We are deep into the Winter months and lately my family has been craving comfort food. Temperatures outdoors are averaging 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and we are getting our fair share of snow.
Kids are still home, learning on line. Even with 100% distance learning, our schools still close for snow days….and yes my kids get as excited about snow days as much as they did when they were learning in person. A day off from being in front of a laptop, doing assignments and worrying about homework…snow days are a welcome break. A day to go outside sledding, play with Bentley in the snow, and drink hot chocolate. Why do they drink more hot chocolate when it snows? Hot chocolate and snow just seem to go hand in hand 🙂
Nothing says comfort food like potatoes. Add bacon, sour cream, cheese, and we have a satisfying meal for wintertime!
Ingredients to Make Loaded Potato Skins
- 6 small to medium sized russet baking potatoes (total 2 pounds)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 6 strips of bacon cut up into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced, including the greens of the onions
How to Make the Tastiest Loaded Potato Skins Ever
1 Bake the potatoes: Great loaded skins start with great potatoes. Scrub and dry the russet potatoes and bake in the oven. Pierce a few times with a fork, rub with olive oil and sea salt then bake in a 400°F oven for approximately one hour until the potatoes are cooked through. Bake the potatoes directly on the middle rack with a pan on the lower rack to catch the oil that will drip off.
Tip: I have found that baking the potatoes in a conventional oven, as opposed to using a microwave, makes them easier to cut and scoop out.
2 Cook the bacon: While the potatoes are cooking, cut the bacon strips into 1/2 inch pieces and cook on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool and reserve the bacon fat.
3 Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the insides: Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool enough to handle, approximately 15 minutes. Cut in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the insides, reserving it for mashed potatoes. Leave about 1/4 inch of potato on the skin.
Tip: If you try to immediately scoop out the interior with a spoon, you run the risk of pieces along the edge breaking off. Instead, use the tip of a paring knife to slice a 1/4 inch border around the edges of the potato, then scoop out the flesh.
4 Broil the potato skins: Set the oven to broil. You know how much I love my countertop oven right? We still use it every single day. Brush or rub the reserve bacon fat all over the potato skins, inside and out. Add shredded cheese to each skin.
Tip: I use my baking rack on a roasting pan, don’t use a cookie sheet, the heat will be too hot.
Broil for 3 to 4 minutes minutes, potato skin side down.
5 Top with sour cream, bacon, and green onions to serve: Use tongs to place skins on a serving plate. Add a dollop of sour cream to each skin, bacon, and sprinkle with green onions.
Tip:Additional ways to enjoy loaded skins are with hot sauce or chili powder; spoon on leftover chili; opt for broccoli and cheddar; or try a pizza topping.
Serve immediately and enjoy that delicious comfort food..maybe with a glass of cold beer 😉
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