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Loaded Baked Potato Salad Recipe

Loaded Baked Pota­to Sal­ad takes every­thing you love about pota­to sal­ad, and every­thing you love about loaded baked pota­toes, and mar­ries them all in a creamy, deli­cious and hearty side dish! It’s such a hap­py marriage!

loaded baked potato salad in a gray rectangular pottery bowl
Post may con­tain affil­i­ate links. See my Affil­i­ate Disclosure.

Hearty Loaded Baked Pota­to Sal­ad is a com­mon steak­house favorite and is usu­al­ly served cold. It’s also an amaz­ing bar­be­cue side dish. You can’t go wrong with this fun twist on a classic.

Mine is over­flow­ing with chunks of roast­ed red pota­toes, crunchy bacon, extra sharp Ched­dar cheese, green onion, and chives all wrapped up in a creamy sour cream dress­ing sea­soned with my pop­u­lar All Pur­pose Sea­son­ing.

Our fam­i­ly loves my Clas­sic Pota­to Sal­ad recipe. But, it’s lit­er­al­ly the only pota­to sal­ad they will eat. No one else’s. So, I was hes­i­tant to try a new recipe out on them.

I should­n’t have wor­ried. They fell in love with this creamy, crunchy hearty and sat­is­fy­ing side dish. Can baked pota­to sal­ad be com­fort food? I think it can!

I hope you’ll make this recipe and that it will become a favorite sum­mer side dish for you and your fam­i­ly. Enjoy!

loaded baked potato salad in a gray rectangular pottery bowl

Why is This Baked Potato Salad Recipe Different?

1. Baked Potatoes, not Boiled:

My goal was to cre­ate a loaded pota­to sal­ad that actu­al­ly brought the baked pota­to tex­ture and fla­vor to the recipe. I did­n’t want to just boil pota­toes, like I would for reg­u­lar pota­to sal­ad. I air fried baby reds, whole, and cut them after they were baked. Roast­ing them whole mim­ic­ked baked pota­to tex­ture, some­what, even if it was­n’t exact. Using the small pota­toes cut the cook­ing time to around 20 min­utes. Even includ­ing 30 min­utes of cool­ing time, the Loaded Baked Pota­to Sal­ad was cool and ready to serve in under an hour.

baby red potatoes in the air fryer basket of my Breville Joule Smart Oven

2. Less than an Hour for Cooking and Assembly:

I also want­ed this sal­ad to come togeth­er quick­ly. It end­ed up being around 45 min­utes to com­plete the entire loaded pota­to sal­ad and get it chill­ing in the fridge. That’s for cook­ing both the pota­toes and the bacon, plus cool­ing them and assem­bling the sal­ad.

I baked the bacon in my reg­u­lar oven (400° for 15–20 min­utes), and air fried the pota­toes in my new Bre­ville Joule coun­ter­top Smart Oven [affil­i­ate link] at the same time (also 20 min­utes at 400°).

You can roast the pota­toes and cook the bacon at the same time, using your reg­u­lar oven, too. Just use both racks and the con­vec­tion option if you have it. Switch racks half way through baking.

3. Sour Cream Dressing:

homemade all purpose seasoning in a mason jar sitting on a marble countertop

What’s a baked pota­to with­out sour cream? The dress­ing need­ed to taste like sour cream, but be rich­er, and pota­to-sal­ad-creamy, too. So many oth­ers before me had fig­ured out that a lit­tle may­on­naise added the rich creami­ness that we expect from pota­to sal­ad, with­out over­pow­er­ing the sour cream. I fol­lowed their lead. And my Best All Pur­pose Sea­son­ing is the answer to well-round­ed fla­vor in the fin­ished dressing.

I know. Pota­to Sal­ad with mayo AND sour cream may seem over the top, but it’s a less­er amount of mayo. The sour cream has slight­ly less fat and about half the calo­ries of may­on­naise. So, tech­ni­cal­ly it IS lighter than clas­sic pota­to sal­ad dress­ing. Plus, it’s “baked pota­to” pota­to sal­ad. There HAS to be sour cream. lol

And if we’re telling the truth, no one is eat­ing loaded baked pota­to sal­ad because it’s healthy. They’re eat­ing it because it tastes amaz­ing and they love it! You’re gonna love it, too!

4. The Right Ingredients:

It was impor­tant for ALL the fla­vors to pop. With so few ingre­di­ents in a recipe, each one has to be a fla­vor dynamo.

bacon, green onions and chives on a wooden cutting board

So, no bacon bits from the sal­ad dress­ing aisle. Some­times bacon bits aren’t actu­al­ly even bacon! Real chunks of thick-cut, hick­o­ry smoked bacon are the per­fect co-star for the baked pota­toes. No substitutes.

And no pre-grat­ed cheese coat­ed in anti-clump­ing agents. Grate your own shred­ded Ched­dar cheese for the max­i­mum fla­vor ben­e­fit.

Green onions are fan­tas­tic this time of year and bring a fresh savory bite to this mouth­wa­ter­ing sal­ad. Fresh chives add a pop of col­or and herb‑y freshness. 

