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This recipe was originally published on October 26, 2018.
Craving potatoes, but not sure what to make? Try this game day recipe and learn how to make loaded potato skins. It’s a classic your family and friends will love!
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How do you clean potato skins?
- Rinse potatoes with cold running water.
- Scrub with a vegetable brush.
- Rinse again to get all the dirt off.
- Pat dry with a clean towel.
What potatoes are best for potato skins?
Russets potatoes work the best. Use medium-sized potatoes for appetizer sized potato skins. If you want your potato skins for a main course, buy the jumbo size potatoes.
How do you scoop out the potatoes for potato skins?
- Allow the baked potato to cool.
- Cut it in half horizontally.
- Scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
- Reserve the flesh for another recipe.
- Leave 1/4 inch of potato on the skin to give it stability.
How do I make crispy potato skins?
- Brush the insides and outsides of the potato skins with olive oil, melted butter, or melted bacon fat.
- Bake skin side down at 425 F for 20 minutes. Smaller potatoes may not need the full 20 minutes.
- Turn the potatoes skin side up and bake for another 20 minutes.
Can potato skins be made in advance?
Yes, part of it can be made in advance. The potatoes can be baked and the flesh can be scooped out. The taco meat can also be made ahead of time. Each of these can be refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.
Are potato skins good for you?
The baked potato skins by themselves are very healthy for you. Potato skins are high in fiber, potassium and are low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. If you want to keep these healthy, you’ll have to limit what toppings you choose to put on top of them. Sprinkle on seasonings, and add fresh chopped veggies like green onions and tomatoes for the healthiest potato skins.
What can I serve with loaded potato skins?
If you are planning on serving this for a meal, some other tasty side dishes would be caramelized onions or roasted broccoli. If you are planning on serving this as a game day appetizer, serve it with other finger food appetizers like spinach dip, buffalo chicken dip, or jalapeño poppers.
Fun Toppings to Try
- Classic: bacon, cheddar, chives, and sour cream
- Mexican: taco meat, pepper jack cheese, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice
- Pulled Pork: shredded pulled pork and BBQ sauce topped with red onions and coleslaw
- Sloppy Joe: sloppy joe meat, cheddar cheese, and green onion
- Jalapeño Popper: jalapeño popper filling (cream cheese, grated cheddar, and hot sauce) with bacon, sour cream, and jalapeños
Can I freeze potato skins?
Yes, it’s best to freeze the potato skins before they are crisped in the oven or have toppings on them. Once the baked potatoes have the flesh scooped out, place the potato skins on a baking tray and flash freeze for an hour. Remove them from the freezer, stack them, and freeze.
When ready to use, brush the frozen potato skins with oil and bake for 25 minutes each side at 425 F to get them crispy.
How to Make Loaded Potato Skins
Gather all the ingredients. Cook hamburger and simmer it with the taco seasoning, chop the red onion, grate the cheese, wedge the lime, and slice the jalapeno.
Wash and scrub the jumbo sized potatoes, then pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Rub the cleaned potatoes with olive oil.
Once the potatoes are cleaned, prick them all over with a fork.
Bake them in a 425 F for one hour or until soft when pricked with a fork or squeezed.
Allow the potatoes to cool, then slice in half lengthwise. Use a knife to draw an oval.
Use this line as your guide. Scoop out the extra flesh with a spoon.
Place the 12 potato skins on a foil-lined baking tray. Brush the insides with olive oil.
Turn the potato skins over and brush with more olive oil. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes to crisp up the outside.
Sprinkle on the spices: salt, black pepper, cumin. Bake for another 20 minutes at 425 F to crisp up the inside.
Sprinkle on 1/2 the grated pepper jack and place back in a 425 F oven for 4 minutes to melt the cheese. If you want to have classic potato skins, you can stop here and add the toppings of your choice.
If you want to have loaded potato skins with a Mexican flair, pile on the taco meat and squeeze one lime wedge per potato skin.
Add the chopped red onion and the rest of the grated pepper jack cheese. Place back in the oven for 3 minutes.
Drizzle with guacamole salsa, add a dollop of sour cream, and a few jalapeño pepper coins.
