Twice Baked Stuffed Potatoes
Although these cheesy twice baked stuffed potatoes do take a bit of time, once they’re ready you won’t be sorry especially since you can freeze a bunch of them for later to use on those nights when your time is short. I make a big batch and then individually wrap them in plastic wrap and put about a meals worth (for my family) into a freezer bag and freeze. Then when I feel like having twice baked stuffed potatoes all I have to do is pull out one of the bags from the freezer and either let them thaw, or thaw them in the microwave. You can completely re heat them in the microwave too, but the finished product will loose that crispy top. If that doesn’t bother you, then by all means go ahead and use the microwave, that’s what it’s for!
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One of the best things about a stuffed potato is its flexibility. You can adjust the amount of almost any ingredient below to your liking or you can add your own ideas. Sometimes I feel like adding sour cream or even cream cheese to my mashed potatoes, sometimes I want the more traditional fillings. If you are a bacon lover, you can definitely add some to the mash as well as extra on top. Want a cheesy top….then add extra shredded cheese before your final bake and voila! Super cheesy (actually double cheesy), twice baked stuffed potatoes. You are limited only by your imagination. Want some veggies thrown in? Think broccoli and cheddar.. yum.
If you’re feeling very adventurous, you could even add meat to your mashed potatoes. Think seasoned ground beef, spicy Italian sausage or chicken. If you get monster sized russet potatoes, you could definitely make a meal out of a super stuffed potato and get everything you can think of or have on hand in there.
I remember years ago going to a restaurant in Cancun, it was called Spuds (if I remember correctly…it was a long time ago), and they served a stuffed baked potato so large it took up an entire plate. The only thing you (the customer) had to decide on what what and how many toppings you wanted. It was definitely a meal and a half. I don’t recommend doing that type of potato on a regular basis, but the option is still there. Of course your potatoes would probably take and hour and a half to two hours to bake initially!
I started making these cheesy twice baked stuffed potatoes many years ago when I realized that the ones I had been buying at a local store that sells primarily frozen ready to go meals, looked very simple to make. It surprised me that I had not thought of making them before and well lets just say, I have not bought them in many years. These are equal to or better in quality and convenience. If you like these then you might want to try my potato skins recipe too!
Now, these are definitely not a weeknight recipe if you intend on making and freezing extra. I would suggest you make them on the weekend or on a day when you have a couple of hours to spend on meal prep. That’s what I do. It’s usually on the weekend and it’s also usually on a day when I am making or preparing something else as well.
Twice Baked Stuffed Potatoes
- 3 medium to large sized Russet potatoes
- olive oil
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup milk or cream
- ¼ tsp salt and pepper each
- Preheat your oven to 400°
- Wash and dry the potatoes and rub with olive oil
- Place on a sheet pan and sprinkle with kosher salt
- Poke potatoes with a fork (or knife) to allow some vents
- Put in the oven and bake until done, about 35 min to an hour depending on size of the potatoes
- Once the potatoes are done (check with a skewer) remove them from the oven and let them cool a bit
- Once they are cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes in half lengthwise creating two "boats"
- Carefully scoop out the flesh of the potato halves, leaving a small ridge along the sides and bottom (like for potato skins).
- Put all of the scooped out potato in a bowl or pot, so you can mash them
- Mash the potatoes with a hand masher at first, then add your butter, cream (or milk) and salt and pepper.
- Whip the potatoes with your hand masher or electric beater to remove as many lumps as you can. Creating a creamy mashed potato.
- Once they are mashed, add your cheese and stir it through. Feel free to add extra cheese if you want them really cheesy.
- If using bacon, add it now as well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Fill each half shell with a generous scoop of the mashed potatoes
- Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes to create a bit of a crust and some golden brown color on your potoates.
- Serve with sour cream and whatever other toppings you like.