One of the best side dishes – it goes with everything – is Twice Baked Potatoes. The fluffy interior of the baked potato is mixed with sour cream, bacon, butter, and cheese, then baked a second time.
We serve these as a side dish for dinner all the time. I’ll admit, I’m somewhat addicted to potatoes – especially crispy roast potatoes and smashed potatoes – but it’s incredibly hard to resist these twice baked potatoes.
While they do take time to make because the potato has to be pre-cooked for an hour, they can be frozen before the second bake, and there’s nothing easier than getting one out of the freezer and baking it whenever you want.
Another great thing is that you can add in whatever ingredients you want to make different variations. I suggest trying them the original way first, then you can get as creative as you want.
I hear a lot of people say they mix cream cheese into the potato filling to make it a bit creamier. Lots of people add shredded chicken or black beans, or even crab meat to make it into a meal.
Why Are They Called Twice Baked Potatoes?
The answer is simple. These potatoes are cooked twice. First they are baked until the interior is cooked through. Then the flesh is scooped out, mixed with additional ingredients, like sour cream and butter, then it’s scooped back into the potato skins and baked a second time.
Can They Be Prepared Ahead?
You can partially prepare this recipe a day or two ahead of time. Get them all ready to bake a second time and then you can cover with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to finish them with the second bake.
If you go this route, you’ll need to increase the second baking time to 30 minutes, since they’ll be cold.
Can You Freeze Twice Baked Potatoes?
You can freeze the potato halves before the second baking. At this stage, they are already cooked, but will need to be reheated through before serving.
The great thing about freezing them is that most of the work is already done and you can just get one out of the freezer and cook it whenever you want.
It will take around 45 minutes to 1 hour to bake from frozen at 400 degrees F. I recommend baking for 30 minutes, then adding the shredded cheese on top, so it doesn’t get burned.
How to Not Break the Skin
The skin of potatoes can be very thin. You don’t want to break into it when you’re scooping out the flesh. There are three ways to avoid this.
- Buy baking potatoes that have a thicker skin.
- Use a spoon to carefully carve out the flesh. Don’t use a knife or fork that might pierce or break the skin.
- Don’t scoop out so much of the flesh. We recommend leaving a 1/4″ shell around the outside to act as a boat for the filling.
How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rub the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I think this step makes the entire potato appealing to eat.
Set the potatoes on a baking tray and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. You can turn them over halfway through to ensure even cooking. They’re done when a knife can be inserted through the potato without resistance.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon and crumble it.
When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 5-10 minutes. It’s best if the flesh is not hot when you add the other ingredients to it.
Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, up to 1/4″ from the skin.
Place the scooped out insides into a mixing bowl. Add the crumbled bacon, sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper, plus half the shredded cheese. Stir well to combine. You can mix this by hand or with a hand mixer.
Scoop the mixture back into the potato shells. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Garnish with green onions and serve.
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Twice Baked Potatoes
- 2 large baking potatoes
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 2 green onions sliced, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rub potatoes with olive oil. Set on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon and crumble it.
- When the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the potato up to 1/4″ from the skin.
- Place the scooped out insides into a mixing bowl. Add the crumbled bacon, sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper, plus half the shredded cheese. Stir well to combine. You can mix this by hand or with a hand mixer.
- Scoop the mixture back into the potato shells. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Garnish with green onions and serve.