It’s a small col­lec­tion of ingre­di­ents that com­ple­ment one anoth­er, well, to cre­ate a scrump­tious Loaded Baked Pota­to Salad.

Grating cheddar cheese with a box grater.  Block of cheddar cheese and grater with a few shreds of grated cheese on a wooden cutting board.

The Ingredients

  • Baby Red Potatoes
  • Avo­ca­do Oil (Us the oil you always have in your kitchen.)
  • Kosher Salt (If you use table salt, only use half as much.)
  • 8 Slices Bacon, thick cut, cooked, drained and chopped
  • Shred­ded Ched­dar cheese, extra sharp Ched­dar , (grat­ed by hand)
  • Green Onion, chopped
  • Fresh Chives, minced
  • Sour Cream
  • Mayon­naise  (We love my home­made, best.)
  • White Wine Vine­gar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • All Pur­pose Sea­son­ing  (My home­made is best in this recipe.)
  • salt and pep­per, to taste
Roasted Red Potatoes, green onions, bacon, grated Cheddar cheese and whole chive stems on a wooden cutting board

Cleaning Potatoes (or Other Produce)

If leav­ing skins on pota­toes, as in this loaded baked pota­to sal­ad recipe, it’s impor­tant to clean them, well.

Pre­pare a solu­tion of 1 part dis­tilled white vine­gar to 3 parts water, i.e. 3 cups water & 1 cup vinegar. 

Sub­merge the pota­toes in the solu­tion and use a veg­etable brush or your hands to remove any dirt. Let the pota­toes rest in the vine­gar water for 10 minutes. 

Pour into a colan­der and rinse. Dump the pota­toes out onto a clean kitchen tow­el and pat them dry or leave to air dry before try­ing to store them. For our pur­pos­es, pat them dry to move for­ward with the recipe.

washing produce in a clear bowl.  Two sets of hands, ana adult and a child, washing peppers, carrots, cucumbers and limes.

This is hon­est­ly the best method for wash­ing any fresh pro­duce. The USDA rec­om­mends at least a 10-minute soak. And, while it isn’t pos­si­ble to kill every bit of bac­te­ria, it comes a lot clos­er than just run­ning water over your fruits and vegetables. 

The vine­gar won’t be tast­ed on the veg­eta­bles or fruit. I have per­son­al­ly used this method with berries, cel­ery, grapes, and any oth­er fruit you think might absorb the vine­gar. But, I promise you. They do not. And, once dried and stored prop­er­ly they last in the fridge so much longer.

How to Cook Potatoes for Potato Salad

I want­ed more of the baked fla­vor and tex­ture for our loaded pota­to sal­ad. So, I opt­ed to air fry them, whole, in my Bre­ville Joule. It took about 20 min­utes. You can achieve the same thing in your reg­u­lar oven. Bake them at 400° for 20–35 min­utes, depend­ing on your oven. A fork should be able to eas­i­ly pierce them and slide into the center.

Red potatoes in a clear mixing bowl next to a box of kosher salt and bottle of avocado oil
Per­fect­ly scrubbed pota­toes need to be dried and then I can toss them with oil and salt.

I opt­ed to leave the pota­toes whole for roast­ing, so I would get the crisp skins on the out­side and soft, fluffy pota­to on the inside. 

You can pre-cut them if that’s your pref­er­ence, but you WILL end up with browned and crispy pota­to sides on your pota­toes. Which I love in a roast­ed potato. 

But, that crisped area can be a lit­tle thick and tough for putting in a sal­ad. That’s just not quite as close to baked rus­set pota­toes as I hoped for. For me, the key was leav­ing them whole.

  1. Wash and dry the potatoes.
  2. Place them in a large mix­ing bowl.
  3. Add the avo­ca­do oil and kosher salt. 
  4. Toss to coat each pota­to in oil and salt.
  5. Bake in an air fry­er, a toast­er oven or a con­ven­tion­al oven at 400° for 20–35 min­utes. All ovens vary, so keep an eye on them once you hit 20 minutes.
  6. When you can pierce them with a fork and feel that they are ten­der, the pota­toes are done. Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool for 10 min­utes or so. 
  7. Then cut the pota­toes into bite-size pieces. Set them aside while you fin­ish prepar­ing the rest of loaded baked pota­to salad.
red potatoes roasting in Breville Joule Smart oven
Baby red pota­toes cook­ing in the air fry­er bas­ket of my Bre­ville Joule Smart Oven. [affil­i­ate link]

Go Traditional

Boil­ing pota­toes for pota­to sal­ad is cer­tain­ly the tra­di­tion­al method. I do that for my clas­sic pota­to sal­ad. You can boil these baby pota­toes, if you prefer.

You can even peel a dif­fer­ent, larg­er vari­ety of pota­to, like Rus­set pota­toes or Yukon Golds, and boil them if that’s more con­ve­nient or to the lik­ing of your family.

If so, that may affect the time the recipe takes to pre­pare. And, it may pro­duce a slight­ly dif­fer­ent tex­ture for your pota­to sal­ad. But, I’m con­fi­dent the end result will be just as deli­cious with boiled potatoes.


