Loaded Potato Salad

Loaded Potato Salad Recipe

Potato salad is a classic side dish that is loved by many. It’s creamy, tangy, and packed with flavor. One popular variation of this traditional dish is the loaded potato salad. With its combination of bacon, cheese, and sour cream, it takes the classic potato salad to a whole new level. In this article, we will share a delicious loaded potato salad recipe that you can easily make at home.

To start, gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of red potatoes
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Now that you have all the ingredients, follow these simple steps to prepare your loaded potato salad:

  1. Begin by washing and scrubbing the red potatoes. Cut them into bite-sized cubes and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes and add a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes.

  2. While the potatoes are cooking, fry the bacon until crispy. Once cooked, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess grease. Allow it to cool and then crumble it into small pieces.

  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk everything together until well blended.

  4. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and let them cool slightly. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl along with the sliced green onions and shredded cheddar cheese.

  5. Pour the sour cream mixture over the potatoes and gently toss everything together until the potatoes are evenly coated. Add the crumbled bacon and give it another gentle toss.

  6. Taste the potato salad and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or garlic powder according to your preference.

  7. Transfer the loaded potato salad to a serving bowl and garnish with a sprinkle of green onions and shredded cheese. You can also add a few extra pieces of crumbled bacon on top for an extra burst of flavor.

**Serve chilled and enjoy this indulgent loaded potato salad as a side dish at your next barbecue, potluck, or family gathering. The combination of creamy potatoes, crispy bacon, and tangy cheese is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Give this recipe a try and watch as it becomes a favorite among your friends and family!

Variations of Loaded Potato Salad

Loaded potato salad is a delicious and satisfying dish that combines the classic flavors of a traditional potato salad with additional toppings and mix-ins. This versatile recipe can be customized to suit individual tastes and preferences. Here are some popular variations of loaded potato salad that you can try:

1. Bacon Lover’s Loaded Potato Salad:

If you’re a bacon enthusiast, this variation is perfect for you. Simply cook crispy bacon until golden brown and crumble it over the potato salad. The smoky and salty flavors of bacon add a delightful crunch to the salad.

2. Ranch Style Loaded Potato Salad:

For those who love the tangy and herby flavors of ranch dressing, this variation is a must-try. Replace the traditional mayonnaise dressing with a generous amount of creamy ranch dressing. You can also add chopped fresh herbs like dill and chives for an extra burst of flavor.

3. Mexican Loaded Potato Salad:

If you’re craving a spicy twist, opt for a Mexican-inspired loaded potato salad. Add some diced jalapeños, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice to give the salad a zesty kick. You can also sprinkle some crumbled queso fresco or shredded Mexican cheese over the top for extra creaminess.

4. Southwest Loaded Potato Salad:

For a flavor combination that is rich and bold, try a Southwest-style loaded potato salad. Mix in some black beans, sweetcorn, diced bell peppers, and chopped green onions. Add a touch of smoky chipotle powder or Cajun seasoning for a hint of heat. Serve it with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro on top.

5. Loaded Baked Potato Salad:

For a loaded potato salad that truly resembles a classic loaded baked potato, mix in all the essential toppings. Add crispy bacon, tangy sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and finely chopped green onions. You can even include a spoonful of prepared horseradish for an extra kick of flavor.

These are just a few of the many variations you can experiment with when making loaded potato salad. Feel free to get creative and incorporate your favorite ingredients and flavors. Whether you prefer bacon, ranch, spicy Mexican, or a combination of different toppings, loaded potato salad is sure to be a crowd-pleasing dish at your next picnic, barbecue, or potluck gathering.

Tips for Making the Best Loaded Potato Salad

When it comes to summertime gatherings and backyard barbecues, a classic dish that never fails to impress is loaded potato salad. This hearty and flavorful side dish is a crowd favorite, with its combination of creamy potatoes, crispy bacon, tangy sour cream, and sharp cheddar cheese. If you want to take your loaded potato salad to the next level, here are some tips to help you create the best version possible.

  1. Start with the Right Potatoes: The foundation of any good potato salad is, of course, the potatoes themselves. For loaded potato salad, it’s best to use starchy potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds. These varieties have a fluffy texture when cooked, which helps absorb the flavors of the other ingredients.

