These Baked & Loaded Potato Skins are the perfect appetizer for football season.
Football isn’t a huge thing where I live – but my family is a football family.
My grandfather was a coach, my dad played until he joined the military, and I even played until 9th grade when it became glaringly obvious that while I stopped growing in 5th grade, everyone else didn’t!
I grew up with a statue of Joe Namath in my home the way that other Irish-Italian families have statues of saints – so yea, watching football together as a family is an honored tradition.
One of the best things about getting together to watch the game is the food! Game day food is always indulgent and delicious – and my personal favorite are Potato Skins.
I bake mine rather than deep fry so that I can load them up with all of the cheese, bacon and sour cream I want. It’s all about balance, amirite?
By brushing the baked potatoes with a bit of oil, you still get that crunchiness of deep-fried restaurant potato skins. You can swap out the toppings based on your personal preferences or dietary needs – but I just go for the classic combo of bacon and cheese.
Ingredients for Baked Potato Skins
- 5 russet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
- 3 strips bacon
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- Sour cream, optional garnish
- Salsa, optional garnish
- Chives or green onions, optional garnish
Tip: swap out the cheese, bacon and toppings for your desired toppings. Each potato makes 2 potato skins – increase the recipe as needed for your crowd.
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How to Make Baked & Loaded Potato Skins
Cut potatoes in half and skewer with a fork to create several holes in the white flesh (not the skin).
Place on a wet napkin draped over a microwave-safe plate and heat for 12-14 minutes.
Let stand until cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, cook your bacon strips and set aside.
Preheat oven to 475F
Place 1/4 cup of oil in a oven-safe casserole dish.
Scoop the white flesh out of the potatoes – this can be discarded or saved for another use.
Season the potatoes and then place cut-side down in the casserole dish.
Bake the potatoes for 8 minutes, then remove from oven. Flip and fill with cheese and bacon.
Bake until cheese is completely melted, approximately 8 minutes.
Garnish or top as desired and serve. Makes 10.
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