Hearty Baked Potato Skins are a delicious make-ahead appetizer that can be customized with your favorite toppings for your game day gathering or potluck.

A party spread with baked potato skins as the main event.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Baked Potato Skins Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Russet potatoes: For potato skins, sturdy Russets potatoes work best. They have thicker skins and a nice size and shape for the appetizer portion. Bake them at a high temperature to score extra crisp skins. To cut down on the initial bake time by using the microwave, see my post on how to bake potatoes.
  • Bulk Italian sausage: If you like your Baked Potato Skins with a little kick, seek out hot Italian sausage. For a milder meat, stick with sweet or mild Italian sausage. Any work well here.
  • Seasoned salt: Use store-bought or try my homemade Lawry’s Seasoned Salt recipe to save a dollar or two.
  • Sour cream: You could also garnish with plain Greek yogurt instead.
  • Canned black olives: The pre-pitted variety speeds up prep time. Simply drain, rinse, and slice. Or if your deli section has a selection of gourmet olives, trade in your favorites as a topping.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and reheat the oven to 400 degrees. With a fork or skewer, poke some holes in each potato to let moisture escape while it cooks. Rub each potato all over with olive oil, then season generously with seasoned salt (I like 2 teaspoons seasoned salt divided among all 12 potatoes).
Four whole baked potatoes on a silver baking sheet.
  1. Transfer potatoes to preheated oven and bake directly on oven rack until tender when pierced with a small knife, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Baked potatoes cooling on a rack.
  1. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the inside of each potato into a bowl (reserve for another use) leaving about 1/4″ border around the edges and middle.
Baked potato halves scooped out.
  1. Arrange the potato halves on prepared baking sheet. Divide scallions, bacon, and sausage among potato halves. Press the filling evenly into the skins. Sprinkle each with shredded cheddar.
Baked potato halves with meat and cheese.
  1. Bake until cheese is bubbly and golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with guacamole, sour cream, olives, and tomatoes. Garnish with chives and serve.
A party spread with baked potato skins as the main event.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: Each batch makes 24 potato skins, or 12 servings (2 pieces each). Feel free to double or triple to feed a crowd.
  • Make ahead: To get a jump start on prep, bake the potatoes up to 2 days in advance and store in the fridge. You can also prepare the potato skins through step 6 up to 24 hours in advance. Bake as directed, allow to cool completely, and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat, garnish, and enjoy.
  • Reheating: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pre-baked skins on a lined baking sheet. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Garnish and serve.
  • Bonus toppings: If desired, mix things up with canned and drained black beans, Pico de Gallo, cooked and drained ground beef, and/or any shredded or crumbly cheese you like.
A party spread with baked potato skins as the main event.

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A party spread with baked potato skins as the main event.

Baked Potato Skins

Hearty Baked Potato Skins are a crowd-pleasing make-ahead appetizer recipe. Customize with your favorite toppings, and double or triple the snack recipe to feed the whole block if you like. You won't have leftovers! 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Calories 500

Ingredients 

  • 12 medium russet potatoes scrubbed and dried (about 6 pounds, see note 1)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Seasoned salt (see note 2)
  • 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound bacon fried and crumbled
  • 8 ounces bulk Italian sausage cooked and drained (see note 3)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sour cream (see note 4)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pitted black olives drained and sliced (see note 5)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives thinly sliced

Instructions 

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and reheat the oven to 400 degrees. With a fork or skewer, poke some holes in each potato to let moisture escape while it cooks.
  • Rub each potato all over with olive oil, then season generously with seasoned salt (I like 2 teaspoons seasoned salt divided among all 12 potatoes).
  • Transfer potatoes to preheated oven and bake directly on oven rack until tender when pierced with a small knife, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  • Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the inside of each potato into a bowl (reserve for another use) leaving about 1/4" border around the edges and middle.
  • Arrange the potato halves on prepared baking sheet. Divide scallions, bacon, and sausage among potato halves. Press the filling evenly into the skins. Sprinkle each with shredded cheddar.
  • Bake until cheese is bubbly and golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with guacamole, sour cream, olives, and tomatoes. Garnish with chives and serve.

Notes

  1. Russet potatoes: For potato skins, sturdy Russets potatoes work best. They have thicker skins and a nice size and shape for the appetizer portion. Bake them at a high temperature to score extra crisp skins. To cut down on the initial bake time by using the microwave, see my post on how to bake potatoes.
  2. Seasoned salt: Use store-bought or try my homemade Lawry’s Seasoned Salt recipe to save a dollar or two.
  3. Bulk Italian sausage: If you like your Baked Potato Skins with a little kick, seek out hot Italian sausage. For a milder meat, stick with sweet or mild Italian sausage. Any work well here.
  4. Sour cream: You could also garnish with plain Greek yogurt instead.
  5. Canned black olives: The pre-pitted variety speeds up prep time. Simply drain, rinse, and slice. Or if your deli section has a selection of gourmet olives, trade in your favorites as a topping.
  6. Yield: Each batch makes 24 potato skins, or 12 servings (2 pieces each). Feel free to double or triple to feed a crowd.
  7. Make ahead: To get a jump start on prep, bake the potatoes up to 2 days in advance and store in the fridge. You can also prepare the potato skins through step 6 up to 24 hours in advance. Bake as directed, allow to cool completely, and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat, garnish, and enjoy.
  8. Reheating: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pre-baked skins on a lined baking sheet. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Garnish and serve.
  9. Bonus toppings: If desired, mix things up with canned and drained black beans, Pico de Gallo, cooked and drained ground beef, and/or any shredded or crumbly cheese you like.

Nutrition

Serving: 2piecesCalories: 500kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 19gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 602mgPotassium: 1158mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 338IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 189mgIron: 3mg
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Meggan Hill

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