Loaded potato skins are a perfect appetizer or side dish. Filled with creamy cheese, salty bacon, and the comforting warmth of potatoes, they are an easy option that everyone grabs on a buffet table.
Whether you want these as a snack and appetizer, or alongside a grilled steak – they are a perfect easy recipe.
If you are looking for another easy appetizer that everyone will love, check out my easy meatballs recipe.
Loaded Potato Skins
I love these cheesy bacon potato skins! They are super easy to make and are a great option as a side dish or for an appetizer.
They are also one of those recipes that I know I will almost always have the ingredients for on hand. So, when I need a last-minute option, I can whip these up and have them baking while I finish the rest of my meal.
I’ve even served these up with my favorite queso recipe before! So easy, so delicious, and a great option for dipping into a cheesy sauce.
What are the Best Potatoes for Potato Skins?
For this recipe, I love using large baking potatoes so every portion is big. Of course, baking potatoes are also a great sturdy option with thicker skins, so they hold up well when loading with the other ingredients.
A nice Idaho or Russet potato works best for this recipe. However, if you only have red potatoes or smaller new potatoes, you can use them, just know that the thinner skin is flimsy. In that case, you will need to leave more of the potato inside the skin to hold it together.
To save time, you can also make these slow cooker baked potatoes. That way you can have the potatoes ready to prepare when you get home, without having to wait for them to bake in the oven first.
What are Optional Toppings for These Potatoes?
For this recipe, I used mozzarella, bacon, sour cream, and basil. You can definitely add in other toppings or flavors if you prefer.
While I don’t add salt and pepper when I use bacon, you can definitely add in more spice to the mixture. Get creative and make the loaded potato skins fit your preferences and taste buds.
- Use different cheeses like cheddar, swiss, Colby jack, or a Mexican blend.
- Substitute the sour cream for nonfat plain Greek yogurt for more protein and a healthier option.
- Mix in diced onions or sprinkle with chives.
- Use garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in the mixture for added spice.
- Buy peppered bacon or ham instead of regular bacon for a bit more kick.
- Use taco seasoning for a different flavor profile.
Can I Freeze These for Later?
Yes! One of my favorite things about making potato skins is that I can make a huge batch and freeze them for later. I just allow them to cool completely, and then place them on a baking sheet to flash freeze.
After about an hour, I will pop them into a dated and labeled freezer storage bag. Then, when ready to eat, I can just pop them out and into the oven to reheat and melt the cheese again.
- Olive oil
- Mozzarella cheese
- Sour cream
How to Make Loaded Potato Skins
To begin making your potato skins, you will want to gather and prepare your ingredients. I like to go ahead and wash the potatoes and prepare them for the oven at this time.
Preheat your oven to 200ºC or 400ºF and place the potatoes on a baking sheet to place into the oven to bake.
Once your potatoes have cooked through (about 1 hour), you will remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes.
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to remove the middle of the potato. You’ll leave the skin intact, and may need to leave a little of the potato to make sure the skins are sturdy and won’t fall apart.
Brush the potato skins with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper before placing back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes to crisp.
In a large bowl, you will combine your potato middles with the sour cream, bacon, basil, a bit of salt and pepper, and chopped basil.
Pull the potatoes from the oven, and scoop the potato mixture into the potato skins. Sprinkle them with the remaining cheese and a bit of basil or chives if desired, then pop back into the oven for a few more minutes under broil.
Printable Recipe Card:
- 5 large potatoes, washed and dried
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To begin, gather all ingredients together and prepare them for making the recipe. I begin by washing and drying the potatoes, and measuring out all ingredients;
- Next, you will preheat the oven to 200ºC or 400ºF
- Once the oven has heated, you will place your potatoes on a baking sheet and put in the oven to bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes;
- Once the potatoes are cooked through, you will remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes;
- When the potatoes have cooled, you will cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the middle potato pulp into a large bowl;
- Make sure to keep the skin intact and then brush each half of the potato skin with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before putting back onto the baking sheet;
- Put the potato skins back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes at 220ºC or 420ºF for 10 minutes to crisp;
- While the skins are cooking, combine the potato pulp, sour cream, a bit of salt and pepper, bacon, and half the cheese and basil and mix together well;
- Pull the skins out of the oven, and scoop the potato mixture into the waiting skins;
- Top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with basil;
- Pop them back into the oven on broil for a few minutes to melt the cheese and make sure it is browning;
- Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes, then serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 655 Total Fat: 32g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 81mg Sodium: 883mg Carbohydrates: 66g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 27g