What goes good with pota­to sal­ad?

Every­thing! lol Seri­ous­ly, it would be eas­i­er and short­er to make a list of things it does­n’t work with. Serve this cool refresh­ing loaded baked pota­to sal­ad recipe with: Slop­py Joes, Per­fect Baked Chick­en Breasts, any steak or chick­en recipes, Pulled Pork Sand­wich­es, Gyros, Maple Mus­tard Pork Loin, Ham and Cheese Slid­ers or Ham.

What are the Best Pota­toes for Pota­to Sal­ad?

I have made the lus­cious­ly deli­cious clas­sic pota­to sal­ad with Rus­set pota­toes, Yukon Golds AND Red. I chose baby red pota­toes for this one. But, I have every con­fi­dence that both Rus­set Pota­toes and Yukon Golds would work, as well. They could be peeled or not, as you pre­fer. The key is more to not over­cook the pota­toes, than it is to wor­ry about which vari­ety is best. Cooked prop­er­ly, they all work well. Peo­ple who say any spe­cif­ic vari­ety is too starchy have usu­al­ly just boiled them for too long.

a pile of mixed varieties of potatoes
The only ones I haven’t used, yet, for pota­to sal­ad are the pur­ple pota­toes. I’m think­ing it could be beau­ti­ful, though!

How to Make Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad ingredients in a bowl
  1. To make pota­to sal­ad, begin by cook­ing the pota­toes and cook­ing the bacon.
  2. While those cook, chop the green onions and the chives.
  3. Grate the Ched­dar cheese.
  4. Mix the Sal­ad Dressing.
  5. Remove bacon and pota­toes from the oven and cool.
  6. Cut the cooled pota­toes into bite-size pieces and chop the bacon.
  7. Assem­ble the sal­ad by plac­ing all ingre­di­ents, except for 1/2 of the the chives, in a bowl and pour­ing the dress­ing over the top.
  8. Stir to coat the ingre­di­ents in the dressing
  9. Gar­nish with reserved chives and refrig­er­ate until time to serve.
loaded baked potato salad in a gray rectangular pottery bowl

The Recipe

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loaded baked potato salad in a gray rectangular pottery bowl

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 40 min­utes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This is an easy, hearty sal­ad that every­one raves over.  The sour cream may­on­naise com­bi­na­tion for the dress­ing is lighter, yet still rich and creamy.  It’s a per­fect side dish for all your favorite main dish­es, but it makes a deli­cious stand-alone lunch, too.  A hands-down fam­i­ly favorite that’s pop­u­lar at potlucks and sum­mer gath­er­ings, too.


Units Scale

For Roast­ing the Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes
  • 2 Table­spoons avo­ca­do oil
  • 2 tea­spoons kosher salt

For the Salad:

  • roast­ed red baby pota­toes from above
  • 8 slices bacon, thick cut
  • 1 cup shred­ded Ched­dar cheese, extra sharp
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 2 Table­spoons fresh chives, minced

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup may­on­naise (We love my home­made, best.)
  • 2 Table­spoons white wine vine­gar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tea­spoons All Pur­pose Sea­son­ing (My home­made is best in this recipe.)
  • salt and pep­per, to taste


  • Cook the pota­toes and the bacon.  I pre­fer to bake the bacon (400° for 15 to 20 min­utes) and roast/ air fry the baby red pota­toes, whole (400° for 20–30 min­utes).  Choose the cook­ing method you are most com­fort­able with.  If you have ques­tions about my cook­ing method choic­es, see the notes, in my post about How to Cook Pota­toes for Pota­to Salad.
  • Chop the green onions and the chives, while bacon and pota­toes cook.
  • Grate the cheese.
  • Make the Sal­ad Dress­ing for the Baked Pota­to Sal­ad by com­bin­ing sour cream, may­on­naise, vine­gar and all pur­pose sea­son­ing.  Taste and add salt and pep­per if you feel it’s need­ed.  Set aside until time to assem­ble the salad.

  • Remove bacon and pota­toes from the oven and cool.

  • Cut the cooled pota­toes into bite-size pieces and chop the bacon.

  • Assem­ble the sal­ad by plac­ing all ingre­di­ents, except for 1/2 of the the chives, in a bowl.  Stir to com­bine your ingredients.

  • Pour the dress­ing over the top.

  • Stir to coat the ingre­di­ents in the dressing.

  • Gar­nish with reserved chives and refrig­er­ate until time to serve. Just before serv­ing, give your sal­ad a final taste and add the fin­ish­ing salt and pep­per, if they’re needed.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Sal­ad, Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top, Oven & Cold Prep
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

28 thoughts on “Loaded Baked Potato Salad Recipe”

  1. I have always want­ed to make a great pota­to sal­ad recipe but have just nev­er found the recipe that I liked until I made your loaded baked pota­to sal­ad recipe. The fla­vors in this sal­ad is exact­ly what I like!! It’s easy to make and I got rave reviews from my whole family!!


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