This recipe for potato skins is Russet potato halves topped with cheese and bacon, then baked to crispy perfection and finished with sour cream and green onions. A classic appetizer that’s easy to make and always a crowd pleaser!
I love to serve a variety of hot appetizers when I’m entertaining, including baked buffalo wings, jalapeno poppers and these loaded potato skins.
Baked potato skins are popular for good reason – who can resist the combination of bacon, cheese and sour cream? Not me! These homemade potato snacks are SO much better than anything you’d buy in the freezer section, and they’re easy to make too!
Potato Skins Ingredients
For this recipe you will need potatoes, and olive oil, salt and pepper to season the potatoes. Next up are the toppings which include shredded cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onions. Put everything together and you’ll have the ultimate appetizer.
How do you make potato skins?
First, bake some small Russet potatoes for about an hour, or until softened. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the insides making the “skins.” Leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch of potato on the inside of the skins.
Brush the skins with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake the potato skins until crispy, then add shredded cheese and bacon on top. The potatoes get one more trip through the oven, then add sour cream and green onions. Serve and enjoy!
To bake a potato, simply wash and dry the potato, prick it with a fork and place it in the oven at 400 degrees F. The potato needs to stay in the oven for about an hour or until softened. The bake time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes.
Leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 days. You can place the skins back in the oven to warm them through and crisp them up. I recommend removing the sour cream and green onions before they go back into the oven, then put fresh toppings on after they’re heated through.
The total bake time for this recipe is 1 hour and 20 minutes, which takes into account the time to bake the whole potatoes, as well as crisp up the skins.
The skin of the potato contains plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Baked potato skins with bacon and cheese are not a particularly healthy dish because of those added ingredients. If you’re looking to make this a healthier recipe you can use center cut bacon or turkey bacon, reduced fat cheese and reduced fat sour cream.
Tips for the perfect dish
- When choosing your potatoes, pick the smallest Russet potatoes you can find. You want smaller potatoes because they will be easy to serve as a handheld snack and will maintain their shape better than larger potatoes.
- For an elegant look, use a piping bag or resealable bag with the tip cut off to pipe sour cream on the potato skins.
- Don’t use pre-shredded cheddar cheese as it is coated in anti caking agents and doesn’t melt well.
- If you accidentally remove too much potato while hollowing out the skins, just take some of the removed potato and press it back into place.
- No green onions on hand? Feel free to use chives instead.
Potato skin variations
Classic potato skins are delicious baked potatoes in the palm of your hand, but there are other flavors you can incorporate.
- Mexican: You can substitute Mexican chorizo sausage instead of bacon and add black beans.
- Chili: You can use a spoonful of chili instead of bacon on the skins.
- Cheesesteak: You can add diced cooked steak and bell peppers to the skins. For this version, do not add bacon.
- Veggie: Skip the bacon and add some finely diced chopped veggies such as broccoli, shredded carrots and red bell peppers.
- Meat Lovers: Add other types of meat to the filling such as cooked crumbled sausage, diced ham, or mini pepperonis.
These potatoes are amazing and are so much better than restaurant or frozen versions. They are great for a party or just for an every day snack.
More fabulous appetizer recipes
- 6 small Russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup bacon cooked and crumbled
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup green onions sliced
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Prick the potatoes with a fork and bake for one hour or until softened.
- Cut the potatoes in half. Carefully scoop out the insides of each potato half, leaving a 1/4 – 1/2 inch rim.
- Turn the oven heat to 450 degrees F. Brush the potato skins with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake the potato skins for 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake for 10 minutes on the other side.
- Fill each potato skin with cheese and bacon. Return to the oven and bake for 2-3 minutes or until cheese has melted.
- Place the sour cream in a piping bag or resealable freezer bag with one corner snipped off. Pipe a dollop of sour cream onto each potato.
- Sprinkle with green onions, then serve immediately.
- Pick the smallest Russet potatoes you can find. You want smaller potatoes because they will be easy to serve as a handheld snack and will maintain their shape better than larger potatoes.
- For an elegant look, use a piping bag or resealable bag with the tip cut off to pipe the sour cream onto the potato skins.
You can’t beat classic potato skins. Total comfort food and so adaptable too. These were delicious.
These potato skins come out just like the ones that I love at my local restaurant. Excited that I can make them at home whenever I want them.
SO good!!! I used a combo of Fontina and sharp cheddar….soooooo yummy!!!!!
This is one of our favorite appetizers to make when our friends come over! It’s always a crowd pleaser!
What a great recipe to one of my favorite appetizers. These came out great. They were crispy, cheesy, and overall delicious! I can’t wait to make again!
I substitute the green onions/scallions for chives. The green onions kind of over power the dish in my opinion. Also, i use a variety of cheeses like the 3 cheese mix or Mexican mix.
Made these twice,,perfection. Your recipe and presentation spot on! My husband loves thicker potato and it still comes out great.
Today I’m making skins ahead of time for tomorrow. All I do is add toppings pop in air fryer and I know they will be just as delicious.
Thank you kindly. I appreciate you ❣👩🍳🥔
Can I make these a day ahead? If so would you change anything?
I’d add the sour cream and green onions right before serving!
Makes my mouth water to just see these! I’ve made them now multiple times and everyone loves them!
What can I use the scooped out potatoes for?
Mashed potatoes would be great!
Potato Pancakes are another option. You can make a loaded version too with all the ingredients from this recipe.
Always love ordering these when we eat out! Love that I can now make them at home; so delicious!
What a great recipe! These are so fun (and always a favorite of mine) and now I can serve them up at home! Mmm!
Love, love, love this recipe! This will be perfect for football season; so delicious!
Such an easy and delicious appetizer!!
I am drooling over these potatoes. Looks so yummy!
Oh my goodness these look incredible! My partner loves to BBQ and I’ve been looking for some recipes I can make alongside whatever he’s doing and these are absolutely perfect!
Soph – https://sophhearts.com x
So easy and delicious! Definitely crispy perfection
Those pictures remind me how much I love potato skins! I have all of the ingredients and I can’t wait!
Ooh, I’m having a party next weekend and these look amazing! Adding these to our menu. Thanks!
I am obsessed with potato skins! These potato skins look delicious…definitely craving some of their cheesy goodness right now. I have to recreate the recipe!