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This may be completely prepared and refrigerated up to 48 hours until ready to bake, use only russet potatoes and do not slice the potatoes leave them whole while cooking
Do not use the bottled dressing for this only dry mix and prepared with sour cream and mayonnaise, and for best flavor I recommend Hidden Valley dry mix, if desired omit the paprika and sprinkle 1 to 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese on top after baking then return to oven for 5-8 minutes to melt the cheese
12 medium russet potatoes, peeled, leave potatoes whole do not slice (medium potatoes measuring about 4-inches in length and 2 inches wide, does not have to be exact)
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1 cup prepared Hidden Valley dry Ranch salad dressing mix (mix must be prepared with half mayonnaise and sour cream, then measured to 1 cup, save any remaining dressing for to use another time)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled (can use more bacon)
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish (an 11 x 7-inch pan will work also but it will be very full)
Place whole potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil, reduce heat cover and simmer until fork-tender tender (because the potatoes are cooked whole cooking time may take about 25 minutes).
Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, add in butter then mash.
Stir in prepared ranch salad dressing, cheddar cheese and bacon (the mixture will be slightly orange in color).
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Spread into baking dish.
Sprinkle lightly with paprika.
*** At this point you may cover and refrigerate until ready to bake (up to 24 hours).
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until heated through.