Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Crack Potatoes


One of our favorite dips is Cheddar Bacon Ranch dip, or what I refer to as "Crack".  I usually only make it during football season because it is HIGHLY addictive.  I only made this once this football season and  I forgot to take it to the tailgate.  I left it in my parent's refrigerator!  I was devastated!  

I took the dip back home and started thinking about what to do with it - other than eat it all by myself.  I decided to mix the dip into a big bag of frozen hash browns.  The result? A fantastic potato casserole!  We absolutely love this!  Chicken Legs requests this all the time.  I divided the potatoes up into 3 disposable foil pans and froze them so we always have potatoes when we need them.  We just finished off the last pan, so I guess I need to add this to my grocery list this week.




Crack Potatoes or Loaded Potato Casserole



2 (16oz) containers sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 (3oz) bags real bacon bits
2 packages Ranch Dip mix
1 large (28 - 30oz) bag frozen hash brown potatoes - shredded kind

Combine first 4 ingredients, mix in hash browns.  Spread into a 9x13 pan.  Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes.  

*I divided the potatoes into 3 small 7x7 disposable foil pans and froze them.  I wrapped them with plastic wrap and then foil.*



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168 comments:

  1. These babies sound fantastic and we'll have to try them as soon as we can.

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  2. Looks really yummy. A great way to eat hash brown potatoes other than fried! Thank you for sharing.

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  3. I guess you folks are really happy today. I watched about 5 minutes of the game last night before falling asleep, and I just finished watching my recording of it - sure was exciting and I got to fast forward thru the commercials. Congrats to Auburn, their fans, and the SEC.

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  4. This looks fabulous. One question. Do you cook them before you freeze them?

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  5. Just sinful how good that looks! ;) Excellently titled as crack..ehehe.

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  6. I'm always looking for new potato recipes, and this sounds fantastic!

    And, congrats on the win last night!!

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  7. Sue - I did not cook the potatoes before I froze them.

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  8. Awesome. I can't wait to make these. Thank you so much for sharing. :0)

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  9. I luv remaking stuff in order to not waste it.

    Cool idea and they sound fantastic.

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  10. YUM, just added to my saved folder for future reference! :)

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  11. Sounds positively MAGICAL, Steph! We have a delicious hashbrown casserole recipe that everyone loves, but it doesn't have BACON in it. I. DIE.

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  12. Haha Love the name of these potatoes! They look and sound delicicous : )

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  13. I love cheesy potatoes in any way shape or form. This looks perfect!

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  14. ok, this sounds crazy good. I'm going to make up a batch for Sunday breakfast.

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  15. Crack is so outdated....you should call this Oxycontin :)

    Yeah, everything in this is good, how could it miss? Definitely going to try it (And not count the calories!)

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  16. Made this the other night-simple recipe that lives up to it's name... husband kept sneaking back into the kitchen to eat more. :)

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  17. Made this the other night-simple recipe that lives up to it's name... husband kept sneaking back into the kitchen to eat more. :)

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  18. This may be a stupid question but I'm assuming I need to let the hashbrowns thaw first??

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  19. shelley - you don't need to thaw the hashbrowns first. I usually let them sit out for about 5 minutes so I can stir them easier, but I bake them frozen.

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    Replies
    1. If I don't divide them up into separate pans, approx how many people do u think it will feed? We have a household of 7!! :) :) Think I'll be okay??

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  20. I'm making these tonight and wonder how large the bag of hash browns should be. My bags are 30 oz. Seems like an awful lot of ingredients for just one bag of potatoes. Is 30 oz. the right size?

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  21. Just found this posted on pinterest and it sounds awesome! One question, though: how long do you bake it for when you freeze the smaller portions?

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  22. Just tried this recipe and it was SO SALTY!! wow..it was ok the next day, but still had to drink tons of water.

    My kids love ranch, but were not fans of this recipe. Sorry, but would not try it again.

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  23. tiggergal99 - you should make sure you use Hidden Valley brand instead of Great Value.

