Loaded potato skins are kind of the perfect party food. They’re inexpensive to make, they’re full of flavor, and they’re topped with ALL our favorite things. (We’re talkin’ bacon, sour cream, and lots of cheese.) We’ve got them in our party app rotation, and we think you should too!
So, what exactly qualifies as “loaded”?
Well, in our kitchen at least, if it’s topped with cheddar, sour cream, bacon, and scallions (or chives), it’s loaded. Examples include (but are CERTAINLY not limited to): loaded mashed potatoes, loaded pickle chips, and loaded zucchini skins.
Can I make potato skins in advance?
At least in part, yes! You can boil the potatoes and scoop them out up to 2 days in advance. Then, when you cook your bacon day-of, you can brush the bacon fat all over and crisp the potatoes up in the oven. You can even shred the cheese in advance! Everything else should be left until day-of for optimized freshness.
What do I do with the scooped-out part of the potato?
Well, maybe this is too obvious, but you could make mashed potatoes! If you want to get more creative, you could make these fried mashed potato balls—they also make great party apps!
“I’m actually just going to order a couple of appetizers instead of an entrée, but can they come out when everybody else’s food does, please?” Raise your hand if you’ve done that. I’m excited for you to dig deeper into my TGI Fridays Potato skins recipe.
TGI Friday’s Potato Skins Recipe
If only every day allowed me to have these copycat TGI Fridays potato skins then I’d be a happy lady. It’s almost impossible to stay away from ordering this recipe.
4 small russet potatoes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of melted butter
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup fried bacon, crumbled
Salt and pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 chopped green onion
- Bake the potatoes:
- Preheat your oven to 425
- Scrub the potatoes thoroughly, and allow them to dry
- Pierce each potato 4-5 time with a fork
- Rub potatoes with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste
- Bake on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper for 1 hour
- Allow the potatoes to cool
- When potatoes are cooled:
- Set your oven to 375.
- Cut each potato in half lengthwise.
- Using a spoon, gently scoop out most (but not all) of the white inside from each potato. You should aim to leave about 1/4 inch in each skin. The rest of the scooped-out potato can be set aside and used for another dish.
- Melt the butter and brush the insides of the potato skins. Bake them hollow-side down for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes, brush the outside of the skins with butter, and gently turn them over (hollow-side up). Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the skin gets crispy and the edges start to brown.
- Sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the potato skins and return then to the oven for a few minutes until melted and bubbling.
- Serve with sour cream and green onion!
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Isn’t that easy? Aren’t they amazing?
Tips & Tricks
Russet potatoes really are best. Smaller or thinner-skinned potatoes won’t keep their shape.
Grating the mozzarella and cheddar yourself is a tiny bit more time consuming, but it’s better. The pre-packaged shredded cheese is fine, but more expensive and not quite as flavorful. It’s also sometimes coated with additives to keep it from sticking, which means it won’t melt as easily.
Be a little careful when you’re scooping out the potato. That quarter-inch you’re leaving is load-bearing potato, and your little boat won’t hold together very well without it.
You’ll naturally end up with some scooped-out baked potato insides. There are plenty of uses for that, of course, and nobody sane would throw away perfectly good potato. But its best to have a plan in mind for how you want to use it. Few people are going to complain if you serve two potato dishes, but if you’d like to use the extra for another meal, it will keep just fine in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.
If you’re using larger potatoes, cut out a middle section (slicing potatoes into thirds) and save the middle with the rest of the scooped-out potato for another use; this is to keep the potato skins from being too deep.
Microwave shortcut: to cut down on cooking time, you can replace the initial bake with the microwave. Cooking times will vary based on microwave strength and potato size; you will probably want to cook them for at least 8-10 minutes. Stop every few minutes to turn the potatoes over and test for softness. Then allow them to cool, and scoop, fill and bake according to the recipe.
You can also assemble them in advance. After crisping the potato skins top and bottom, allow them to cool before adding the cheese and bacon. Refrigerate, and then pop them in the oven when you’re ready to serve.
This recipe is a lot of fun to play around with. Leave out the bacon for the vegetarians, amp up the cheese for the cheese lovers. This isn’t a “don’t mess with perfection” situation. It’s “mess with perfection all you want, it will just become a different kind of perfection.”
Spicy Tex-Mex potato skins: pile the skins with pepper jack and jalapenos, and serve with salsa
Pizza potato skins: fill the potato skins with mozzarella and chopped up pepperoni, and serve with marinara to dip in
Roasted garlic potato skins: about halfway through the initial potato-baking, throw a few whole heads of garlic into a shallow dish; trimmed, drizzled with olive oil, and bundled upright in foil. Roast them until the garlic is soft, spreadable and fragrant. Fill the potato skins with garlic, mozzarella, and parmesan and bake.
Or if you want to go the extra mile and really mimic TGI Fridays Potato Skins, the restaurant serves their potato skins with a ranch-flavored sour cream on the side. Simply use a powdered ranch salad seasoning mix, and mix into the sour cream a little bit at a time, tasting as you go, until you’re happy with the flavor.
Learn how to make the best crispy Loaded Potato Skins! Quick and easy for a crowd-pleasing appetizer or a comforting side dish!
I’m a sucker for a great baked potato. Whether it’s twice baked potatoes, crock pot baked potatoes, or potatoes skins you can sign me up! Making potato skins is easy, straight-forward, and hard to mess up. However, some essential tips can take this recipe from ordinary to extraordinary. Learn how to make crispy Loaded Potato Skins with cheese and bacon using these secret weapon hacks!
