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person holding a loaded potato skin

Loaded Potato Skins

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 potato skins 1x


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

  • 2 1/4 pounds ground beef, 80% lean (1.02kg)
  • 1/2 cup taco seasoning (72g)
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated (225g)
  • 1 cup sour cream (261g)
  • 1 cup guacamole salsa, mild (248g)
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, cut into coins
  • 3 limes, cut into wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line a heavy baking tray or roasting pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Scrub the potatoes with a vegetable brush under running water.  Dry each potato with a clean towel.
  3. Use your hands to coat the potato skins with one tablespoon of olive oil.  Bake the potatoes on the tray for 60 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Top with a drizzle of guacamole salsa, sour cream, and fresh jalapeno pepper coins.
  10. Serve immediately with a fresh wedge of lime for the guests to squeeze on their loaded potato skin.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Need this for two?  Freeze extra baked potatoes and taco meat for another time.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: potato skins, loaded potato skins