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Loaded Potato Salad

This Loaded Potato Salad is made with your favorite baked potato flavors and toppings in convenient potato salad form! It's loaded with tender potatoes, crispy bacon, sharp cheddar and fresh chives enveloped in a creamy, sour-cream laced ranch dressing. It’s portable, easy to make, make ahead friendly, easy to double/triple for a large crowd, tastes fabulous warm, or cold and compliments any meal. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings



  • 3 pounds unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, quartered
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • ½ cup chopped green onions (1 bunch)
  • 4 ounces freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese (heaping cup)
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tsp EACH salt, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH pepper, paprika


  • Cook potatoes: Add quartered potatoes to a large pot and fill with water until it reaches about 1-inch above potatoes. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then immediately remove the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Season the pot with 1 ½ tablespoons salt and continue to gently simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes, DO NOT OVERCOOK. (While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon and make the dressing.)
  • Cool and chop potatoes: Drain potatoes and immediately transfer to an ice bath to cool. Once cool, remove skin and chop into ½-1-inch pieces. Transfer dry, cubed potatoes to a large serving bowl.
  • Cook bacon: Working in batches, cook the bacon in a single layer in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper toweled lined plate to drain; cool, then crumble.
  • Make Dressing: Whisk together all of Dressing ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Assemble: Add dressing, bacon, cheese and green onions to the COOLED potatoes. Stir until evenly coated.
  • Serve: Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve, best within the first 24 hours. If the salad seems a little dry, stir in additional sour cream/mayo or a drizzle of olive oil. This potato salad can be served chilled, room temperature or warm.



MAKE ahead

This Loaded Potato Salad is great to make 24 hours ahead of time or just prep the ingredients ahead of time. Here’s how:
  • Make entire salad: make the potato salad the night before serving but HOLD the bacon.  Store the potato salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator and refrigerate the bacon separately or cook it up right before you serve to keep it extra crispy.
  • Cook potatoes:  alternatively, you can cook the potatoes ahead of time and keep them in the fridge.  Potatoes, however, will turn brown and start to oxidize once cut, so add lemon juice or white wine vinegar to the boiling water before transferring to the ice bath.  Store cooled, drained potatoes in the airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • OR bake potatoes:  you can also bake whole potatoes up to 48 hours in advance before peeling, chopping and combining with the dressing. To bake, wash, dry, lightly oil whole potatoes and prick each one with a fork a few times.  Bake in a single layer on a baking sheet for at 400 degrees F 45-60 minutes OR just until fork tender (larger potatoes may take 75 minutes), turning the potatoes once or twice during baking.
  • Cook bacon:  cook and crumble, then transfer bacon bits to an airtight container; refrigerate for up to 48 hours before using. 
  • Make Dressing:  whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before using.


Potato salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  When properly stored, it's good for up to 5 days, but at its prime within the first 24 hours. After a day it won’t be as creamy, so I suggest microwaving leftovers for 30 seconds or so and you will be amazed at how their creamy glory is restored!