LOADED POTATO SKINS
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Is potato skins good for you?
The skin of a potato contains no fat, cholesterol, or sodium. It holds more nutrients and fiber than the interior, so enjoy them for some added health benefits!
Half the fiber in a potato is in its skin. Fiber helps keep you satiated longer, prevents blood sugar slumps, and reduces the risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Potato skin also provides healthy nutrients, such as potassium and vitamin B, C, and calcium. These help lower blood pressure, prevent water retention, and boost immunity.
How to Make Healthy Potato Skins
Usually, this recipe is comforting and delicious loaded up crispy bacon, melty cheese, and creamy sour cream. It’s perfectly fine to indulge, but I like to use these tips to streamline calories.
- Reduce the amount of cheese or substitute reduced-fat cheese.
- Substitute turkey bacon, chopped ham, or cut back on the amount of bacon.
- Use light sour cream or greek yogurt as a topping
- Instead of cheese and bacon, top your skins with black beans, corn, salsa, and cilantro
Potato Skins don’t have to be enjoyed solely as an appetizer. Enjoy them as a comforting side dish with some of these yummy meals.
How to Make Potato Skins
- Cook potatoes until fork tender. (See tip in the recipe below for how to cut down cooking time!)
- Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh.
- Brush inside and outside of potato skins with oil and season generously with salt.
- Place skins on baking sheet and bake for 16 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Load skins with cheese and bacon. Bake for 5 additional minutes.
Make Head Potato Skins
- Prepare the recipe in its entirety except for the last step of melting cheese in the oven. Place cooled, covered prepared skins in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
If you love this recipe, you’ll love these other easy appetizer ideas!
Tools used to make this Loaded Potato Skins recipe
Baking Sheet: A nice big baking sheet is a must-have for any kitchen. This half pan sheet is large than a regular cookie and works great for anything you’re baking.
Pastry Brush: I keep a few of these brushes on hand. They’re great for glazing, layering on butter and oils, and basting while cooking!
Alcohol can be made from potato skins, molasses and yeast, using fermentation. This process does not require a still. It is not as potent as distilled alcohol, nor does it taste as good, but it is simple to do. This mixture is called a wash. The maker of the alcohol may need to experiment with different measurements to get the process right; as slight variations can distort the process. For example; fresh versus dry potato skins can alter the formula.
Prepare a 4-liter bucket. Clean the bucket with soap and water.
Fill the bucket with 2 liters of a liquid. Water works best, but different types of juices also work. The water or other liquid should not spoil if left out. For example; milk is a bad choice.
Add 1 lb. of potato skins to the bucket.
Add 1/2 lb. of molasses to the bucket.
Add 1/4 lb. of yeast to the bucket.
Mix with a large spoon.
Place a lid on the bucket. The lid may pop off during fermentation. This is fine; let it be.
Place the bucket in a cool, dry place.
Wait seven days, then check on the bucket. The potato skins should be gone. If they are not, wait some more until the yeast has eaten the potato skins.
Wait for the alcohol to kill the yeast. Once the potato skins are gone, the alcohol concentration will rise. Eventually it kills the yeast and the yeast is gone. The mixture is ready.
One of my favorite appetizers or snacks is potato skins! Getting the perfect potato skin shell can be tricky, but I came up with this method and recipe to give you the perfect potato skin shell for any filling that you would like! Learn How to Make Potato Skin Shells for your party, home-gating party, or game day!
The trick to a perfect potato skin shell is not having a shell that is too soft and making sure that it is seasoned perfectly. I commonly see people bake the potato first, then scoop out the middle. I found that this method takes much longer, the shell is too soft, and it is difficult to get the perfect shell shape. So I prefer this method for the perfect potato skin!
Now that I make these, they are a regular request at any type of event, party, or gathering, regardless of the toppings.
I am pretty obsessed with potato anything, so finding this perfect way to make a potato skin is a little dangerous! I love to make new ideas of filling flavors, especially when we are watching football or another sport. They are a classic food to have for game day. You can find some of our favorite fillings below, but fill these skins up with anything you love! Once you know How to Make Potato Skin Shells, the fillings are endless.
There is no denying the fact that everybody loves potato. Be it a child, a grandparent or an adult, no person can say no to potato and maybe that’s why it is named as the ‘King of vegetables’. Here is an interesting potato recipe that you must try for your family and friends on occasions like kitty party, game night, and even pot luck. Potato Skins is a delicious appetizer recipe where hollow potatoes are stuffed with a filling prepared with cheddar cheese, bacon and sour cream. Try this easy recipe and enjoy with your loved ones!
Ingredients of Potato Skins
- 12 potato
- 450 gm cheese-cheddar
- 450 gm sour cream
- 2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup bacon
How to make Potato Skins
To prepare this yummy potato recipe, pre-heat the oven at 190 degree Celsius. Take some oil and grease the baking pan and prick a fork in the potatoes so as to pierce them. Place them in the pre-heated oven to cook them on high speed for about 10 minutes and till they are soft.
Halve the potatoes vertically and scoop them till only 1/4 of of the potato shells remains. In a sauce pan, pour the vegetable oil and let it heat on medium flame. Once heated properly, fry the potatoes till golden brown. And then drain them on paper towels.
Carefully, add the cheese and bacon bits in the potatoes shells. And place them in the baking tray to cook for 8 minutes at 180 degree Celsius. Your Potato Skins are ready, enjoy!
Here’s how to make the ultimate appetizer even better.
You’ve never seen potato skins quite like this before.
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These cheesy bites taste just like potato skins, but they’re SO much easier.