Twice Baked Potatoes

Sometimes deciding what to make for dinner comes starts with the inspiration of just one ingredient. A friend of mine sent us some wonderful blue cheese this week and my father decided that he wanted to make twice baked potatoes with it. Neither one of us has made stuffed potatoes in a while, so we ended up experimenting over several days with various combinations. We settled on two, one a classic twice-baked potato mashed with some combination of sour cream, milk, and butter, and mixed in with crumbled bacon, green onions, and grated cheddar cheese. The other combination uses our blue cheese with some chopped chives. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s wonderfully flexible. The amounts shown are a guideline, but really it’s up to your own imagination and taste. We like a creamy and fluffy potato stuffing, so we add cream and beat the potatoes with a hand mixer. Any combination of topping ingredients will do.

Do you have a favorite twice-baked potato recipe? If so, please let us know in the comments.

Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

  • Cook time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes, about a pound each
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp cream

Cheddar and bacon version

  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion

Blue cheese and chives version

  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

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1 Bake the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scrub the potatoes clean under running water. Poke each potato in several places with the tines of a fork so that when the potatoes are cooking they don't explode. Rub the potatoes all over with a little olive oil. Place directly on the middle or top rack of the oven. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. They should give a little when pressed.

If short on time you can bake the potatoes in the microwave, 10 minutes on high heat for 2 potatoes, 15 minutes for 4 potatoes. The skins of microwave baked potatoes aren't nearly as crispy, so you may want to rub a little olive oil on them and finish them in a conventional oven at 400°F for 10 minutes.

2 If you are including bacon as one of your mix-ins, 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 Allow the potatoes to cool to touch. Slice the top third lengthwise off the potato. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides, forming a potato "canoe", leaving about 1/4 inch of potato on the skin.

Alternatively you can slice the potatoes in half, lengthwise. In this case you may want to bake an extra potato so that you will have more potato filling to mound into the potato boats.

4 Place the scooped out potato insides, sour cream, milk, cream, and butter into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher. If you want a creamy texture, beat with an electric beater until desired consistency. Note, do not over-beat potatoes, they can turn glue-y.

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5 Mix in the extras with the potatoes. Reserve some of the extras to sprinkle on the tops of the potatoes. Spoon fillings into the potato shells. Sprinkle with extra toppings.

6 Heat oven to 350°F. Place potatoes on a roasting pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes until heated through.

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63 Comments

  1. Jenny

    Oh I’m drooling looking at those photos! If I wasnt going out for dinner this evening this is what I would cook for myself!

    I have a recipe for a baked potatoes with egg:

    You bake the potatoes and scoop out the middle same as you, mix with milk, butter & seasoning, spoon back into the potato, make a small indentation with the back of a spoon and crack an egg into it.
    Then put the potatoes back into the oven to finish off for about 10 mins or until the egg is cooked! Very tasty and my veggie friend loves them!

  2. jonathan

    I have a recipe that I’ve used for a number of years, combining what I feel is the best of both of your versions: blue cheese and bacon twice-baked.

    A homemade sour cream and onion version, using roasted or caramelized white onion, sour cream (duh) and some dried Ranch dressing mix (I know, for shame) is pretty good too. Just use the Ranch stuff sparingly to taste (no salt necessary).

  3. Jerry

    My favorite version of a twice baked potatoe mixes tiny cuts of broccoli florets and cheddar as the mix.

    Then there’s the chili-cheese version…

    And the Italian sausage and tomato with Parmesan version…

    Man, I’m hungry now!

  4. Heidi

    You can add an egg to make them truly fluffy.

  5. caryn

    I used a little ranch veggie dip when I was out of sour cream and some cream cheese and they were nice additions.

  6. Katy

    I think my fave is broccoli and cheddar, but blue cheese and chives sounds AMAZING. That could easily take over! Or broccoli, blue cheese and chives. :-) Yum!

  7. Shay

    Our family favorite is the potato filling mixed with sourcream, hot and spicy salsa, and cheese, then topped with more cheese. We sometimes add chopped jalapenos if we want it hotter!! Yum.

  8. Pamela

    Those look so good! I wrap a head of garlic in foil and pop it in the oven with the potatoes. I mash the garlic with chicken broth, parmesan cheese, and low fat sour cream.

  9. Jamie

    My mom made twice-baked potatoes a lot when I was growing up, but I haven’t made them in years! I’m definitely making these tonight with pork chops.

