Potato Skins

Crispy cheese potato skins, baked to a crisp, then topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onions.

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients

  • 6 small to medium sized russet baking potatoes (total 3 pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil or grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, including the greens of the onions

Method

1 Scrub the potatoes clean then bake the potatoes using your favorite method, either oven or microwave. If using an oven, rub with olive oil and bake in a 400°F oven for about an hour until the potatoes are cooked through and give a little when pressed. If using a microwave, rub all over with olive oil and cook on the high setting for about 5 minutes per potato. I have found that baking the potatoes in a conventional oven yields potatoes that are easier to work with (cut and scoop out), the potato seems to adhere to the skins a little better, but there is hardly a discernible difference in the final product.

2 While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon strips in a frying pan on medium low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool. Crumble.

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3 Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool enough to handle. Cut in half horizontally. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the insides, reserving the scooped potatoes for another use, leaving about 1/4 of an inch of potato on the skin.

Increase the heat of the oven to 450°F. Brush or rub grapeseed oil or canola oil (or another high smoke point oil) all over the potato skins, outside and in. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking rack in a roasting pan (don't use a cookie sheet, it will warp, use a roasting pan or broiler pan that can take the heat). Cook for 10 minutes on one side, then flip the skins over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.

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4 Arrange the potato skins skin-side down on the roasting pan or rack. Sprinkle the insides with freshly ground black pepper, cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon. Return to the oven. Broil for an additional 2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven. Use tongs to place skins on a serving plate. Add a dollop of sour cream to each skin, sprinkle with green onions.

Serve immediately.

Note: If you have a potato whose skin or flesh has turned green, cut out those parts, do not use them. The green indicates the presence of a toxin that develops when potatoes are exposed to sunlight.

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Comments

  1. andreea

    These look so great. I always forget how easy it can be to cook delicious food with the simplest of ingredients.
    BTW, thank you for adding us to your links :)

  2. Pille

    I need to make those soon – they look really wonderful with that cheese and sour cream on top (and I never thought I’ll say so, as potato skins are not something we eat here in Estonia:)

  3. Fran

    Do you have to prick the potatoes with a fork before going in the microwave?

    I used to think so, but because I wanted to keep the skins intact I didn’t and it wasn’t a problem at all. ~Elise

  4. Deborah Dowd

    I am a potato-skin addict, and yours look fabulous! It is a great indulgence while trying to not have white potatoes (Spikes my diabetic husband’s blood sugar)!

  5. Susan

    The potato skins look amazing! One of my favorites. I’m putting it on my Super Bowl menu. What about some potato croquettes for the insides?

  6. James Hoddinott

    from a new viewer…

    This has got to lead to a 101 things you can do with the potato you scooped out list, surely :)

    Great idea! ~Elise

  7. Margot

    Wow!
    Very nice recipe.. and so easy to prepare.
    I will definitely make them soon… I bookmarked this page on deli.cio.us not to loose it :)

  8. caroline

    I love how you’re not afraid to blog about trashy, fatty foods. You know we all crave them sometimes!

    Thank you, I think. Actually, I don’t consider these trashy. Deep fried twinkies, now that’s something else. ~Elise

  9. mommamoody

    Thanks for the tip about green potatoes.
    I, unintentionally, got a bag of them at the grocery store about 2 months ago.

    Every recipe was turning out terrible (I thought perhaps they were not ripe or something). I got my money back when I went back.

    Thank God I never got really sick from them.

  10. Brandon

    Very good of you to put the Solanine warning. Most people don’t realize how toxic green potato skin can be. What do you do with the left over potato innards?

  11. kevin

    Elise,
    I have another dirty little secret to go along with my skins, I cook up some extra bacon, then I saute a small diced onion in the bacon skillet along with the potato I removed from the skins. Once the potatoes have started browning I dump them in a bowl with the extra bacon (chopped) a few healthy squirts of cider vinegar, the leftover sour cream, and salt and pepper. That’s lunch for the next couple of days.

    Oh, what a great idea, thanks Kevin! ~Elise

  12. jonathan

    Mem-o-ries…light the corners of my mind…misty water deep-fried mem-o-ries…of the way…I ate.

    *sniff*

    I love these things. I’d like one plate, please. (And keep a defibrillator close by, just in case)

    Thanks for sharing that dirty little secret, Kevin. It didn’t occur to me to make some potato salad at the same time.

