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Homemade Loaded Potato Skins are easily one of the best appetizers ever! Baked Potato Skins brushed with olive oil or butter, then baked until crispy and delicious. Load them up with cheese, bacon, green onions and sour cream to satisfy all of your late night snack cravings!
This classic appetizer is a must for parties, but also makes a perfect movie night snack. We’ve been having a lot more movie nights lately and they always include my perfect potato skins, Crispy Baked Chicken Wings and Loaded Cream Cheese Dip. Of course I cut up some veggies to have on the side, you know, for balance.
Loaded Potato Skins
Baked Potato Skins are incredibly easy to make. They follow the same principal as my Twice Baked Potatoes, cooking the potatoes until they’re soft enough to cut, then hollowing out the center so you can add yummy fillings.
Russet potatoes work best because their skin is a little heartier than other varieties and holds it’s shape really well. It also gets nice and crispy during the second round of baking.
Loaded potato skins can be filled with a variety of flavors, but the classic combo is cheese, bacon and green onions. A little dollop of sour cream and you’re good to go. My daughter won’t eat these without ranch dressing, so you might want to make sure you have some on hand.
How to Make Potato Skins
I love making potato skins because they are not only delicious, but a hearty, handheld snack that can double as a dinner side or even the main event! They are perfect for parties and kids love them. I love them because I can get all the prep work out of the way ahead of time and just throw them in the oven just before I need to serve them.
- If you’ve ever made a baked potato, you’re already halfway to creating the best loaded potato skins. Scrub the potatoes clean and remove any eyes or other imperfections.
- Brush the exterior with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes for about an hour; the skin should be crispy and the insides soft and fluffy.
- Let the potatoes cool until you can handle them without burning yourself.
- Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and gently scoop out the flesh, leaving a rim about 1/4-inch thick. Save the insides for making loaded mashed potatoes or croquettes.
Potato Skins Fillings
- Classic – Shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, sliced green onions and sour cream
- Breakfast Potato Skins – crack an egg on top and add shredded cheese and bacon then bake until the egg is set (about 10-12 minutes). Sprinkle with chives.
- Pizza Skins – Marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.
- Mexican – Fill with chorizo and jack cheese instead of bacon and cheddar.
- Taco – Fill the cups with ground beef taco meat, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes
- Veggie Potato Skins – grilled onions or mushrooms, chopped bell peppers.
Can You Make Potato Skins Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can baked and scoop the potatoes ahead of time, just save the filling for right before serving. Store scooped out potato skins on a tray, tightly covered, in the fridge up to 48 hours. Bake as directed, then fill and broil. You could even fill them in advance with the cheese and bacon.
To freeze the skins, scoop out the flesh of the baked potatoes. Place the skins on a tray in the freezer for about an hour to freeze, then transfer to an airtight freezer container and freeze for up to 4 months.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Store leftover baked skins in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in a 350 degree oven until warmed through (about 10 minutes).
- When selecting your potatoes, choose small russets, that are as close to the same size as you can get them. Also pay attention to the shape. You want nice, round sides that will sit nicely.
- Use freshly grated cheese. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating that helps the cheese hold it’s shape in the bag, but also hinders the melting.
- For a more bite-size version, cut potato skins in half horizontally.
More Appetizer Recipes to Love
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 5-6 medium potatoes)
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- ½ pound bacon cooked crisp and diced
- 6 ounces cheddar cheese shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 bunch green onions
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup sour cream
- Optional for serving: ranch dressing for dipping
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees f. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Brush potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Place potatoes on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
- While the potatoes are cooking, assemble the toppings. Cook bacon, shred the cheese and slice the green onions. (I use more greens than onion).
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then carefully scoop out the flesh from each half, leaving about ¼ inch of flesh to form a bowl. Save the scooped potatoes for another use, if desired.
- Preheat the broiler. Place the potato halves on the foil lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with diced bacon and shredded cheese. Place under the broiler for several minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with sliced green onions. Optional: serve with ranch dressing for dipping.