Crispy baked potato skins are loaded with cheddar cheese and bacon and then dressed with green onion, parsley and chives and served with sour cream. A classic appetizer, loaded potato skins are sure to bring smiles whenever you serve them!
Why you're going to love this!
- Crispy skins - this method produces the crispiest skins on the potatoes. No more soggy and soft potato skins!
- Crowd pleasing - loaded potato skins are a true classic and they are sure to please a crowd! Who doesn't love comforting potatoes loaded with cheese and bacon??
- Minimal effort - these potato skins take a bit of time to make, but most of that time is passive while the potatoes are cooking and there are only 3 simple steps of active work to get these made.
- Potatoes - Russet potatoes what we use here. Look for the smallest thinnest potatoes you can find for the nicest sized skins.
- Cheese - the classic is cheddar cheese, but you can use any of your favourite melty cheeses. Just be sure to shred your own - pre-shredded just doesn't melt as well.
- Bacon - I like to fry mine in slices and then cut into chunks.
- Olive oil - used to crisp up the skins after the potatoes have been baked and scooped. Can be substituted with any oil.
- Green onion, chives, parsley and sour cream - for a true 'loaded' potato skin flavour don't leave these out!
How to make it
- Heat your oven to 400ºF and then wash and dry your potatoes. Using a fork, pierce the skin of the potatoes several times all over then place in the oven directly on the rack. Bake for 40-60 minutes (depending on the size of your potatoes) then remove them from the oven and immediately slice them in half. Increase your oven temperature to 425ºF to be ready for the next step.
- When the potatoes have cooled enough so you can handle them use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the potatoes leaving about ¼" behind on the skin. Brush the insides of the skins with oil and then season generously with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place the skins on a rack set inside of a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the skins have crisped and begun to brown.
- When the skins have crisped remove them from the oven and pile on the cheese and bacon. Place the potatoes back into the oven and bake them for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly. Remove them from the oven and dress them with the chopped green onion, chives and parsley. Serve with sour cream.
Helpful hints & info
- Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork allows for steam to vent while they are cooking and after the potatoes are halved. These two steps are important in getting the crispiest skins on your potatoes.
- Placing the potato skins on the rack while they bake allows the air to circulate and the bottoms to crisp.
- Don't waste the insides of the potatoes that you scooped out! Save them and use them to make mashed potatoes.
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Crispy Loaded Potato Skins
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- 6 small russet potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 4-5 slices cooked bacon (sliced into small pieces or crumbled)
- 2 green onions (sliced)
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream
- minced parsley
- minced chives
Bake the potatoes
- Heat your oven to 400ºF.
- Wash the potatoes then prick them about 20 times all over before placing directly on the rack of a heated oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drippings.
- Bake for 40-60 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
Prepare and cook the skins
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and immediately cut them in half and place them on a wire cooling rack.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425ºF.
- When the potatoes have cooled to the touch use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the potato leaving about ¼ inch of it behind on the skin.
- Brush the tops of the potato skins with olive oil then season them well with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and place the rack with potatoes inside of the oven.
- Bake the skins for about 20 minutes, or until the the edges of the skins are golden and browned.
Load, bake again and serve
- Remove the tray from the oven and spread out the shredded cheddar cheese and bacon pieces across the baked potato skins.
- Place them back in the oven for about 5 minutes until the cheese has melted.
- Sprinkle the potato skins with diced green onion, minced parlsey and minced chives and serve with sour cream.