Just when you thought a baked potato couldn’t get any better, it did.
In a world where people eat food out of carved pineapples, halved eggplants, and hollowed-out coconuts, the OG food boat will always be the potato skin. I don’t know whose idea it was to carve out a baked potato, fill the crispy-skinned hull with meat, cheese, veggies, or whatever you dang want, then return it to the oven for one final bake, but that person is a genius. Not only is making potato skins insanely easy, it’s fun and super cheap snack to feed a group. Fairly new to the potato skin life (i.e. the good life)? Here’s the best way to turn your spuds into a potato skin masterpiece.
To start, you’ll need to. bake your potatoes. I’m sure you didn’t see that coming. As far as which kind of potato you choose, that’s largely up to you. If you want to stick with a white-flesh tater, russets are your best option, but if you want to do sweet potatoes, those work, too. Take your scrubbed spuds, pierce them liberally with a fork, and place them directly on the middle rack of a 400° to 450° oven. The potatoes are done when the skins look crispy and you can easily pierce the potato with a knife (about 1 hour or so, depending on the size of your potatoes). Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool for at least 10 minutes. Have you ever heard of the game “Hot Potato?” It is based on true events—be careful when handling these baked ‘taters. While your potato is cooling, set your oven to a high broil.
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Once your potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the inside, leaving about a ¼-inch-thick layer of potato inside the skin. This scooped-out potato flesh can be used to make mashed potatoes or utilized in soups, casseroles, tacos, egg scrambles, or really any situation that could use a little extra starchy love. Once your skins are carved out to perfection, brush melted butter or olive oil all over the inside and outside of each skin. You are Pablo Picasso and these skins are your canvas—go absolutely wild. Season with salt and pepper, and return the skins—spread a couple inches apart and skin side up on a baking sheet—to the oven for 2-3 minutes. You want to see the butter start to bubble and the skins crisp up slightly. Flip the skins and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes.
This is where things get interesting. Remove your crispy skins from the oven and fill them with your desired fillings. Anything from bacon, sausage, pepperoni, cheddar, fontina, gorgonzola, beans, chili, to an egg is fair game here. If you can dream it, you can fill your potato skins with it and call it a day. Return your loaded spud to the oven for another 4-5 minutes, or until whatever luscious cheese you decided to add is completely melted. Remove your creations from the oven, give them a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh chives if you so choose, and take those beauteous food boats of yours for the ride of their lives.
Crispy, cheesy, bacon-y—they’re an irresistible Super Bowl snack. So irresistible, in fact, that you may want to make a double batch of this potato skins recipe.
Preheat oven to 400°. Prick potatoes all over with a fork and rub with oil; season generously with salt and pepper.
Place potatoes on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until very soft when squeezed and skin is crisp, 60-75 minutes. Let cool.
Heat broiler to high. Halve potatoes and scoop out flesh (save for another use), leaving a ¼ inch border attached to skins. Brush both sides of potatoes with oil and season insides with salt and pepper; return to rack. Broil, turning once, until skins are crisp and flesh is golden, about 5-7 minutes per side.
Divide cheese and bacon among potatoes and broil until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream, chives, and black pepper.
How would you rate Crispy Potato Skins?
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These potato skin crisps are perfect way to use up leftover potato peelings.
The humble spud is a UK staple, with the average Brit consuming around 130kg a year. That’s a lot of potatoes – and also a lot of peelings destined for the bin. But why waste them? Potato skins are no less nutritious than their fleshy interiors and are a great source of fibre. They need to be used quickly, but this simple recipe can be rustled up while you’re busy making the evening meal. Just mix with oil and seasoning, pop them on a baking tray and whack them in the oven. The result is homemade crisps with all the crunch and flavour of shop bought, without the guilt that comes with them. The best bit? They are, quite literally, cheap as chips.
- Potato peel
- 1-2 tsp of oil
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- Cumin, paprika or chilli powder (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 200C. First of all you will need to peel your potatoes with a potato peeler. The skin might be too thick if you use a knife.
Potato peel does not keep well, so get the peelings straight onto a baking tray.
Drizzle the oil over your peelings and sprinkle over your chosen seasoning/spices.
Use your hands to mix everything together, until the peelings are evenly coated in the oil and seasoning.
