These amazing loaded potato skins are crispy and cheesy and delicious. Topped with cheddar cheese, bacon and baked then served with sour cream and green onions, they will delight everyone. There is nothing as tasty as a plate of loaded potato skins filled with cheese and bacon then baked until crispy and the cheese is melty and gooey. Then topped with sour cream and green onions once they come out of the oven, they make an excellent appetizer for guests, or as a side dish for your family. I find that they are my go to recipe when I have made too many baked potatoes, or I feel like I have to finish the bag of potatoes that has been hanging around for a little bit too long.
These loaded baked potato skins are pretty simple to make and on the plus side, you get a pretty large bowl of leftover potato that you can turn into mashed potato, hash browns or even baked potato soup! If you’re not afraid of a little bit more work instead of loaded baked potatoes you could even make my twice baked stuffed potatoes. They are a great side dish to any meal and they freeze well. When I opt to make the stuffed potatoes, I individually wrap them in plastic wrap, then put them (about 6) in a large freezer bag, so that I can pull them out for supper when I am short on time. Then just pop them in the microwave and voila. If you do have a bit of extra time, I recommend defrosting them (even in the microwave), then baking them in the oven so you get the crispy top.
If you love a good potato recipe then try my baked potato casserole, if you make a lot of baked potatoes, you can make it and still use the potato skins for this recipe!
- 6 medium russet potatoes washed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 3/4 cup bacon cooked and crumbled about 6 slices
- sour cream for serving
- 2 green onions sliced for serving
- preheat your oven to 400º f
- Wash and dry your potatoes, then rub them generously with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- prick the potatoes with a fork (so they don’t explode) and put them on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour (or until done).
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half horizontally and scoop out the flesh leaving about a ¼” rim around the entire potato and the bottom.
- Brush the emptied shells with some olive oil then sprinkle them with Salt and Pepper and return them to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes or until crispy and slightly browned.
- Remove the skins from the oven once slightly browned and fill each one with some cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles then return to the oven once more to melt the cheese (about 3-5 minutes). Watch so they don’t burn.
- Remove from the oven once the cheese is melted and bubbly then place the potato skins on your serving platter. Sprinkle with diced green onion and serve with a bowl of sour cream for dipping, or alternatively put a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions on each potato skin before you serve them.
- Choose medium sized russet potatoes if you want a decent size potato skin, or choose small potatoes if you want to make smaller ones to feed a crowd.
- DO NOT wrap your potatoes in foil, you will lose the crispy skin that we are aiming for.
- When estimating how many potatoes you will need to feed a crowd, I would aim at 3 per person if they’re small, 2 if you’re using large russets.
What are the best potatoes to use for potato skins
As far as taste goes you can pretty much use any potato to make potato skins, but I suggest using russet potatos as a thin skinned potato won’t hold up quite as well as a good russet. Also, russets tend to be larger, and who wants a tiny potato skin anyway? Thin skinned potatoes such as Yukon gold or red skinned potatoes can be used but they are definitely more difficult to work with and the skins tend to tear more easily when scooping out the bulk of the potato.
Tips for baking the best baked potato
Make sure you wash and dry your potatoes, especially if you’re making them into potato skins, where the skin will be eaten. In my opinion, russets make the best baked potato and because they are generally larger, they do take longer to bake as well. Poke a few small holes in your potatoes before baking them, so they don’t explode and then give them a rub with some olive oil and sprinkle with some kosher salt (this adds flavour to the potato skins as well). DO NOT wrap them in foil, it isn’t necessary and gives you a soft skin, which you do not want especially if you’re making potato skins. When baking them, check them for doneness with a skewer or sharp knife. It should slide in and out easily when done. Bake your potatoes at 400 degrees. The amount of time varies with the size of the potato, but it will take from 35 minutes to an hour for large russets. If you are unsure of the doneness you can always use an instant read thermometer which should read between 208 and 211 degrees F.
Can I Freeze Potato Skins?
Yes, absolutely you can. I often freeze potato skins especially when I make a large batch. I find that the best way to freeze them is to not fill them until you are ready to bake them. This way you get a fresh and crispy potato and gooey melted cheese and bacon filling which you can then top with fresh diced green onion and sour cream. Just thaw the potato skins then brush them with olive oil, bake for 15 minutes to get them crispy, then add your cheese and bacon and bake until the cheese is melted. Then top and serve.