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  24. I made this for the first time for my book club. It was a hit (people asked for the link), but it was a bit salty for me too. I used Hidden Valley. Next time I may try a different brand. Great flavor and so easy to make. Thank you so much for posting this. :-)

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  25. This recipe looks so simple! However, I absolutely hate sour cream (even if I can't taste it, I know it's in there which is the same thing to me). Do you think I can use plain yogurt instead? I'm not sure if it would work with potatoes but I use it in place of sour cream when baking and it seems to work. (I love your blog btw!)

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  26. Kristy - I think you could use plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. I think the Greek yogurt would work good since it is a little thicker

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  27. I seen this recipe on pinterest and want to make it tonight. Looks so good!! I have all the ingredients but ranch dip mix...however, I do have ranch dressing. Do you think that will work???

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  28. Jennifer - yes, just substitute the ranch dressing for the sour cream and mix.

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  29. My husband said this was the best dish i ever made lol do you think you could use only 1 pack of ranch dip to cut down on the salty taste? also what about light sour cream? would that change the taste to much? this was a HUGE hit at his grandmothers 100th bday party today! thanks

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  30. I cooked this tonight for our Thanksgiving dinner at Church. Everyone loved it. If I wanted to make a smaller version of it and cut all the ingredients in half what size pan should I use and what temp and how long?? Or can it even be cut in half?

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  31. MoMto1ToT - I usually use light sour cream. I also think it would be ok to use just one pack of Ranch if it was too salty for you.

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  32. Joyce - I usually divide this into three 8x8 pans and freeze two of them for later.

    If you want to cut this in half - use a 9x9 pan - I usually cook it for about 30-40 minutes when I cut it down.

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  33. ok well i used full fledged fat sour cream and everyone devoured it! u dont realize how much it makes till you cook it! when you freeze it do you just mix it all together then freeze it? or do you cook it then freeze it? and how do you freeze it? im so new to freezing food ive been married 7 years 26 years old and STILL dont know how to freeze food lol i LOVE your recipes so much!

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  34. You just mix it together and then freeze it. I buy the disposable aluminum pans and divide the potatoes between them. I cover the pans with saran wrap and then foil.

    I let the potatoes thaw out a little (hour or so before I bake them) and just add a few minutes to the cooking time.

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  35. thanks for the info! hey on your "best chocolate cupcakes ever" recipe it says a cup of butter at room temp... do u mean unsalted butter or regular butter?for your buttercream recipe im sure i sound insane but im new to cooking!

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  36. I always use unsalted butter in everything - easier to control the salt content that way

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  37. Should I bake them covered or uncovered?

    Thanks!

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  38. To cut down on the salt (or MSG)from the ranch dressing mix, just make your own mix. Tons of recipes on the net, and you can control the ingredients.

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  40. Just made this vegan. #winning

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  41. These potatoes are ridiculously delicious. I am eating them right now.

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  42. I found your receipe on Pinterest and I'm making it right now for a get together this afternoon! Thank you so much and I love your site!

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  43. Sooooooooo trying it this Sunday for football!! Looks and sounds amazing!

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  44. Found this right before Thanksgiving & made it for my family dinner. It was gone within minutes & people were even trying to lick the dish! If you like spicy food you can add a little bit of Sweet Baby Ray's Buffalo Sauce to it when you get your serving out, like my boyfriend does. It almost makes it seem like you're eating something from B-Dub's. Either way, this dish is AmAzInG & I am now an addict.

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  45. DELICIOUS!! Instant addition to our Family Favorites, thank you :) Mods: I used 20-oz bag of refrigerated hashbrowns, 8-oz sour cream, 8-oz Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing (not the powdered mix), a bit less cheese, mixed in some diced red onion, and baked in a 7"x7" foil baking dish for 30 minutes. And I forgot the bacon - oops.

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  46. Made these last night for our family's Christmas dinner. Used the Simply Potatoes, southwest style. Incredible!!!

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  47. Do you think these would work in a crock pot? I have a work potluck that I was going to make jalepeno poppers for, but these would be so much easier.

