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Bake a potato, slice it lengthwise, scoop out the flesh and whip it with goodies, load it back into the shell, and bake it again.  That’s the basic twice baked potato.

But there are lots of choices for goodies to add to your potato.  You can mix the goodies in the mashed potato-sour cream or buttermilk is common-or load it on top.

Cheddar cheese is the most popular topping.  But we did some research and made a list of goodies to add to your potatoes.

It’s easy to make twice baked potatoes. Here’s how:

8 large baking potatoes
1/2-pound bacon (optional)
1 cup milk or cream
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
chives

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Select uniformly-sized baking potatoes that are free from major blemishes. Scrub and wash the potatoes. Bake them without aluminum foil as you would regularly baked potatoes in the preheated oven for an hour or until soft. Let them cool for fifteen minutes.
2. Fry the optional bacon until crisp, let cool, and crumble. If you prefer, cook the bacon in the microwave and snip the bacon into bits with kitchen shears.
3. Slice the potatoes lengthwise. Scoop the potato flesh from the skins being careful not to tear the skins. Save the skins. To the potato flesh add the milk or cream, sour cream, butter, salt, one cup of the grated cheese, and a desired amount of chives. Mix with an electric blender until smooth.
4. Spoon the potato mixture into the potato skins. Top each with the remaining cheese and optional bacon bits. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Tips for success:

  1. When you scoop the potatoes from the skins, leave a little flesh next to the skin to provide a sturdier shell.
  2. Potatoes come in different sizes and peoples’ tastes vary. Add ingredients to taste. If the potato mixture is not flavorful enough, add more sour cream or cream cheese. Make sure that the salt is adequate.
  3. These potatoes can be made ahead with the final bake just before meal time. Store the filled potatoes in the refrigerator covered with plastic. At mealtime, bake in a preheated oven. Because the potatoes are cold, you may need to bake the potatoes for an extra five minutes or so to assure that they are heated through.

What? Baked Potato Bread!

You can make this from scratch or buy the mix.

We made a bread mix suitable for a bread machine, and made it with potato flour. Then we added sour cream, chives, and bacon bits. It’s yummy! Read the reviews.

Variations on a Twice Baked Potato

Mix sour cream, bacon bits, and corn kernels with the mashed potatoes.  Top with grated cheddar cheese and sprinkle with paprika.

Mix cream cheese with the mashed potatoes.  Top with chives.

Mix sour cream and finely chopped onions with the mashed potatoes. Top with asiago cheese.

Mix feta cheese with the mashed potatoes. Top with chopped onions, sliced olives, and paprika.

Mix cream buttermilk and chopped ham with the mashed potatoes. Top with cheddar and chives.

Mix cream cheese and bits of smoked salmon with the mashed potatoes. Top with chives.

Mix sour cream, diced green chilies, and pimentos with the mashed potatoes. Top with grated cheddar and mozzarella.

Mix grated Swiss cheese with the mashed potatoes. Top with sautéed mushrooms and more Swiss cheese.

Mix corn, diced green peppers, and sour cream with the mashed potatoes. Top with chilies and grated cheese.

Mix the mashed potatoes with buttermilk. Top with broccoli and grated cheddar.

Mix and match your own.  Here’s a list of ingredients to consider:

Sour cream
Buttermilk
Bacon bits
Chives
Green onions
Cheddar
Cream cheese
Parmesan cheese
Feta
Asiago cheese
Chopped ham
Pimentos
Smoked salmon
Scallions
Velveeta
Salsa
Broccoli
Chili
Mushrooms
Tarragon
Oregano
Basil
Rosemary
Chopped bell peppers
Corn
Diced green chilies

Smoked Potato Variations

No matter how you load your potatoes, you can make them smoked–a little or a lot depending on your taste.  It’s easy.  Just sprinkle a little smoked salt on your potatoes when you’re mashing them.

See your choices of smoked salt: Apple, hickory, roasted garlic and more.

You’ll love trying these tasty foods!

About the Author

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of “How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking” available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.