There are a few things my husband and I have really nailed when it comes to cooking. Sangria. Buffalo chicken dip. Cookies and cream brownies. And POTATO SKINS! This is one of our favorite things to make for parties and gatherings, and today I’m sharing my super simple potato skins recipe so you can try ’em too.
There’s nothing quite like a potato skin, is there? They’re crunchy and salty and cheesy and just one of the most perfect little finger foods around. I also love that they can be a vehicle for all sorts of other things. We often make them with buffalo chicken on top (SO GOOD!), or leftover pulled pork, taco meat…bascially, anything!
What I’m trying to tell you is, potato skins can be more than an appetizer. They can be a whole MEAL!
Potato skins are definitely a little more labor intensive than some other snacks. They require a lot of cooking time and a fair amount of patience. But they’re so easy anyone can do them, and I promise it’s worth the time it takes!
Potato Skins Tips + Tricks
- I like to use Russet potatoes here, as I find them easiest to work with. They are thick and sturdy enough to handle all of the fun toppings. The taste also works really nicely with the traditional toppings. But, you can use this same strategy to make baked potato skins with other varieties as well, they just might not hold up quite as well.
- You can definitely make air fryer potato skins if you prefer to skip the oven. I’d start after the potatoes have been baked and the insides have been removed. Just layer them in a single layer along the bottom of the air fryer basket and cook until crisp!
- Another fun flavor addition I’ve seen (but haven’t tried yet) is to melt butter in a small dish in the microwave and add some garlic powder to it. Brush that on the flesh of the potato skins prior to cooking them a second time for a little flavor boost!
What to Add to Your Potato Skins
The most traditional ingredients to finish off your potato skins are bacon, green onions or chives, and sour cream. A few other fun flavor ideas include…
- Buffalo chicken
- Ground beef with taco seasoning
- Pulled pork
- Broccoli and cheddar cheese
Don’t forget the ranch dressing for the dip!
The Easiest Potato Skins
You’ll want to start by baking your potatoes whole. We like to rub them down with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt before tossing them in the oven. See this post for our method for the perfect baked potato – I recommend starting there.
Once your potatoes are baked, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the insides. You can set them aside for mashed potatoes or potato soup another night!
You should be left with potato halves that have maybe 1/4″ of potato left in them.
Now, you’ll bake them again, on a baking sheet. Spread a little olive oil on them, add some salt to the inside, and roast each side for about 10 minutes at high heat. This helps them crisp up and makes them nice and sturdy to hold all the tasty topppings.
Once they’ve finished baking, you’re ready to add the toppings. No matter what we plan to add to the top of them, we always sprinkle them with sharp cheddar cheese. If you’re just serving them as-is, I’d add some chopped up (cooked) bacon as well.
Toss ’em back in the oven to broil long enough to let the cheese get melty and bubbly, and you’re good to go! Add some scallions, sour cream, or whatever other toppings you want and serve ’em up.
This time, we made them with Unexpected Cheddar cheese from Trader Joe’s, and it was a really delicious touch!
Here’s the full recipe with more detailed instructions for you.
- 6 Russet potatoes
- Olive oil
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Toppings (green onions, sour cream, bacon)
- Start with the perfect baked potato. See here for the recipe. This should take just over an hour with prep and baking.
- Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, cut the baked potatoes in half. Scoop out most of the insides. You can set them aside to make mashed potatoes, or just toss them.
- Drizzle both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle the inside of the potatoes with salt. Then, put potatoes back in the 450-degree oven for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet. Start them with the skin side facing up. After 10 minutes, flip them over to the other side, then bake an additional 10 minutes until the edges are crisp.
- If you plan to add bacon, now is a great time to get it cooked. It should be just shy of done when you chop it up, because it will crisp up in the final stage of cooking. If you cook it too much, it will become overly done.
- After the potatoes have finished cooking, it's time to add the toppings. With the inside facing up, sprinkle shredded cheese and cooked bacon into the potato. Return to the oven and broil for 2-4 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and bacon is crisp.
- Cut each half once more, to create quartered potatoes. Serve with sour cream, green onions, and ranch for dipping!
You can add toppings like shredded buffalo chicken, taco meat, or pulled pork to turn this into an entire meal! If you choose to go this route, don't add the bacon in the final step. Just add cheese and cook until bubbly. Then, cook your meat toppings separately and add them to the finished potatoe skins just before serving.
I also recommend playing around with the cheese. We usually do sharp cheddar, but white cheddar or Unexpected Cheddar from Trader Joe's makes for a really fun addition as well!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 38mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g