  2. Cook the Potatoes Properly: To ensure that your loaded potato salad has the perfect texture, it’s important to cook the potatoes just right. Begin by washing and peeling the potatoes, then cut them into evenly sized cubes. Boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender, being careful not to overcook them, as they can become mushy. Once cooked, drain the potatoes and let them cool completely before mixing with the other ingredients.

  3. Enhance Flavor with Homemade Dressing: While store-bought dressings can work in a pinch, nothing beats the taste of a homemade dressing for loaded potato salad. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, chopped fresh herbs like dill or chives, and a splash of apple cider vinegar for a tangy and creamy dressing that complements the potatoes perfectly.

  4. Get Creative with Add-Ins: The beauty of loaded potato salad is the opportunity to get creative with the add-ins. Alongside the traditional ingredients like bacon, cheddar cheese, and chopped green onions, consider incorporating additional elements to add texture and flavor. Some delicious options include diced pickles, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced black olives, or even a hint of hot sauce for some heat.

  5. Season Generously: To ensure that every bite is bursting with flavor, be sure to season your loaded potato salad generously. Besides the classic salt and pepper, consider adding additional spices and herbs such as paprika, garlic powder, or a sprinkle of dried thyme.

  6. Let It Chill: To allow the flavors to meld together, it’s essential to let your loaded potato salad chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours before serving. This cooling time allows the dressing to penetrate the potatoes, resulting in a tastier and more cohesive dish. Plus, serving a chilled potato salad on a hot summer day is always a refreshing treat.

  7. Garnish for Visual Appeal: For that final touch, consider garnishing your loaded potato salad with a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs or an extra sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese. Not only does this add visual appeal, but it also gives a subtle hint at the flavors within.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating the best loaded potato salad that will impress your guests and leave them coming back for seconds. Whether served at a potluck, family picnic, or summer cookout, this classic side dish is sure to be a hit every time.

Pairing Suggestions for Loaded Potato Salad

Loaded potato salad is a delicious and versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of other foods. Whether you are planning a backyard barbecue, a picnic in the park, or a casual weeknight dinner, here are some great pairing suggestions to enhance your meal and complement the flavors of your loaded potato salad.

  1. Grilled Meats:
    Grilled meats such as burgers, hot dogs, sausages, and steaks are classic options to serve alongside loaded potato salad. The smoky flavors from the grill complement the creamy and savory elements of the potato salad perfectly. The combination of a juicy burger with a tangy scoop of salad creates a mouthwatering bite.

  2. Barbecue Ribs:
    For a finger-licking good meal, pair your loaded potato salad with some tender and succulent barbecue ribs. The richness of the ribs, combined with the creamy texture of the potato salad, creates a perfect balance of flavors. It’s a match made in heaven for meat lovers.

  3. Grilled Chicken:
    Grilled chicken is a lighter option that pairs well with loaded potato salad. The smoky char from grilling enhances the flavors of the chicken, while the creamy potato salad adds a refreshing and satisfying element to the meal. Serve it with a side of grilled vegetables for a well-rounded and healthy dish.

  4. Seafood:
    If you’re a seafood lover, consider pairing loaded potato salad with grilled shrimp, salmon, or even lobster. The creamy and tangy flavors of the potato salad complement the natural sweetness of the seafood. Add a squeeze of lemon over the seafood to brighten up the flavors and create a delightful combination.

  5. Veggie Burgers:
    For those who prefer a vegetarian or vegan option, loaded potato salad goes well with veggie burgers. The robust flavors of the veggie patty, combined with the creaminess of the potato salad, offer a satisfying and flavorful meal. Top the burger with some fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles for added freshness.

  6. Sandwiches:
    Loaded potato salad can also be enjoyed as a side dish with a variety of sandwiches. Whether it’s a classic club sandwich, a BLT, or a turkey and avocado sandwich, the creamy and savory potato salad adds a tasty twist to the overall flavor profile. It adds a satisfying texture and a hint of tanginess to the meal.

Loaded potato salad is a versatile dish that pairs well with a range of foods. Whether you choose to serve it with grilled meats, seafood, or vegetarian options, the combination of flavors and textures will elevate your meal. Experiment with different pairings to discover your favorite combinations and enjoy the deliciousness of loaded potato salad in every bite.

