Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes

Servings: 8 (or 6 large)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 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

  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. 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.

  6. Fill 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.

Recipe 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.