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Move over baked potatoes, Twice Baked Potatoes are here! The cheesier, creamier, fancier, cooler cousin. Filled with bacon, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, and chives, these are the perfect appetizer or side dish.
Twice Baked Potatoes
Twice Baked Potatoes, oh how I love thee! If you need a fabulous side dish that checks every box (popular, delicious, kid-friendly, cheesy, buttery, bacony, creamy, addicting) then this is it! After baking potatoes, this is just a few extra steps in a very tasty direction. The more cheese the better!
The Secret to a Perfect Twice Baked Potato
If you ask me, achieving the perfect twice baked potato is all about selecting the right ingredients and following the proper technique. I believe that the choice of potato is critical, as certain varieties offer a better texture and flavor for this dish. Russet potatoes are widely preferred for their starchy, fluffy interior that lends itself well to the twice-baking process.
The first bake is essential for softening the potato and allowing for easier scooping of the flesh. Seasoning its skin with oil, salt, and pepper helps to enhance the taste and texture. While the potato is baking, it’s an excellent time to prepare the filling.
The filling is the heart and soul of the twice baked potato, as it adds a rich and creamy texture to the dish. A traditional filling is a mixture of the scooped-out potato flesh, sour cream, butter, and cheese. However, the possibilities are endless, and the filling can be customized to suit your taste buds and dietary preferences. Some popular variations include incorporating bacon, chives, caramelized onions, and even seasonal vegetables. I believe that the key to a good filling is achieving the right balance of flavors and textures that complement the baked potato.
Once you have prepared the filling and the potatoes have cooled, you can stuff the skins with the delicious mixture. The second bake is crucial to achieving that golden, crispy exterior and melding the flavors of the filling. By allowing the filled potatoes to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, the flavors intensify, and the dish becomes a true culinary masterpiece.
Innovative Twice Baked Potatoes: Unleashing Endless Possibilities
The beauty of the twice baked potato lies in its versatility. While the classic combination of cheese, sour cream, and chives is undeniably delicious, the dish can be easily adapted to cater to different tastes and dietary requirements. For a healthier alternative, the filling can be made with Greek yogurt, lower-fat cheeses, and plenty of fresh herbs. Vegans can enjoy a dairy-free version by using plant-based cheeses, vegan sour cream, and dairy-free butter.
The culinary creativity does not end there. Twice baked potatoes can be transformed into a fusion dish by incorporating flavors from different cuisines. Imagine a Tex-Mex inspired twice baked potato with spicy black beans, jalapenos, and a generous dollop of guacamole, or a Mediterranean twist with feta cheese, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. The sky’s the limit when it comes to exploring the wide array of flavors that can be incorporated into this versatile dish.
Serving Suggestions and Pairings
Twice baked potatoes can either take center stage as the main course or play a supporting role as a scrumptious side dish. When served as a main, it’s essential to consider the balance of flavors and textures in the meal. A light, fresh salad, steamed vegetables, or a simple slaw can complement the rich and creamy potato, making it a well-rounded meal.
As a side dish, twice baked potatoes pair exceptionally well with grilled, roasted, or barbecued meats, such as steak, chicken, or pork. The flavors and textures of the potato harmonize with the smokiness and savoriness of the meat, creating a satisfying and memorable dining experience.
Tips for Making Twice Baked Potatoes
- Use Warm Potatoes. This helps ensure the filling doesn’t get gluey or tacky while you mash.
- Don’t Overmix. Overmixing also causes gumminess and can ruin your whole dish!
- Cook the Bacon to Your Liking. I love a crispy piece of bacon, but some like it chewy! To each his own.
- Adjust the Seasonings. Taste the filling and add what is needed before filling your potato skins.
- Easy Clean-Up. Line your pan with parchment paper to save yourself some time cleaning up.
How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes
This is a really simple recipe to throw together, though they do take some time and effort. If you have Thanksgiving helpers, put them to work! For full directions and measurements see the printable recipe card below. Here is what to expect when making this recipe:
Bake the Potatoes
Bake potatoes in the oven until soft and tender. The directions on this post are perfect and fail proof for the best baked potatoes.
Remove the Soft Centers of Baked Potatoes
Cut warm baked potatoes in half. Scoop out soft centers of potatoes into a large bowl, leaving a skinny wall of potato all the way around. Place potato skins on a baking sheet and set aside.
Mash the Potatoes with Remaining Ingredients
Mash the potatoes with butter, sour cream, cream cheese, 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon until mostly smooth and soft.
If the mixture seems too dry, add in a splash of milk. Add in salt and pepper, to taste.
Scoop Mashed Potatoes into Potato Skins + Bake
Scoop or pipe into the potato shells.
Top with more bacon and cheddar cheese. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until warmed through and cheese is melty. Top with fresh chives and serve warm.
For ease, feel free to prepare these ahead of time and bake as needed. You can save them for a couple of days or for a couple of months depending on if you’re freezing or refrigerating.
Refrigerate. Before baking these a second time, simply cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. They last for a few days in the fridge!
Freeze. Stuff your potatoes but don’t bake yet. Freeze individually on a baking sheet and once solid store them in a freezer bag.
Reheat. To bake, add an extra 15-20 minutes to the baking time. So in this case, 30-35 minutes.
Love Twice Baked Potatoes? More Potato Recipes to Try!
- Perfect Scalloped Potatoes (reader favorite!)
- Best Mashed Potatoes
- Funeral Potatoes
- Pan Fried Potatoes
- Loaded Smashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Potato Casserole with Bacon
- Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
- Delicious Potatoes Au Gratin
- Crispy Mashed Potato Rosettes
Be sure to pin/print/save/bookmark this recipe. It’s a tasty one you are sure to love!
Have a great day, friends!
Twice Baked Potatoes
- 5 baked potatoes about 2 lbs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- 10 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh chives optional
- Cut warm baked potatoes in half. Scoop out soft centers of potatoes into a large bowl, leaving a skinny wall of potato all the way around. Place potato skins on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Mash potato with butter, sour cream, cream cheese, 1 cup of grated cheese, and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon. If it seems too dry, add in a splash of milk. Add in salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon or pipe mashed potato into shells, top with remaining cheese and bacon. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until warmed through and melty.
- Top with chives and serve warm.