Twice Baked Potatoes are a perfect side dish or appetizer for any occasion! You’ll love the cheesy mashed potatoes stuffed into crisp, buttery potato skins.
Twice Baked Potatoes
Whether you’re looking for something to add to your holiday spread, your game day buffet, or a special side to jazz up a weeknight dinner, these Twice Baked Potatoes are perfect! Everyone will love the cheese and bacon stuffed filling and the buttery, crisp potato skin. You might be tempted to just top regular baked potatoes with these toppings, but this method is WAY better. The second bakes makes all the difference! If you are wanting to have Twice Baked Potatoes as a full meal, try our BBQ Beef Twice Baked Potatoes!
What Kind of Potatoes Should I Use?
A good Idaho Russet potato is best for this recipe. Russet potatoes are great because of their fluffy interior and sturdy skin. One half of a Russet potato is also a good portion size for each person, especially if you use large russet potatoes. You can ensure that the insides stay fluffy by mixing in the sour cream and cheese when the potatoes are still hot. If you mix them in cold the mixture will turn out very gummy. You can also use a hand mixer instead of a potato masher for maximum fluffiness.
How to Make the Perfect Baked Potato Base
To make Twice Baked Potatoes, you need to start out with perfectly baked potatoes. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Get your russet potatoes out and scrub them thoroughly under warm running water. Dry them off completely. Using a fork, poke about 10 holes all over each potato. Rub the outside of each potato with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil. Sprinkle kosher salt all over the potato. Then, place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to stop any drips. Place the potatoes directly onto the top rack. Bake for about 1 hour, or until skins are crispy and the inside is tender.
Toppings for Twice Baked Potatoes
In this twice baked potato recipe, we mash the baked potato filling and add cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bacon. We then scoop the potato mixture back into the potato skins. This is an incredibly delicious way to fill the potato skins, however it is not the only way. Here are some additional filling mix-in and topping ideas:
- Diced ham
- Grilled chicken
- Shredded beef or pork
- Green onions
- Ranch dressing
- Garlic powder
Can I Make Them Ahead of Time?
When planning a big get-together like a holiday party or Super Bowl party, you want to make as many preparations ahead of time as possible. That way, on the day of, you can actually enjoy yourself! You can prepare these ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator until time to heat and serve. Follow the instructions below, but stop before topping with extra cheese and bacon and baking the second time. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Put them in the fridge if you plan on baking within a few days, or put in the freezer if you plan on baking them within 1-2 months. Once the potatoes have frozen solid you can put them in a Ziplock bag so they take up less space in the freezer.
When you are ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and top with extra cheese and bacon To cook from the fridge, just broil the potatoes until the cheese is melted. To cook from frozen, bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until they are heated through and the cheese is melted.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Now, I will be shocked if you have leftovers. My family almost always eats the whole pan and fights over who gets the last one. However, if you do find yourself with leftovers, you can save them. Put them in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to three days. Make sure the potatoes are completely cooled before you store them, otherwise the condensation will gather on the inside of the container and make them soggy. To reheat, you can put it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or broil in the oven until cheese is melted. The microwave method is quick, but it won’t have quite the same consistency. The oven method takes longer, but gives you a better consistency, especially on the skins.
Are Twice Baked Potatoes Gluten Free?
Party planning can be tough if you have guests with dietary restrictions. Potatoes are naturally gluten free so these Twice Baked Potatoes are safe for guests with a gluten allergy. If you are looking for more gluten free side dishes and appetizers, try some of our favorites!
- Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Lime Dip
- Fresh Corn Salsa
- Vinegar Marinated Cucumbers
- Lemon Pesto Rice
- Gluten Free Stuffing
- Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice
More Irresistible Potato Dishes
Potatoes are such a crowd favorite, and you can prepare them a million different ways. Try some of these delicious recipes:
- Roasted Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts
- Parmesan Garlic Grilled Potatoes
- Creamy Potatoes and Peas
- Grilled Foil Ranch Potatoes
- Pesto Potatoes
How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes
- Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork. Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Cut the baked potatoes in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out some of the potato, leaving about ¼ inch of potato inside the skin. Set aside the extra potato that was scooped out.
- Brush entire surface of each skin, inside and out, with butter. Place skins on cookie sheet, face up, and broil for 6-8 min.
- Use a potato masher to mix remaining potato, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, and salt and pepper.
- Spoon the filling into the skins. Sprinkle shredded cheese and extra bacon bits over the tops.
- Broil for about 2 more minutes. Top with sour cream or ranch if desired.