This loaded potato skins recipe will show you how to make skins that are actually crispy on the outside + soft on the inside!
I have never cared for loaded 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. Thankfully, this easy loaded potato skins recipe has changed all that!
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 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.
Since there just aren’t many ingredients necessary to make them, I knew that it couldn’t possibly be that difficult to pull off crispy potato skins. So I decided to figure out how to make potato skins on my own.
How to make potato skins
The first thing you’ll do is bake your potatoes. Poke a few holes in each potato using a fork, rub each lightly with oil and a pinch of salt, then bake them at 425 degrees until they’re done. You’ll know they’re done when the skin pulls away slightly from the potato; the inside should feel soft and have some give to it.
Let them cool until you can handle them easily, about 20 minutes. Cut them in half and scoop out the pulp until there’s just a thin layer of potato covering the skin.
Once your potato skins are hollowed out, brush them all over with a small amount of oil (this helps make them crispy) and place them skin side up on a baking sheet. Increase the oven temp to 475°F (again, to make them crispy) and roast them for 15 minutes (check them at 12 minutes, you don’t want them to burn).
Flip them over, seasoned them with salt & pepper (not too much salt if you’re adding bacon), and add the shredded cheese and crumbled bacon. You can add more toppings if you wish, such as chopped, leftover steak, a spoonful of chili or shredded rotisserie chicken.
Put the filled potato skins until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the bacon heated and crisp (about 2-3 minutes). Sour cream and chives go on just before serving.
Tips for making loaded potato skins
- 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 loaded potato soup with it. If you don’t have enough, just add more potatoes as directed in the recipe.
- Try making baked potato wedges, top them with the cheese and bacon and serve these as potato nachos! A similar recipe would be Loaded Baked Hasselback Potatoes.
- Use just enough oil to coat the skins, but don’t drench them. You should be able to see the oil on the potatoes but no pools of oil anywhere.
The 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. But it would be fun to switch it up a bit from time to time!
Crispy Baked Potato Skins
This recipe will serve 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main dish. If serving as a main dish, consider adding leftover chopped steak to the potato skins along with the shredded cheese at step 2.
- 8 russet potatoes, baked
- 1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, or a Mexican blend
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp until a thin layer of potato remains. Brush shells on both sides with oil; place skin-side-up on a baking sheet. Bake at 475 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until shells are browned and very crispy.
- Flip shells over and fill with cheese. Top with crumbled bacon. Bake another 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted and bacon has re-crisped. Place on serving platter and either top with sour cream and chives or serve it on the side.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 605Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 1172mgCarbohydrates: 40gNet Carbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 31g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.
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Monday 31st of January 2022
This potato skins recipe looks so yummy! definitely gonna try it!
Tuesday 17th of September 2019
Omg! I made these for my roommate and he went absolutely bonkers! He loves potato skins and he said these are the best he's ever had! Alas, I can't eat dairy so I had to use my imagination, but when my roomie ate them, they actually crunched! I had a lot leftover and brought some to my neighbors, who also proceeded to go bonkers. The little kids kept saying, "They're so crispy! Mmm!" So, this recipe is a definite winner and it's the one I'll keep using! Making some tonight and thought I'd let you know how amazing they are. Thanks for sharing the recipe and I'll be passing it along.
Friday 31st of January 2014
Definitely a great Superbowl recipe! I am featuring these, today. I hope you'll come by and visit!
Saturday 30th of January 2016
I find that the best way to enjoy potato skins is to take all the pulp from the potatoes and mix that up with sour cream, butter, bacon etc, the put it back into the potato 'canoe' as I call them before that last bake- basically a potato skin filled with mashed potatoes and topped with chives and sour cream! Yum!
Sunday 10th of June 2012
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.
the wicked noodle
Monday 11th of June 2012
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!
Thursday 2nd of February 2012
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.
the wicked noodle
Thursday 2nd of February 2012
They sound great, Sandy! It was kind of a pain to sift through all the potatoes to find small ones; I'll keep an eye out in case our store starts selling them that way.