crispy baked potato skins

No one likes flabby, flavorless Baked Potato Skins. This recipe turns out crispy, flavorful loaded baked potato skins that you’ll love!

potato skins

I have never cared for potato skins. They were a common order back in the days when my friends and I would hit an after hours restaurant, and even back then I remember thinking that they really weren’t good. Granted, the restaurants we frequented in those days weren’t exactly considered high-quality (the most food for the least amount of money was the criteria), but even for these restaurants the potato skins were bad. Flabby and no flavor.

Then recently I was out with friends at a fairly decent restaurant when someone ordered a potato skins appetizer to share. I was curious to see if these potato skins would confirm my memory of them. They weren’t as bad as my memories but they still weren’t great. Confusing, since there just aren’t many ingredients which led me to believe that it couldn’t possibly be that difficult to pull off crispy potato skins. So I decided that I was going to make my own.

potato skins recipe

The first thing I did was bake my potatoes. I poked a few holes in each potato using a fork, rubbed each lightly with oil and a smidgen of salt, then baked at 425 degrees until done (you know they’re done when the skin pulls away slightly from the potato; the inside should feel soft and have some give to it). I let them cool until I could handle them easily (okay, I was my typical can’t-wait-to-eat and burned my hands just a little – which is why you should do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do). I cut them in half* and scooped out the pulp** until there was just a thin layer of potato covering the skin.

*When you cut them in half, turn them on their side first and cut them; you don’t want to cut into the side they naturally settle on or they won’t sit as nicely.

**Keep your pulp and make a yummy baked potato soup out of it. If you don’t have enough, either bake a few more potatoes or pick up some ready-made (NOT from a box); Simply Potatoes is a good brand.

Once I had my potato skins hollowed out, I brushed them all over with a small amount of oil (this helped make them crispy) and placed them skin side up on a baking sheet. I increased my oven temp to 475 (again, to make them crispy) and roasted those bad boys for 15 minutes (check them at 12 minutes, you don’t want them to burn). Then I flipped them, seasoned them with salt & pepper (not too much salt if you’re adding bacon), and added the toppings: shredded cheese and crumbled bacon. I wanted to add more – and different – toppings, but since I was doing an apples-to-apples comparison I didn’t want different flavors to sway me. Then back in the oven went the filled potato skins until the cheese was ooey-gooey and the bacon heated and crisp (about 2-3 minutes). Sour cream and chives went on just before serving.

potato skinsThe end result? Finally, CRISPY POTATO SKINS! I’ll do different toppings next time – pancetta and blue cheese, goat cheese and spinach (or mushrooms?), spicy buffalo chicken, etc. I like the cheese and bacon – I mean, c’mon, we’re talking cheese and bacon – and for the Super Bowl I think that’s definitely the way to go (no one wants “fancy” food or flavors on the Super Bowl with their beer, at least I don’t). But it would be fun to switch it up a bit from time to time!

Here’s the printable recipe for Crispy Potato Skins, then scroll down for some other yummy variations on potato skins that I found around the web:

Delicious Variations from around the web:


    • thewickednoodle says

      What?!! Wait…I recall Kylie going through that phase, too, although she also went through a phase I like to call "Mommy, I don't eat anything that's brown". HA! Kids are so funny!

  1. Ashton Maxwell says

    Potato Skins are actually my favorite appetizer. They take so long to make though. I don’t think I would ever have the patience…

  2. Kelly Ramirez says

    I wonder how the restaurants you went to made their potato skins that made them taste so boring? Microwave? lol.

    • Jala Makinson says

      I’ve eaten potato skins that were literally made in the microwave. They are disgusting. I think the recipe here sounds great. I’m gonna give it a go!

  3. Caroline Dryer says

    I LOVE the idea of stuffing these skins with something other than cheese and bacon. Mushrooms is exactly what I was thinking. Hats off to a great chef!

  4. sandyb720 says

    These look great! I am going to try these this weekend. Our Price Chopper sells what they call gourmet russet potatoes but they are 2.00 for 3 pounds. They are small russets and they make perfect appetizer size potato skins. I love your recipe.

  5. Allison says

    I’ve found that baking and scooping is a lot of work. Try using a mandolin to slice the potatoes thin 1/4″ or less. Spray them with olive oil and bake on a rack until done and a little crisp. Then add the toppings and bake until the cheese is melted. This saves time and money plus you don’t have to save the pulp of the potato for anything else.

    • says

      Hi Allison! I’ve tried it this way and it does work! I make small, round appetizers this way using baby potatoes (hmmm…why haven’t I posted that?!! I need to do that soon :) and it’s a great pick-up app. I like the crispy crust of the skin though so I still prefer these like this, but your method is definitely easier. Thanks for sharing!

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