Twice Baked Potatoes

December 22, 2019

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Twice Baked Potatoes are one of the ultimate side dish recipes! These are seriously comforting, extra cheesy, deliciously creamy, mashed potato loaded, hearty stuffed potato skins and they never disappoint! A family favorite recipe!

Overhead image of four Twice Baked Potatoes on a white serving plate. Potato skins are filled with mashed potatoes, topped with melted cheddar cheese and garnished with bacon and green onions.

Twice Baked Potato Recipe

For as long as I can remember twice baked potatoes (aka Doubled Baked Potatoes) have been a go-to side dish in my family. I’m guessing since the time I could eat solid food, twice baked potatoes have been there. They’ll always be a staple recipe for me and once you try them, I’m guessing you’ll say the same.

My mom has always made the best twice baked potatoes and she has taught me all the tips and tricks to making them perfect! With a prep that doesn’t include anything difficult, no special equipment required and no fancy ingredients here. Just a simple method and a crave-able blend of satisfying ingredients.

They also make delicious leftovers for lunch the next day, in the unlikely event there are any left though.

This is how you do comfort food!

What to Serve with Them

These pair perfectly with just about any chicken or steak dish and they are delicious with a roast ham. Then as a second side I usually go for a steamed vegetable or corn, or a side salad.

Side view of a filled twice baked potato.

Twice Baked Potato Ingredients

  • Russet potatoes – preferably go for the larger potatoes. I have made these will all sizes of russet potatoes the small ones work you just have to fill a lot more.
  • Half and half – or use a blend of 1/4 cup milk 1/4 cup heavy cream.
  • Sour cream – low fat sour cream will work fine if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Butter – salted or unsalted butter can be used.
  • Salt and pepper – add to taste taste in filling. And remember there will be salt added to the topping as well.
  • Paprika, onion powder and garlic powder – I use this DIY seasoning blend instead of using the season salt flavoring my mom always did since it’s what I have on hand.
  • Cheddar cheese – I like to use medium cheddar but and intensity in flavor from mild to extra sharp will work based on personal preference.
  • Bacon – if preferred this can be omitted, I don’t always use it. But of course everything is better with bacon if you have some on hand.
  • Green onions – chives also work well for garnish. Even fresh chopped parsley works too.

Fluffy mashed potatoes in a glass mixing bowl.

How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes

  1. Preheat oven and prep potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub and rinse potatoes clean and pierce potatoes several times on each side with a fork.
  2. Bake whole potatoes until softened through: Place potatoes in preheated oven and bake 75 – 80 minutes until fully cooked through (they should be fairly soft when squeezed). Remove potatoes from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. Scoop out flesh of potatoes: Slice potatoes into halves. Use an oven mitt to hold potato halves and scoop potato flesh into a large mixing bowl (while leaving about 1/6-inch potato intact with the peel). Transfer empty potato peels to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish or baking sheet (see note*).
  4. Mash: Mash potatoes with a potato masher until no longer lumpy (or pass through a potato ricer or food mill into bowl for seriously smooth potatoes).
  5. Add liquids and season, stir: Add in half and half, sour cream, butter and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper). Blend mixture together with a spoon or with an electric mixer while adding more half and half as needed to thin.
  6. Stuff potato skins: Scoop mixture into potato peels. Sprinkle with cheddar.
  7. Stir seasonings and sprinkle over potatoes: In a small bowl whisk together paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over potatoes.
  8. Bake to heat through and melt cheese: Bake in preheated oven until cheese has melted and potatoes are heated through, about 10 – 15 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon and green onions and serve warm.

Six potato skins filled with mashed potatoes sitting on a metal baking dish.

What Are the Best Potatoes for Twice Baked Potatoes?

Russet potatoes work best for this recipe. They’re larger size and fluffy interior (once baked) make for the perfect twice baked potatoes.

Twice baked potatoes filled with mashed potatoes and topped with shredded cheddar and seasoning. Shown before baking.