Serve warm with a lime wedge. Ask guests to squeeze the fresh lime juice on their loaded potato skin just before eating.
- Use potatoes that are similar in size so they cook at the same rate.
- Use olive oil or bacon fat to make the potato skins crispier when baked.
- Try drizzling sauces like sriracha mayo, homemade ranch dressing, salsa, guacamole, or marinara on the potato skins.
- For non-loaded potato skins, don’t put on the taco meat. Use bacon, sour cream, or green onions instead.
- Short on time? Prick the potatoes and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes. Slice, scoop, and crisp up in the oven.
- Don’t throw out the potato flesh. Use it for mashed potatoes or potato soup.
- Cook the potatoes and taco meat ahead, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat the potatoes on a baking tray at 425 F, microwave the taco meat, and add the rest of the toppings.
- Need this for two? Freeze extra baked potatoes and taco meat for another time.
- Need this vegan? Use green onions and vegan cheddar, bacon bits, and sour cream.
- Need this vegetarian? Replace the taco meat with refried beans or black beans.
Our Favorite Kitchen Tools for This Recipe
- Wilton Cookie Sheets: these trays bake evenly and clean up easily.
- Aluminum Foil: make cleanup quick with this sturdy aluminum foil.
- Taco Seasoning: this McCormick seasoning will add lots of flavor to your taco meat.
- Guacamole Salsa: this authentic Mexican condiment tastes delicious on these potato skins.
Be the star of your football party with these other delicious appetizers.
- Buffalo Chicken Dip for a Crowd: this creamy dip can be made in the crock pot or the oven.
- Easy Baked Jalapeño Poppers: this 5-ingredient cheesy vegetarian snack is sure to be a hit.
- Cheesy Pepperoni Garbage Bread: this soft pizza dough is full of gooey cheese and pepperoni!
The pleasure of a 5 star review for our loaded potato skins recipe would be greatly appreciated.Print
Loaded potato skins is an easy appetizer recipe to make ahead for your next football party. These russet potatoes are baked to perfection, then packed with taco meat, pepper jack cheese, red onions, jalapeños, and sour cream. Make this for a crowd or scale it down for two. This wonderful snack is great for kids too!
For the Potato Skins
- 6 jumbo russet potatoes
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
For the Toppings
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a heavy baking tray or roasting pan with aluminum foil.
- Scrub the potatoes with a vegetable brush under running water. Dry each potato with a clean towel.
- Use your hands to coat the potato skins with one tablespoon of olive oil. Bake the potatoes on the tray for 60 minutes.
- Let the potatoes cool on a wire rack until they are cool enough to handle–roughly 20 minutes. Then, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a spoon carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving a quarter inch border all around. Use the cooked flesh from the potato for another recipe like these mashed potatoes.
- Place the potatoes back on the baking tray. Brush the insides and outsides with oil and sprinkle the outside with salt. Place flesh side down on the tray and bake for 20 minutes at 425 F to get the outsides crispy, then flip them over with a pair of tongs. Sprinkle the insides with salt, pepper, and cumin, then bake for another 20 minutes. If you want them extra crispy, bake them longer.
- Remove from the oven, then sprinkle the insides of the potato skins with half of the grated pepper jack cheese. Place back in the oven for 4 minutes to melt the cheese.
- To make the taco meat, cook the hamburger in a large skillet until all the pink is gone. Drain the fat off the hamburger. Sprinkle on 1/2 cup of taco seasoning and a bit of water to make it moist. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Divide the taco meat equally among the potato skins. Squeeze the juice of one lime wedge onto each potato. Sprinkle on the chopped red onion, and then put on the rest of the grated pepper jack cheese. Place back in the oven for 3 more minutes to melt the cheese.
- Top with a drizzle of guacamole salsa, sour cream, and fresh jalapeno pepper coins.
- Serve immediately with a fresh wedge of lime for the guests to squeeze on their loaded potato skin.
- Make this recipe perfectly the first time. Check out the step-by-step photos and pro tips before the recipe card.
- The pleasure of a 5-star review for these loaded potato skins would be greatly appreciated.
- 👩🏻🍳 Want to see our latest recipes? Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: potato skins, loaded potato skins