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  48. Can you make this a day ahead of time?

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  49. Kimmie - absolutely. I always do that. I actually make it and freeze it and just pull it out the day I want to bake it.

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  50. I plan on making these Christmas morning for breakfast. I am not a cook, or anything of the sorts (usually take out at our house) but I have a stupid question. I am assuming you make the ranch dressing first then mix it in with the rest of the ingredients. Or is that not correct? Thanks, sorry for the dumb question.

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  51. Jessica - don't make the ranch dressing first. Just mix the packet of ranch dressing mix in with everything else. Dump everything in a huge bowl and mix. Enjoy!

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  52. I have made this with bacon bits, real bacon and chicken. All turned out amazing! Today I'm making it with ham for Christmas. Can't wait for my family to try it!

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  53. Has anyone tried this in the crockpot? I have a funeral dinner to take food to, and I don't know exactly when they'll be serving the food. I don't want to leave this out for too long due to all the dairy in it. If it doesn't work in the crockpot, I may just pick something else to take. Thanks!

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  54. I made 2 pans of these for Christmas dinner and there was none left when I finally went to serve my plate...looks like 3 pans are in order next time! Thanks for the great and easy recipe!

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  55. Oh Steph I just tried this tonight and it was so yummy!!

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  56. Melissa - so glad you liked them! Thanks for letting me know,

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  57. I'm making right now!! Only thing is that the store only had "Southern style diced hashbrowns!" I'm praying that it turns out great! Have any of you ever used these diced potatoes?

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  58. Ok the Diced Potatoes turned a little dry. I'm sure shredded is MUCH better.

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  59. Would this work if you added eggs & Bisquick to make it similar to a quiche? It sounds wonderful and I'm hosting a baby shower Saturday morning so I was wondering if that would work'..?

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  60. Do you freeze it before or after you bake it???

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  61. Also found this on Pinterest as people are pining it like crazy. Can I do this with fresh potatoes (don't have hash browns right now), if I shred them big? Will try tomorrow !

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  62. Molly - fresh potatoes should be fine. I use a 30 oz bag, so just use the same amount of fresh shredded potatoes.

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  63. A friend posted this on pinterest and it looks delicious. We are going to give a try tonight. Thanks for sharing!

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  64. OMG! I found your blog from Pintrest and this looks fantastic! Can't wait to try this tomorrow night.

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  65. Finally made this last night after pinning it a few months back. LOVED! So, so good! Thanks for sharing.

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  66. Fresh potatoes do not work so well. My sis-in-law made this and I loved it, so I wanted to try it. I like to cook with all fresh ingredients so I used freshly-shredded potatoes and bacon. The potatoes quickly turned gray. They did not cook the same as the fresh hash browns, the sour cream didn't absorb as well, and the dish looked really unappetizing--who wants to eat gray mush? Will make this again, but I guess I stick with the frozen hash browns--must be whatever additive they put in them.

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    1. When using fresh potatoes bake the potatoes first, let them cool and then peel and shred! That's how my momma makes hash browns for breakfast.

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  67. I just discovered your blog this evening...not sure what rock I've been under! Let me tell you, I can't stop printing out recipes...and to top it off, I'm supposed to be on a diet, and my stomach is grumbling up a storm! Love Plain Chicken!!!

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  68. found it...made it...LOVED it :)

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  69. I am planning on making these for staff breakfast on Friday morning. I made a test batch over the weekend and they are delicious! I have a question though... I am making a double recipe with bacon and a double without. I bought 2 - 16 5/8 by 11 7/8 by 2 1/2 inch pans to make them in... I am going to put them together tomorrow night and put them in the oven Friday morning before work. Should I keep them in the fridge or freezer over night and how long should I cook them for together in the oven in the morning? THANKS!

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  70. I'd just keep the potatoes in the fridge. I'd probably cook them about an hour.

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  71. Thanks Steph! Can't wait to make them and hope they all fit in the pans that I bought!

