Twice Baked Potatoes – An Easy Weeknight Side Your Kids Will Love
Jan 30, 2024
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Twice baked potatoes are prepped and ready to bake in under 25 minutes. With so many topping options and simple ingredients, you’ll love making this recipe as much as your family will love requesting it. Make a protein and a salad while your potatoes bake and you’ve got a hearty weeknight meal in the bag!
So, you’ve had a baked potato.
But what about the creamy, mashed potato filling topped with melted cheese and crushed, salty bacon bits, and finished off with a crisp potato skin?
That, my friend, is a magical side dish known as twice baked potatoes.
Twice baked potatoes are just as easy to make as a baked potato, but loaded with extra flavor for an easy weeknight side that’s both mom and kid-approved.
As a parent on the hunt for an easy yet tasty side dish, you’ll love this twice-baked potato recipe because it’s:
- A hearty side
- Kid (and husband) approved
- Easy to make
- Made with simple, fresh ingredients
As you know, our mission here at The Produce Moms is to help you get more fruits and veggies on your family’s table. And what better way to do that than a simple recipe for the best loaded twice baked potatoes.
We have a feeling you’ll be ready to try out this mouth watering side dish before you finish reading this blog. But first, let’s see if you have everything you need to get started.
Must-Have Ingredients for Twice Baked Potatoes
It’s pretty obvious that you’ll need potatoes… you can’t make a twice baked potato without the potatoes, right? But there are a few other ingredients you don’t want to skip out on to ensure the creamiest filling and savory layers of flavor and texture.
Here’s what you’ll need:
You can use any type of potato you’d like, but not all potatoes are the same. We’ve found Yukon Gold Potatoes turn out more moist, making them easier to mash and mix in with the sour cream and butter. They’re perfect for a smooth, creamy filling.
You can also use Russet potatoes. They’re larger, which means more room for toppings! And the skin crisps up like a potato chip during the broiling process. In the end, use the potatoes your family enjoys most. Or you might simply decide to use what’s on sale this week at your local grocery store. Po-tay-toe or pa-tah-toe, you’ll end up with delicious twice baked potatoes no matter which one you use.
Some people also call these green onions. They are long, hollow green stalks with a mini white bulb on the root end. If you have picky eaters who don’t like onions, scallions are a more subtle onion flavor that can introduce your kids to this versatile addition.
You only need two to four scallions. It just depends on how strong of a green onion taste you like in your twice baked potato filling.
You can never have too much cheese when it comes to kids. It’s the oldest trick in the mom handbook to get kids interested in veggies. But in this case, cheese is the eye-catching topping on your twice baked potato.
We use shredded cheddar cheese. But feel free to use any cheese that you’d like.
We recommend you use unsalted butter, because we’ll be adding salt and cheese (which is salty as well) later on. Using salted butter sometimes throws off the taste. Unsalted butter makes it easier to know where you’re at in taste because you know exactly how much salt has been added to your twice baked potato recipe.
This is one of our family’s favorite baked potato toppings. And believe it or not, we’ve made it even better. We use a quarter cup of sour cream. Mix it right into the mashed potato filling for a lusciously creamy, tangy stuffing. If you don’t have sour cream, you can also try Greek yogurt for the same tang and all the creaminess.
The goal is for the filling to be loose enough that your kids can easily scoop it out of the bowl and into the potato skins. Buttermilk helps keep the filling loose so it doesn’t become a clumpy mess that’s hard to dish out. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute it with room temperature cream cheese for an even more decadent filling.
Similar to scallions, chives have an oniony, garlic taste and are even milder than scallions. With a thinner green stalk, they’re easy to chop into small pieces and sprinkle onto the top of your potatoes for a fresh garnish that’s still edible. Again, if you have picky eaters when it comes to “green stuff” or onions, chives may be a good place to start for your family.
You can never go wrong with bacon! Between the cheese and the bacon bits, your kids may not even notice the chives and scallions mixed in.
Since we’re cooking and crumbling the bacon, you only need four pieces. Simply cook them on the stovetop or in the oven, let them cool to crispy perfection, and break them into smaller pieces with your fingers. Then sprinkle them on top and serve!
