Learn how to make Potato Skins at home that are quick and easy, yet better than any restaurants! The best, crispy Potato Skins recipe are twice-baked, loaded with your favorite fillings, and ready for a crowd-pleasing appetizer or side.
This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.
How to Make Potato Skins Better Than Any Restaurant!
Making a potato skins recipe is easy, straight-forward, and hard to mess up. However, when making them at home they can lose that binge-worthy, comfort food decadence.
Some essential tips can take lackluster potato skins to extraordinary. Learn how to make crispy Loaded Potato Skins with cheese and bacon using these secret weapon hacks based on Pioneer Woman’s famous recipe.
Potato Skins Fillings
Having a crispy, twice-baked potato shell will only take you so far. Loading them with mouthwatering fillings is key!
- Classic – cheddar cheese, bacon, green onions, and sour cream
- Southwest – black beans, corn, peppers, taco seasoning, colby jack cheese, and salsa
- Hawaiian – chopped ham, pineapple, red onion, cheddar, bbq sauce, and cilantro
- Buffalo Chicken – shredded chicken tossed with hot sauce, celery, blue cheese, and ranch for dipping
- Pizza – mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, green pepper, and marinara for dipping
What to Serve with Potato Skins
Potato Skins don’t have to be enjoyed solely as an appetizer. Enjoy them as a comforting side dish with some of these yummy dinners or salads.
How to Make Healthy Potato Skins
Usually, this recipe is comforting and delicious loaded up crispy bacon, melty cheese, and creamy sour cream. It’s perfectly fine to indulge, but I like to use these tips to streamline calories.
- Reduce the amount of cheese or substitute reduced-fat cheese.
- Substitute turkey bacon, chopped ham, or cut back on the amount of bacon.
- Use light sour cream or greek yogurt as a topping
- Instead of cheese and bacon, top your skins with black beans, corn, salsa, and cilantro
How to Make Deep Fried Potato Skins
Or, on the other hand, let’s indulge. Shall we? Follow these steps to make deep fried potato skins
- Heat oil to 375ºF in a deep fryer or heavy saucepan.
- Fry scooped out potato shells in batches for 5 minutes.
- Remove to paper towel-lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle both sides with salt.
- Load with fillings and place on foiled lined baking sheet. Bake 400ºF oven for 5-10 minutes.
Can you freeze Potato Skins?
Freezing Unfilled Shells:
- Place seasoned skins on baking sheet and bake for 16 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Once they have cooled completely, transfer to a freezer-safe container until ready to bake.
- Thaw in the refrigerator or on counter. Transfer to baking sheet and load with fillings. Bake at 400ºF until hot and cheese melts, about 5-10 minutes.
Leftover baked loaded potatoes can be frozen as well. Cool completely and transfer to freezer-safe container.
To reheat, thaw completely in refrigerator or on counter. Bake in 400ºF oven until hot and cheese melts, about 5-10 minutes.
How To Make Potato Skins
- Cook potatoes until fork tender. (See tip in the recipe below on how to cut down cooking time or make the potatoes in the Instant Pot!)
- Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh.
- Brush inside and outside of shells with oil and season generously with salt.
- Place skins on baking sheet and bake for 16 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Load with cheese and bacon. Bake for 5 additional minutes.
Make Ahead Potato Skins
Prepare the recipe in its entirety except for the last step of melting cheese in the oven. Place cooled, covered prepared skins in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
SAVE HOW TO MAKE POTATO SKINS TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
How to Make Potato Skins
- 8 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 8 slices bacon, cooked crispy and chopped
- vegetable oil
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- green onions, thinly sliced
- sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. *To decrease cooking time, start cooking potatoes in the microwave first. Use a fork to prick potatoes a few times. Microwave potatoes all at once for 5 minutes. Flip over and microwave for 5 more minutes. **Alternatively, follow these directions to cook baked potatoes in the Instant Pot.
- Place potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle vegetable over them. Use hands or pastry brush to rub oil over skins. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flip potatoes, and bake for 15-20 minutes more, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Cooking time will vary based on size of potatoes and if cooking started in microwave.
- When cool enough to handle, slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the middle, leaving some flesh around the skin.
- Brush inside and outside of prepared skins with more vegetable oil. Season both sides generously with salt.
- Place skins cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, flip and bake for 8-10 minutes more.
- Remove from oven and divide shredded cheese and bacon between potato skins. Return to oven for 5 more minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and melted. Serve warm with green onions and sour cream.
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- Southwest - black beans, corn, peppers, taco seasoning, colby jack cheese, and salsa
- Hawaiian - chopped ham, pineapple, red onion, cheddar, bbq sauce, and cilantro
- Buffalo Chicken - shredded chicken tossed with hot sauce, celery, blue cheese, and ranch for dipping
- Pizza - mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, green pepper, and marinara for dipping