Upgrade your baked potatoes with these Easy Twice Baked Potatoes. Like mashed potatoes baked in their own crisp skin, they're cheesy, creamy and so comfort food at its best!
Like mashed potatoes baked in their own crisp skin, a twice-baked potato is made by baking a potato; scooping out the flesh; mashing it with cheese, butter, and sour cream; then baking it again to melt the cheese and blend all of the flavors. Depending on how big you make them, they can be a side dish or a main course, but no matter how you serve them, they’re always a crowd pleaser.
Potatoes: The Idaho Russet potato is the best choice for this dish. Russet potatoes are ideal due to their fluffy interior and tough skin. They mash up light and fluffy and absorb flavorful ingredients, like sour cream and cheese, well.
How to make the recipe
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the potato skins several times with a fork. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a cutting board and let cool slightly before cutting the potatoes in half lengthwise. (A)
2. Remove the potatoes from the shell, scooping out the potato flesh into a medium bowl, leaving about ¼-inch of thick shell. (B)
3. Add the butter, sour cream, chives, salt, and pepper and mash until blended.(C) Don't over wrork the potatoes, some lumps are okay.
4. Fill the potato shells with the mixture. Arrange the filled potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season the tops with extra chives and cheese.(D)
5. Bake at 400°F until the cheese and potato starts to brown and they are heated through, about 25 minutes. (To check, insert the blade of a small knife into the center of a potato for 5 seconds; it should be hot.)
6. Serve the potatoes while still warm.
Storing the recipe
Put the potatoes in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to three days. Make sure the potatoes are completely cooled before you store them, otherwise the condensation will gather on the inside of the container and make them soggy.
To reheat, you can put it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or broil in the oven until the cheese is melted. The microwave method is quick, but it won't have quite the same consistency. The oven method takes longer, but gives you a better consistency, especially on the skins.
- Choose potatoes about the same size and shape. This will ensure that they bake evenly.
- Pierce the potatoes before baking. They need to vent steam so that they don’t explode in the oven.
- Use bold, flavorful ingredients for the add-ins, like strong cheeses, freshly ground pepper, and spicy chorizo. Because potaoes are mild, the add-ins really count.
- Don’t overwork the potatoes. To prevent a gluey texture, mash in the butter, salt, and pepper by hand just until blended, not perfectly smooth, and then fold in the other ingredients. Don’t worry if the mixture feels dry; the butter
and cheese will melt during the second bake and add moisture.
- Oil the potato skins before the second bake. This helps the skins to crisp.
You can assemble the potatoes ahead. They can be refrigerated for up to 1 day before the second bake.
What are other toppings to use?
There are lots of alternative toppings you can add to the potatoes alongside or in place of the cheese and chives. A few popular ideas include:
- bacon crumbled into small pieces
- scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
- different cheeses such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, Gruyere, Gouda, Fontina or Muenster
- jalapenos, thinly sliced
- any fresh herbs (try rosemary, oregano, parsley or thyme)
A gummy or gluey texture can be from overworking the mashed potatoes. Have the ingredients ready to go into the potato mixture as the potatoes will be hot and airy when they are first out of the oven and this is the best time to mix everything together, and mix just until blended.
Yes, follow the recipe but stop at the point of adding the extra toppings and baking the second time. Instead, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap once it is cool, and store in the refrigerator up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. Bring to room temperature, complete the recipe, then bake as directed.
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Easy Twice-Baked Potatoes
- 3 large Russet potatoes scrubbed
- 3 Tablespoons butter softened
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ¼ cup snipped fresh chives plus more for topping
- ⅓ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the potato several times with a fork and bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.
- Scoop the potato flesh out of the skins into a medium bowl, leaving about ¼-inch thick shell. Add the butter, sour cream, chives, salt and pepper and mash until almost smooth.
- Spoon the potato mixture back into the shells. Arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with more fresh chives and the cheese.
- Bake at 400°F until the tops are beginning to brown and they are heated through, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.