Do you love restaurant-style baked potatoes with crispy, slightly salty skin outside and a moist feeling inside? Us too! It’s easy to achieve and today, we’re adding to this by making a simple baked potato into a meal.
What are the best potatoes for baking? To start, you need to choose the best type of potato. russet potatoes are the best for baking. They are a high-starch potato that bake into a light, moist texture.
What is the best way to bake a potato? If you love the restaurant-style, crispy skin baked potatoes, here’s how you get it. Wash and dry 4 large russet potatoes. Rub olive oil all over the outside of the potatoes, then rub kosher or sea salt on them. Be generous with both the oil and the salt. It’s what gives the potatoes that amazing flavor and makes you want to eat the skin.
Is it better to bake potatoes in foil? You will often see recipes for wrapping a potato in foil. My grandmother used to drive a long (clean) nail into her potatoes. I think the idea was to bring the heat to the center. Although this works, we don’t believe it is necessary. The potato actually gets “steamed” and the skin will not get crispy if it is baked wrapped in foil. For that reason, we say no foil is best!
Do I have to poke potatoes before baking? The purpose behind piercing a potato with a fork is to let the steam escape and prevent the potatoes from exploding while baking, so yes!
How Long do I Bake a Potato in the oven? I like to bake potatoes at 400 degrees. It generally takes a large russet potato about 45 minutes to become tender, but the exact timing will depend on how large the potato is. You can pierce them with a fork to ensure that the potato is soft inside. But it’s a bit easier to test with a thermometer. A perfect baked potato interior will be 210° F according to the Idaho Potato Commission.
What’s the Best Baked Potato Recipe? You’ll find that just below. Because of the flavor of the olive oil and salt, we’re just fine topping the baked potato with butter and a little bit of fresh parsley. If you’re looking for something a bit extra serve, them with sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives and bacon for the most delicious loaded baked potatoes. BUT if you want true comfort food, scoop them out and stuff them with deliciousness then pipe the potatoes back on top and bake for a few more minutes. Scroll down for the recipe.
Pro Tip: If you are fixing bacon as a topping, cook it in advance and rub bacon grease on the outside of the potato rather than oil. It’s amazing!
Baked Potato Topping Ideas:
Baked potato bars are a fun idea for a party. Here are some toppings ideas other than traditional cheese, sour cream and onions:
- Leftover Chili
- Pulled pork
- Broccoli and cheddar
- Pizza toppings
- Taco meat and cheese
- Avocado (Guacamole)
- Onion dip
- Cream Cheese
- Minced Garlic
Crispy Skinned Oven-Baked Potatoes
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Kosher or Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Wash and dry the potatoes.
- Pierce the potato 2-3 times with a fork (See notes above!)
- Rub oil all over the potatoes
- Rub salt all over the potatoes.
- Place the potatoes directly on the wire rack in your oven and bake for about 45 minutes. (I put a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drips from the potatoes or oil)
- The exact baking time will depend on how large the potatoes are. The potato should be tender inside, use a fork or thermometer to test for doneness.
- Serve with butter, cheese, chives, sour cream and all of your favorite toppings or continue on with the recipes below to make them even more amazing.
Shepherd’s Pie Meets Sloppy Joe Baked Potato
This recipe is a twist on a shepherd’s pie baked potato and a cheesy Sloppy Joe. Do I have your attention? You’ll simply scoop out the prepared baked potato and fill it with the cheesy sloppy Joe mixture and vegetables, then top with the whipped interior potatoes. This makes each potato its own meal. And, YES it makes for a great leftover lunch the next day.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix
- 4 oz. Velveeta Cheese (don’t judge)
- 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables.
- 4 baked russet potatoes (see recipe above)
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 Tbs butter
- After baking your potatoes (see recipe above), brown the ground beef in a sauté pan. Reduce heat to a simmer then add onion mix and two Tablespoons water, mix well.
- Add the cheese, stir until incorporated. Prepare mixed vegetables.
- Cut the top off each potato on the long side. Scoop out the interior potato.
- Divide vegetables into each of the potatoes, layer beef mixture on top.
- Mix the remaining potatoes with the sour cream and butter. Salt and pepper to taste.
- In a piping bag, pipe the remaining potato mixture onto each of the potatoes.
Hack: If you don’t have a piping bag, you can cut the corner off a large plastic bag or Ziplock. Fill it like a pastry bag. It won’t have the decorative ridges but it will work. OR simply dollop the potatoes onto the meat filling with a spoon. Place the potatoes, on a baking sheet, into the oven to broil until the tops are golden brown.
Create your own variations of this recipe.
- Try simply mixing bacon and cheese with the potatoes and serve with lettuce and tomato for a BLT potato.
- Try pulled pork in place of the beef mixture.
- Try Turkey and gravy then top with cranberry jelly