  13. Mitchell Webster

    Concerning the note on the green part of the potato, we have always been told that you never eat the green part un-cooked.

    That cooking, baking and boiling neutralizes the toxins.

    The toxins come from the fact that potatoes are a member of the Nightshade family.

    According to the Wikipedia “Deep-frying potatoes at 170°C (306°F) is known to effectively lower glycoalkaloid levels, whereas microwaving is only somewhat effective and boiling has no effect.” ~Elise

  14. Pop-Pop "C"

    For variety and a real taste treat, substitute sweet potatoes for the russets. Made skins with the “sweets” recently, CAUTION they can be addictive.

  15. Tom

    How can you tell the difference between the toxins and an unripe potato? Is the skin green or the flesh just under the skin?

    And soup would be my vote for what to do with the leftover potato.

    It’s the flesh right underneath the skin, but you can see the green through the skin. And unripe potatoes aren’t green. The green is chlorophyll that comes from exposure to sun. ~Elise

  16. Sarah

    I just stumbled upon your website, and a glance at the side of the site with all the meat categories worried me for a moment (being a vegetarian that is), but after perusing for a few seconds I’ve already bookmarked about 8 of your recipes! And these potatoes look really yummy! (minus the bacon of course) :)

  17. Andrea

    Brilliant! I love potato skins, and leave them on when making potato salad. But when making mashed potatoes, I always threw them away. No more!

    Lately I have been steaming, rather than boiling potatoes, for mashing them. They don’t get mushy that way. But I can see how baking them would be better for making your potato skins, as they would be easier to get crisp. I could still use the insides for mashing or whatever. I love the versatility of potatoes.

    Regarding the green potato skins, I always thought they turned green due to exposure to light. One should store them in a cool, dark place, out of the light. Or the light will also make them sprout. I have cut away my share of green skins and sprouts but will make sure they are good and brown before making this recipe, just to be on the safe side.

    Yes, exposure to light increases the production of the toxins and increases the chlorophyll that indicates the presence of toxins. ~Elise

  18. Cary

    The skins freeze great once they have been scooped out, seasoned and baked the first time…then you can top them and heat whenever you want them; so make a big batch of baked potato soup so you have skins left over to make these!

  19. Garrett

    Never thought of doing this. When I peel potatoes I just take the peelings and flash fry ‘em real quick then add some salt and pepper.

  20. Ariel

    Yum. I love potato skins, but I don’t do deep frying. I can sit and eat them one after another, just like the way I eat devilled eggs.

    I will have to pick up a bag of potatoes and do this recipe over the weekend. :)

    Then I can have homemade mashed potatoes, another favorite comfort food.

    *drool*

  21. Stacia

    Now I know what we’re having for dinner tonight! I wanted to do an “appetizer dinner” but was tired of the same old thing, so I’m so glad to have a new recipe. And I agree, I don’t think these are trashy — if stuffed or loaded baked potatoes aren’t trashy, these aren’t, either.

  22. Tara

    You know, I never make these at home. I’ve always had them out and they’ve always been lack-luster. This is a perfect post since the Superbowl is just a little over a week away. Maybe I’ll put these on the menu… They look delicious!

  23. meeso

    This is my absolute favorite appetizer, and if they are made right, I cannot stop eating them…I will order more and forget about the rest of the dinner! Sometimes they are made so bland, the potato has no flavor, the topping is just sticky, solidifying cheese…but these look great! I can taste the bacon flavoring up the potato, it looks so amazing!

  24. ejm

    I love this kind of baked potato! And I’m with you that deep-frying them is unnecessary.

    Our variation of this is to mix the insides of the potatoes with grated cheese and onion and rebake them that way.

    -Elizabeth

    P.S. In response to Fran’s question about pricking the potatoes before baking, one of my friends reported in amazement about the potato that had exploded while baking in the microwave. She didn’t know that the skin was supposed to be pierced. I doubt that it has to be pierced all over though. I usually just do one small slash if by some miracle we have gotten potatoes that are completely unblemished.

  25. lydia

    Perfect — and just in time for the Super Bowl (which, for those of us in New England, is a real excuse for a food fest this year).

