Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

A true steakhouse classic, Twice Baked Potatoes are doubly delicious and easy to make ahead. These show stealers are loaded up with lots of cheddar, bacon, and scallions for comfort food bliss in every bite.

Serve Twice Baked Potatoes with simple Grilled Pork Chops or Grilled London Broil and a Strawberry Spinach Salad for a home cooked meal fit for a king (or queen). You might need a cocktail beforehand, though—have a peek at some fantastic classic cocktails to get inspired.

Twice baked potatoes on a white platter.
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Craving a little comfort food? There’s no better way to scratch that itch than by whipping up some Twice Baked Potatoes tonight. If you like a loaded baked potato, chances are a twice-baked spud will tempt you even more.

Because potatoes go with basically everything, what goes inside the potato filling is absolutely up to you. Follow this recipe to the letter, or branch out in a million different ways. That makes this recipe a fantastic way to use up leftover bits of whatever you have in your refrigerator.

Browned ground beef and onion might be nice. So would a handful of last night’s cooked black beans or green chilies, and maybe some Chili Seasoning. Switch out the sour cream for Greek yogurt or melty Boursin cheese. Your options are endless, but always, always delicious.

Twice Baked Potatoes are the easiest thing ever for feeding a crowd! Just click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.

What is a twice-baked potato?

Only one of the most luxurious potato recipes out there!

Potatoes are baked until soft, and then cut in half and hollowed out. The filling is mashed with butter, milk, cheese, and a handful of other savory ingredients. Then the filling is used to stuff the hollowed-out potato skins, and  finally they're baked in the oven a second time so the cheese can melt.

While making them does take some time, much of that time is cooking time and largely hands-free. Plus there's a nifty way to speed up the process by partially baking the potatoes in the microwave--keep reading.

Twice Baked Potato ingredients:

This is what’s usually in classic twice baked potatoes, but don’t feel like you have to stop there. You can add almost anything to the potatoes for a different style baked potato every night of the week.

  • Russet or baking potatoes. Starchier potatoes like Russets have sturdy skins and make superior mashed potatoes, both of which you want for making twice baked spuds. By the way, one potato makes two servings, since they’re sliced in half.
  • Olive oil.
  • Sour cream. Not a hard and fast rule, here. You can use Greek yogurt, Boursin, or even a slab of cream cheese.
  • Cheddar cheese. Shredded, so it blends into the mashed potato filling and melts beautifully.
  • Milk.
  • Butter.
  • Scallions. Or chives, dill, or other herbs.
  • Bacon. For vegetarian twice baked potatoes, just leave the bacon out.
    A true steakhouse classic, Twice Baked Potatoes are doubly delicious and easy to make ahead. These show stealers are loaded up with lots of cheddar, bacon, and scallion for comfort food bliss in every bite.

How to make Twice Baked Potatoes:

Before you bake ‘em a second time, you gotta bake ‘em once. You have two choices for baking the potatoes in the first step: in the oven or in the microwave.

Using an oven takes a little longer, but both techniques are straightforward and easy, resulting in crispy, crackly skins.

Baking potatoes in the oven:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. With a fork or skewer, poke some holes in each potato to let steam escape during baking.
    I'm a certified cook and I know all this so I'm not interested in seeing you.
  2. Then lightly rub the potatoes all over with some olive oil, and season them with some salt and pepper.
  3. When the oven is hot, place the spuds right on the oven rack and bake them for 50 to 60 minutes, until they’re tender and can be pierced easily with the tip of a sharp knife.
  4. Finally, take them out of the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before handling them in the next step.

Or, use a microwave to get a jumpstart on baking that potato:

You can make twice baked potatoes quick by using the microwave to cook the potatoes. It cuts the time in half, from about 60 minutes to about half an hour.

  1. First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and make sure the oven rack is positioned in the middle.
  2. Then poke a few holes in each potato with a fork or skewer, so they don’t explode in the microwave. (Don’t learn this the hard way!)
  3. Next, microwave the potatoes on HIGH power for 8 to 12 minutes, until the spuds are slightly soft to the touch. Flip them halfway through the cooking time so they cook evenly.
  4. After that, rub those babies with olive oil and give them a good sprinkling with salt and pepper. Then place them directly on the preheated oven rack (no sheet pan required!) and bake at 450 degrees for another 20 minutes or so, until they’re tender when you pierce them with the tip of a sharp knife. Finishing off the cooking in the oven keeps the skins dry and crispy.
  5. Finally, take them out of the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before scooping out the potatoes and making the filling.

Filling the Twice Cooked Potatoes:

Once you bake the Russets and let them cool a little bit, you’re ready to go. Keep that oven on!

