Easy Potato Skins with Bacon & Cheddar Cheese

When you have leftover baked potatoes, this is the appetizer that you want to make!

 

Easy Potato Skins with Bacon & Cheddar Cheese

Potato skins are the epitome of comfort food—a crispy, cheesy delight that never fails to satisfy. Making them with leftover baked potatoes makes them even easier. In fact, when we menu plan, we include baked potatoes mid week, and we make extra. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a satisfying treat, this microwave potato skins recipe is sure to please. With its crispy texture, gooey cheese, and flavorful toppings, each bite is a burst of indulgence. So, grab your ingredients and get ready to savor the deliciousness of homemade potato skins like never before!

Fun Facts about Potato Skins:

One of the earliest known instances of potato skins being served in a restaurant setting was at T.G.I. Friday’s, a casual dining chain in the United States. T.G.I. Friday’s is credited with popularizing potato skins as an appetizer in the 1970s. The dish was initially introduced as a way to make use of potato scraps leftover from making mashed potatoes. However, with the addition of cheese, bacon, and other toppings, potato skins quickly became a beloved snack or appetizer item in their own right. And aren’t we taking these to the next level now?

 

Ingredients:

    1. Russet Potatoes: Potatoes serve as the base. They provide a hearty and starchy vessel that holds the other ingredients. When baked, the potato flesh becomes tender and creates a satisfying texture contrast with the crispy skin.

    2. Butter-flavored Crisco: Butter-flavored Crisco isused to fry the potatoes before baking. It helps achieve a crispy and golden exterior while adding a rich buttery flavor. Using Crisco instead of butter can also help prevent burning due to its higher smoke point.

    3. Bacon: Bacon adds a savory, smoky flavor. It provides a crispy texture and a satisfying crunch with each bite. Bacon is a classic topping for potato skins, contributing to their indulgent and comforting appeal.

    4. Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese is a popular choice for potato skins due to its sharp and tangy flavor profile. When melted over the potato skins, it creates a gooey and delicious layer that binds the other toppings together. Cheddar cheese adds richness and creaminess to the dish.

    5. Sour Cream: Sour cream adds a cool and tangy element. It balances the richness of the other ingredients and provides a creamy texture. Sour cream is often dolloped on top of the potato skins before serving, enhancing their flavor and mouthfeel.

    6. Green Onions: Green onions, also known as scallions, add freshness and a mild onion flavor. They provide a pop of color and a subtle bite that complements the other ingredients. Green onions are typically sprinkled on top of the potato skins as a garnish.

    7. Salt & Pepper: Salt and pepper are essential seasoning agents that enhance the overall flavor.

     

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Potatoes: Start by thoroughly washing the potatoes and patting them dry with a paper towel. Prick each potato several times with a fork to allow steam to escape during cooking. This step prevents the potatoes from bursting.

2. Microwave the Potatoes: Place the potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave them on high for about 10-12 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Cooking time may vary depending on the size and power of your microwave. Remember to turn the potatoes halfway through cooking for even results.

3. Scoop Out the Flesh: Carefully remove the hot potatoes from the microwave and allow them to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, slice each potato in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, gently scoop out the flesh from each potato half, leaving about ¼ inch of potato attached to the skin. Reserve the scooped-out potato flesh for another use, such as mashed potatoes.

4. Fry the Potato Skins: In a skillet, melt the butter-flavored Crisco over medium heat. Once hot, add the potato skins in batches, placing them skin-side down. Cook until the skins are golden and crispy, flipping them halfway through to ensure even cooking. This process should take about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the crispy skins from the skillet and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

5. Top with Cheese and Bacon: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange the crispy potato skins on a baking sheet, skin-side down. Sprinkle each skin with shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon, ensuring an even distribution of toppings.

6. Bake Until Bubbly: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the potato skins for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

7. Garnish and Serve: Once out of the oven, carefully transfer the potato skins to a serving platter. Top each skin with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of finely chopped green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Enjoy! Serve the potato skins hot, and watch as they disappear within minutes. These crispy delights are perfect for game day gatherings, movie nights, or any occasion that calls for a savory snack.

Whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a satisfying treat, this microwave potato skins recipe is sure to please. With its crispy texture, gooey cheese, and flavorful toppings, each bite is a burst of indulgence. So, grab your ingredients and get ready to savor the deliciousness of homemade potato skins like never before!

What are the best potatoes to use for potato skins?

Russet potatoes. These potatoes have thicker skin, and hold up well to create a crisp outside that does not fall apart. The skin has more nutrients than the interior of the potato. It has lots of fiber, about half of a medium potato’s fiber is from the skin. So, huh, this is a healthy snack!

Other toppings for Potato Skins:

  1. Caramelized Onion and Gruyère Cheese: Top your potato skins with a generous spoonful of caramelized onions and a sprinkle of grated Gruyère cheese. The sweetness of the caramelized onions complements the savory flavor , while the melted Gruyère adds a rich and nutty taste.

