How to make loaded potato skins
Appetizers,  Bacon,  Cheese,  Delicious,  Kids,  Nueske's,  Potato Skins,  Sides,  Snack

Loaded Potato Skins

Back when I was growing up in middle and high school, there was an appetizer that I really loved. Potato skins. I believe my experience started with my parents ordering these at the restaurant chain. My parents were the type of couple who liked to figure out how to make dishes that were great in a restaurant, but make them better in their kitchen. They were not hacks by any means, after all, there was no Internet back in their time, however they took the time to think of the textures, and flavors, and make them something special at the kitchen table, any day of the week. Super simple to make, these loaded potato skins will not only satisfy all areas of your comfort zone, but they leave you feeling a little guilty, and may make you want to go on a brisk jog the following day.

Loaded Potato Skins Recipe

Ingredients: [Print this Recipe]

  • 6 small to medium sized russet potatoes, rinsed clean
  • 8 oz of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, or grate your own
  • 8 slices of smoked, thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp sour cream, optional
  • 2 tbsp of chopped chives, optional
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Poke the top of each potato with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. Once cooked, remove from the baking sheet, and place on a plate to let cool for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, if you are a fan of sour cream, which I am, add the sour cream to a small bowl, toss in half of the chives, mix, and let this sit in the refrigerator until ready to serve.How to make loaded potato skins

Cook your bacon, low and slow on the stove, for about 15-20 minutes. The low and slow process, in my opinion, is the only way to cook bacon as it really yields perfect bacon every time. Remove the bacon and let any additional fat drain on some paper towel, before you crumble it down.

Once your potatoes are cooled, use a sharp bread knife and you will cut lengthwise, into three segments of one potato, long slices. So each potato will yield two skins, right? Discard the middle slice and reuse for breakfast the following morning, or heck for that matter, add some butter, salt, and cream, and make some rustic mashed potatoes.

Loaded Potato Skins with cheese and bacon
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Continue this cutting process with the rest of the potatoes. You should then have 12 skins. With a small spoon, being careful, scoop out about 70 percent of the potato, as you still want some potato in your boat.

Next, melt your butter in the microwave. Get your broiler heated to high. Brush the butter on the inside and outside of each potato skin and place them back onto the baking sheet. Season the inside of each skin with salt and pepper.

Place them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes until the insides get a bit crispy from the melted butter. Remove, and place generous amounts of cheddar cheese into each skin, topping with bacon pieces. Place these back under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes until the cheese is nice and bubbly. Carefully remove from the oven, and get ready.

I am glad that my kids did not see my facial expression when I took them out. They were perfect, and as my wife saw my face, we looked at one another with complete excitement. As when I was younger, I still had the level of impatience and quickly plated them, adding the additional chives over the top of the skins. My wife ate hers straight up, but I put a dallop of the sour cream and chive mixture on top of mine.

These skins were spot on, and something that will be on my table when I have guests over in the future. Enjoy.


  • lo (Burp! Where Food Happens)

    My favorite part of the potato skin is the excruciatingly crisp skin on those potatoes. And it looks to me like you’ve mastered that.

    Srsly. What’s better than potatoes and bacon?

  • Danny

    “… will cut lengthwise, into three segments of one potato, long slices. So each potato will yield two skins, right?”

    Three segments? One potato? I don’t get it! I’d just cut each potato in half lengthwise….

  • daxphillips

    I liked removing the mid section out so you do not have such a big potato boat. Granted, you can slice them in half, you just have a lot more cheese to fill in there, which might not be such a bad thing either. 🙂

  • Curtis Larraux

    Bacon, bacon, bacon, once you make sweet n spicy bacon slow cooked at 350 degrees on broiler pan 20 min. on one side, flip em over (1pnd)and sprinkle 2TBS brown sugar,1/4-1/2tsp or more of ea.cayenne pepper and reg. pepper back in oven for another 25 min. O my god

  • Dave

    I just scoop most of the potato out of each half and save for mashed potatoes or soup rather than do the three slice method. This lowers the carb count and makes more room for BACON, cheese, and sour cream!