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  72. Just a quick question...if I make it in the 13x9 pan about how many does it feed and if I brea k it down to the 7x7 pan how many does that feed?? :)

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  73. The small pan would feed 3-4 people - if any of them are like my husband, then I would go with 3.

    The large pan will feed about 8-10 people.

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  75. I have not read all the comments (there are just too many!) Anyone try this with fat free sour cream and fat free cheese? does it work? This sounds awesome, but gotta watch those calories!

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  76. if you choose to use real potatoes, make sure you squeeze out excess water first or you will end up with a sloppy mess!

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  77. Looking forward to trying this tonight! Has anyone ever added diced chicken to it, to make it more of a meal? Going to try that tonight I think...

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  78. I made these last night and found it to be very salty...i used the hidden valley ranch packets, but would use less next time. It's tasty! Would just reduce seasoning packet. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Did you use the dip mix or the dressing and seasoning mix?

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  79. I plan on making this for a work potluck tomorrow (putting bacon bits on the side for Good Friday).

    I plan to bake this tonight (in the oven) and then dump it into a crockpot to keep warm tomorrow.

    I'll report back and let folks know how it goes! If anyone else has tried this in the crockpot from frozen, let me know! :)

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  80. This has been a hit! I used 1 package of Hidden Valley DIP mix (not the dressing mix), and it seems like the right amount of flavor/saltiness.

    I baked as directed, transferred to the crockpot and refrigerated overnight.

    This morning I mixed in 1 cup water and reheated on high, stirring every 10 minutes.

    I doubt it will last long, but you might want to add more water if it sits around too long (I switched my crockpot to low/warm).

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  81. While I'm not a big fan of the flavor of Ranch dressing I really wanted to like this recipe. As written, however, it was too over-powering for us. I did try it again using only one packet of Ranch dip mix and one package of bacon bits and that was much better. My husband and our neices & nephews liked this a lot and I'll continue to make it for them. The suggestion to freeze 2 portions is great as this recipe does make a lot of food. Great if you're having many people over for a holiday brunch or buffet meal.

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  82. All I can say is OMGosh!! I am so thankful that I ran across this recipe. I made this tonight and ate so much that I had to pass on S'mores! And trust me, I don't turn chocolate down for anything!! I will definitely be making this again.

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  83. I made this last night and have one suggestion, I would opt for 1 package of ranch dip. While it was still delicious, the ranch flavor was a little over powering and took away from the dish. But like I said, still delicious! I'm also going to try to cut the recipe in half next time- way too much for just my hosband and I!

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  84. Is it okay to use ranch dressing & seasoning mix instead of the ranch dip mix? I bought the wrong thing

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  85. Rhea - you can use the Ranch dressing in place of the sour cream and mix.

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  86. I just made it using one packet of the hidden valley ranch dressing & seasoning mix, and it came out amazing. I just found your blog and I'm going to try more recipes.

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  87. made these last night and the family enjoyed them...

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  88. I'm making this tomorrow. That is a lot of sour cream for one bag of potatoes. I'm going to half it and half the ranch.

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  89. I have tried this, it is totally addictive!!

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  90. So I wanted to try this but didn't want it to be too salty so I used 1 package of the ranch dip and bought low sodium Bacon and just cooked and crumbled it myself. I also added a half cup of red onion. This was for dinner last night, but it's been requested again tonight. This is not normal in my home of 4 picky boys. Definitely a keeper! I would like to try it with some Ham or sausage mixed in.

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  91. So I wanted to try this but didn't want it to be too salty so I used 1 package of the ranch dip and bought low sodium Bacon and just cooked and crumbled it myself. I also added a half cup of red onion. This was for dinner last night, but it's been requested again tonight. This is not normal in my home of 4 picky boys. Definitely a keeper! I would like to try it with some Ham or sausage mixed in.

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  92. These are so good they will be a keeper in my house.

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  93. I want to try this. Wondering if I can use fresh potatoes? I hate paying for the frozen kind.

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  94. Stacy - if you use fresh potatoes, make sure you get some of the mositure out of them.