  26. merd

    You know, the only thing I hate about potato skins is how fast they disappear. They almost seem too labor intensive to make considering how quickly I devour them. Most foods I have control over myself on, but well loaded potato skins, thin sliced haystack onion rings, and chips and salsa are distinct areas where I have no sense of self control. My stomach is growling now.

    Oh yeah, my two cents on the deep fry method. Yum! However… totally unnecessary. When I worked in a Sportsbar years ago as a short order cook, we would have pre-scooped frozen skins and that’s the way we made them. It’s fast and effective. However if you’re making them at home the best way is to bake them so you get the nice cripsy outsides and soft middles, then scoop out the middles (not too much though) and salamander them (broiler) with the goods on top.

    I like to split up the batch into 1/2s of jalepeno slices and cheese and the the other with bacon and cheese. All get green onions. The bacon ones are complimented with a nice rich sour cream and the jalepeno ones are favorited with salsa topper.

    Great, now my mouth is watering as well as the stomach growl. Darn your wonderful blog!

  27. Lady Amalthea

    Oh yum! I just ordered these at a diner yesterday and was completely disappointed. I’ve never even thought of making them myself…

  28. Barbi

    My husband and son think that they have died and gone to heaven when I make Potato Skins. I’ve never baked the shells after scooping out the centers. I think I might give it a try and see if it improves the taste and texture. I usually serve with sour cream and Ranch Dressing on the side. “To die for”, they are that yummy!

  29. theCook

    In my family we always remove the skin whatever we do with the potato: I never thought potato skin could be eaten! I must try now, just to know how it tastes…

  30. Cary

    We just made a big batch of shells and froze some for later. Filled the ones for dinner last night with bacon and cheddar, and some with leftover beef enchilada filling and cheese…wonderful! THink I may try some kind of goatcheese filling in some next time.

  31. amy mom of 5

    I will be making these on Sunday! What a perfect snacker for all of us! mmm I’m drooling just thinking about them. I haven’t had a good potato skin in a long time. Thanks for the great recipes!

  32. Linda

    These came out perfectly and w ere fantastic. I never thought to make potato skins – just always bought them. These were so good. Your instructions were excellent. I did mine in the oven and came out nice an crispy on the edges. Thanks, Elise, for another great recipe.

  33. Suzanne

    Other ideas for using up the insides: Soup (potato cheese for us), hashbrowns, mashed (I know it’s not traditional to bake for this, but I think it’d work). And any other application where you use cut up or mashed potatoes.

    I’ve read this can also be good with sweet potatoes. I’d use different toppings though.

  34. Stacey

    Could you cut out the potato before you bake them? And would they still turn out the same? My husband wants me to make hash browns with the leftover potato.

    Don’t know. You could try it and see. ~Elise

  35. julie

    I made these for our own little super bowl party (just us and the kids). They were fantastic! My hubby just raved about them the entire time he was eating them. Thanks for the great recipes.

  36. Deb C

    Elise, I tried these yesterday for our super bowl party. They were easy and delicious! My fellow revelers were pleased and a bit surprised when I told them they were not deep fried. Thanks for another great recipe.

  37. cpr

    Hi! I made these from your recipe last weekend for a family party, and they were very popular! I made probably 40, and pretty much were all gulped down, with rave reviews. Thanks!

  38. Laurie

    I just made these potato skins and they rock! I added some extra spices to the potatoes but other than that, followed the recipe. It was so much fun making these, can’t wait to do another batch! Thanks Elise.

  39. jen

    This is great! Thank you for posting this recipe you’ve saved me the trouble of getting out to a restaurant to get this snack! Now i can prepare it myself! Delish! Now…any tips on brewing a pitcher of beer??? haha

  40. Virginia

    Wow this recipe looks great and the reviews are good too. Im gonna make these tonite. I can’t wait to trick my husband and roommate with these tasty morsels. Bet they won’t be able to tell the difference fried or not fried.

  41. Audrey

    I want to make small redskin potatoes as an hor d’oeuvre. If I make them on Monday and freeze the skins, should I defrost them first before filling and then do I broil them. With the very small potatoes, what are the
    cooking times? Can I use vegetable oil instead of canola? Thanks. Audrey

  42. The Meal Planner

    I made these tonight, and WOW…they were so good!! It’s always nice to make restaurant food at home and it ACTUALLY tastes like what you are trying to recreate. Great recipe.

  43. Gwen

    My dad actually makes something like this, but WITH the potato. Requires a lot more work, but worth it.