How to Make Them Ahead of Time

Twice baked potatoes are also a great make ahead recipe. To make in advance you’ll want to:

  • Bake, make filling, stuff and season (up to through step 7).
  • Place in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Remove from fridge while oven preheats to 350 degrees.
  • Bake in preheated oven covered with greased foil (greased side facing downward) until almost heated through, about 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and continue to bake until fully heated through, about 10 minutes longer.

Twice baked potatoes can even be frozen up to 3 months then baked straight from the freezer (though if going this route I’d hold the cheese and add halfway through baking). Bake time at 350 will take about 35 – 45 minutes.

Close up image of twice baked potatoes on a serving plate.

Twice Baked Potato Tips

  • Be sure potatoes are entirely baked through with the first baking period. Otherwise you’ll end up with lumpy bits of chewy potatoes throughout the finished product.
  • For seriously smooth potatoes, pass baked potato flesh through a food mill or potato ricer instead of mashing the potatoes with a potato masher.
  • Use a blend of dairy for best flavor, including one tangy option (here we go with half and half, butter and sour cream).
  • Don’t over-bake or cheese can get dry and leathery.

Possible Variations

  • Use heavy cream in place of half and half (for an even richer option).
  • Swap sour cream with cream cheese.
  • Add sautéed or roasted garlic to the potatoes.
  • Try with another cheese on top like Colby jack or even a Mexican blend if that’s what you’ve got on hand, or use a blend of cheddar and another cheese like parmesan.
  • Add a drizzle of ranch dressing on top after baking. So good!

Twice Baked Potatoes

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Twice Baked Potatoes
5 from 4 votes

Twice Baked Potatoes

One of the ultimate side dish recipes! These are seriously comforting, extra cheesy, deliciously creamy, mashed potato loaded, hearty stuffed potato skins and they never disappoint! A family favorite recipe!
Servings: 8 (or 6 large)
Prep15 minutes
Cook1 hour 30 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 (13 - 14 oz. each) large baker russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup half and half, then up to 1/4 cup more if needed (heavy cream can be substituted for a richer option)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp each paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 6 oz. freshly shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped small and cooked until crisp (optional)
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven and prep potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub and rinse potatoes clean and pierce potatoes several times on each side with a fork.
  • Bake whole potatoes until softened through: Place potatoes in preheated oven and bake 75 - 80 minutes until fully cooked through (they should be fairly soft when squeezed). Remove potatoes from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • Scoop out flesh of potatoes: Slice potatoes into halves. Use an oven mitt to hold potato halves and scoop potato flesh into a large mixing bowl (while leaving about 1/6-inch potato intact with the peel). Transfer empty potato peels to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish or baking sheet (see note*).
  • Mash: Mash potatoes with a potato masher until no longer lumpy (or pass through a potato ricer or food mill into bowl for seriously smooth potatoes).
  • Add liquids and season, stir: Add in half and half, sour cream, butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend mixture together with a spoon (or with just briefly with an electric hand mixer) while adding more half and half as needed to thin.
  • Fill potato skins: Scoop mixture into potato peels. Sprinkle with cheddar.
  • Stir seasonings and sprinkle over potatoes: In a small bowl whisk together paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over potatoes.
  • Bake to heat through and melt cheese: Bake in preheated oven until cheese has melted and potatoes are heated through, about 10 - 15 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon and green onions and serve warm.

Notes

  • *If you liked potatoes to be heaped full only use 6 skins and 1 1/4 cups cheddar, if you want to fill level use 8 skins and 1 1/2 cups cheddar.
  • To cut calories you can use light sour cream, 2 Tbsp butter, low fat cheddar and omit the bacon. Nutrition estimate given based on 8 servings.
Possible Variations:
  • Swap sour cream with cream cheese.
  • Add sautéed or roasted garlic to the potatoes.
  • Try with another cheese on top like Colby jack or even a Mexican blend if that's what you've got on hand, or use a blend of cheddar and another cheese like parmesan.
  • Add a drizzle of ranch dressing on top after baking. So good!
  • Substitute 2 Tbsp fresh minced chives for the green onions.
Nutrition Facts
Twice Baked Potatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 399 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 391mg17%
Potassium 870mg25%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 637IU13%
Vitamin C 11mg13%
Calcium 213mg21%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Photography credit: Jess Larson