  • Ambrosia

    I just made these. I used the bacon grease instead of the butter to broil the skins. Just wonder – thanks so much for posting!

  • meremerepie

    Hubby and I made these for a party we had last night…they were v. good…they were even better reheated for just the two of us tonight 🙂 Thanks for the tips!!!

  • aDORKable

    YUMMMY! I make these at least once a week… hubby and I
    will need more than a jog to work off what we’ve worked on eating
    these, but oh my are they worth the pounds! I scrub my potatoes
    with a sponge (get’s it cleaner), also I cut them in half and scoop
    out 70% (fill w/ more cheese). The leftover potato we use to make
    Causa (Peruvian side dish). Thank you for posting this, it’s
    actually a healthier alternative to the deep fried ones you’d get
    (and pay more for) elsewhere. Also solves what to do with those
    extra potatoes left in the sack… let’s not waste ppl, make some
    Potato Skins!

  • Neil Gwillim

    I live in the U.K., what is 1/2 a stick of butter in weight ? Apart from that they look awesome and will be having next week at my mates for a guitar jamming session snack.

  • Bitchin' Amy

    These look awesome. And for Neil, above, the weight of 1/2 stick of butter (4 tbsp) is: 56 grams. The fat content of Euro butter is higher than in the US, though, so you could use a bit less.

  • Sharon

    This is my fav appetizer at a local restaurant .. they do not split the potato into boats but cut them into wedges and pile the ingredients ontop before placing back into the broiler. I put green pepper and tomato diced ontop as well after it comes out of the oven. Always served with sour cream. It is very filling. One time I ordered them at another restaurant and I did get the potato boats.. 2 and a half small potatos split and made into 5 ‘boats’ with a bit of cheese, bacon and green sprigs of something.. took me 2 min to eat it all and they charged me $14.00 I was not impressed. I would prefer the wedge type of skins.

  • Lady P

    Making them right now!!!
    Unfortunately I have NO SOUR CREAM!
    But i bet they will be amazing regardless 🙂

    Thanks for the Recipe!

  • mikki

    I just stumbled across your recipe, and I already scrubbed my potatoes and am waiting for my hubby to come back fom the store with some bacon 🙂 We are really excited to have these with out fondu tonight!

  • Fiona

    I just finished eating them with my husband, I have never made potatoe skins before and had been craving them. They were absolutely delicious. The skins came out perfect. I will save this recipe and no doubt make it many times! Thanks for the recipe

  • musicowls

    Our variation on what to stuff into the skins: cook up some ground turkey breakfast sausage, mix 1 packet of ranch dressing powder with 8 oz of soft creme cheese, mix in the turkey, heat on low to meld the flavors. spoon this into the crisped potato boat (after the butter/ broil step) top with cheddar shreds (or a cheese of your choice), & rebroil until cheese melts. Serve sour creme on side, top with cooked bacon if you like. OMG they ROCK!!!

  • Shelly

    This recipe is absolutely wonderful. These potato skins are better than any that I have ordered at a restaurant and I’ve ordered many. Great job, a new recipe for Sunday Football!!

  • Theresa A @

    I am dying to try these!! Food for thought – if you don’t have sour cream, can use ranch dressing!!! Yay!! 🙂

  • Melissa

    Oh my goodness these are the bomb! They came out perfect and even better than ones you get at a restaurant! They are really good with a little green onion on top and we dipped them in ranch dressing. My husband looooved them! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!

  • Peter D Reid

    It is time to bring back this 80s era comfort food.
    I make them all the time- and modify with whatever I have in my fridge.
    Thanks for this basic recipe- I used it to explain to a teenager what they were – true story!

  • Tracie

    I just made these tonight. They were delicious. They were even better than TGIFs because I added extra cheese and bacon. I made them exactly as the recipe stated. My husband is picky and he couldn’t stop eating them.

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