    I don’t know the procedure exactly, because there are too many people in the kitchen the twice a year he makes his famous double baked cheesy potatoes (Christmas and Thanksgiving).

    Basically, slice some nice big potatoes in half lengthwise, and bake for a bit. Take them back out again, scoop the potato out into a bowl and mash with obscene amounts of unsalted butter.Refill the potato skins with the tasty stuff and put back in to bake for a while. Take out again, remove potato insides and add more butter, and lots of sharp cheddar cheese. put back in skins, and sprinkle with a little bit of paprika.Tasty, and is perfect with my Aunt Mary’s homemade cranberry sauce. Not a low fat recipe!

    Sounds like your dad is making a version of Twice Baked Potatoes. Yummy indeed. ~Elise

  44. Robin

    Book club is coming here next week. We read Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Someone decided long ago to serve, for dinner, something related to the books we read. Having looked many places for a potato peel pie recipe (not sweet potato), and having not had any luck, I think I’ll just bomb them with your recipe. Potato peels (skins), loaded, why not? Good book, by the way.

  45. SmilynStef

    Last week, it was cheaper to buy 10 pounds of potatoes than just the couple I needed for my Thai Yellow Curry Chicken, so I used some to give this recipe a try … we loved them! So crispy and delicious.

  46. What to do with the scooped out potato

    If these are for an app then you could use the scooped out for homemade mash for a side dish at dinner or make baked potato soup ( you already have the cheese,bacon, and onion)!

    Yummmmmmmm!

  47. Irish Jen

    This recipe looks amazing, I can’t wait to try. I can also thank Boston for creating this weakness in me.
    Thanks in advance.

  48. Lynn Crawford

    I made these potato skins for Superbowl Sunday and they were delicious. The only change I made was that I re-stuffed the skins with the scooped out potato once I mixed it with alot of butter. Then topped with cheese and bacon. Everyone loved it.

  49. Camryn

    Hey,
    I’m in 8th grade and we find new recipes every week for our cooking class and theese sound very simple to make!
    The pictures sold the class.
    :)

    Thanks,
    Cammryn

  50. Sarah

    I did this recipe….they tasted great. Just took me two hours total before I was able to serve them. I recommend this recipe but plan in advance!

  51. Donna

    Reduce Baking time:
    If you don’t mind your skins being a bit smaller you can do the following: Cut the potato in half lenghtwise and then cut each half in half again lengthwise. Cut out however much raw potato you want. Lay out your skins on a lined baking sheet and prick the flesh of each a few times with a fork. Bake in the oven until crisp (way less time than baking a whole potato). When they are at their desired crispness take them out and sprinkle on your cheese and bacon, put under broiler until gooey! Your left over raw potato pieces could be used for anything at that point. Potato pancakes anyone?

  52. Mercedes

    This potato skins recipe is super delicious!!! You will absolutely love it! I used to make them all the time before. Just follow the recipe and your tummy will thank you for it…trust braddah! Ha! I’m really wanting to make these for the Super Bowl tomorrow…it’s been a while since my fiance and I had these awesome skins! Go Colts! Mahalos!

  53. Elizabeth

    I use the same process, except I baste the skins using olive oil with pressed garlic in it, and then I put a small amount of minced red onion in each skin before adding the cheese & bacon……..YUMMY!

  54. Pam

    Potatoes Done in a Crockpot. There are several different ways to do these. They are all good substitutes for real baked potatoes:
    Seasoned Crock Pot “Baked” Potatoes

    Potatoes, unpeeled, washed and scrubbed
    Olive or vegetable oil
    Season-All or favorite dry seasonings

    1.Rub each unpeeled potato with oil.
    2.Put about 1 t. seasoning per potato in a bowl or a plastic bag.
    3.Add potatoes one at a time and coat with seasonings. (I would prick them a few times.)
    4.Put potatoes in slow cooker as they are coated.
    5.Cover. Cook on high 4 hours or on low 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender when pricked.
    Makes as many as you need

    Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

    1.Rinse, scrub and dry the potatoes.
    2.Prick them in a few places. Lightly coat them with butter or oil.
    3.You can sprinkle them with a little salt or seasoned salt. Wrapping them in foil is unnecessary.
    4.Old instructions tell you to put them in the crock, and cook 6-8 hrs. on low or do Idaho potatoes about 3 to 4 hours on high. Newer slow cookers cook at higher temps so they may take less time.
    5.To test, lightly squeeze the potatoes; if baked through, they’ll be slightly soft, not mushy, but give a little as you squeeze.
    6.The “steamed-soft” potatoes in the crock pot can be used in many ways.

