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.
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.
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”.
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.
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
- 8 medium size russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk (or more as needed)
- optional for flavoring: chicken bouillon, sour cream, garlic powder
- 1 cup freshly shredded cheese
- Prick potatoes with a knife or fork. Bake potatoes at 400 for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Cut the tops off of the potato and scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl.
- Add butter, salt and pepper, parsley, evaporated milk and other desired seasonings.
- 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.