Bacon Ranch Potato Salad – Yummy bacon potato salad tossed with a quick homemade ranch dressing. We love this fun take on classic potato salad! (Gluten-Free & Whole30)
On Instagram a few weeks ago, I asked about what your favorite salad or side dish is to bring to summer cook-outs, potlucks, and picnics.
After lots of votes for this fruit salad recipe, the next most popular answer was potato salad! We have a few potato salad recipes on our site (this German Potato Salad with cooked bacon & a tangy vinaigrette, classic American-style potato salad, and this French Potato Salad with herby vinaigrette!), but today seemed like a good day for a fun spin!
This Bacon Ranch Potato Salad is fully loaded with delicious flavor. Fork tender potatoes are mixed with a quick homemade ranch (no ranch seasoning mix here!), plenty of fresh bacon, and some fresh flavor accents to tie it all together.
It doesn’t take much fuss, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. Here’s all you need to get started…
Our Ranch Bacon Potato Salad Recipe, At A Glance:
Here’s What Goes Into Our Bacon Ranch Potato Salad:
- Red Potatoes. I’m using red potatoes for our ranch potato salad. They have a great texture & the skins are thin enough to leave on, which means no peeling! Woo-hoo!
- Crispy Bacon. Next up is plenty of crispy bacon. It adds a savory, smoky, salty flavor to the potato salad that’s incredible with the other flavors going on. (We recommend baking your bacon!)
- Green Onions. Spring onions/scallions are up next! I love that they don’t have as much bite as other raw onions, and the green is so pretty next to the red potatoes.
- Fresh Herbs. Ditto for fresh herbs! A little dill or parsley adds a fresh, bright flavor and effortlessly elegant touch.
- Our Quick Homemade Ranch. No ranch dressing mix here! We’re making a quick (like QUICK) homemade ranch dressing that will come together in minutes. The ingredients are simple & straight-forward. You’ll want to make it all the time!
- Salt & Pepper. Plenty of salt and pepper go a long way in potato salad, and I love the way they brighten up all the other flavors. Follow your tastebuds here–feel free to use less or more than I have written in the recipe.
PRO TIP: CUT YOUR POTATOES EVENLY!
The best way to ensure that your potatoes cook evenly is to make sure you cut them into evenly-sized pieces. I usually cut mine into 1/2″ or 3/4″ cubes.
How To Make Ranch Potato Salad, Step By Step:
Start By Cooking The Potatoes:
- Place diced potatoes into a pot. Pour water over the potatoes, until the water is 1″ above the potatoes.
- Add 1/2 tsp. salt to the water and cover with a lid.
- Bring the water to a boil and boil potatoes 12-15 minutes, or until potatoes are still slightly firm but tender. You don’t want them crunchy by any means but also don’t want them soft enough to fall apart or mash. A fork should easily pierce the potatoes (I recommend pulling a potato out of the water to test it for best results.)
- Drain the potatoes, letting them cool slightly.
While The Potatoes Are Cooking, Mix Up The Ranch Dressing:
- In a small bowl or a jar, combine mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp. of the milk or water, cider vinegar, dill, garlic & onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
- Whisk or blend together until smooth.
- Taste and add additional salt, pepper, or seasonings to taste.
- Add additional milk/water if desired for a thinner consistency.
- Ranch dressing will keep for 1 week covered in the refrigerator.
When The Potatoes Are Done, Assemble The Salad:
- After the potatoes are drained and slightly cooled, transfer them into a large bowl.
- Add crumbled bacon (reserve a bit for garnish), green onion, 2 Tablespoons chopped herbs, and about 3/4 of the ranch dressing.
- Gently stir to combine everything, adding more dressing as desired.
- Garnish with a little extra bacon, green onion, herbs, or pepper, cover & chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Potato salad will stay fresh 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Remember that this salad can only stay at room temperature safely for 2 hours at a time. Store in the refrigerator whenever possible!
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Bacon Potato Salad:
OUR FAVORITE WAY TO COOK BACON = BAKING! In case you missed it, I recommend baking your bacon whenever it makes sense. It’s less hands-on and less fuss and gives great results every time for me.
WHOLE30? READ THIS! Our bacon ranch potato salad recipe is 100% whole30-friendly! You just need to be sure to use approved mayo and bacon. Easy!
MORE GOODIES TO TRY. If you like a little crunch in your potato salad, feel free to add a stalk or two of sliced celery. Or, if you eat dairy, a little grated cheddar cheese & a sprinkle of chives to give this a loaded baked potato feel! Or, you can mix in some chopped hard-boiled eggs.
MIX IT UP WITH YOGURT OR SOUR CREAM. If you like, you can use half sour cream or half plain Greek yogurt with the mayo. This will give a slightly tangier ranch dressing, which can be a fun change of pace. (Note that this is not Whole30)
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK POTATOES FOR POTATO SALAD? If you’ve diced the potatoes, they’ll cook faster! Ours cook in 12-15 minutes, when cut into 1/2-3/4″ pieces.