Bacon Cheddar Ranch Mashed Potatoes are silky potatoes loaded with bacon and cheddar cheese and flavored with ranch dressing mix. Indulgent and decadent, these potatoes are perfect for a special meal.
Indulgent mashed potatoes
I love celebrating Valentine's Day by making dinner at home and having a quiet evening. Filet mignon is one of my favorite dishes for special occasions and creamy mashed potatoes are the perfect accompaniment.
But since it's Valentine's Day, I'm pumping up the flavor volume on my traditional mashed potatoes. This bacon cheddar ranch version is rich, indulgent, and decadent - perfect for the occasion.
These potatoes aren't something I make every day. They are certainly indulgent... but that's okay on special occasions. Everything in moderation, right?
For another indulgent potato side dish, try this Loaded Baked Potato Casserole.
- Potatoes - Russets or Yukon golds are the best potatoes for creamy mashed potatoes. Cut the potatoes into uniformed-sized cubes so they cook evenly.
- Cream and butter - Warm the cream and the butter before adding it to the potatoes. The warm cream helps the mashed potatoes come together very easily - you won't need to overmix. Overmixing can make the potatoes gummy. The warm cream mixture also helps to keep the potatoes warm.
- Cream cheese - This is my secret ingredient. The cream cheese gives the mashed potatoes a silky smooth consistency. The cream cheese is also the key to being able to make these potatoes ahead of time. When reheated in the oven, the potatoes will retain their silky smooth consistency and won't dry out.
- Bacon and cheddar cheese - Delicious add-ins that make these potatoes extra special. Reserve some for garnishing.
- Ranch dressing mix - This adds wonderful flavor to the potatoes. I use a homemade version (grab the recipe below) - just save the extra for making ranch dressing or tossing with popcorn. A store-bought mix can be used too.
- Scallions - I like to garnish these potatoes with scallions. I love the flavor and color they provide. Chives are a great option also.
Tips for making mashed potatoes
- Use a ricer - I always use a potato ricer to "rice" the cooked potatoes. This contributes to the smooth and silky texture.
- Check the seasoning - I do not add salt or pepper to these potatoes. The bacon and cheese provide enough salt, and the ranch dressing mix is loaded with seasoning. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Make-ahead - You can prepare these potatoes ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, bake in a 350-degree oven for 35-45 minutes until heated through. Top with extra cheese and bacon during the last 10 minutes. Top with scallions and serve.
- Serve immediately - To serve immediately, transfer the potato mixture to an oven-safe serving dish. Top with extra cheese and bacon and bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Garnish with scallions and serve.
Delicious comfort food
Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite comfort foods - rich and satisfying. This bacon cheddar ranch version is no exception. Absolutely delicious and perfect for your Valentine's Day dinner or any special occasion.
Skillet | Large pot | Potato ricer | Grater | Butter warmer | Colander | Baking dish | Liquid measuring cup | Measuring cups and spoons
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Bacon Cheddar Ranch Mashed Potatoes
- 12 ounces bacon
- 2 ½ pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons ranch dressing mix ((see recipe below or use store-bought))
- 4 ounces cream cheese (softened and cut into cubes)
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese (shredded plus extra for garnish)
- scallions (for garnish)
Ranch Dressing Mix
- ½ cup buttermilk powder
- 2 teaspoons dried chives
- 1 ½ teaspoon dill weed
- ½ teaspoon dried minced onion
- ½ teaspoon dried minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Add bacon slices to a skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned but not crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Peel potatoes and cut into one-inch cubes. Add to a heavy pot with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, approx. 10-12 minutes once boiling.
- Meanwhile, add the cream, butter, and ranch dressing mix to a small saucepan set over low heat. Warm the cream until the butter is melted and whisk to incorporate the ranch mix.
- When the potatoes are fork-tender, drain. Add the cream cheese to the hot pot. Using a ricer, rice the potatoes into the warm pot. The potatoes will need to be riced in batches. (The hot potatoes will soften the cream cheese).
- When all the potatoes have been riced, pour the warm cream and butter mixture over the potatoes. Stir until well-combined, but do not overmix. Additional cream can be added if needed. Fold in the shredded cheddar cheese and ¾ of the bacon (reserving the remainder for garnish).
To Serve Immediately
- Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving dish. Top with extra cheese, the reserved bacon, and the chopped scallions. If desired, place the dish in a 400-degree oven for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese., and then garnish with the chopped scallions.
To Reheat Later
- Spoon the mashed potatoes into an oven-safe casserole dish. Let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to reheat, bring the casserole dish to room temperature. Cover with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven until warm through, approx. 35-45 minutes. Top with cheese and bacon and bake for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Top with scallions and serve.
Ranch Dressing Mix
- To a bowl, add the buttermilk powder and the remaining ingredients. Whisk to combine. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. This recipe yields approx. ⅔ - ¾ cup mix.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.
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