I’m all for a fancy appetizer spread, but sometimes the occasion demands good, old-fashioned, cheesy Potato Skins.
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Brie Bites, I do adore you, but when it comes to sports or grilling, you just aren’t the vibe.
For today’s homemade potato skins recipe, I skipped the deep fryer and used the oven to make baked potato skins instead.
- The broiler does a fantastic job making the potato skins crispy.
- Deep frying is typically what makes potato skins unhealthy (plus it’s a mess to do at home), so by baking them, you’re doing yourself a service.
- The cheese is hot, golden, and bubbly—because if you’re not making cheesy potato skins, is there even a point?
- The toppings are yours for the showering. Bacon, Greek yogurt, chives. Load ‘em to your heart’s content.
How to Make Potato Skins in the Oven
The only time-consuming part of these easy potato skins is baking the potatoes.
That step really isn’t difficult at all, and you can even do it in advance if you like.
Plus, baking is still WAY EASIER than deep fried potato skins.
- The night before, cook the potatoes in your oven per the directions below, or make Air Fryer Baked Potatoes or Crock Pot Baked Potatoes.
- Scoop out the insides. Save them for another use (see FAQs for suggestions).
- Use the reserved shells to make these cheesy stuffed potato skins. It’s a double win!
- Potatoes. Good o’l russet potatoes (also called Idaho potatoes) are the best choice for making potato skins, because their peel is the heartiest and can hold up to our loaded filling.
Are Potato Skins Healthy?
While potatoes sometimes receive a bad nutritional reputation, this is more to do with how they are prepared (deep fried, slathered in butter, etc.) than the potato itself. Potato skins are nutritious especially because they contain potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B among other nutrients.
By baking the potato skins instead of frying them, you’re keeping these on the lighter side. Being prudent with toppings and using more moderate amounts of indulgent ones helps too.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Melty, golden, and a game-day essential. I recommend sharp cheddar. Since it is more fully flavored, a little goes a long way.
The cheddar can be swapped for any smooth melting cheese you enjoy. Try pepper jack for spicy potato skins, gouda for a gourmet spin, or do a mix.
- Smoked Paprika + Garlic Powder + Cayenne. The spices add a subtle smokiness and kick that makes the potatoes more interesting (and addictive).
- Melted Butter. A brush across the surface prior to baking gives these potato skins a touch of decadence.
- Bacon. An ultimate loaded baked potato skin wouldn’t be the same without it! For easy cooking, prepare Oven Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon.
For vegetarian potato skins, omit the bacon or swap for your favorite meatless bacon substitute.
- Plain Greek Yogurt. My nutritious swap for sour cream. It has the same tang, but is lower in fat and higher in protein.
- Green Onions or Chives. For a flourish of color, bite, and loaded potato vibes.
- Bake the potatoes.
- Split them in half lengthwise and hollow out the insides.
- Leave a thin wall of flesh inside each potato skin; reserve the flesh for another use.
- Brush the insides with the butter and spices. Pile on the cheese and bacon.
- Broil the potato skins for 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Load them up with any remaining toppings. ENJOY!
- To Store. Potato skins are best enjoyed right away, but can be stored (without the Greek yogurt and chives) in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
- To Reheat. Place the potato skins in a 425 degree F oven until heated through (5 or so minutes). Add remaining toppings.
- To Freeze. Unfortunately, you cannot freeze potato skins. They will be soggy and have an off texture once thawed.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, cook and crumble the bacon and shred the cheese. Store in the refrigerator.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Sheet Pan. An invaluable kitchen tool. I use these daily!
- Pre-cut Parchment Paper. Ultra convenient; saves time and clean up.
- Chef’s Knife. A good quality chef’s knife is one of the most important kitchen tools to own.
Pre-cut Parchment Sheets
A game changer! No more fighting to get the paper to lay flat. It comes perfectly sized for a sheet pan..
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Let’s all cheer for easy, cheesy potato skins!
Frequently Asked Questions
I haven’t tried this myself but think it would work nicely. Arrange them in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Cook at 400 degrees F and check them periodically. Note that you’ll need to cook them in batches.
It’s not necessary to wrap potatoes in foil to bake them in a standard oven. Simply prick them on the outsides with a fork to allow steam to escape.
- 4 small/medium russet Idaho potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch cayenne pepper or black pepper
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- 3 slices cooked and crumbled bacon*
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt I used non-fat
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Bake the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or broiler safe parchment paper. Scrub and dry the potatoes. Pierce all over with a fork, then rub with oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Bake for 25 minutes, flip, then continue baking for 15 to 25 minute more (40 to 50 minutes total), until the potatoes pierce easily with a fork. Let rest until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. (You also can skip the oven and cook Crock Pot Baked Potatoes or Air Fryer Baked Potatoes).
Halve the potatoes lengthwise, then scoop out the flesh, leaving a thin ¼-to ½-inch thick shell. Reserve the flesh for another use, such as mashed potatoes or soup. Return the potatoes to the baking sheet, flesh-side up. Position a rack in the upper third of your oven and turn the oven to broil
- While the potatoes bake, in a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne.
Brush the insides of the scooped potatoes with melted butter. Sprinkle with the seasoning mixture. Sprinkle evenly with the cheddar cheese, then bacon.
- Return the potatoes to the oven. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Transfer to a serving plate. Top each with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinkle of green onions.
- *To easily and neatly cook the bacon, try Oven Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon.
- TO STORE. These are best enjoyed the day they are made but can be refrigerated (without the Greek yogurt and chives) for 1 to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT. Place the potato skins in a 425 degree F oven until heated through (5 or so minutes). Add remaining toppings.
- TO FREEZE. Unfortunately, you cannot freeze potato skins. They will be soggy and have an off texture once thawed.
READ: Potato Skins