Try this Crock Pot Crack Potatoes Recipe for a simple, delicious potato side dish. These creamy, cheesy potatoes with a bacon ranch kick are easy to make in your crock pot and are perfect for any meal served with your favorite main course!
If you are a fan of the flavor of these crack potatoes. Check out my Crock Pot Crack Chicken recipe, and I guarantee you will be happy you did.
Crack potatoes are a tasty and easy-to-make side dish. They get their name from being so good that they're addictive! The dish combines hash browns, bacon, cheese, ranch seasoning, and a few other savory seasonings for a creamy, comforting flavor that makes the potatoes rich and satisfying.
Making bacon ranch potatoes in a slow cooker is really simple. Mix hash browns, bacon, cheese, and seasonings, then place them in the crock. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2½ hours. Add more cheese and bacon at the end, and let it cook a bit more. The crock pot does all the work, giving you creamy, flavorful potatoes that are hearty, creamy, and comforting.
Pair slow cooker creamy potatoes with Marry Me Chicken, Tri Tip Roast, or BBQ Ribs for dinner or with eggs and sausages for breakfast. They're perfect for potlucks and family gatherings, matching well with salads and veggies. Plus, they're just as tasty when reheated, making them convenient for leftovers that can be used for meal prep!
Why Crock Pot Crack Potatoes Are The Best Side Dish
- They're incredibly easy to prepare; just mix the ingredients and let the crock pot do the rest!
- Perfect for busy days, these bacon ranch potatoes cook slowly to perfection, which is great when you’re short on time.
- Crock Pot crack potatoes pair well with any main course, from chicken to beef or pork.
- Using diced pre-made hashbrowns, it's a budget-friendly recipe using simple ingredients you can find at any grocery store.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Diced Hash Brown Potatoes - Form the base of the dish, providing a hearty and comforting texture.
- Bacon - Adds a crispy, savory, and smoky flavor, enhancing the overall richness of the dish.
- Canned Cream of Mushroom Soup - Contributes to the creamy consistency and adds a subtle, earthy flavor.
- Cream Cheese - Offers a velvety texture and a mild tang, balancing the other flavors.
- Ranch Seasoning Packet - Infuses the potatoes with a zesty taste, elevating the dish's flavor.
- Minced Garlic and Yellow Onion - Bring aromatic depth and a slight sweetness, complementing the creamy elements.
- Black Pepper - Provides a gentle heat, adding complexity.
- Shredded Cheddar - Melts into the potatoes, adding a gooey, cheesy deliciousness.
- Green Onions - Offer a fresh, crisp finish, adding both color and a light oniony zing.
How To Make Crock Pot Crack Potatoes
Divide the bacon: Cut the bacon into small square dice pieces with a sharp knife. Remove ¼ cup and set aside for topping the potatoes when they are finished.
Assemble the potato mixture: In a large mixing bowl, add the diced bacon, mushroom soup, cream cheese, ranch seasoning packet, minced garlic, onion, black pepper, and hash browns. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed and the potatoes are well coated.
Cover and cook: Transfer the creamy potato mixture to the bottom of a six-quart crock pot. Add the lid and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 2½ hours.
Garnish and serve: Once the potatoes are cooked, sprinkle the remaining cheddar and bacon. Cook for an additional 15 minutes to melt the cheese. Plate and sprinkle with a garnish of sliced green onions. Enjoy!
Slow Cooking Tips
- Cook the bacon until it’s crispy for added texture and a deep, smoky flavor. Chewy bacon will get soggy in the crock pot.
- Gently mix the ingredients in the crock pot to avoid breaking the hash browns and maintain the texture of the dish.
- If you have time, use low heat for a longer cooking time to allow flavors to meld together and enhance the creaminess of the potatoes.
- Regularly check the moisture level and stir occasionally, if possible, to prevent sticking or burning at the bottom.
- Garnish with green onions just before serving to maintain their crispness and color.
- If the mixture seems too thick, add a small amount of milk or chicken broth to adjust the consistency.
- Allow the dish to rest for a few minutes after cooking for flavors to settle and the sauce to thicken slightly before serving.
Flavor Variations and Substitutions
- Swap diced hash browns for sliced potatoes if you prefer a different texture while still keeping the dish creamy.
- Swap out the bacon for smoked sausage for a different flavor and texture.
- Cream of mushroom soup can be replaced with cream of chicken or celery soup to change the flavor profile.
- Experiment with different cheeses, like Monterey Jack, Pepperjack, Gouda, or your favorite shredded cheese.
- Spice it up by adding a dash of hot sauce and red chili flake, or mix in diced jalapenos before slow cooking.
- Mix in shredded cooked chicken or beef for a heartier, protein-packed meal.
- Add caramelized onions and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey for a sweet and savory element.
- Substitute bacon with sautéed mushrooms or soy-based bacon alternatives for a vegetarian option.
Storing: Store leftover crack potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Cool to room temperature before sealing.
Freezing: Place cooled potatoes in a freezer-safe container or bag, removing as much air as possible. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Reheating: To reheat, thaw frozen potatoes in the refrigerator overnight if they are frozen. Warm them in a microwave or oven until heated through. If using a microwave, stir occasionally to ensure even heating. Cover the dish with foil in the oven and heat at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until hot.
Yes, you can prepare them a day in advance. Store the mixed ingredients in the bowl covered in the refrigerator overnight, then cook in the crock pot when ready.
Yes, but it will take more time to cook. Dice fresh potatoes into small, even pieces and partially cook them before adding them to the crock pot to ensure they cook through evenly. For this reason, it's best to use precooked potatoes.
While canned soup adds creaminess, you can use a homemade white sauce or low-fat cream soup as a healthier alternative.
More Crock Pot Potato Recipes
- Crock Pot Ranch Potatoes
- Crock Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
- Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes
SHARE IT & RATE IT
Crock Pot Crack Potatoes Recipe
- 32 oz diced hash brown potatoes
- 1 lb bacon (cooked, chopped, and divided)
- 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1 (1 oz) package of dry ranch dressing seasoning
- 2 tsp garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup yellow onion (finely diced)
- 3 cups cheddar cheese shredded and divided
- 3 green onions (diced)
- Dice the cooked bacon, reserving ¼ cup for sprinkling on top of the potatoes later.
- Add bacon, cream of mushroom soup, cream cheese, ranch dressing seasoning, garlic, black pepper, onion, hash browns, and 2 cups of shredded cheese in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Add to a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2½ hours.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese and bacon over the top and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with green onions before serving, and enjoy!
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.