The Cozy Cook

Potato Skins

These crispy baked Potato Skins are easy to make with cheddar cheese, bacon, green onions, and sour cream. The skins themselves are brushed with bacon drippings and sprinkled with kosher salt for the ultimate restaurant quality appetizer or snack idea!

Potato Skins on a plate topped with cheese, bacon, and green onions.

Potato Skins

If I’ve learned anything from making my Baked Potato Slices recipe, it’s that brushing the surface of potatoes with bacon drippings is the key to restaurant-quality flavor. So we’ll definitely be doing that in this recipe.

After brushing the skins with bacon drippings, we’ll sprinkle kosher salt over the surface of the skins and bake them (twice!) to make them extra flavorful and crispy before we fill them with bacon and cheese!

Finally, we’ll sprinkle them with green onions and serve them with sour cream. There truly is nothing better.

BONUS: You can prepare these ahead of time and leftovers keep well in the fridge or freezer. Check out the post for more info on that. Let’s get to it!

Ingredients

See bottom of post for the recipe card with ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Russet Potatoes- mine were exactly .36 lbs, small is good.
  • Thick Cut Bacon
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cheddar Cheese- see pro tips below for my brand of choice
  • Green Onions
  • Sour Cream, for serving
  • Butter, optional

How to Make Them

Scrub the potatoes clean and pat completely dry.

Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce each potato twice with a fork and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon slowly over low heat until crispy on each side. Set the bacon aside and reserve the grease.

Potatoes on a baking sheet before being baked next to a skillet of uncooked bacon.

Slice each cooked potato in half and use a paring knife to cut a rim around the edge. Use a spoon to scoop out the middle, leaving about 1/3 inch of potato on top of the skins. (Reserve the excess filling for making Baked Potato Soup!)

Use the back of a spoon to smooth the potato layer over the skin. If desired, melt a small amount of butter over the top to make it creamier.

Hollowed out potato halves for making potato skins

Place the potatoes back on the baking sheet, skin-side-up. Brush the skins with bacon drippings and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 10 minutes.

Brushing potato skins with bacon drippings and sprinkling with kosher salt.

Flip the potatoes over. Bake skin-side-down for 10 more minutes.

Crumble the bacon into fine pieces. Top the potatoes with the shredded cheddar and bacon.

Adding shredded cheese and crumbled bacon to potato skins.

Bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. 

Sprinkle with diced green onions and serve with sour cream.

Potato skins after baking, topped with melted cheese and bacon.

Rubbing Oil on Potatoes Before Baking

  • The skins of these potatoes will end up crispier if you omit the oil during the 1 hour baking time.
  • After this point, we’ll brush bacon drippings and sprinkle kosher salt over the outside of the potato which will then add a lot of delicious flavor to them.

Make-Ahead Method

  • To make these ahead of time, bake the potatoes for 1 hour at 400°. Slice them in half and scoop out the middle.
  • Let them cool and store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • You can also cook the bacon and shred the cheese. Reserve the drippings and microwave them when ready to use.
  • When ready to serve: Brush the skins with bacon drippings and sprinkle the skin side with kosher salt. Bake for 10 minutes on each side, then fill with cheese and bacon. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Pro Tips

  • Russet potatoes that are small in size are ideal for handling, serving, and dipping.
  • Shred the cheese from a block for best results, it melts and tastes better than bagged shredded cheese.
  • Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Yellow Cheddar is my brand of choice.
  • If you scoop out too much and rip the skin, take some of the scooped out potato and press it back into place.
  • These are easy to reheat in a 325° oven for about 15 minutes.

What to Add to Potato Skins

Aside from the classic bacon and cheese combo, try these additional fillings and make any combination you like!

  • Caramelized Onions and Gruyere Cheese
  • Diced or shredded Ham and Gouda Cheese
  • BBQ Chicken or Pulled Pork

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Potato skins freeze well!

What to Serve with Potato Skins

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Be sure to try my Twice Baked Potato Casserole, Homemade French Fries, and Baked Potato Wedges next! (I love potato recipes. It’s a problem.)

A hand holding a potato skin dipped in sour cream topped with cheese and bacon.

Potato Skins

5 from 2 votes
These crispy stuffed Potato Skins are loaded with cheddar cheese and bacon! They're easy to bake in the oven and have restaurant-style tricks for added extra flavor to the skins!

Ingredients

  • 7 small Russet potatoes, see notes for size recommendation
  • 5 strips bacon, thick-cut
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, optional
  • 1.75 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

Instructions

  • Scrub the potatoes clean and pat completely dry.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce each potato twice with a fork and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, fry the bacon slowly over low heat until crispy on each side. Set the bacon aside and reserve the grease.
  • Slice each cooked potato in half and use a paring knife to cut a rim around the edge. Use a spoon to scoop out the middle, leaving about 1/3 inch of potato on top of the skins. (Reserve the excess filling for making Baked Potato Soup!)
  • Use the back of a spoon to smooth the potato layer over the skin. If desired, melt a small amount of butter over the top to make it creamier.
  • Place the potatoes back on the baking sheet, skin-side-up. Brush the skins with bacon drippings and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Flip the potatoes over. Bake skin-side-down for 10 more minutes.
  • Crumble the bacon into fine pieces. Top the potatoes with the shredded cheddar and bacon.
  • Bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  • Sprinkle with diced green onions and serve with sour cream.

Notes

Pro Tips

  • My ideal size for the potatoes I use for these are just over 1/3 lb. (.36 lbs. each to be exact.)
  • Shred the cheese from a block for best results, it melts and tastes better than bagged shredded cheese.
  • Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Yellow Cheddar is my brand of choice.
  • If you scoop out too much and rip the skin, take some of the scooped out potato and press it back into place.
  • These are easy to reheat in a 325° oven for about 15 minutes.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 168kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 232mg, Potassium: 396mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 193IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 120mg, Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




4 comments on “Potato Skins”

  1. These potato skins are amazing I’m only 11 years old and your recipes are so good when I grow up I want to have a cooking vlog

    • Hi Hayden!! WOW! I am so impressed that you have this dream and direction at 11 years old, you can do it! I’m excited for your journey! Thank you so much for this review, I’m so glad that you’re enjoying my recipes- keep on cooking! 🙂 -Stephanie

  2. These potato skins are amazing! I made them on New Years when my friends and I were watching the bowl games. We all devoured them. I love the tip to brush them with bacon grease. Thanks so much for the recipe!

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