Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

4.50 from 4 votes

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This Bacon Ranch Potato Salad is a simple but flavorful side dish that you will be tempted to eat by itself if not as a side dish. This recipe is just that delicious and remember whichever option you choose, we promise not to judge.

A bowl of salad

What is this?

Potato salad is a hallmark of summer. It is standard fare at outdoor picnics and family reunions and is among the earliest food memories that I have coming out of my mom’s Mennonite kitchen.

A person holding a plate of food with a knife, with potato salad

Her potato salad, with its homemade creamy sauce, was a signature dish and one that everyone recognized as coming from my mom.

This updated version of Bacon Ranch Potato Salad is a bit more 21st century in both compositions and in taste.

A person stirring bacon into potato ranch salad
Look for high quality bacon for this bacon ranch potato salad recipe.

What’s in it:

  • Baby red potatoes
  • Bacon
  • Ranch seasoning
  • Sour cream
  • Lemon juice
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Fresh chives
Bacon ranch potato salad in white bowl

The lemon juice gives this recipe for bacon ranch potato salad a lively zing, keeping the tone lively and fresh.

Sour cream keeps it lighter tasting when compared to a cream or mayonnaise base and the shredded cheese lends the structure and flavor that can only be found in good cheddar.

Bacon Ranch Potato Salad on plate with fork

The stars of this show though are of course the bacon and the ranch dressing seasoning. The two are a bona fide match made in culinary heaven.

We’ve made this bacon and ranch potato salad a couple of times and take my advice and do not sacrifice the quality of the bacon that you use for this recipe.

Recipe Tip

Look for bacon that is not all fat and loaded with sodium and other preservatives. You pay a bit extra for the good bacon but believe me, it is worth it and your finished product will reflect this.

A close up serving of potato salad

Lastly, there are fresh chives in this bacon ranch potato salad. We like the color and flavor that the chives bring to the picnic table. Feel free to substitute shallots or finely chopped red onions as well. As with almost any recipe, a dash of salt and/or pepper is always a personal option; use either one of these seasonings to your own personal taste.

Variations and Substitutions

Greek Yogurt Substitute:

  • Replace light sour cream with Greek yogurt for a tangier and higher-protein option.

Vegetarian Version:

  • Substitute bacon with roasted chickpeas or crispy tofu for a vegetarian-friendly alternative.

Herb Swap:

  • Instead of chives, use green onions, dill, or parsley for different herb flavors.

Cheese Options:

  • Try using different cheeses such as feta, Monterey Jack, or blue cheese for a unique twist.

Spicy Kick:

  • Add a diced jalapeño or a dash of hot sauce to the sour cream mixture for extra heat.

Vegan Variation:

  • Use vegan sour cream and vegan cheddar cheese, and replace bacon with smoked tempeh or coconut bacon.

Add Vegetables:

  • Mix in chopped celery, bell peppers, or red onions for added crunch and flavor.

Ranch Dressing Substitute:

  • Instead of ranch seasoning, use a homemade herb dressing made with dill, parsley, garlic powder, and onion powder.

What Goes with Potato Salad

Besides the taste, the beautiful thing about our homemade potato salad is that you can serve it with just about any protein.

Some of my favorite main dishes to serve this with are grilled chicken, jerked beef, and Traeger smoked pork chops.

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Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

4.50 from 4 votes
Light and lively, this bacon ranch potato salad is easy to make and makes for the perfect dish for warm weather picnics, reunions, and holiday meals.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 lbs baby red potatoes
  • 8 oz bacon
  • 16 oz light sour cream
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 oz ranch dressing seasoning, 1 packet
  • 1 pinch salt


  • Wash and quarter baby red potatoes and place in large pot of boiling water. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until fork-tender, taking care not to over cook. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, fry up 6 to 8 slices of bacon until crispy. Drain on absorbent surface such as a brown paper bag or paper towel. Cool and crumble or chop with a knife.
  • In small mixing bowl, comb combine sour cream, ranch seasoning, lemon juice and shredded cheddar cheese. Thoroughly combine.
  • Return potatoes to pot and then pour sour cream mixture over them while gently stirring with a soft spatula. Mix in chives and salt (if desired.) Transfer to serving dish and cool in refrigerator for at leas 1 hour prior to serving.



Top Tips for this Bacon Ranch Potato Salad Recipe
  • Boil the baby red potatoes until fork-tender and rinse with cold water.
  • Fry the bacon until crispy, then crumble or chop it.
  • Mix the sour cream, ranch seasoning, lemon juice, and shredded cheddar cheese, then combine with the potatoes and bacon before chilling.


Calories: 506kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 993mg, Potassium: 694mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 445IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 202mg, Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

Easy Salad Recipes


Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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4.50 from 4 votes

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    1. Hi Larry, You’ll use one, 1 oz packet of dry ranch dressing for this potato salad recipe. Hope you try it!

  1. 3 stars
    It’s good but much too ‘lemony’ for my taste and am trying to find a solution to cut the sour before I serve it to my husband who definitely won’t like it. . I only used 1.5 small lemons juiced too. 🙁 I did use dried chives since I had no fresh, Coronavirus shut down, lol, and that worked well…it’s just the tang I have to temper.

  2. 5 stars
    Sounds delicious! I’m a big fan of potato in any form or style and this recipe definitely will keep me eating without stopping.