Loaded Potato Salad with Bacon
The best potato salad with all of the fixings - bacon, red onion, tangy dill pickles and more.
Potato Salad is a nostalgic and quintessential part of any picnic or BBQ. It's creamy, chilled, mayonnaise-based sauce is the thing summer dreams are made of.
I know many are on the fence about mayonnaise (lotta calories, a little overused, I totally get it), however it is truly one of the miracles of modern cookery. Invented by a French chef in the 1750's, mayonnaise is a tricky emulsion of eggs and oil that transforms into this creamy, thickened impossible sauce. Unless you've tried to make it yourself, it's hard to understand how delicate that emulsion is. Though once you get the hang of it, it's not that bad to make at home and can be done pretty easily in the food processor. Luckily we turned to a trusty jar of Hellman's for this recipe and all we have left is to ponder the miracle and (more importantly) eat.
But back to potato salad and all that fantastic bacon crumbled on top.
The one and only down side to bacon is the chore of preparing it. Frying up bacon in a frying pan usually means cooking in batches (ugh), a fine splattering of bacon grease all over your stovetop and the pops of bacon fat that inevitably hit your arms while trying to flip slices. Not my favorite, but obviously sacrifices must be made.
However, after trying several different methods, including the microwave and air fryer, we've found that our favorite way is actually just baked in the oven. This method is commonly employed in restaurants and is truly a game changer. Lay bacon out on a baking sheet and cook in a 375F oven for about 20 minutes - or until browned and crispy. No flipping, no babysitting the stove and no bacon grease burns. Just throw the baking sheet in the oven and prep the rest of your meal. After the bacon is done to your liking, remove bacon from the pan and place on a towel-lined plate or cooling rack as per usual to help drain excess fat. The bacon will continue to crisp as it cools.
Potato salad is pretty forgiving when it comes to add-in's. We went with a colorful mix of pickles, celery, red onion, bacon and green onions. You could omit any one of these items and pretty easily replace it with something else that more fits your liking. Not into pickles? You're crazy, but forget 'em. Want to add hard-boiled eggs b/c they're delicious? Absolutely. Add an extra splash of vinegar for more kick, yes! But please. My final words to you. Don't replace that miracle of miracles, mayonnaise. No yogurt subs this time. Please.
XOXO -The LHTC Team.
Loaded Potato Salad
2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/3 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard
2 teaspoons White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sugar
Salt & Pepper, to taste
¼ cup Pickles, chopped
½ Small Red Onion, chopped
2 stalks Celery, chopped
5 strips Bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 Green Onions, sliced thin
1. Fill a stockpot or dutch oven with water half way up the sides and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until fork tender. Remove from heat and strain potatoes. Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, whole grain mustard, white vinegar and sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a large bowl, toss together cooked & cooled potatoes, mayonnaise mixture, pickles, red onion, celery and half of the bacon. Top with the green onions and second half of the bacon, serve.