Loaded Potato Skins are an easy appetizer made with the crispy skins of a baked potato and filled with bacon, cheese, sour cream, and chives!
When it comes to crowd pleasing appetizers, these potato skins are IT! All ages love them, from little kids to grandparents. They use simple ingredients but they are so flavorful and comforting. I know you’re going to love this recipe!
How to Make Potato Skins:
1. Choose the right potato: Russet potatoes make the best crispy potato skins. For an appetizer, choose a smaller potato. For a more filling dish, use a large potato and use more filling.
2. Bake the potatoes at 400ºF for 1 hour.
3. Cut the potatoes. Cut each potato lengthwise, into three sections, creating three long slices. (So each potato should yield two skins, plus a middle section that you can discard or use to make baked potato salad :).
4. Scoop out the filling. Scoop out about 70 percent of the potato to make a little boat. You still want to have a thick layer of potato near the skin, but you want it to be slightly hollowed-out in the middle to create a “boat”.
5. Brush and broil. Brush the potatoes with butter on the inside and outside, place them on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and broil.
6. Add toppings. Remove from the oven and add a generous amount of shredded cheese and bacon pieces into each potato skin. Top with sour cream and chives or green onion. Serve warm.
Additional Filling and Topping Ideas:
- Taco style- Taco seasoned ground beef seasoned filled with taco toppings
- Sloppy Joe style- fill potato skins with sloppy joe beef filling.
- Chicken enchilada style- fill potato skins with chicken enchilada filling.
- Pulled pork style- filled with flavored, shredded pulled pork
- Mac N’ Cheese- fill with homemade mac and cheese.
Scoop the filling from the baked potato and allow the skins to cool. Store them in a freezer safe container for 2-3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then continue with broiling and filling the shells (step 5 of the recipe).
Consider trying these popular appetizers:
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Baked Chicken Wings
- Cheesy Bean Dip
- Easy Vegetable Dip
- Homemade Chili Cheese Dip
Loaded Potato Skins
- 6 small to medium sized Russet potatoes , washed and pat dry
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 slices bacon , cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (half of a stick), melted
- sour cream , for topping
- chives (or green onion), chopped, for topping
- salt , to taste
- freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Poke potatoes with a fork, place on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour.
- Remove from the baking sheet, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Once your potatoes are cooled, cut each lengthwise into three sections, creating three long slices. (So each potato should yield two skins, plus a middle section that you can either discard, use to make something else, or keep to make some extra potato skins without the "skin").
- Once you've cut all the potatoes, use a small spoon to scoop out about 70 percent of the potato to make a little boat. You still want to have a thick layer of potato near the skin, but you want it to be slightly hollowed-out in the middle to create a "boat".
- Turn your oven on to a high broil. Brush the potatoes with butter on the inside and outside and place them back onto the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
- Broil for 7-8 minutes until the insides get a bit crispy from the melted butter.
- Remove from the oven and add a generous amount of shredded cheese into each skin, topping with bacon pieces.
- Place back under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and top with sour cream and chives or green onion. Serve warm.
- Store leftover potato skins in the refrigerator. Rewarm them in the oven or microwave.
- Taco Style: Fill with taco seasoned ground beef and top with your favorite taco toppings.
- Sloppy Joe: Fill potato skins with sloppy joe beef filling.
- Chicken Enchilada: Fill with chicken enchilada filling.
- Pulled Pork: Load each potato skin with flavored, shredded pulled pork. Top with the best mango pineapple slaw.
- Mac and Cheese: Fill them with homemade mac and cheese for the ultimate comfort food.
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Adapted from Simple Comfort Food
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I originally shared this recipe January 2015. Updated February 2019.