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  95. Made for breakfast this morning... Incredible! I think a touch of onion would do well with it next time.

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  96. Visiting your blog from Blue Eyed Bride. Just tried this recipe out last night and brought it to our Bible study. It was a huge hit, delish and so easy!

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  97. I made this but I used 8oz of sour cream and 8oz of french onion dip. I also used smoked sausage instead of bacon. It was amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

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  98. Regarding my previous comment, I made a half batch.

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  99. I have this written out to make for a party we're having! Can't wait to try it based on the rave reviews from Pinterest! :)

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  100. Is it 2 80z sour creams for a total of 16? And a total of 3oz bacon? Just want to make sure I make it right!

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  101. Katie - it is 2-16oz containers of sour cream for a total of 32 oz AND 2-3oz bags of bacon bits for a total of 6oz

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  102. Can you use ranch dressing packs instead of the dip packs? what is the difference in the two?

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  103. Can you use ranch dressing packs instead of the dip packs? what is the difference in the two?

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  104. I am really excited to try this! I found it on pinterest and hope you don't mind you have a new blog stalker ;)

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  105. I make something similar to these-well not so similar, BUT so freakin' good!! I make them only 2x's a yr they are so fattening & so good everyone looks forward to them at Thanksgiving & Easter.

    Frozen Hash Browns
    2 stick of real butter-softened
    2 blocks of cream cheese- softened
    2 16 oz containers of sour cream
    4 cups of shredded cheese (I use cheddar & jack)
    One large bunch of green onions

    & then mix it all together & bake till browned--at 400 about 1 hour.

    I am telling you people call me every year to make sure I am bring these. I love them at Easter because they are so good with ham.

    I am sure you could lower the fat count by low this & low that, but I dont:) Am trying your version tonite! Thanks



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  106. Actually that is the recipe doubled--so 2 bags of potatoess:)

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  109. Two people asked about doing this in a crock pot, but neither one of them were answered. I really need something for my husband's potluck tomorrow-so it has to be low maintenance. Does ANYONE have an idea of how long to cook them in a crock pot? I was thinking of doing it tonight, refridgerating them overnight and then having my hubby put it on low tomorrow morning so it will be warm by lunchtime? HELP! ANYONE?

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  110. zmilde - I've never tried this in the crockpot. If you want to try it I suggest cooking it on low for about 4 hours. Make sure to spray the inside of the crockpot before cooking the casserole.

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  111. Hello, I have a question. I cant wait to make this tonight!! When you freeze it, do you mix all the ingredients together and freeze it all in the pan? I wasnt sure if you put the potatoes in the pan and freeze just that or if you freeze the whole mixture.

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  112. Amy - yes, mix everything up and then put it in the pans if you are going to freeze it. I cover the pan with plastic wrap and again with foil. Just remove both before baking.

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  113. Thanks for responding back!!! Im going to make this tonight!!! Sounds and look delicious!!!!!! Cant wait to try it!!

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  115. could you mix together and put in refrigerator over night and cook in the morning?

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  116. CindyG - absolutely! Hope you enjoy the potatoes.

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  117. I made this for a potluck today and only used 1 1/2 packets of ranch and Bacon bits as some comments said it was too salty. Turned out great.

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  118. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  119. I made this tonight but since I'm married to the only man in America that doesn't like bacon I used a pound of diced ham instead. Huge hit! This recipe has definitely earned a place in our menu rotation!

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  122. Do you think I could get away with using the boxed hashbrowns?

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  123. Do you defrost the potatoes when you want to cook them or do you cook them frozen?

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  124. I just made this tonight for the family after eyeing this on pinterest. But I followed the ingredients, but added real bacon and crumbled them, and only 1 and a quarter of ranch tip, but mine was super creamy. What went wrong? Mine somewhat looked like the picture just super creamier. Did I not leave it in long enough?

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  126. would it work if you used "Helluva Good Dip" instead of ranch mix and sour cream?

