Stuffed Potatoes Loaded with Flavor.
The first official side dish of my new “date night series” has to be a potato, of course. But these are no ordinary potatoes. THESE … these are loaded twice baked potatoes. 🙂 Full of cheese, sour cream, chives, and flavor!
This recipe is made for two people, hence the whole date-night-in thing. It requires an extra large russet potato (mine are usually between 3/4 lb. – 1 lb.), and most of the usual suspects for a “loaded potato”. I’m talking butter, sour cream, green onion, sharp cheddar cheese, seasoned salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Bacon is another usual suspect, but I didn’t include it in my original recipe. But if you’re a big bacon, there’s the option to add some in this recipe!
Ingredients for Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes in the Oven:
- One large Russet Potato
- Oil (IF you’re baking these in the oven – use either vegetable or canola)
- Kosher Salt (I always recommend Diamond kosher!)
- Unsalted Butter
- Seasoned Salt (Lawry’s is hands-down my favorite)
- Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- Sour Cream (you can use full-fat, low-fat, or Greek Yogurt as a substitute)
- Green Onion (the pop of brightness to balance it all out!)
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I recommend buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese has an anti-clumping agent that prevents the cheese from melting as easily.)
- Crispy Bacon
If you’re grilling steak for date night, these are a perfect side dish. They’re also delicious with grilled pork chops, grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, maybe even some more carbs … just about anything.
Can I Bake these Twice Baked Potatoes in the Microwave?
Absolutely yes, but only when baking the plain potato before cutting it in half. Be sure to prick the potato all over with a fork before microwaving it, so it can release steam.
Most microwaves have the “potato” button on them, which is ideal for baking one big potato. If you don’t have that button, I recommend microwaving the potato for three minutes, carefully flipping it over, and microwaving another three minutes. The inside should easily scoop out and be fluffy.
To reheat the potato and melt the cheese, I do recommend using the oven. But you could also do this in the microwave in 30 second increments per potato until it’s as hot as you like!
How do I make a Twice Baked Potato?
A twice baked potato is basically a baked potato. The difference is the potato is hollowed out, then mixed with all of your favorite loaded baked potato toppings! Here’s a step-by-step process:
Bake the potato. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Wash the potato, then prick it with a fork. Coat the potato in oil, then sprinkle salt all over it. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for an hour (until tender). Alternatively, you can wash the potato, prick it with a fork, and microwave it on the “potato” setting, or about three minutes per side.
Cut the potato in half lengthwise to create two halves for filling with the loaded potato mix. Scoop out all of the potato, leaving a small edge next to the skin intact.
Mix the scooped potato with your favorite toppings. For a loaded potato, that would be butter, sour cream, seasoned salt, pepper, shredded cheese, green onion, and crispy bacon (if using). I always taste and add a pinch of salt if needed. Potatoes and salt are a magical combination!
Divide the loaded potato mixture between the two hollowed out potato halves. Gently pack each potato half full of the loaded mixture, creating a mound in each potato skin.
Bake again to re-heat and melt the cheese. Pop your twice baked potatoes back in the oven for about 10 minutes (this time at 350) to reheat them and melt the cheese. You could also keep them warm in the oven at about 200 F.
Since these loaded twice baked potatoes are so gigantic, you could easily just make a meal out of one, too! Plus there’s instant leftovers if you’re just making this recipe for yourself, but just eating one. :)
Recipes to eat with Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes:
- The Best Caesar Salad (if you’re going no-meat … there is so. much. flavor.)
- Italian Pot Roast
- Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- Any grilled protein, such as pork chops, chicken breast, or steak!
Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes for Two
- 1 large russet potato about 3/4 - 1 lb.
- 2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil*
- 2 strips Thick Cut Bacon
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt**
- 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tbsp. chopped green onion
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp. Whole Milk or heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Wash the potato, then coat it in the oil. Place on a small rimmed baking sheet, and bake for one hour.*
- Line a separate small rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lay the bacon strips onto the foil, leaving space between them. Pop the bacon into the oven when the potatoes have about 15 minutes remaining, and cook it at 400 F for 15-18 minutes until browned and crispy.
- After an hour of baking, remove the potato from the oven and gently pierce it with a knife to make sure it is completely cooked through and tender. Carefully transfer the baked potato to a cutting board, and turn the oven down to 350 F. Allow the potato to cool for a few minutes before handling.
- Transfer the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, and allow it to cool. Chop it into small pieces once it's cool enough to handle.
- Cut the butter into small cubes, and place the cubes into a large bowl.
- Cut the potato in half lengthwise.
- Carefully scoop out the insides of the potatoes, leaving the skins intact. (It helps to leave about 1/2" of potato around the edges so they don't tear apart.) Place the scooped out potato directly into the bowl with the butter. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, and mix to combine until the butter is melted.
- Stir in the green onions and sour cream.
- Stir in the cheese, chopped bacon, and whole milk. Taste, and season with more salt or pepper if desired.
- Divide the potato mixture between the hollowed potato halves, then pop them back in the oven. Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes until hot. Enjoy!