The Best Loaded Potato Salad


More IS better, at least when it comes to this Loaded Potato Salad, which manages quality AND quantity with its massive mix of cheddar, bacon, sour cream, mayo, and yes, potatoes.

The Best Loaded Potato Salad

Readers of FFF will know that I typically prefer quality over quantity, that I don’t usually subscribe to the belief that “more is better”. Following these principles, I have been able to navigate my way through numerous recipes and cuisines to produce a site with quality dishes for you to try. And then there’s a recipe like this one for a potato salad. But not just any potato salad. This is a LOADED potato salad.

I usually shy away from recipes that have what I consider exaggerated descriptions. I mean, is it really LOADED? But you know something? This one is. Yes, it has a wide range of ingredients, but where it is really loaded is in the range of flavor and texture. It is creamy, crunchy, fluffy, and savory in every bite.

If you have a pot luck or barbecue coming up and need something that will wow your guests, I can’t think of a better suggestion. “Get a load of this potato salad!” they’ll say, nudging each other. How right they’ll be.

Is This Loaded Potato Salad Healthy?

Potatoes are healthy in that they provide you with energy/carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also are low in calories and fat, making them a great base for a side dish. The bacon, cheddar, sour cream, and mayo each have their good points (calcium from the dairy, protein from the bacon) but they also have a few less-than-good points—namely, fat, calories, and sodium. So don’t overdo it when adding them to your salad. As it stands, this potato salad is suitable for gluten-free diets.

What Type of Potato Should I Use?

There are two types of potato (in general): waxy and starchy. Starchy break down easily and have a texture that makes them the ideal spud for mashed potatoes and baked potatoes. But for this recipe, we’re going with waxy potatoes. That’s because they keep their shape well, and a good potato salad has chunks of potato you can stick a fork (and then your teeth) into, not potato that has crumbled from the boiling process. So, which potatoes should you go for? Look to Red or Yukon Gold. Both are waxy and creamy, with the Yukons even having a buttery taste to them you might appreciate in your salad.


  • 3 lb. potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup cooked bacon, chopped (about 5-7 slices)
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
The Best Loaded Potato Salad



Cook the potato chunks in boiling water until tender. Drain and let them cool.


Combine the potatoes with bacon, cheese, sour cream, mayo, green onions, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.


Refrigerate the salad to blend the flavors and cool before serving.


The Best Loaded Potato Salad

FAQs & Tips

How do I store this potato salad?

First, I recommend you make this potato salad in advance. I’d say two days early hits that sweet spot that allows the flavors to fully meld and the sauce infuse the potatoes without the salad to degrade in any way. Once it has made its appearance at the pot luck and you have leftovers to tend to, the potato salad can be kept in an airtight container for up to four days in the fridge. I don’t recommend freezing it, as the texture will change drastically after thawing.

Can I serve this salad hot?

I don’t recommend serving it all as a hot dish, BUT I do recommend a compromise in temperature and texture. Cook up the potatoes then let them cool only slightly. Then add the other ingredients (minus the green onions and parsley), mix it up, and serve immediately. The potatoes should warm up the dressing and melt a bit of the cheese while the green onions will supply each mouthful with a cool crunch.

Can I make a healthier version of this salad?

Sure, you can make a few substitutions that put the focus on healthfulness. Let’s start with the bacon. You can either replace it with a healthier meat—turkey or chicken bacon—or replace it with something like tempeh, a plant-based “meat” with a remarkable similarity to bacon. You can also replace the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt (I recommend keeping the mayonnaise intact for that egg flavor). These days you can get rich and creamy Greek yogurt, so don’t assume the salad will suffer in that department with the removal of the sour cream. Plus, the tanginess will still be present in every bite. As for the cheese, I just recommend getting a good-quality one without all the oils and added ingredients that would compromise its nutritional value. If that’s not an option, you can replace it with nutritional yeast, which has that cheese flavor but isn’t dairy.

The Best Loaded Potato Salad

Serving Suggestions

So you want to load this Loaded Potato Salad even more eh? If that’s your style then here are some suggestions. A few obvious ones: diced hard-boiled eggs, chopped celery, diced red bell peppers, and a hint of Dijon mustard for a kick of spice and tanginess. Other ingredients that may not immediately leap to mind are green peas, avocado, pickle/relish, or toasted nuts and seeds (pumpkin or sunflower, for example).

The Best Loaded Potato Salad
The Best Loaded Potato Salad


The Best Loaded Potato Salad

More IS better, at least when it comes to this Loaded Potato Salad, which manages quality AND quantity with its massive mix of cheddar, bacon, sour cream, mayo, and yes, potatoes.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 350kcal
Author FoodFaithFitness


  • 3 lb. potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup cooked bacon chopped (about 5-7 slices)
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • fresh parsley chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil the potato chunks in a pot of salted water until they are fork-tender, which should take about 15 minutes. Once done, drain the potatoes and let them cool.
    The Best Loaded Potato Salad
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled potatoes with the chopped bacon, shredded cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, sliced green onions, and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and stir everything together until well mixed.
    The Best Loaded Potato Salad
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate the potato salad until it’s chilled and ready to serve. This will allow the flavors to meld together beautifully.


Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 683mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 363IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 1mg

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