    Also, I really like the idea of making different types in one go – my boyfriend has a thing for blue stilton and, well, I don’t. Here’s to not having to compromise for dinner tonight! :P

  10. Skip Trevithick

    This sounds really scrumpious !!!
    The thing that makes mine taste really good is to put butter and chives and pressed garlic and what ever else herbs im using in a frying pan and let that simmer for a while then add it to the potatoes. Kinda brings out the best in the potatos.

  11. Wendy

    That’s tomorrow’s lunch sorted. :)

  12. Lady Amalthea

    Oh, yum! I love baked potatoes, but, for some reason, have never actually made them. This will have to change…

  13. Alanna

    Hi Elise, I love the blue cheese idea! For truly delectable potato flesh, may I suggest baking the potatoes for three hours? I know, it sounds like the potatoes would either shrivel up or burn up. But they don’t, the flesh turns creamy and nutty. (This post includes a photo comparison, you can even see the difference. They’re so good plain and yes, in twice-baked potatoes too. Hope you like this!

  14. Alanna

    Sorry, should have said before, that’s 3 hours at 350F not 400F in your recipe.

  15. rchelle3

    I love chili & cheese stuffed potatoes with green onions & sour cream!

  16. Farmgirl Susan

    Oh, Elise! I almost closed this page as soon as it opened up and I got a glimpse of that mouthwatering photo glaring at me. I’m so hungry! But of course I read the entire article. (I just love the idea of adding blue cheese.) And naturally I then moved on to the comments. You had to ask for everybodys’ favorite recipes, didn’t you? Now I’m REALLY hungry. And not a baking potato in sight–for miles! Don’t worry, I still love you, though. Have a delicious weekend! ; )

  17. Sophia

    This recipe looks great, but my dilemma is what goes w/ these potatoes as the main dish? any ideas? Thanks.

    Note from Elise: Well, truth be told, if you are using one pound potatoes, and the serving is one each, that pretty much is the main dish. I know I have it listed as a side dish, but I think only if you share it. We had these last night alongside some beef bourguignon.

  18. meeso

    This potato sounds perfect! I love to try different combinations…which I have yet to post any on my blog :D

  19. Mark

    For a more elegant variation on twice baked potatoes, cut them cross-wise rather than length-wise, cut about a 1/4 inch off the ends (to allow them to stand upright), and use a pastry bag with a wide tip to refill the shells before the second bake. To help keep the shells upright in the oven, place them in a muffin pan. Instead of cheddar or blue cheese I like to use a few tablespoons of Boursin cheese. Boursin is also a great addition to a standard mashed potato recipe.

  20. Tres Amie

    I make a baked potato casserole. After the potatoes are baked, I pull the thin skin off (or mash it in) then mash the potato coarsely, mix in some frozen peas, a lovely sharp cheddar (or maybe pepperjack), some sour cream, bacon fried crisp and crumbled, butter and salt & pepper. Put it in a greased casserole dish, toss another handful of cheese on top and bake it til it’s all hot and melty. yummmmmmm.

  21. Vicki

    Those look yummy! My favorite twice-baked recipe has Gruyere or Emmenthaler and sauteed escarole.

  22. georcr

    Wow, I didn’t think it was that easy =)

  23. Suellen Kolbo

    Pix are gorgeous! Years ago, at a pizza parlor no less, I got a baked potato instead of the rest of the gang’s pepperoni pizza. They made it with mashed potato innards, along with some jarred marinated artichoke hearts (chunked up), black olives, and sliced green onions. Add as much of the marinade as needed for texture. Healthy dollop of sour cream when ready to serve. Sounds weird, but is really good…all California coastal food items.

  24. georcr

    I just made these with jackcheese, a left over green onion dip, and some butter. After stuffing them and cooking them; I broiled until lightly brown in some spots.

    Simple, but very yummy

  25. Deborah Dowd

    A stuffed baked potato… is there anything better?!

  26. Garrett

    Rob and I did this tonight with our Point Reyes cheese as well. So so so yummy! With some bacon and green onions, we were in heaven! Thanks for the idea, Elise!

  27. chris p

    One thing I always add when mashing potatoes is white pepper–it adds a wonderful flavor to them–try it!

  28. Gregrie

    For larger portions just cut the top 1/4 off and you can use smaller potatoes that bake faster.

  29. lydia

    I think the blue cheese filled baked potato would be perfect for lunch with a small green salad, though if I were a bacon eater, I’d have a hard time resisting that version, too.

  30. Sunny

    On one of the other sites I also like has one baking russet potatoes for 3 hrs@350. I have tried it and it is marvelous. Couldn’t believe the difference in texture and the crispyness of the skin. No need to even prick them. Just rub olive oil over the skin and sit back and relax.

