Potato Skins

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

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 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


1 Bake the potatoes: Scrub the potatoes clean then bake the potatoes using your favorite method, either oven or microwave. If using an oven, pierce a few times with a sharp knife or the tines of a fork, 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, pierce the potato a few times with a sharp knife of the tines of a fork, 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 Cook the bacon: 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.

3 Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the insides: 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.

4 Bake the potato skins: Increase the heat of the oven to 450°F. Brush or rub 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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5 Add cheese and bacon and bake again: 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.

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6 Top with sour cream and green onions to serve: 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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  • Holly

    Made these this afternoon AMAZING! Didn’t have green onions, my husband likes heat so I topped with jalapeños . Will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe

  • Lisa

    Tonight I was trying to think of some light meal to make for dinner, then I remembered I’d seen this recipe and try it. Wow! They were so tasty and easy to make. These are now going to be a regular treat at our house. Thank you for posting the recipe.

  • Christa

    These were really delicious!! I made them for my Super Bowl party and they were a hit!!

  • Jim

    I had these queued up for Super Bowl, but ended up doing something else, so I made them today for myself. Nice and crispy, just like the deep fried restaurant version. So easy to do at home. Thanks Elise.

  • shantell

    Can I use Bacon Bits instead of cooking bacon?

    • Elise

      Hi Shantell, I don’t see why not!

  • Jamie

    Just made these! They were really good! :D

  • Jamick

    Made these for Mothers Day. They went over great! Thanks for all the tips as well.

  • Chris van hooser

    When I’m making mashed potatoes I started to just roast my potatoes off in the oven . Just wet the out side of it and sprinkle them with kosher salt and bake them at 400 for an hour them scour the flesh out and use the crunchy skins for potato skins or just baked potatoes. One time I forgot to stab the potatoes and heard a boom in the oven, opened up the oven and there was potato every where!! Lol

  • Bebe

    In the 80s there was an appetizer making the rounds of nice parties. Potato skins made with little potatoes (reds OK), baked nice and crispy in a regular oven and scooped out, then topped with good quality caviar and sour cream. Yum.

  • Monica

    I’ve been making these since the recipe fist appeared on your site, and they are always a huge, huge success!

  • Mark Dungan

    This is a GREAT recipe (Like most of your recipes!). I use the innards to make twice baked casserole.

  • Wendy Ouellette

    These potato skins really look good. I used to always buy the frozen ones at M&M but will try your recipe this time. However can you let me know if I can make a batch of these and freeze them and when ready to serve, I could just warm up in the oven. Thanks.

  • 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.


  • Boris

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

  • 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!

  • fudgeka

    This potato skins recipe tasted awesome it was the best for my family birthday party!

  • Courtney

    I just made these tonight and everyone loved them! Thank you for posting this recipe!!

  • Jennifer

    These were awesome!!! My whole family loves them thank you so much for a great recipe.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Stella

    Thanks for a great recipe for super crispy potato skins! just made a big batch for the super bowl and they turned out fab! :)

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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!!

  • 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!!

  • Kevin Smith

    I love this recipe! I also added some Thyme in the potatoes which added a lot more flavor!
    Thanks so much. :)

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Jade

    I’ve made these several times and they are soooooo good! Easy to make too.

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • Katie

    Does anyone have any recommendations for what to do with the left over potato insides?

    Make mashed potatoes. ~Elise

  • Kevin

    These were awesome. Enough said.

  • 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.

  • Lisa

    EXCELLENT!! Making again for SuperBowl Sunday! THANKS!

  • 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)!


  • 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.

  • mpilgrim

    I love these potato skins.
    They were so delicious when I made them.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Suez

    I also made these for Super Bowl Sunday, and they were a big hit for my family, as well! I found them to be fun to prepare. Thanks!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Mom from Savannah

    Thank you, my picky eaters ate them up in a flash!

  • 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!

  • 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.


    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.

  • Amber

    Could you use the potato innards to make gnocchi? Mmmm, gnocchi.

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • jamEs

    I like making mine with a layer of bbq sauce on the potato, then add the other ingredients. Gives is a little zip.

  • kevin

    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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

      Ok, you just made me laugh out loud with the deep fried twinkies. And let’s not forget about deep fried gummies or or the more recent bacon donut. Potatoes are really healthy! I honestly don’t know why they always get such a bad rap. I Love this recipe as I love all your recipes, you nail it with the word simple. You never work with ingredients that are unfamiliar to me and “I can do it” is the name of the game. I can always implement your recipes and I can’t say that for all I see out there on Pinterest or wherever. Thanks again! Huge fan of your food!!!

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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

    • Bebe

      I have a 1300 power microwave. If I don’t prick the potato skins, they explode. I found this out one time – the hard way.

      • denis

        prick the round the edge of the potato that you’re going to cut

    • channel

      so for STEP 3 “brush or rub on canola or high heat oil”, I only had vegetable oil and these puppies were super crunchy, other than this substitute I followed the recipe exactly.