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Crack Potatoes

Crack potatoes are always a potluck favorite. One bite, and you’ll be the MVP of your next get-together.

I mean, what’s not to love? Potatoes, cheese, butter, and bacon! Oh, and don’t forget the dry ranch seasoning.

They’re so creamy and delicious, there’s a reason we call them crack potatoes.

Creamy and delicious crack potatoes with crumbled bacon, cheese and chopped green onions
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Bacon Cheddar Loaded Crack Potatoes

Crack potatoes are cheesy and delicious. I mean, they have all the comfort food staples: potatoes, bacon, butter, and cheese.

I love how quick and easy this recipe comes together. A few minutes of prep, a quick tip in the oven, and you’re in cheesy potato heaven.

Using a packet of ranch seasoning mix makes your life so much easier. It dials up the flavor, and all you need to do is rip it open.

Consider yourself warned. If you bring this dish to your next potluck, you’ll have to bring it every time.

Ingredients

All the ingredients are pantry staples. Here’s everything you need:

  • Frozen shredded hash browns – Don’t worry, you don’t have to prep and shred the potatoes. A pack of frozen shredded hash browns is all you need. Just be sure they’re thawed first!
  • Shredded cheddar cheese – Skip the pre-shredded stuff and grate your own! Freshly grated cheddar cheese melts better and tastes a lot better than pre-shredded.
  • Cream cheese – Softened cream cheese is the key to an intensely rich cheese sauce. Ensure it’s at room temperature, or your sauce will be lumpy.
  • Sour cream – Sour cream not only adds moisture but a ton of flavor. It provides a nice tang that pairs well with the salty, savory flavors of this dish.
  • Bacon – Everything is better with bacon! It adds such a nice, smoky flavor to this recipe. If you don’t want to fuss with frying bacon, you can also use real bacon bits in a pinch.
  • Unsalted butter – Is it even comfort food if butter doesn’t come to the party? There’s plenty of salt in this recipe list, so use unsalted butter.
  • Green onions – Adding green onions offers a sharp, earthy bite to this recipe. Plus, it adds a pop of bright color!
  • Ranch seasoning – A dry packet of ranch seasoning is where the flavor takes off. Opt for your favorite brand of ranch seasoning, or whip up a special blend.
  • Spices – Only the classics for these crack potatoes! All you need is some garlic powder and onion powder to bring on the flavor. Plus, a little salt and pepper to taste.
Crack potatoes with bacon and green onions in a 9x13 baking dish

How to Make Crack Potatoes

This potluck potato recipe is almost a little too easy. It’s one of those low-effort, high-reward recipes I adore.

1. Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

2. Make the potato mixture. Combine the hash browns, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, butter, green onions, ranch seasoning, and spices in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.

3. Pour into the baking dish. Then, pour the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. Smooth it out so it sits evenly in the dish.

4. Bake. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. If they’re browning too much on top, tent the pan with aluminum foil.

5. Cool. Allow the potatoes to cool for a few minutes in the oven. Serve them warm, and dig in!

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • Dial up the creaminess. Yes, you can make this dish even more indulgent! Simply add a can of cream of chicken soup or a can of cheese soup for the ultimate flavor.
  • Get to work! Pre-shredded cheese has an anti-caking agent that prevents it from melting and may create a grainy consistency. Grating cheese takes a few extra minutes but makes a big difference.
  • Create a crunchy crust. I love adding crushed potato chips or crackers on top before it hits the oven. It adds a nice layer of texture to this ultra-creamy dish.
  • Get super cheesy. Cheddar is great because it’s creamy and mild, but it’s not required! Experiment with your favorite types of cheese, like mozzarella, Pepper Jack, or Colby. When it comes to cheese, there are no wrong answers.
  • Pack in some protein. Want to make this dish a full meal? Throw in some rotisserie chicken for a boost of protein.
Delicious crack potatoes served in a spoon

Can You Make This Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make this recipe up to 2 days in advance.

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Follow the recipe until you pop it in the oven. Then, cover the prepared potatoes in plastic wrap until you’re ready to bake.

Remember, chilled potatoes may need a few minutes longer in the oven.

How to Store Leftovers

What I love most about this recipe is it makes a big batch, and there are always leftovers!

Here’s everything you need to know about storing, freezing, and reheating these tasty crack potatoes.

  • To Store: Allow the potatoes to come to room temperature and transfer them to an air-tight container. They will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze this recipe, but only before you bake it. Make it as per the recipe, but pop it in the freezer rather than the oven. It will stay fresh for up to 2 months.
  • To Reheat: To reheat, simply pop individual portions in the microwave for 30-second intervals. If you want to reheat the entire pan, pop it in the oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.

What to Serve with Crack Potatoes

Crack potatoes are the ultimate potluck dish and go great with things like burgers and these fall-off-the-bone ribs.

For casual weeknight dinners, I like to pair them with easy mains like air fryer chicken thighs, pork chops, and juicy meatloaf.

These potatoes are also a welcome addition to any holiday table. They fit right in with sliced honey ham, turkey, or green bean casserole!

More Potato Recipes To Try

Mashed Potatoes
Syracuse Salt Potatoes Recipe
Greek Lemon Potatoes
Red Potato Salad
Air Fryer French Fries

Crack Potatoes

Course: Side DishCuisine: American
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Total time

1

hour

Everyone will totally devour these crack potatoes! Loaded with cheese, butter, bacon, and spuds, it’s easy to see why they’re so addictive.

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces frozen shredded hash browns, thawed

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream

  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped

  • 1 (1 ounce) packet dry ranch seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit (175°Celsius). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the thawed hash browns, shredded cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, crumbled bacon, melted butter, green onions, ranch seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Transfer the potato mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  • If using, sprinkle the crushed potato chips or crackers evenly over the top of the potato mixture for added crunch.
  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the edges are bubbly. Cover with foil if the top is browning too quickly.
  • Let the cracked potatoes cool for a few minutes after removing them from the oven. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken for an extra protein boost.
  • Add cream of chicken soup for even more flavor.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Crack Potatoes”

  1. Hi Kim, have to try this, it looks so good. I left you an email about the recipe for pork and beans, it was in one of your emails with the list of recipes but it got deleted. Could you send it to me please?

    Reply

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