Potato Skins

AppetizerSnackSuper BowlPotato

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

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

There is nothing like a plate full of crispy potato skins, filled with melty cheddar cheese, and topped with bacon bits, sour cream and green onions.

The first time I had these I was 21 years old, at an outdoor cafe on Newbury Street in Boston; I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Oh for the days of youth when one could eat potato skins with wild abandon! I could eat a whole plate back then (and drink a pitcher of beer along with it) and be none the worse. Sigh.

Baked Potato Skins with melted cheese

These potato skins easy to make. Some approaches call for deep frying, but I don’t think it is really necessary. You just want to bake the skins at a high enough heat so that they get crispy enough to hold the toppings.

Potato Skins Recipe

  • 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.

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.

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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Potato skins with blue cheese and spinach from Dagmar in Sweden, of A Cat in the Kitchen

cheesy stuffed crispy baked potato skins

Showing 4 of 86 Comments / Reviews

  • Woodenspoon17

    These are awesome Super Bowl potato skins!!! I roasted about 3.5- 4lbs of russet potatoes (18) on Saturday, then let them cool off. Then I shredded up some cheddar cheese and set this in the fridge. After the potatoes cooled off, I put them in a gallon baggie in the fridge for the night. I meant to cook the bacon Saturday as well, but didn’t get around to it. All the extra prep I did manage was well worth it! It was pretty labor intensive, but spread over two days was nice! Husband and son both raved about the potato skins. I prepared them exactly as instructed (except I made extra potatoes). So easy, but hard, but worth it!!


  • Derek

    I made these once again and I do make them exactly as scripted here although I do not rub canola oil inside the skins just the outside. I have to say these potato skins are perfect I see no way to improve these they are absolutely delicious!

  • Tami

    My family love these guys. Super easy. I also use the bacon grease to glaze the skin side while they grill. Provides a nice crispy touch and my son devours them.

  • Alona Cortes

    Also, I used avocado oil instead of olive oil (olive oil oxidizes at high heat whereas avocado is safe up to 500 degrees, plus it has an extremely mild taste – which I think is better for most things, imo).

  • Alona Cortes

    These are really good! I made double so I can have some for tomorrow and so glad I did. They aren’t exactly quick because of the time for cooling and baking, but hands-on time isn’t much. (Just the start-to-bite time takes a while).

    I used Mexican cheese and is turned out well, though I’m sure your favorite cheeze of any kind would work.

    I also use uncured bacon bits intended for use as a salad topping instead of cooking my own separately. This cut down on the time. You could likely use pre-made chives instead of green onions to further reduce hands-on time.

    I’d like to see if they freeze well (usually when bought from the store they are frozen, so I don’t see why not.) That’d be great for the person who grows their own potatoes and ends up with more than they could eat at once :)

    Oh, and I used the potato guts for mashed potatoes. :)

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