  31. OneBumKnee

    1 cup crab
    1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
    1 tsp olive oil
    1/2 tsp pesto
    1/4 tsp minced garlic

    top with remaining paremesan.
    asiago makes a nice substitute.

  32. Catherine Crehan

    When I bake potatos after I wash and stab then
    spray them with cooking spray and than sprinkle
    salt and pepper on the outside.My husband eats the skin,so this makes them tasty.

  33. ngrant

    I put shrimp and cheddar cheese in mine.
    When serving as a side dish, I serve it with salmon or roasted chicken. I like the idea of using blue cheese, that will have to be my next experiment.

  34. Mathi

    Potatos are king of a love-hate food for me. They can be really healthy, or really unhealthy depending on what you do to them.

    When baking potatos I always roast garlic as well, the garlic then ends up in the potatoes.

    When making potatoes as a main dish I usually add broccoli florets.

    Just putting the cheese on top and not inside helps a ton with the calories, and you still get almost all the flavor.

  35. Susan

    Twice baked and baked stuffed potatoes are a popular weeknight meal at our house. I have made them many different ways. My favorite is a kind of deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie potato. I bake the potatoes and prepare a seasoned ground meat and vegetable filling. Then I stuff the potatoes with the filling. I have also done this with chili, chicken curry and even a creamy seafood filling. Toss up a nice, fresh salad, and you’ve got a great meal!

  36. Agota

    I like to stuff my baked potatoes with sauteed mushrooms and bacon. Then I put Swiss cheese on top. They are sooooooooooo good this way!

  37. Linda

    I was out of cream or milk once when making mashed potatoes so used evaporated milk. I got raves on them. Now I use the same with stuffed potatoes. The flavor is really great. I’m glad to get all of these ideas on ingredients to add. Potatoes–hard to beat any way you cook them.

  38. Lisa

    That might be the best-looking twice-baked potato I’ve ever seen. Zounds! And what do you know, last week I bought some large potatoes at the farmers’ market (a heritage variety that’s supposed to be great baked — wish I could remember the name of them). Twice-baked potatoes, here I come.

  39. Stephanie

    Any suggestions as to a main course this would work with (poultry only?). I am thinking about making this for Christmas dinner but need a main course. Thanks!!

  40. Kristi

    Does anyone have any suggestions on whether twice baked potatoes can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen? I am thinking of serving them on boxing day (dec 26th) and I would like to make them ahead of time.

  41. Stephen Rees

    Potatoes cooked in a microwave are more steamed that baked. Yes you can do it if really necessary but better to bake in an oven. To speed up that process insert large stainless steel skewer through the centre of the spud longways. This will conduct heat to the centre of the spud. It will probably take less than an hour but this depends on your oven, and the size of the potato.

    One trick I picked up along the way is to roll the damp potato in crushed rock salt before cooking.

    If you add enough extras, and whip it really hard you should not need an extra potato.

  42. Megan Porter

    For the person wondering if you can freeze the stuffed potatoes, this reheats perfectly. I make more potatoes than we need for a dinner and freeze the rest wrapped in saran wrap and then put them all into freezer bags. Take them out a couple of hours prior to serving and reheat at 3:50 for 1 hour.

  43. VisualdreamZ

    Ooooooh my goodness. I am now drooling like crazy! This will definitely be tomorrow’s dinner (alas I’ve already had tonight’s =). Thanks Elise for the recipe, and everyone else for all the variations!

    I had a general idea how to make them, but I wasn’t sure of the particulars like cream/milk, butter, etc. I don’t think I have any sour cream that I bought this year, but cream cheese instead should work just fine from the looks of it.

    Have a fabulous Easter for all who celebrate it!

  44. Danni

    First off, I couldn’t decide which to make so I made both! They were terrific! I’ve used a lot of different recipes for twiced baked potatoes, but these were by far the best!

  45. Marchel

    One of my faves. These recipes look wonderful! My go to uses a similar method for potato prep. I use olive and then salt and pepper the outside as well. For the filling my old fashioned version uses bacon, sauteed onion and mushrooms, sharp cheddar, butter and sour cream.

    A new version uses pancetta, carmelized onion, portobello mushrooms, fresh herbs and goat cheese.

    I usually serve with meatloaf. My meatloaf is glazed with honey the last 15 minutes and the flavor combo is great!

    Love the idea of the Shepherds Pie version!

  46. Willyummmmm

    The twice-baked potato is great for a “crap, what do I need to get rid of” dinner. You can sautee up almost any vegetable with some onion and pepper for a great, easy meal of stuff you probably already had in the fridge. I’ve done squash, mushroom, and even asparagus. It’s pretty hard to go wrong here.