Make sure the peelings are in an even layer and then place into the oven until slightly brown and crunchy, about 8-10 minutes.
Top tip for making potato peel crisps
You can try other vegetable peelings, like carrot and parsnip. The peel lasts for up to three days, if wrapped well and stored in the fridge.
- 4 small russet potatoes
- Kosher salt to taste
- 8 ounces small broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
- 1 clove garlic
- 6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Ranch dip for serving
- Calories 364
- Fat 18.14g
- Saturated fat 8.8g
- Trans fat 0.5g
- Carbs 36.99g
- Fiber 2.8g
- Sugar 2.06g
- Protein 15.92g
- Cholesterol 43.37mg
- Sodium 298.86mg
- Nutritional Analysis per serving (4 servings)Powered by
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Game-day snacks with a healthy twist, these potato skins allow you to scarf over the coffee table and get a healthy serving of fresh broccoli. All you do is bake small russet potatoes until tender and scoopable, then remove most of the insides. Separately, steam broccoli florets (the microwave makes this a snap), and sauté a little yellow onion with garlic until tender and fragrant. Add the steamed broccoli and a handful of sharp cheddar cheese, and stuff the potato shells with this mixture. Top with extra cheese, bake till bubbly, and serve.
Tips for Bacon
How to Cook Bacon
Bacon is most commonly cooked on the stovetop or in the oven. If you’re opting for the former, start with a cold pan with the bacon strips touching, but not overlapping. Set the burner on low and allow the bacon to slowly release its fat. As it begins to cook, use tongs to flip the strips and fry them on their opposite sides. Continue to flip and turn until the bacon is browned evenly. Let the cooked bacon drain by carefully placing them on paper towels or a newspaper.
To cook bacon in the oven, simply line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the bacon strips on its surface. If your baking sheet does not have grooved edges, be sure to fold the aluminum corners upwards to catch excess grease. Bake at 400°F for ten to 20 minutes (depending on your texture preference), remove, and place bacon strips on paper towels or a newspaper. The bacon will crisp as it cools.
How to Store Bacon
How to Freeze Bacon
- 8 (3-inch-long) russet potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds), scrubbed and thoroughly dried
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), melted
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 5 to 6 slices cooked, crumbled bacon
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- Calories 227
- Fat 13.86g
- Saturated fat 6.62g
- Trans fat 0.25g
- Carbs 19.31g
- Fiber 1.45g
- Sugar 1.05g
- Protein 7.1g
- Cholesterol 31.82mg
- Sodium 184.1mg
- Nutritional Analysis per serving (10 servings)Powered by
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I’ve spent many a pub happy hour pondering whether loaded potato skins could be considered a proper dinner. After all, they’re a vegetable covered with meat, herbs, and dairy, no? Whether you have these for dinner or serve them at your next party, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a crispy potato skin loaded with bacon and cheese, served with a cold beer.
What to buy: Look for potatoes in 5-pound bags, as they tend to be smaller in size than loose potatoes. Avoid green-spotted or sprouted potatoes—they contain the bitter toxin solanine.
Game plan: Use the leftover scooped potatoes for mashed potato cakes, gnocchi, or potato soup.
This recipe was featured as part of our Make Your Own Loaded Potato Skins project.
What to buy
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baking Sheet
These durable and rust-proof aluminum baking sheets conduct heat well, so everything you make, from appetizers to baked goods, cooks evenly.
One of my very favorite appetizers to order at a restaurant is Potato Skins.
I love the fact that they are considered a finger food. This is the one time that it is socially acceptable to pick up a potato and eat it with your hands.
Plus who can resist the taste of cheese and bacon on a crispy potato skin?
But almost every time I prepare appetizers for a party, I rarely think about making potato skins.
Instead, there are plenty of dips and spreads, such as buffalo chicken and spinach artichoke dip, on the counter.
And don’t forget the ever popular chicken wings that are a must have for a game day party.
Because I make most of my appetizers in my Instant Pot, slow cooker or in the air fryer, my oven rarely gets used.
Which means that I have no excuse not to make potato skins!
The first thing that has to be done is to bake the potatoes.
I know that there are several ways to bake a potato. And the oven isn’t necessarily the quickest method.