  2. BBQ Pulled Pork and Coleslaw: Load up your tators with tender, smoky BBQ pulled pork and a dollop of creamy coleslaw. This combination offers a delicious contrast of flavors and textures, with the savory pork and tangy coleslaw creating a mouthwatering bite.

  3. Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Dressing: Fill your potato skins with shredded buffalo chicken tossed in spicy buffalo sauce and drizzle with creamy blue cheese dressing. The heat from the buffalo chicken pairs perfectly with the coolness of the blue cheese dressing, creating a tantalizing flavor experience.

  4. Spicy Ground Taco Meat & Queso: When you have leftover taco meat and leftover baked potatoes, this is the perfect meal!

Why you will love these potato skins

  1. Irresistible Flavor: With just 6 ingredients, these pack a flavor punch!
  2. Made with leftovers: Turn leftover baked potatoes into this great snack!
  3. Easy and Quick: With our straight forward recipe, this comes together in less than an hour!

What to serve with potato skins

  1. Side Salad: A crisp, refreshing side salad complements the richness of the potato and cheese. Choose a simple garden salad with fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette dressing to balance the flavors. Our Pasta House Italian Salad pairs perfectly with these!
  2. Soup: A warm bowl of soup pairs wonderfully with this appetizer, especially during colder months. Opt for a comforting soup like vegetable soup, butternut squash, or broccoli cheddar to create a satisfying meal combination.
  3. Vegetable Platter: Serve potato skins alongside a colorful vegetable platter for a balanced and nutritious meal. Include a variety of raw veggies such as carrot sticks, celery, bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes, and snap peas, accompanied by a dip like hummus or ranch dressing for added flavor.

How to Store

Storing these is simple:

  • Be sure to allow to completely cool before storing
  • Store in an air tight container, or wrapped in foil, thightly.
  • May be kept for up to one week, in the fridge
potato skins on a sheet pan

Easy Potato Skins with Bacon & Cheddar Cheese

Potato skins are the epitome of comfort food—a crispy, cheesy delight that never fails to satisfy. Making them with leftover baked potatoes makes them even easier. In fact, when we menu plan, we include baked potatoes mid week, and we make extra.
Servings: 12 potato skins
Calories: 583kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 Potatoes
  • 1 cup Butter-flavored Crisco Adjust as needed based on size of pan, for 1 inch of oil depth
  • 1 lb Bacon
  • 1 lb Cheddar Cheese
  • 8 ounces Sour Cream
  • 1 bunch Green Onions
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • If you are using leftover baked potatoes, skip the next two steps.
  • Prepare the Potatoes: Start by thoroughly washing the potatoes and patting them dry with a paper towel. Prick each potato several times with a fork to allow steam to escape during cooking. This step prevents the potatoes from bursting.
    6 Potatoes
  • Microwave the Potatoes: Place the potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave them on high for about 10-12 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Cooking time may vary depending on the size and power of your microwave. Remember to turn the potatoes halfway through cooking for even results.
  • Scoop Out the Flesh: Carefully remove the hot potatoes from the microwave and allow them to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, slice each potato in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, gently scoop out the flesh from each potato half, leaving about ¼ inch of potato attached to the skin. Reserve the scooped-out potato flesh for another use, such as adding to soup.
  • Fry the Potato Skins: In a skillet, melt the butter-flavored Crisco over medium heat. Bring the shortning to 375 F. then add the potato skins in batches, placing them skin-side down. Cook until the skins are golden and crispy, flipping them halfway through to ensure even cooking. This process should take about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the crispy skins from the skillet and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Sprinkle with salt when they come out of the pan.
    1 cup Butter-flavored Crisco
  • Chop and fry the bacon, and drain on paper towels.
    1 lb Bacon
  • Shred the cheddar cheese.
    1 lb Cheddar Cheese
  • Top with Cheese and Bacon: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange the crispy potato skins on a parchment lined baking sheet, skin-side down. Sprinkle each skin with shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon, ensuring an even distribution of toppings.
  • Bake Until Bubbly: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the potato skins for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Garnish and Serve: Once out of the oven, carefully transfer the potato skins to a serving platter. Top each skin with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of finely chopped green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    8 ounces Sour Cream
  • Enjoy! Serve the potato skins hot, and watch as they disappear within minutes. These crispy delights are perfect for game day gatherings, movie nights, or any occasion that calls for a savory snack.
    1 bunch Green Onions

Nutrition

Serving: 1potato skin | Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 533IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 303mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.

Comments

  1. Carrie Robinson Reply

    5 stars
    These would be perfect to make for the game tomorrow! 🙂 Everyone loves potato skins.

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Carrie,

      That is exactly what we did! And they were a hit!

      Dina and Bruce

  2. DK Reply

    5 stars
    These potato skins are the perfect alternative to baked potatoes! And with 6 simple ingredients, it’s easy to make and delicious!

  3. Andrea Reply

    5 stars
    These potato skins look marvelous and are a perfect snack, appetizer for any day.

  4. Tayler Reply

    5 stars
    I made these potato skins over the weekend and they were delicious! Definitely our new go to party food!

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