Sparklin’ Taters

sparklin' taters




This is a recipe I came up with years ago while I was cooking on a ranch in the Palo Duro Canyon. We had stayed in two days longer than scheduled and I was running low on groceries. I had plenty of potatoes, but had run out of oil to fry with and didn’t have enough time to bake them. I scavenged around and found some Sprite and it hit me! This Sprite sweetens the potatoes while baking and the bacon, onion and jalapeño make for great partners.







Sparklin’ Taters

Serves 6 -8
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes


  • 5 Russet potatoes
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 jalapenos (diced)
  • 1 large yellow onion (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • seasoned salt and pepper
  • 3 - 4 cups lemon-lime soda (7-up, Sprite, etc.)


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 11 x 13 casserole dish.
2. Cut the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices and place in cold water. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until begins to brown. Add in the jalapeños, onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the bacon is three-quarters done and the vegetables soften. Remove from the heat.
4. Drain the water from the potatoes. Place a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the dish. Cover with half of the bacon mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Repeat using the remaining ingredients. Pour the soda over the mixture until it reaches about half-way up the dish.
5. Cover the dish with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and stir. Replace the foil and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes more, or until the potatoes are tender. Season again, if desired. Serve hot.


Cover the dish will help keep the liquid from boiling out, but if needed you can add more liquid while baking if the potatoes do not have enough moisture to soften.


 Check out the how-to Dutch oven video…

6 thoughts on “Sparklin’ Taters

  1. I am so glad you posted a picture! I made this recipe out of your cookbook and it turned out really sweet.
    We really didn’t care for my version but your picture here answers the question of what went wrong.
    Your potatoes are hearty portions, 4-5 per potato. I had cut mine up to tiny bite size pieces. My potatoes absorbed too much of the Sprite. I am anxious to make this one again, the right way!

  2. Kent, saw you on tv the other nite, good job .Tried your sparklin taters this morning, went really well with eggs and biscuits. I used more bacon, can never use enough bacon See ya down the trail Frank

  3. We really enjoyed seeing your story on CBS this morning! Can’t make it to your cooking classes (sob, sob) but we’re going to pick up your cookbook and get back to some chow that the great grandparents enjoyed in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Oregon. Kent, you are our kind of “vegetarian”! Best wishes to you & yours. …. Karen & Ted up in Michigan

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