But although it is much faster to make baked potatoes in the microwave or Instant Pot, I wouldn’t recommend it for this recipe.
The skins of the potatoes need to be firm and crisp. And it is difficult to achieve that in the microwave or pressure cooker.
However, the oven does just that. And it is even better when you rub oil on the potatoes prior to baking.
The oil penetrates the skin which allows them to become firm and crisp as they bake.
Yes, it takes longer, but it is well worth the time involved.
But we have also found a way around this time consuming task on party day.
A week or two before the party, when we have plenty of time on our hands, we will bake several potatoes.
After they cool a bit, we will scoop out the insides (which we use for our twice baked potato or potato soup recipes) and freeze the skins.
Then on the morning of the party, we pull them out of the freezer to thaw.
All that is left to do is to add the toppings and bake them!
In less than 20 minutes, the potato skins are ready to be served! When you are hosting a party, every minute that you can save is precious.
Keys To Making Perfect Potato Skins
There are a few tips that we have learned over the years that will help you make perfect potato skins.
We already discussed the best way to bake the potatoes. And be sure to add the oil to the outsides of the skins before baking.
Once the potatoes are out of the oven, be sure to wait until you are able to handle them before cutting them.
But don’t wait too long!
You want to make sure that the insides are still tender and warm enough to scoop out easily.
And speaking of removing the insides, we have found the perfect utensil for the job!
A medium size cookie scoop works really well for this task!
Not only is it easy to remove the potato innards, it is also just as easy to release it into a bowl.
Save the discarded potatoes for other recipes. We use them to thicken potato soup and we also add them to the mixture when making mashed potatoes.
Another key to making perfect potato skins is to add a little flavor to them.
Potatoes are very bland and need to be seasoned well.
We do this by not only adding a little salt to the potato. But we also coat the skins in a butter and Italian seasoning mixture prior to baking them.
Why Italian seasoning? We find that the blend of spices found in dried Italian seasoning gives the potato a great flavor that isn’t masked by the cheese and bacon.
It really does make a huge difference in the taste of the potato skins.
And finally, be sure to bake your potato skins skin side down first.
This not only allows the skin to be exposed to the oven and become crisp. It also allows the heat to be trapped in the cove of the hollowed out potato, making sure that it remains tender.
Then turning them over to crisp up the potato edges is all that is left before it is time to add the toppings.
Quite honestly, you can add whatever toppings that you prefer.
However, for this recipe, I stuck with the basics: cheese and bacon. And of course, with the option of adding green onions and sour cream when served.
But I have also had some delicious variations of potato skins.
One of my favorites was when barbecue sauce was spread on the potato before the cheese was added.
It gave the potato a surprisingly unique flavor. We actually have replicated that flavor in our Loaded Baked Potato Rounds Recipe.
But I have also seen potato skins served with diced jalapenos, diced banana peppers, red onions and shredded pork.
Whatever toppings that you prefer, I am sure that you will enjoy them!
Check out the printable recipe below and let me know what you think!
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Baked potato skins filled with cheese and bacon and topped with green onions and sour cream for the perfect, easy to eat appetizer.
- 8 russet potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- salt, to taste
- 1-1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Clean the potatoes and allow to dry. Rub the olive oil all over the potatoes.
- Place potatoes in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until skin is crisp and potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until able to be handled.
- Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides, leaving about ¼ inch of the potato inside the skins.
- Add the Italian seasoning to the melted butter and mix well. Brush the butter mixture on both the outside and the inside of the potatoes.
- Sprinkle the inside lightly with salt. Place potato halves face-down on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.
- Turn the potatoes over and continue to bake until the edges of the potatoes start to turn golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven. Add the cheese and bacon to the inside of the potatoes. Bake until the cheese melts, approximately 3-4 minutes
- Serve immediately.
Garnish with green onions and a dollop of sour cream if desired.
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Potato skins are a much-loved appetizer made of hollowed-out potato skins that are baked or fried until crisp. Then they are filled with cheese and broiled until the cheese has melted. Sour cream and bacon are traditionally added on top.
Potato Skins are a food that is commonly found on a Happy Hour menu. They’re also a popular food for Game Day or Super Bowl Sunday, just like my Queso Fundido!
Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League. Since 2004, the Super Bowl has been played every year on the 1st Sunday of February. It’s the 2nd largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day.
“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.”
About Potato Skins:
- Sometimes they are fried, but if you bake the skins at a high enough heat, they get crispy enough and frying is not needed.
- The skins of a potato have more nutrients than the potato’s interior. Potato skins have a lot of fiber.
- If you spot green on a potato, cut it off and discard it. Green means there is a presence of chlorophyll, which is an indicator that there is a poisonous substance present that should not be eaten.
- If you are worried about farmers using pesticide on potatoes, buy organic potatoes instead.
- baking potatoes (Russet variety is recommended)
- olive oil
- melted butter
- Parmesan cheese
- seasoned salt
- shredded cheddar cheese
- cooked bacon
- sour cream
- green onions
How to make Potato Skins:
Scrub your potatoes clean. Then rub olive oil onto the skin of the potatoes. Cut a slit in the top of each potato and bake until soft.
Then cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the cooked potato. You’ll leave a 1/4-inch shell behind. Save the inside of the potato for another use. You’ll just need the skins for this recipe!
Then you’ll combine melted butter with a little grated Parmesan cheese and seasoned salt. That is brushed onto the skins, and the skins are baked again at a high heat (475 degrees) until crisp– about 8 minutes total.
Cheese and bacon are sprinkled inside the potato skins, and you will bake the skins again until the cheese is melted.
The final step is adding what you like on top. Sour cream and green onions (or chives) are a popular choice. You can also add a little guacamole or salsa, if that sounds good to you.
Potato Skins are meant to be eaten immediately. They’re such a tasty snack for any occasion! Serve them with Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots and a Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball to help complete your menu!
Homemade Baked Potato Skins are classic game day fare. These crisp skins are topped with colby jack cheese, horseradish sour cream and green onions.
When it comes to game day snacks, whether you are watching at your favorite sports bar or the comfort of your own couch, there are a few things that are a must have. Things like dips, chicken wings and, one of our personal favorites, potato skins.
Potato skins are great because you can customize them to suit whatever you and your guests like. You can literally put anything in them! Common toppings are cheese, bacon and green onions.
For this recipe, I made a vegetarian version and loaded the skins with colby jack cheese, horseradish sour cream and green onions. Oh my goodness guys, they are pub food PER.FEC.TION.
Now sure, you can grab a box from the frozen food section but they are SO easy to make at home. Using the recipe I am sharing with you today, you can skip the frozen food aisle and make your own Baked Potato Skins right at home.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
YUKON GOLD POTATOES: I prefer to use Yukon gold potatoes for my potato skins. They get a bit crispier because they are thinner than russet potatoes. That being said, if you prefer the bite of russets more you can certainly substitute small russet potatoes.
OLIVE OIL/SALT : For brushing and sprinkling on the skin of the potato before baking.
COLBY JACK CHEESE: As always, I suggest shredding your own. I find that freshly shredded cheese melts better.
GREEN ONIONS: A must when you have potato skins IMHO.
SOUR CREAM, HORSERADISH, WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE: Sure sour cream is good but the mixture of these three ingredients make the sauce on top of these out of this world!
How to make Homemade Potato Skins:
STEP #1: Poke potatoes with a fork and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until a fork can be inserted to the potatoes easily.
STEP #2: Once potatoes are cool enough to touch, cut in half and carefully remove the flesh. Try not to break the skins.
DES’ TIP: Instead of tossing the flesh of the baked potatoes, I’d recommend saving the flesh for baked potato soup.
STEP #3: Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Spray a cooling rack with cooking spray. Place the potato skins on the cooling rack. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until skins are crispy.
STEP #4: Remove potato skins from oven. Divide shredded cheese evenly between the potato skins. Bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. You can also place them under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes to get the cheese hot and bubbly.
STEP #5: In a bowl mix the sour cream, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce. Place a dollop on top of each potato skin. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve immediately.
These are best served when hot so the cheese is nice and melted. And because you have the delectable horseradish cream on top, no need to worry about serving these with a dipping sauce!
Looking for more game day snacks? I have got everything you need right here on my blog! Here are some reader favorites:
Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2011. It was updated with new photos, step by step instructions and nutrition facts in 2021.