Loaded Baked Potatoes
Loaded Baked Potatoes

These LOADED baked potatoes transform a normal side dish into a full-fledged main course. Packed with steamed broccoli, bacon, cheddar, sour cream, and chives, they’re a meal in themselves! They’re quick to throw together, have a variety of different flavors and ingredients, and are economical to make in bulk.

Cheese-loaded baked potatoes with broccoli and bacon make a great pantry meal. Potatoes store well and are generally available in bulk. Keep a few pounds in your pantry, and this becomes an easy and comforting dinner.

These stuffed baked potatoes are pretty much what I want for dinner on a chilly winter day or chilly spring evening, but they run straight into one of my biggest problems when I’m feeding my kids: It’s intimidating to see big piles of food. Most kids I know struggle with this, and I know mine do. Do not worry! We can solve it!

Let’s dig!

The best way to make bacon

I prefer to bake my bacon in the oven. Yes, you read that right – I place it on a baking rack over a baking sheet and I get an evenly crispy bacon every time. Check out my step-by-step guide: How to Make Bacon in the Oven.

The best potatoes for loaded baked potatoes

Simply Recipes has an excellent tutorial on baked potatoes, so I won’t reinvent the wheel here. I basically follow the method in this article.

I shoot for medium to large potatoes (certainly less than a pound per potato). I scrub mine well and poke them all over with a fork many times. Then I rub them with some olive oil and a good pinch of coarse salt. Bake potatoes at 400 ̊F until puckered skins and very tender inside; about an hour is a good guideline.

I wouldn’t deviate from the classic here. Russet potatoes are what you want. However, I would stay away from the Godzilla-sized potatoes that you sometimes find. There’s a lot going into these, and you don’t have to start with a pound of potatoes. I shoot for about 10- to 12-ounce red potatoes.

Alternative toppings for baked potatoes

Whether you set up a toppings bar and let people choose their own or serve them ready to eat, I think your family will love these!

I used some of my favorite (and classic) toppings for my stuffed baked potatoes, but you can get pretty inventive with these if you’re so inclined. You could try:

  • Pulled Pork and Smoked Gouda
  • Chorizo, red onions and queso
  • Pepperoni, mozzarella and marinara

Potatoes are an incredibly flexible starting point for so many flavor combinations! I blanch fresh broccoli for this recipe, but you can use frozen broccoli if you have it on hand.

Prepare and warm up

Baked potatoes are easy to make ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to a week.

While you can reheat them in the microwave in a pinch, reheating them in the oven gives you better texture against the skin, which I like. I reheat mine on a baking sheet at 350 ̊F for about 20 minutes until just warmed through.

The father adds: Quick Home Fries

Quick Homemade Fries! I don’t need to add anything to these potatoes that isn’t already there, but I like to sneak a potato in the back of the fridge for a quick roast at home the next morning.

Homemade fries are a great way to use up leftover potatoes. Dice a cold baked potato (leave the skin on) and place in a pan with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of seasoned salt. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are crispy and serve with eggs.

The children’s certificate

When I started my career as a dad cook, I definitely would have screwed up this meal. I would have served my kids exactly what I ate: a potato stuffed to the brim. This will almost certainly result in a food fight.

Instead, I’ve learned that the trick is to only serve smaller portions of individual items. Sure, that loses the effect of a giant, loaded potato, but it allows you to stay sane as a parent.

My kids mashed up about 1/4 to 1/2 of a baked potato along with various toppings that I served on the side. Both thumbs up as you can see!

More potato recipes

  • Potatoes baked twice
  • How to bake a potato
  • Baked Potato Soup
  • Sweet potatoes stuffed with chorizo
  • Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Loaded Baked Potatoes

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
60 minutes

total time
70 minutes

up to 6 servings


  • 6 to 8 stripes bacon

  • 6 medium-sized red potatoeswell scrubbed

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 lb fresh broccolicut into florets (or use frozen)

  • 8th ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese


  • sour cream

  • Fresh chives

Dad Add: Quick Home Fries (serves 2):

  • 1 baked Potatorolled

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

  • eggsTo serve


  1. Prepare bacon:

    Line a baking sheet with foil, then cover with a wire rack (biscuit cooling rack). Place the strips of bacon on the wire rack perpendicular to the wires, making sure the bacon pieces do not overlap.

  2. Bake the bacon and scrub the potatoes:

    Place the bacon in a cold oven and set the temperature to 375°F. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Check the bacon around the 18 minute mark. Some types of bacon cook faster than others. (See Cooking Bacon in the Oven for full details.)

    While the bacon is baking, scrub the potatoes well, then poke each potato about 10 times with a fork to prevent a potato from exploding in the oven. (It can happen!)

    Take the bacon out of the oven; place on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  3. Bake Potatoes:

    Increase the heat to 400 ̊F. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle well with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake the potatoes for about an hour, until the skins have shrunk slightly and the potatoes are very tender. (See How to Bake a Potato for more details.)

  4. Blanch broccoli:

    While the potatoes are baking, cook your broccoli. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a large pinch of salt to the water to flavor it. Add the broccoli to the water and cook until the broccoli is just tender but not mushy at all, 3 minutes.

    Drain broccoli once tender and set aside for assembly. We will reheat everything when the potatoes are assembled at the end.

  5. Open the potatoes:

    Once your potatoes are baked, let them cool slightly so you can handle them. Cut each potato in half, being careful not to cut all the way through. Then make two perpendicular cuts near the end of each potato; This will make it easier for you to open each potato. I like to use a small paring knife to cut open the inside of the potato to make it easier to unfold and stuff.

  6. Fill potatoes:

    Sprinkle some cheese over the potato. I like a lot of cheese, but you can use as much or as little as you like. Top with about 1/2 cup cooked broccoli and 1 piece of crumbled bacon. Sprinkle the broccoli with more cheese and more broccoli or bacon depending on the size of the potato and your appetite!

  7. Warm up potatoes:

    Place the stuffed potato back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to really melt the cheese and warm up the fillings.

  8. Surcharge:

    Garnish the warm potatoes with sour cream and chives and serve.

    Leftovers: Save excess potatoes Before they fill. Leftover potatoes can be used for baked potatoes, loaded potatoes, or quick Dad Add Home fries within a week!

  9. How to get dad to add homemade fries:

    Cut a leftover potato into roughly 1/4-inch cubes. In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the diced potatoes and seasoned salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are crisp and browned on the edges, 10-12 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve with eggs.

nutritional information (per serving)
461 calories
23g Fat
44g carbohydrates
21g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!