    Per an internet source, another method:
    One can get 3 fairly large potatoes in a very small pot; in a 2 quart pot, 4 large potatoes; in a 4 qt. pot, 6 or 7.
    Before you wash and prick them, put them in the pot to see how many fit.
    Those “baked” in foil have a soft skin which is easy to peel off.
    Crock pot on high. The smaller the pot the hotter and faster it cooks. One can bake potatoes in 3 hours in the smallest pot.

    Twice Baked Potatoes in the Slow Cooker
    Wash, prick, and oil them and stick them in the crockpot over night.
    In the morning, cool; they are ready to turn into twice baked potatoes.

  55. Gail

    These look and sound fabulous! I’d like to fix these in advance and then serve a few hours later. Have you ever tried preparing them (except for the broiling), refrigerating them and then broiling just before serving? Thanks.

    I have not, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. ~Elise

  56. Crystal

    Thank you for the great recipe! I never thought of covering it in olive oil before baking, However, I do add a lot of the scooped filling back into it after frying it in the bacon greese… but it’s not exactly a healthy way to go.

  57. Jenny

    Wow, we bought frozen store bought Friday’s brand skins the other day. They were small, and okay…We followed this recipe to the T and they were extremely good.
    The green onion really makes it.
    A real keeper!!

  58. Sandy

    The directions on this recipe are spot on. I just made some and had to come post on this recipe. The only thing I had to do was extend my baking and broiling time because I used very large potatos. I love that these are brushed lightly with oil and not deep fried, they turn out very crispy (I was a little skeptical) and filling them with cheese and bacon bits just makes them perfect. I froze the rest of my skins for later use. What a great way to do potato skins, one of my favorite snacks. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  59. Vanessa

    Can I pre make any part of this recipe? I have a BBQ and I was hoping to have them ready and when guest arrive put them in the oven for the final stage, I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen. Thanks so much.
    I do miss the days we could eat and drink with out ever thinking about it.

    Sure. Make the bacon ahead. Cook the potatoes ahead. Scoop out the centers. Then cover with plastic wrap and bring out for the final bake when your guests arrive. ~Elise

  60. Tati

    I just made these potato skins…and have to say these were amazing. So simple to make yet so delicious. I have had a lot of potatoe skins in my 36 yrs and have to say these were phenomonal. Even my husband who is a hard food critic to please said they were the best that he ever had.

    What to do with the leftover skins…my parents owned restaurants and what they used to do (and what I will do tomorrow!) is put the extra potatoes in a bowl, covered with saran wrap and make fried hash browns tomorrow morning. Cooked potatoes like this are good for about 2 days to make hash browns in my opinion.

    Happy eating!

  61. Lisa

    I didn’t know what to make for SuperBowl Day but I heard alot of people talking about potato skins. I came across this recipe.. OH MY GOD !
    They were awesome. I loved them and so did my husband and friends. There doesn’t need to be a superbowl for me to make these again. Great eating. Now my man ( John ) is going to read this and hold me down to it LOL
    The shell was so crispy oh they are just to die for.

  62. luis v.

    We substituted the bacon for turkey bacon and used light sour cream instead of regular. Then we sprinkled a bit of paprika and parsley flakes onto the sour cream along with the green onion. These turned out great and we will be making them again. Thank you so much for the recipe without having to deep fry these bad boys.

  63. Marie

    Excellent recipe! I used the removed potatoes for a baked potato soup recipe I wanted to try. Your the potato skins recipe was the most complimented dish at dinner. Thanks!

  64. Boris

    Wow…I just made these for the first time tonight. Delicious and easy to prepare. Nice and crispy, just like a restaurant!!

  65. Alexa

    WOW! All I can say is this recipe is awesome. gotta remember not to be impatient next time with letting the potatoes cool before scooping them. had a couple of them break apart on me, but that’s ok – I can still use them to make mashed potatoes later with the leftover filling.

    Excellent!!!

  66. Madeline

    These look amazing! They are one of my favorite things and thanks for the reminder, I’ll be making these for our Superbowl party, can’t wait!