Potato Skins
Potato Skins

Crispy, cheesy potato skins are baked and then topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream, and spring onions. Make this easy appetizer for your next party!

Nothing beats a plate full of crispy potato skins stuffed with melty cheddar cheese and topped with bacon bits, sour cream and spring onions.

Oh, for the days of youth when one could eat potato skins with wild abandon! I could eat a whole plate back then (and drink a mug of beer with it) and wouldn’t be any worse. Sigh.

The Secret to the Best Potato Skins: Bake, Don’t Fry!

These potato skins are easy to make. Some approaches require deep frying, but I don’t think it’s really necessary. You just want to bake the skins on high enough heat so they get crispy enough to accept the toppings.


Check out this recipe for delicious potato skins

The best potatoes for potato skins

Russets are the best potatoes for these classic potato skins because they are large and their skin is hard enough to handle the prep.

While other potatoes, such as red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, taste great with this preparation, their thinner skins make them difficult to process. The skin tears more easily when scooping, especially because you’re piercing the skin in step 1, which already creates small tears.

Tips for baking a potato

If you’re new to baking potatoes, read How to Bake a Potato for foolproof step-by-step instructions. If you just want a few tips to bake a better potato, follow these.

  • Russets are the best baked potatoes, but remember that the larger the potato, the longer the baking time.
  • Poke holes in them to avoid explosions and to let some of their moisture escape.
  • Rub the skin with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  • Skip wrapping in foil.
  • To check the doneness, insert a fork or skewer into the potato. If it slides in and out easily, the potato is done.

Topping variations to try

Cheese, sour cream, and chives are the classic toppings for potato skins, but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up.

  • Chili (with or without sour cream and chives)
  • Chicken with buffalo sauce and blue cheese
  • Bacon, fried onions and blue cheese
  • Cooked shaved steak, fried onions and American cheese
  • Cooked broccoli and cheddar cheese

Make-ahead tips for potato skins

Follow steps 1, 3 and 4, bake, scoop and roast the skins. Then allow the roasted skins to cool completely and place in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 days. When it’s time to bake the toppings, bring the chilled shells to room temperature and start with step 5.

You can also pre-cook the bacon as done in step 2 and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Bring them to room temperature before adding them to the bowls in step 5.

Also, prepare the cheese and scallions up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate until ready to use.

Try these recipes to use up the insides of the potatoes!

  • Easy shepherd’s pie
  • potato bread
  • Homemade potato bread
  • Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
  • Slow cooker mashed potatoes

From the editors of Simply Recipes

potato skins

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
100 minutes

total time
110 minutes

up to 6 servings

If you have a potato whose skin or flesh has turned green, trim off those parts and don’t use them. The green indicates the presence of a toxin produced when potatoes are exposed to sunlight.


  • 6 Middle (3 pounds) red potatoes

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 6 slices bacon

  • 4 ounces grated cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 Cup sour cream

  • 2 green onionsthinly sliced


  1. Bake Potatoes:

    Scrub the potatoes clean, then bake them using your preferred method, either in the oven or in the microwave. If using an oven, pierce a few times with a sharp knife or the tines of a fork, rub with olive oil, and bake in a 400F oven for about an hour, until potatoes are cooked through and give a little when pressed.

    If using a microwave, pierce the potato a few times with a sharp knife or the tines of a fork, rub all over with olive oil and cook on high for about 5 minutes per potato.

    I’ve found that baking the potatoes in a conventional oven gives potatoes that are easier to work with (cutting and hollowing out), the potato seems to stick to the skin a little better, but there’s little discernible difference in the end product.

  2. Cook bacon:

    While the potatoes are cooking, sauté the bacon strips in a skillet over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Let cool down. Crumble.

  3. Halve the potatoes and scoop out the inside:

    Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool enough to handle. Halve horizontally. Use a spoon to gently scoop out the insides and save the scooped potatoes for another use, leaving about 1/4 inch of the potato on the skin.

  4. Bake the potato skins:

    Increase the heat of the oven to 450°F. Brush or rub the potato skins, inside and out, with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.

    Place on a baking sheet in a roasting pan (don’t use a baking sheet, it will warp, use a roasting pan or griddle that can handle the heat).

    Fry on one side for 10 minutes, then flip the skin and broil for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool sufficiently to handle.

  5. Add cheese and bacon and bake again:

    Place the potato skins skin-side down on the roasting pan or rack. Sprinkle the inside with freshly ground black pepper, cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.

    Back in the oven. Grill for an additional 2 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Take out of the oven.

  6. Garnish with sour cream and spring onions to serve:

    Use tongs to place skins on a serving plate. Put a dollop of sour cream on each skin and sprinkle with spring onions.

    Serve immediately.

nutritional information (per serving)
379 calories
17g Fat
45g carbohydrates
14g 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!