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  127. would it work if you used "Helluva Good Dip" instead of ranch mix and sour cream?

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  128. lparks - I think that would work fine. Enjoy!

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  129. I'm going to be making this for Super Bowl Sunday and I have about 10-12 people coming over. Mostly men, will that amount cover it? Our should I double everything? Also, what about cooking it in a crockpot? Can't wait to try it!!!

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  130. Erin - I think one batch of potatoes is plenty. This will easily serve 12 as a side dish. I've never made this in the slow cooker. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

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  132. This recipe truly lives up to its name ... Crack! I used southern diced potato hashbrowns instead! Awesome, my husband is soooo excited to taste them!!

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  133. This recipe truly lives up to its name ... Crack! I used southern diced potato hashbrowns instead! Awesome, my husband is soooo excited to taste them!!

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  134. This recipe truly lives up to its name ... Crack! I used southern diced potato hashbrowns instead! Awesome, my husband is soooo excited to taste them!!

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  135. For some added crunch, I crush some corn flakes cereal on top! Yum!!!!

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  136. Made these yesterday and LOVED them! I only used 1 pkg of dip mix as I was worried they would be too salty otherwise and it was just enough flavor.

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  137. I made these potatoes for a picnic we had yesterday. They were a huge hit! Such an easy recipe yet so delicious! I was asked to make them again :)

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  138. Mine are cooking now... I hope they turn out okay. I added 30 ounces of shredded potatoes but it's looking more like dip than a potato casserole and it's halfway through cooking?

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  139. Mine are cooking now... I hope they turn out okay. I added 30 ounces of shredded potatoes but it's looking more like dip than a potato casserole and it's halfway through cooking?

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  140. Thank-you!! I've been looking high and low for a potato casserole WITHOUT canned soup. I'm making these this weekend!

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  141. Hi, thank you for sharing your recipe. It sounds delicious! I'm curious, you've mentioned you divide it up, but can you tell me if I don't divide it- how many does your recipe serve? Thank you

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  142. Angela - this will serve about 10. I like to divide the potato mixture between 3 8x8 or 7x7 foil pans and freeze them.

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  143. We researched the ingredients & BAM!

    Gluten Free, Baby!!!!

    No special changes or over-priced specialty foods required, just a couple of name brands & coupons! Super budget friendly!!!

    We also turned it into a casserole to accommodate our large family. YUMMOLICIOUS!!!!

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  144. My cheesy potatoes! Melt 1 stick of butter with a pint of 1/2&1/2 and half a block of velveeta cheese, cubed on low setting. Pour over one package of frozen country hash browns sprinkled with 1 teaspoon of onion salt in a 9x13 greased pan. Bake uncovered at 375 for 50 to 60 minutes. Works with shredded potatoes too.

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  145. How do you reheat them once frozen?

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    Replies
    1. Just follow the directions above and add about 5-10 minutes if you are baking them completely frozen.

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  146. Does anyone thing it would be good to substitute cauliflower for the potatoes?

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    Replies
    1. Oh, that's DOES sound good! Have you tried it yet, Anna? I was also thinking half cauliflower - half popcorn chicken. :)

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  147. Just made these, after reading the reviews that it was to salty, I decide to only use one ranch packet. OMG they are good and addictive. Also there is enough to make 2- 9x13 pans. I frozen one for later use as directed in the recipe! 4 out of 5 stars..

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  148. Finally got around to making these yesterday. As suggested in the notes, I bought disposable aluminum pans (I could only find 8" x 8"), cooked one and froze two. This morning "she" asked if we could defrost and cook another pan tonight? Very tasty!

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  149. This was a big hit at the inlaws' for Easter Sunday! Good stuff.

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  150. I also like recipes that DO NOT have cream of something soup in the ingredients! I will try these but I will use 1/2 the sour cream and add in some softened onion & chive cream cheese. (This flavor of cream cheese is also great added into marinara-based pasta dishes). YUM O

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  151. Easy and tasty. The family loved it

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  152. I was wondering if you could cook this over a fire or grill while camping?

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