Last week I shared how you can cook a baked potato crazy fast, and today I’m showing you why.
Allow me to introduce the amazing, incredible, always a hit and not made nearly often enough, good enough as a side dish and NOT just an appetizer: potato skins.
Wait – did she really just say POTATO SKINS?!
Aren’t those just wanna-be vegetables filled with unhealthy fat and deep fried to oblivion?
Oh friends, if this is what you think of potato skins, then we need to have a little chat.
Ridiculously Easy Potato Skins
First, potato skins are made of POTATOES, which the last time I checked, were a vegetable. AND they’re a CHEAP vegetable.
Second, butter and cheese are healthier than you think.
Fourth, we’re keeping a good bit of the potato flesh so it’s not like you’re literally serving just the skin of the potato. I mean, you COULD, but why? It’s more work and I think the finished potato skins hold up better and taste better too.
Speaking of taste, here’s number 5: the combination of potato + butter + cheese + bacon + sour cream + chives is an explosion in your mouth that you MUST experience at least once in your life.
And it should definitely be tonight. Yes, make it tonight. Your family will love you forever and ever.
How do I know? Because every time I make potato skins they are LITERALLY devoured in minutes.
I’ve had to start making a double batch because the family loves them so much. And just when I thought potato skins wouldn’t go over so well as leftovers…
The kids LOVE it when I give them leftover potato skins in their lunches. And you know what? I don’t feel one ounce of mom guilt letting them have it.
Why? Because I made them and I know what’s in them. You can’t say the same thing for most things found in a kids lunchbox nowadays…
I will admit though, that there is a drawback to potato skins and that’s the time it takes to cook a baked potato. BUT, I’ve found a way around that too.
The key is to plan ahead. You don’t have to plan WAY ahead, just a little bit.
Heck, you can even microwave the potatoes if you’re really short on time and you don’t even have to mess with finishing them off in the oven.
While your potatoes are doing their thing elsewhere, take 10 minutes to prepare the toppings:
- Shred the cheese
- Slice the green onions
- Cook the bacon
- Melt the butter
You can actually do 3 of the 4 ahead of time if you’d like to.
- When you’re making bacon for another meal or for a weekend breakfast, set aside some for the potato skins (allow 1 piece per whole potato).
- If you’re the type who likes to save on cheese by buying it in bricks and shredding it yourself, just pull out a package from the freezer.
- Shoot, sliced green onions will keep in a container for a good 3-4 days too. Pull the out when you’re already chopping something else.
So then the only excuse you have for not making these is… you don’t have potatoes?
Then go get some! Russet potatoes work best, and ideally you want small potatoes. Potato skins cook better and taste the best when they can be eaten in 4-5 bites.
You know those massively huge russet potatoes that are big enough to practically be a meal? You don’t want those. Been there, done that and they’re not nearly as fun.
Put it all together and what do you get? A side dish that your family will absolutely love and one that will easily make it to your weekly meal plan!
PS – don’t throw away the potato you scoop out. Turn that into mashed potatoes!
- 8 small russet potatoes (about 3-4 inches long each)
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 pieces bacon
- ¼ - ½ cup sour cream
- 2 green onions, green parts sliced*
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Poke potatoes several times with a fork and wrap with aluminum foil. Place directly on the oven rack, in the center of the oven, and bake until a knife easily pierces through, about 50-60 minutes. Alternatively, use one of these other baked potato cooking methods.
- Meanwhile, prepare the butter, cheese and green onions.
- Slice the bacon into small pieces and cook until it barely crispy. Drain the bacon pieces on a towel and save the grease for future cooking.
- When the potatoes are done, carefully unwrap them - they will be hot. Slice them in half lengthwise and let them sit for about 5 minutes so they're cool enough to handle.
- Turn the oven to broil.
- Using a spoon, scoop about the flesh from inside the potato, leaving about ¼" worth of the flesh intact all around. Save the flesh for mashed potatoes or another recipe.
- Place the potato halves on a cookie sheet, skin side down. Brush the inside of the potatoes with melted butter; season generously with salt and pepper.
- Flip the potatoes over and repeat with the melted butter, salt and pepper.
- Place under the broiler for 2 minutes, setting the timer so they don't burn.
- Using tongs, flip the potatoes over and broil again for 2 minutes, using the timer.
- Pull the potatoes out and divide the cheese among the potatoes. Top with bacon and place back under the broiler for 2-5 minutes more, until the cheese is thoroughly melted and just started to brown.
- Top with sour cream and green onions as desired.