Twice Baked Potatoes
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 major flavor in every bite.
- 4 medium russet potatoes scrubbed and dried (about 2 pounds, see note 1)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (see note 2)
- 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, see note 3)
- 8 slices cooked bacon crumbled
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.
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 longer.
- Potatoes: Starchier potatoes like Russets have sturdy skins and are great for mashing, ideal qualities for making twice-baked spuds. By the way, one potato makes two servings, since they’re sliced in half.
- Olive oil: Rub it on the skin before baking (and sprinkle with salt and pepper) and you might find yourself eating the crispy outside of the potato, too!
- Scallions: Or substitute chives, dill, or your other favorite herbs.
- Quicker in the microwave: Reduce your baking time in half, from about 60 minutes to 30. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 450 degrees. Poke a few holes in each potato with a fork or skewer, so they don’t explode in the microwave. 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. Rub them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake directly on the oven rack for 20 minutes or so. Cool at least 10 minutes before cutting in half to scoop.
- Fancy fillings: Use a piping bag, a scoop, or size 20 portioner to fill your potatoes. Some cooks recommend filling a zip-top bag with the filling and cutting off the corner to make an impromptu piping bag.
- Make ahead: 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.
- Freezer: Wrap stuffed potatoes individually in aluminum foil and pop them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just make sure the potato has completely cooled before wrapping in foil, otherwise you risk food-borne illness. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking in a 450-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Leftovers: For best results, reheat leftovers in a 350-degree oven until heated through (at least 140 degrees at the center). Brush the potatoes with melted butter to boost their moisture.
- Appetizers: Make a miniature version with mini twice-baked potato skins.
- More flavors: Instead of bacon and scallions, try leftover chicken, corn, and roasted peppers. Keep the cheese, please!
- Food safety: Similar to cooked rice, warm cooked potatoes are breeding grounds for bad bacteria.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. 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.
Serving: 0.5potato | Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 567mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 629IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 1mg