  47. Soyon

    I made the cheese/bacon version and it was yummy! The one tip I’m grateful for is baking the taters without any foil and with a little EO rubbed on! I always baked with it covered in foil… didn’t even know that you could without so thank you!

  48. jeff

    I decided to use onion dip instead of plain sour cream,,,,,,yummy

  49. Joni

    These were wonderful. This was my first time making twice baked potatoes and I was surprised how easy it was! Thanks for the great recipe!

  50. Angela

    I just tried this recipe earlier today. There were several twice baked potato recipes out there, but this one got my attention because of the presentation from the pictures. I used turkey bacon and it was the best ever! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the pics!

  51. Barbi

    Just made these last night. I just scoop out the flesh plop in in my Kitchen Aid add a cube (yes a cube) of softened butter, 8oz. sour cream and tons of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well place back in the potato skins, bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes and devour. Not low cal or low fat but DELICIOUS!

  52. Sheryl

    Ever since I found this recipe this has been my go-to recipe. My husband absolutely LOVES it. I don’t ever have cream in my fridge so I always leave it out but it still comes out faboluous every time. I just keep adding more milk, butter, or sour cream until it just tastes perfect. Try it, you’ll love it!

  53. becky

    Delicious! I used this recipe as a base to my own varition: substitute French onion dip for sour cream, add 2 strips of bacon (I like mine bacony and this way so I can have more in the mixture and won’t have to skimp on toppings), and added 1/3 cup of spinach to the mix (gotta get my greens in somehow), some garlic and finally a heaping tablespoon of ranch to seal the deal, very good! Thank you for providing me with the basis for some excellent potatoes!

  54. Nicola

    I made twice baked potatoes recently, but after reading another site, I tried slow baking them at first. Three hours in the oven and then take them out, the skins are crispier and the insides are nuttier. And then followed the suggestions for fillings and toppings and put them back in to bake for another 20 minutes. They were divine.

  55. john eadie

    I do this all the time,but like a course not smooth mix. Try ham instead of bacon-works fine-second baking can be done next day if needed-holds well in plastic or foil–can do no wrong recipe.

  56. Minerva

    I like to add grilled shrimp to mine. We call it shrimp potato boats.

  57. Catherine

    Thanks for the ideas!! I think I may only have cream cheese or sour cream on hand, but the blue cheese is on the menu for next time!

  58. Jennifer

    These all sound so yummy. For whatever reason I have never added bacon to my baked potatoes and the idea of blue cheese sounds divine. I’m looking forward to trying these after my “turkey bacon” search. We don’t usually do the ‘twice baked’ bit but our favorite toppings (prior to trying these!) are to cut the potato in half, add a couple dollops of sour cream or plain yogurt, a sprinkle of chopped onions and some steamed broccoli, a big spoonful (or 2!) of baked beans and then a *big* handful of sharp cheddar cheese. The baked beans idea came from my time in England and the many pub-food “jacket potatoes” I ate!
    (by the way, ***LOVE*** your website, Elise! Thanks for being here and sharing!)

  59. Hillary

    Haha, if the yield was up to me, then the yield would be for one person (and obviously, that would be me :]). I love potatoes.

  60. Amber

    My mom used to make twice baked potatoes and she put canned tuna in the mix and served it as a main dish. I didn’t care for tuna so I never thought to make them for myself. However I was curious about how other people made their versions, so I did a quick search and found some really amazing recipes :)

  61. Misha

    So I know I may be mixing genres here, but I have always found contrast of flavor and texture to be more interesting than uniformity. That is why, among my friends, the Mexican twice baked reigns supreme.

    We follow the standard twice baked recipe, only we sautee green and red bell peppers with about a half a yellow onion, add poblanos (if you like) and garlic, a dash of cayenne pepper, and habenero jack cheese. I know it sounds to spicy to eat, but the creaminess of sour cream/potato moderates the heat very nicely. We have also been known to top them off with a little homemade cold guacamole. Serve as is for your vegetarian friends, or if you are me, add a generous smattering of choriso before the second bake (careful not to overdo it on the choriso, it can get a little greasy.)

  62. Lee

    I like it with just a bunch of cheese in it.

  63. Jlee

    Wow! So many ways, it’s hard to pick one! I love love love potatoes. However, my boyfriend is very health concious. He is a body builder so “healthy” food is an everyday thing in our home. The only thing I can say is if he doesn’t want to eat it, I will!!!

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