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Cowboy Approved Potato Casserole

As you read this blog post, we are gearing up for another week of branding at the Sanford Ranch. The cowboys and cowgirls are in the saddle before daylight and work during the coolest part of the day. They finish up with branding and vaccinations of new calves around noon and travel back to the cook house for lunch.

By popular request, here is the potato casserole recipe that has been served at Sanford Ranch Branding several times. This has become my go to for company and covered dish events. It’s easy but tastes fancy.

Belinda Sursa helps us in the kitchen every year. She is a former team roper, all around ranch hand, and as part of being married to a New Mexico cowboy, she has fed day workin’ crews for many years. Along with her sister-in-law. Tavia Manes Vinson, who runs the kitchen at the Sanford Ranch, they are experts at cooking hearty meals for hard-working cowboys.

Belinda told me that her New Mexico guys were never fans of the traditional cold potato salad, so she came up with this hot potato dish as a side for the BBQ brisket.  She added her own New Mexico twist. She buys the hatch green chilis fresh every year, and tells me that the roasted peppers store well in the freezer. If you don’t have fresh, Belinda suggests using the frozen variety from the freezer section.



1 large package Frozen potatoes, cubed

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 carton Sour Cream

Hatch green chilis, chopped (as many as you’d like!)

4-6 slices Bacon, fried and chopped

2 cups shredded cheese



Garlic Powder

Mix the above ingredients, except for bacon and cheese. Cook at 325 degrees until potatoes are tender. Top with grated cheese (your choice), and bacon which has been fried and chopped. Return to the oven until the cheese is melted. Double or triple the recipe as needed, depending on the size of your group.

This is similar to the hash-brown casserole that I make, but I like the potato chunks too. It seems more heartier, and there is definitely a bite of heat from the hatch chilies. This recipe and many others, will be included in my upcoming book KEEP ‘EM FULL AND KEEP ‘EM ROLLIN’.

You can view more pictures from the Sanford Ranch on @natgrams #sanfordranch.

Natalie Cline Bright is an author, blogger, speaker and aspiring photographer. Her TROUBLE IN TEXAS series is for middle grades, and for emerging readers click on the book tab above to find true stories about rescue horses, Taz and Flash. She is currently working on a book about the great cattle driving era and chuck wagons scheduled for publication in Fall 2020.