  1. First, slice the spuds in half lengthwise. With a spoon, carve out the flesh of each potato, leaving the skin in tact, and scoop it into a bowl. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Just make sure the skins don’t break or crack open--they need to be sturdy enough to hold the mashed potato filling!
    A true steakhouse classic, Twice Baked Potatoes are doubly delicious and easy to make ahead. These show stealers are loaded up with lots of cheddar, bacon, and scallion for comfort food bliss in every bite.
  2. Then mash the potatoes into a smooth consistency. You can use a pastry blender, potato ricer, or even a fork. Just like with traditional mashed potatoes, don't over beat them, or else they'll get gluey.
  3. Next, add the sour cream, half of the shredded cheddar, (you’ll need the rest for topping the potatoes) milk, butter, half of the scallions, (the rest is used for topping) and salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
    A true steakhouse classic, Twice Baked Potatoes are doubly delicious and easy to make ahead. These show stealers are loaded up with lots of cheddar, bacon, and scallion for comfort food bliss in every bite.
  4. Once the mashed potato filling is made, return the mixture back to the potato skins. You can get as fancy (or rustic) as you like here, by using a piping bag, a scoop, or size 20 portioner. Some cooks recommend filling a zip-top bag with the filling and cutting off the corner to make an impromptu piping bag.Whatever you choose, just make sure the filling is mounded high and looking delicious.
  5. At this point, you can let the stuffed potatoes cool completely to store in the fridge for later, or freeze for future meals.
  6. However, if you're ready to bake, sprinkle the remaining cheese and scallions over the filling and top with the crumbled bacon. Gently press the toppings into the mashed potatoes so they won’t fall off as they bake.
    A true steakhouse classic, Twice Baked Potatoes are doubly delicious and easy to make ahead. These show stealers are loaded up with lots of cheddar, bacon, and scallion for comfort food bliss in every bite.
  7. Then, return the potatoes back into the oven. You can place them directly on the rack, or arrange them on a sheet tray to keep things neat. Bake at 400 degrees until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Make ahead Twice Baked Potatoes:

Great news! Stuffed potatoes keep in the fridge for about 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. For best results, wait to add any extra toppings (cheese, scallions, bacon, etc) until you’re ready to bake them a second time.

For a fantastic treat when you don’t have the energy or time to go all-out, you can wrap up a few stuffed potatoes individually in aluminum foil and pop them in the freezer. Just make sure the potato has completely cooled before wrapping in foil, otherwise you risk food-borne illness.

To cook a frozen twice-baked potato, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking, or wrap loosely with foil and bake frozen until warm. Then unwrap to top with the cheese, scallions, and bacon and finish baking, until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. Frozen potatoes might take 15 to 20 extra minutes in the oven, so plan accordingly.

Reheating leftover Twice-Baked Potatoes:

You can gently reheat this recipe in the oven for best results. Brush the tops of the potatoes with some melted butter to boost their moisture. Then bake at 350 degrees until heated through (at least 140 degrees in the center) and bubbly on top.

Fun Twice Baked Ideas:

  • Mini Twice Baked Potato Skins. Quite possibly the perfect party food.
  • Shredded chicken, corn, and peppers
  • Browned onion and chorizo, sour cream, and scallion
  • Feta, olives, and chopped artichoke hearts
  • Cooked shrimp, Cajun Seasoning, tricolor peppers
  • Ground turkey, wilted greens, and lemon zest
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, crumbled Italian sausage, and Italian Seasoning
    A true steakhouse classic, Twice Baked Potatoes are doubly delicious and easy to make ahead. These show stealers are loaded up with lots of cheddar, bacon, and scallion for comfort food bliss in every bite.

Food safety and baked potatoes:

Sure, potatoes may look innocent, but if mishandled they can be responsible for food poisoning.

Similar to cooked rice, warm cooked potatoes are breeding grounds for bad bacteria. Why? Potatoes tend to stay warm a long time, creating a perfect environment for food-borne illness. Believe it or not, people have gotten very sick from steakhouse foil-wrapped potatoes!

Here are some tips for safely handling cooked potatoes, so that everyone stays healthy and well-fed.

  • Never wrap potatoes in foil, even to store in the refrigerator. Not only does a bare skin baked potato taste better, but aluminum foil traps heat, so the baked potatoes never cool quickly. Bad bacteria love warm, humid environments.
  • Never eat a baked potato that has been out at room temperature for more than 4 hours. Even 70 degrees is warm enough for the bacteria to grow.
  • Cool completely. Always let your baked potatoes cool completely before freezing or refrigerating. When it's time to reheat, baked potatoes must reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
Twice baked potatoes on a white platter.

Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

A true steakhouse classic, Twice Baked Potatoes are doubly delicious and easy to make ahead. These show stealers are loaded up with lots of cheddar, bacon, and scallions for comfort food bliss in every bite.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 383kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes scrubbed and dried (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter cut into tablespoons (1/2 stick)
  • 1 bunch scallions divided (about 1 cup)
  • 8 slices bacon fried and crumbled

Instructions

To cook potatoes quickly (about 30 minutes):

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Poke a few holes in each potato with a fork.
  • Microwave potatoes on HIGH until slightly softened to the touch, about 8 to 12 minutes, turning them over halfway through.
  • Rub each potato all over with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper (I like 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper divided among all 4 potatoes).
  • Transfer potatoes to preheated oven and bake directly on oven rack until tender when pierced with a small knife, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.

To bake potatoes traditionally (about 60 minutes):

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke a few holes in each potato with a fork.
  • Rub each potato all over with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper (I like 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper divided among all 4 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.

To assemble the twice-baked potatoes:

  • Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the inside of each potato into a bowl. Mash the potatoes until smooth.
  • Add sour cream, 1/2 cup cheese, milk, butter, 1/2 cup scallions, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper).
  • Spoon the potato mixture into the skins, mounding it high (I use a large OXO scoop, a size 20 portioner, and do 2 heaping scoops per potato). Divide the remaining cheese and scallions over the tops and garnish with bacon, pressing the toppings in.
  • Return potatoes to oven and bake until heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 383kcal
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  1. Commander S. Mohan

    Excellent recipe, clearly elucidated.
    Even as I read, my mouth is watering at the yummy fare I am going to dig into!
    Having tasted this dish when I lived in USA, (I am now back in India), I shall hurry to make this dish, and satisfy my palate.5 stars

  2. Ed

    Excellent recipe. Thank you!5 stars

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