It's that time of year again, y'all! Yep, football season is upon us, and I'm busy dreaming up new appetizers, dips, chilis, and stews to carry me all the way through the fall. If you're like me, you have a few go-to appetizers that are simple to throw together and guaranteed to please. Yet I am still always in search of the new best recipe, and holy smokes, I think I just found it!
This "loaded baked potato" dip uses just about every Southern staple I could squeeze in there: sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar, bacon, and ranch. While it's not the type of dip you want to serve at your next garden party, I promise it will be devoured at any football viewing party with hungry men (or me) nearby.
I originally tested this recipe with homemade potato skins, but they were a bit flimsy for the super thick dip. Oven-baked potato chips turned out to be a delicious choice, having enough strength to hold up while still providing a perfect base for loaded baked potato flavor. Don't worry though, if you are short on time, store bought potato chips are plenty good. Original Lay's were too weak for the dip, but both Pringles "Ultimate" Ridges and Lay's Thick Cut Sea Salted worked great.
I just cannot emphasize enough how addicting this dip is, and how excited I am to have another go-to in my tailgate repertoire. I'm still searching for a cozy fall cocktail and the ultimate game day dessert, but I'll be sure to keep you in the know. Now why can't September 1st just hurry it on up? Kickoff can't get here soon enough!
What about y'all? I'd love to hear your best tailgating recipes, because one can never have too many.
Loaded Baked Potato Dip with Homemade Chips
Yields 2 cups dip and chips for 4 to 6
For the chips:
1 pound small white or gold potatoes
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the dip:
8 ounces (1 cup) sour cream (light is fine)
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces (about 2 cups) grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup snipped chives, plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon powdered ranch seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
For the chips, preheat oven to 450°F, and prepare a large bowl of iced water. Slice the potatoes 1/4" thick. Submerge the slices in the cold water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain, rinse, and thoroughly pat dry. Toss the potatoes with canola oil, salt, and pepper and arrange in single layers on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, flip potatoes. Cook for another 10 minutes and flip again. Continue baking until chips are very crisp and light golden brown, approximately 8 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't burn.
(The chips can be baked up to 2 hours in advance and set aside at room temperature. Reheat at 425°F just before serving. If serving a crowd, double this recipe, cooking in two separate batches.)
For the dip, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, and cheddar and stir until thoroughly mixed. Fold in the bacon, chives, ranch dressing, and Worcestershire sauce. Chill for a minimum of two hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serve with homemade chips or the thickest-cut store bought potato chips you can find.
Related: Tailgate Recipe: Santiago Salsa (Beans and Rice Dip)
(Images: Nealey Dozier)