½ cup green onions or chives optional
- Cut potatoes into bite sized chunks. Place in a pot of cold water. Bring pot to a boil and throw in a couple of Tablespoons of salt. Let the potatoes boil until cooked through, about 10 minutes. They are done when they can easily be pierced with a fork or the tip of a knife.
- Drain potatoes and toss with vinegar. Let cool.
- Toss bacon, cheese and green onions with potatoes.
- Mix ranch and sour cream together and pour over potatoes, stir to coat.
- Chill for at least a couple of hours