Loaded Potato Salad: Make-Ahead and Storage Options

When it comes to loaded potato salad, many people wonder if it can be made ahead of time and how to properly store it. Fortunately, loaded potato salad is a dish that can be prepared in advance, allowing you to save time and stress on the day of your gathering. With a few simple tips, you can ensure that your loaded potato salad stays fresh and delicious, whether you’re making it the day before or even a few hours in advance.

One option for making loaded potato salad ahead of time is to prep all of the ingredients individually. This means that you can cook the potatoes, crisp the bacon, and chop the green onions ahead of time. By keeping the different components separate, you can prevent the salad from becoming soggy and the flavors from blending together too soon. When you’re ready to serve, simply mix everything together and add the dressing for a perfectly fresh and flavorful dish.

Another option is to assemble the entire loaded potato salad in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. This method is convenient if you prefer to have everything ready to go and want to avoid any last-minute preparation. However, it’s important to note that the texture of the potatoes may change slightly when refrigerated for a longer period. To counteract this, you can undercook the potatoes slightly so that they retain their firmness even after being chilled. Additionally, be sure to store the salad in an airtight container to prevent any unwanted flavors from seeping in.

When it comes to storage, it’s crucial to keep your loaded potato salad refrigerated at all times. Bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature, which can lead to foodborne illnesses. To maintain the quality and safety of your salad, store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, preferably at a temperature below 40°F (4°C). This will help slow down the growth of bacteria and keep your loaded potato salad fresh for longer.

If you have leftovers of your loaded potato salad, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to three to four days. However, it’s important to note that the texture and flavor may deteriorate over time. The potatoes may become softer and the dressing may separate. To revive the salad, simply give it a good mix to redistribute the flavors and add some fresh toppings if desired. If you’re uncertain about the quality of the leftovers, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and discard them.

Loaded potato salad can be made ahead of time and stored properly for later use. Whether you choose to prep the ingredients separately or assemble the salad in advance, these make-ahead and storage options can save you time and ensure that your loaded potato salad remains fresh and delicious. Just remember to refrigerate the salad at all times, store it in an airtight container, and consume within the recommended time frame for the best results.


To summarize, the loaded potato salad recipe is a delicious twist on the classic potato salad, packed with flavor and texture. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, a picnic, or simply craving a tasty side dish, this recipe promises to be a crowd-pleaser.

One of the best things about loaded potato salad is its versatility. There are endless variations to suit every palate and dietary preference. From adding crispy bacon or smoky ham to incorporating tangy pickles or creamy avocado, you can modify the recipe to your liking. The possibilities are truly endless, and you can get creative with your favorite ingredients to customize your own loaded potato salad masterpiece.

When it comes to making the best loaded potato salad, a few key tips can make all the difference. First and foremost, selecting the right potatoes is crucial. Opt for starchy or waxy potatoes, such as Russet or Yukon Gold, as they hold their shape well and provide a creamy texture. Boiling the potatoes until they are just tender is essential to prevent them from becoming too mushy.

Another tip is to let the potatoes cool completely before mixing them with the other ingredients. This ensures that the dressing is absorbed evenly and that the flavors meld together beautifully. Adding a variety of textures, such as crunchy vegetables like celery or bell peppers, adds dimension to the salad. And of course, don’t skimp on the ingredients that give loaded potato salad its name, such as cheese, bacon, and green onions.

Pairing suggestions for loaded potato salad are endless. This creamy and savory dish complements many main courses and can be served alongside grilled meats, barbecued chicken, or even as a vegetarian option with grilled vegetables. Its versatility makes it a great addition to any meal, whether it’s a casual cookout or a formal dinner party.

If you’re planning ahead, loaded potato salad can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator. It’s actually better to let the flavors marry together for a few hours or even overnight. However, it’s important to note that some ingredients, like fresh herbs and avocado, are best added just before serving to maintain their freshness and integrity. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two, although the potatoes may lose some of their texture over time.

Loaded potato salad is a delicious and versatile side dish that can elevate any meal. With a variety of flavors, textures, and pairing options, this recipe is sure to impress your family and guests. By following the tips provided and experimenting with different variations, you can create your own mouthwatering version of loaded potato salad that will have everyone coming back for seconds. So why not give it a try and enjoy all the deliciousness that loaded potato salad has to offer?

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