Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad

Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.

Our celebration of National Barbecue Month continues this week with another side dish to accompany last week’s delicious mango and avocado slaw at your barbecue or cookout. We’re going to show you how to prepare a barbecue ranch baked potato salad using only a microwave.

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
Potato Salad – a classic side dish for any barbecue.

How does this work? It’s simple – instead of boiling water on the stove or heating up the oven, we’ll keep the kitchen cool by cutting down the cooking time to eight minutes per potato. Since this recipe takes three potatoes, that’s 24 minutes instead of one hour!

We recommend cooking each potato individually because they need time to cool down a bit and soak in the butter before you add them to the salad. This method gives you time to prep each potato as the next one cooks instead of having to wait for them all to cool before you do your prep work.

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
Use a barbecue spice rub that you like, but make sure it’s one that doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors in this dish.

The dressing base for this potato salad utilizes a classic barbecue spice rub mix from the store, fresh dill herbs, parsley flakes, garlic powder, and sea salt. Make sure your spice mix doesn’t include an enzyme or tenderizing agent (think acids, vinegar, citrus, etc.), as some premixed rubs include this for items like brisket or ribs. The one in this recipe features sea salt, paprika, spices, garlic, ground turmeric, and natural smoke flavor. I also have a premixed rub designed for chicken that includes thyme instead of turmeric, and it works really well, too!

Enjoy this week’s super-easy potato salad recipe with last week’s slaw and next week’s brisket recipe at the end of the month for a perfect Memorial Day weekend party!

Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad

Ingredients:

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
What a fantastic batch of ingredients!
  • 3 Large Russet baking potatoes
  • 1 c. Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2/3 c. Real bacon bits
  • 2/3 c. Sliced green onions
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • ¾ c. Sour cream
  • ¼ c. Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh dill, chopped
  • ½ tbsp. BBQ spice rub
  • ¼ tsp. Parsley flakes
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. Sea salt

Directions:

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
Mmm… Starch…

1) Rinse and scrub the potatoes under hot water for one minute with a paper towel to clean any dirt off of them.

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
Potato Mummies!

2) Poke 20 fork holes per potato. Wrap each potato in two very damp paper towels. Microwave each potato individually for eight minutes.

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
Be careful you don’t burn your fingertips opening the paper towels after the potato finishes cooking.

3) Remove the first potato and microwave the second potato. Remove the paper towels from the first potato, and cut the potato into quarters.

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
Mmm… Butter…

4) Rub a little bit of the butter on the hot potato quarters and let them cool for a few minutes. Do this with all three potatoes once they finish cooking in the microwave.

5) When each potato is cool enough to touch, cut it further into small- to medium-sized chunks. You can then either remove the skin or leave it on – it’s a personal choice.

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
Once again, making your own dressing is much more satisfying than using something out of a bottle.

6) Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, fresh dill, BBQ spice rub, parsley flakes, garlic powder, and sea salt in a small mixing bowl. Mix together until smooth to create the dressing.

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
Time to start mixing!

7) Combine the potato chunks, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, real bacon bits, and sliced green onions to a big mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and mix until everything is thoroughly coated.

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
If you don’t serve this dish immediately after you finish making it, get it into the refrigerator to chill.

8) Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold.

Direct Your Dining: Barbecue Ranch Baked Potato Salad
How did you know I was hungry?

This energy-saving baked potato salad is a great complement to so many main courses: burgers, hot dogs, steaks, smoked chicken, or whatever you choose to feature at your barbecue!

Next week, we will share a delicious recipe for slow cooker brisket that will pair perfectly with today’s side dish!

Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M animal science graduate using her education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy in the kitchen.

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