I have yet to find someone who doesn’t love the satisfying taste of a fully loaded, stuffed then baked-until-piping hot, potato.
Also known as the twice-baked potato, this recipe is so versatile because there are so many ways you can stuff a potato.
You could go the traditional way, adding cheese and bacon with chopped chives which this recipe does, but why not try a vegetarian slant using lentils or spicy chickpeas and a pinch of fresh herbs.
Perhaps you’d like to try this as a vegan dish . . . there are tips below that will help you navigate the dairy and bacon ingredients.
And, even though potatoes are usually off the menu while on a low-carb diet if you can splurge just once, why not stuff them with vegetables you can eat and simply eat the filling!?
Which potatoes are best?
Hands down, Idaho potatoes are your best choice and here’s why.
- Idaho potatoes have a neutral taste making them the best for absorbing flavours even more!
- The flesh inside is fluffy, creamy-soft in texture so every bite is tasty and delicious!
- The outer skin toughens up during baking so you can fully load each potato and not worry about splits or spills.
6 great reasons to love this recipe
- Not only are these potatoes so worth every carbohydrate-loaded mouthful once in a while, but making them is a whole lot of fun.
- The recipe is so flexible you can create custom stuffed potatoes for everyone in the family.
- Many of the steps are kid-friendly activities.
- These make a great snack alternative for hungry teens!
- Make these ahead of time and bake when you are ready.
- Stuff the tops and use them as appetizers or snacks.
What you need to make these loaded stuffed baked potatoes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 75-80 minutes
- 4 large Idaho baking potatoes, washed and patted dry
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil to coat the skins
- 1 T. coarse sea salt
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup Cheddar Jack cheese, shredded, divided
- 6 strips bacon cooked crispy and crumbled, divided into quarters
- Optional: 3 Tablespoons fresh chives or parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt or sour cream
- fresh chives or parsley
- If Cheddar Jack cheese is not available, use equal amounts of shredded sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or similar cheeses.
- For a saltier filling, add parmesan or feta cheese.
- For an even creamier filling, substitute cheese with 3 T. Philadelphia cream cheese.
- For an extra cheesier experience, chop the cheese instead of grating.
- Replace bacon with smoked cheese for a vegetarian option.
- 1/4 cup whole milk will give you a creamier, smooth mashed potato stuffing.
How to make this dish vegetarian and vegan
Use vegetable stock instead of milk when mashing the potatoes.
Replace bacon with tofu and make this quick marinade.
Marinate tofu slices for 20-30 minutes before using.
- Chef’s 8″ knife
- Chopping board
- Wire rack
- Parchment paper or a Silpat™ baking sheet
- Large spoon for scooping
- Cheese grater
- Baking tray
- 4 – 5 small unique bowls for serving extra bacon, cheese, chives, sour cream toppings on the side.
- Interesting serving platters for the loaded stuffed baked potatoes like these from a well-known First Nations artist who uses recycled glass and resin!
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Make sure the top oven rack lies in the centre position before pre-heating the oven to 400°F.
Place a wire rack on top of a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat™ baking sheet. Set aside.
Place the potatoes on the wire rack and drizzle each potato with a little olive oil. Have a paper towel handy as you’ll use your hands to spread the oil until each potato is thoroughly coated.
Pierce each potato with a fork several times to help vent moisture while they bake before sprinkling with coarse sea salt.
Bake potatoes in the preheated oven for 60-75 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.
Remove from oven and allow them to cool.
Once cool enough to handle, slice the tops of each potato. This gives you an oval-shaped opening.
Now carefully scoop the soft-baked flesh out with a spoon.
Do not scoop all the way through to the other side of the potato skin but leave 2-3 mm thickness so the walls do not collapse when adding the stuffing back in.
Transfer all the scooped out baked potato flesh to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add 1/4 cup whole milk and mash the potato flesh until it is smooth and creamy.
Either grate or chop ½ cup cheese of your choice and add to the bowl with 2/3 of the bacon.
Add parsley or chives if you prefer as well.
Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir everything to combine.
Divide the mixture equally between the four potatoes (and tops if using them).
If making ahead, place in an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to bake.
If baking now, cover potato tops with grated cheese and place back into the still-hot oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Garnish with chopped bacon and fresh chives or parsley.
Serve immediately with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, if desired.
I hope you’ll give this delicious recipe a try next time.
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Loaded Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- Baking tray
- Baking rack
- Parchment paper or a Silpat baking sheet
- Chopping board
- Chef's 8" knife
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Medium mixing bowl
- Potato masher
- Small spoon
- Oven mitts
- Cheese grater
- 4 large Idaho potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup Cheddar Jack cheese
- 6 strips bacon
- 3 tbsp chives
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Place top oven rack in the center position and preheat oven to 400°F. Place a wire rack on top of a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat™ baking sheet. Set aside.
- Place the potatoes on the wire rack and drizzle each potato with a little olive oil. Spread the oil with your hands until each potato is thoroughly coated. Pierce each potato with a fork several times to vent and sprinkle with the coarse sea salt.
- Place the potatoes in the pre-heated oven for 60 minutes, or until they are fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool for several minutes.
- Once cool enough to handle, cut an oval-shaped opening into the top of each potato. Carefully remove the top opening and scoop out the baked flesh inside with a spoon. Try not to cut all the way through the potato. Transfer the baked potato flesh you remove to a medium bowl.
- Add ½ cup cheese and 2/3 of the bacon to the same bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
- Divide the mixture equally between the four potatoes and place back into the still-hot oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Remove from oven and divide the remaining cheese and bacon between the four potatoes. Sprinkle with fresh chives and serve immediately with some Greek yogurt or sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!