Easy Twice Baked Potatoes or potato boats are baked potatoes stuffed with a creamy, fluffy mashed potato filling and topped with shredded cheese.  They make a great side dish for a crowd.

A white plate with twice baked potatoes on it with bubbly cheddar cheese on top.

Twice Baked Potatoes

My husband, Jeff, calls these “potato boats,” but I always grew up calling them twice baked potatoes. Either way, these are such a yummy side dish to just about ANY meal and they’re easy to customize to your family’s taste.

What are twice baked potatoes?

As the name implies, twice baked potatoes are essentially potatoes that are cooked twice.  First, the whole potato is baked in the oven.  Next, the cooked insides of the potato are scooped out, leaving behind an empty potato shell.  The potato flesh is mixed together with butter, milk, and spices to form a creamy, fluffy, mashed potato-like filling.  The filling is piled back into each potato, the potatoes are topped with cheese and baked again in the oven.

How to make twice baked potatoes:

To make easy twice baked potatoes, first fully cook your Russet potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 1 hour.  Allow the potatoes to cool down a bit and then slice the top of the potato off, horizontally. Next, scoop the inner potato flesh into a bowl, saving the outer shell/skin of the potato.

Baked potatoes on a marble board with the top cut off of one and other with the cooked potato scooped out, next to another photo of a spoon scooping the potato flesh into a bowl.

Once the potato filling is in a bowl, add milk, butter, salt, pepper, evaporated milk (or whole milk), parsley, and any other flavor additions you like, such as sour cream, chicken bouillon paste or garlic powder. Mash everything together with a potato masher or a hand mixer until smooth. Be careful not to over-mix the potatoes or they will turn “gummy”.

A clear glass bowl with the ingredients for making twice baked potatoes including cooked potatoes, butter, milk and parsley, next to another photo of the mashed potatoes being spooned into baked potatoes shells.

Spoon this mixture back into your potato shells and top each potato with shredded cheese.  Return to the oven to bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Overhead photos of a pan of twice baked potatoes before and after they have been baked.

Tips for perfect twice baked potatoes:
  • Don’t over mix the potato filling.  Over-mixing causes the mixture to become gluey instead of light and fluffy.
How to make twice baked potatoes ahead of time:

Twice baked potatoes are a great “make-ahead” side dish.  To make them ahead of time, follow all the directions to the point where you refill the potatoes with the creamy potato filling.  After you refill the potatoes, allow them to cool completely and add them all to a baking dish.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to one day, until ready to bake.

To freeze your twice baked potatoes, put them in the freezer after covering them and allow them to become solid.  Once frozen solid, store the potatoes in a ziplock bag and place them back in the freezer.  To reheat, cook at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until completely warmed through.

Twice baked potatoes in a baking dish and a soon scooping into one of the potatoes.


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A white plate with twice baked potatoes on it with bubbly cheddar cheese on top.
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour 15 minutes
Total 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 6 medium size russet potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • salt and pepper , to taste
  • 3/4 cup milk, (or evaporated milk. Add more as needed)
  • 1 cup freshly shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste


  • Prick potatoes with a knife or fork. Rub them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake potatoes at 400 for about an 1 hour, or until fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle.
  • Cut the top, lengthwise. of each potato off and scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, leaving ¼ inch layer of potato flesh and skin, and the rest hollowed out.
  • Add butter, salt and pepper, chives, sour cream, garlic powder, chicken bouillon milk. 
  • Mash with a potato masher and then mix with beaters until smooth (but don’t over-mix them or they will be gluey instead of light and fluffy.) 
  • Add more milk, if needed—it’s better if the filling is on the softer side because the potato mixture will thicken up as it cooks again in the oven.
  • Top with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes of until the cheese is bubbly.


For make-ahead and freezing tips, see the post above.


Serving: 8gCalories: 326kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 12gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 276mgPotassium: 982mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 481IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 221mgIron: 2mg

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*I originally shared this recipe in August 2010. Updated November 2018.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. Hi:

    When you freeze the potato do you take them direct in the oven at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes? They look and sound delicious. I just love using your recipe and thank you for being a blessing.

  2. is it possible to over bake the potatoes?
    i’m in the middle of preparing and when i scooped out the potatoes they had a gluey consistency. fingers crossed they turn out okay. added extra milk to try an smooth it out.

  3. Good recipe! I’ve made these since I was old enough to cook, around 1960, and they are always a hit for a crowd or just for me.!

  4. 5 stars
    We made these for dinner last night and they were delicious. We served them with ham and asparagus. Thanks for another great recipe.