I’m currently sitting at my desk with a chicken on my shoulder watching an exciting lightning storm outside while sipping a small glass of wine. I’m good at multitasking. The dear hubby is gone on a business trip this week so I’ve been gladly bombarding him with text photos of the kids and chickens. It makes me happy… and really, I’m pretty sure pics like that would bring a smile to anyone’s face. Meanwhile, when he’s outta town, it’s a comfort food all the way kind of day. So I made cheesy ranch potatoes. Yes, like the kind from my childhood with that totally unassuming name of cheesy potatoes but in true fashion I re-did the recipe to make them healthier and added herbs that lend a ranch flavor to them. You know, because I used to dump in a packet of hidden valley ranch seasoning to the mix. That seemed totally wrong and too processed so now I have cheesy ranch potatoes made from scratch with hidden veggies. And they. are. GOOD. My daughters even proclaimed that I should DEFINIETLY make these again!
I know, cheesy potatoes have a calling in potluck situations in the Midwest (or for Easter and mother’s day brunch) to serve as that totally cheesy, over the top creamy deliciousness that is smothered all over the shredded (or diced) potatoes. It’s always one of my absolute favorite dishes but I decided it was time to give it a little makeover in the nutrition department. I haven’t bought a can of condensed soup in over two years. There’s just no need when you can put more nutritious combinations together or make your own version of the same thing in nearly the same amount of time. Anyway, in place of the traditional cream of chicken soup that’s normally used in “cheesy potatoes” I subbed chicken broth and pureed squash (or pumpkin would work too). Then, instead of the sour cream, I used plain Greek yogurt. You could totally use a mix of yogurt and sour cream but I really liked the yogurt with the ranch herb mix as it gave it just enough of that buttermilk tang that fresh ranch dip has without the processed ingredient list. Gotta love that!
This little riff on cheesy potatoes still has a crunchy topping but it’s accomplished with a sprinkle of corn meal rather than over buttered crushed cornflakes. Honestly, it’ll be great either way. I just decided to make it a bit lighter with the cornmeal sprinkle and a toss of chopped chives on top to accent the ranch flavor. Seriously, this is my new favorite comfort food!!
- 1 pound diced potatoes (or ½ of a 2lb bag frozen diced potatoes)
- 1 head of cauliflower, diced a similar size to the potatoes
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (or use a combination of sour cream and yogurt)
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup squash or pumpkin puree
- 2 cups sharp cheddar
- 2 tsp parsley
- 1 teaspoon dill weed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine yogurt, broth and squash puree in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add all remaining ingredients except cornmeal in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Pour into a greased 9x13 pan or in a bunch of ramekins and sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Bake 60-75 minutes until veggies are tender.
- Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with chopped green onion or chives if desired.