This twice baked potato recipe is very customizable. Feel free to switch out the toppings or add completely new add-ins for a hearty side that your family enjoys.
How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes
Step 1: Prep
Preheat the oven to 400℉, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil for an easy clean up, and place your cooling rack in the lined baking sheet.
Step 2: Bake
Brush each potato with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. The olive oil helps the seasoning stick to the potato skins. Then place them in a single layer on the cooling rack in your lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. The potatoes are done when you can easily insert a fork.
Step 3: Cool
Remove your baked potatoes from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to leave the oven on for the second time you’ll bake the potatoes.
If the potatoes are still too hot to handle, let them cool longer until you can comfortably work with them.
Step 4: Cut
Use a knife to cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the potato flesh, and then transfer the filling to a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
Try to leave no more than a quarter of an inch of thickness around the skin for a thin yet sturdy base for your twice baked potatoes.
Step 5: Bake
Arrange the potato skins in a single layer on the cooling rack, in the lined baking sheet, and bake at 400℉ for ten minutes.
Step 6: Filling
While the potato skins are baking, mash the potato flesh in the medium mixing bowl just as you would when making mashed potatoes. You can either use a masher, the back of a large serving spoon, or our personal favorite — a hand mixer, to fluff up the filling.
Then add half the cheese, butter, scallions, and bacon, along with all of the sour cream and buttermilk to your mashed potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then mix until smooth and creamy.
If you want to try a spoonful of the filling just to make sure all the flavors are there, now would be a good time to do that.
Step 7: Broil
When the twice baked potato skins are done baking, take them out of the oven. Set the oven to broil. Use a large spoon to fill each potato skin with the mashed potato mixture, and then sprinkle each potato half with the remaining toppings — cheese, scallions, bacon, and butter.
Broil for five to ten minutes, just until the cheese is melted. Be sure to keep an eye on your twice baked potatoes so they don’t burn.
Step 8: Serve
Remove your potatoes from the oven and transfer them to the cooling rack for ten minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh, chopped chives and serve.
We’re going to go take a bite of ours right now…
How to Select Quality Potatoes
Potatoes should feel firm to the touch with smooth skin. If the potatoes you see are green, shriveled, or sprouting, look for another bag. Sprouting potatoes aren’t necessarily bad, but the sprouts can’t be eaten.
If your potatoes have started to develop small sprouts – also called “eyes” – they can still be used as long as they are still firm. Use your fingers to remove the sprouts and they are good as new.
How to Store Twice Baked Potatoes
Store your potatoes in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge. Simply reheat them in the microwave for two to three minutes.
You can also freeze your twice baked potatoes. First, freeze them in a single layer on your baking sheet until they are solid. Then, wrap each potato with aluminum foil and store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container for up to three months.
Reheat refrigerated potatoes at 400℉ for twenty minutes in the oven. Reheat frozen twice baked potatoes for one hour.
Why not whip up this easy twice baked potato recipe tonight? It’s sure to be a delicious and filling weeknight side dish your family asks for over and over.
More Potatoes, Please!
- Loaded Potato Skins — a simple appetizer that’s great for game day
- Glazed Sweet Potatoes — drizzled with maple syrup and brown sugar
- Sweet Potato Casserole — topped with marshmallows, need we say more
- Simple Mashed Potatoes — an easy recipe for busy weeknights
Twice Baked Potatoes
- Baking Sheet
- Cooling rack
- 2 lbs potatoes (about 4 potatoes)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 2-4 scallions thinly sliced
- 4 strips bacon cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- chives for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400℉, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place the cooling rack on top.
- Coat your potatoes with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place them in a single layer on the cooling rack on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool for ten minutes. Leave the oven on.
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the potato flesh into a medium mixing bowl.
- Place the potato skins back on the cooling rack, on the lined baking sheet, and bake at 400℉ for 10 minutes.
- While the skins bake, mash half the cheese, butter, scallions, and bacon with all of the sour cream, buttermilk, and baked potato flesh until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and stir to mix.
- Remove the skins from the oven and set the oven to broil. Use a spoon to fill the potato skins with the mashed potato mixture and top with the remaining add-ins – cheese, scallions, bacon, and butter.
- Broil for five to ten minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Top with chives and serve your loaded twice baked potatoes.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.