Twice baked potatoes are one of the easiest, most delicious sides and also one of the first things I ever remember trying to recreate. I didn’t grow up going to restaurants a lot, but I remember buying them premade from the meat/deli counter at the grocery store. They’re deceptively decadent because they are SO easy to make. Quite honestly, the hardest part is scraping out the flesh from the middle of the potato without breaking through the skin. And also quite honestly, even if you do break the "shell," they’ll still taste great.
Grab 3-4 potatoes and rinse. I usually try to use a medium potato…the big ones take for ever to bake and the small ones seem not worth clearing out the flesh. But you can use whatever size you have on hand. Once you’ve rinsed the potatoes, remove and large eyes or bad spots. I don’t worry about the smaller eyes to keep more of the skin in tact. Then wrap the potatoes (still wet is fine!) in foil and pop into a 375 degree oven. You’ll bake them for about an hour, depending on the size of your potatoes. I usually go the full hour.
To test if they’re done, my method is super scientific…reach into the oven with a hot pad and squeeze. When it smooshes well, you’re set! Grab them out of the oven and set them on a cooling rack or cutting board. After about 5 minutes, you can unwrap the foil to let them cool a bit more. I usually let them sit for 10-15 minutes with the foil opened to let them cool enough to handle.
Once you can grab them without burning yourself, balance a potato in your palm and use a knife (a butter knife works fine!) to cut a large oval out of the top of the potato. You want to leave a lot of the sides to hold your filling later. Then use a spoon to scrape the potato flesh off of the “top” you just removed and reserve the flesh in a small to medium mixing bowl. Next, you’ll dig the flesh out of the middle of the potato, leaving about a quarter inch of potato around the shell. No worries if you accidentally break it. It won’t looks as pretty, but who cares! Repeat with all the potatoes.
Once you have your shells, you can start mixing your ingredients into the bowl with the flesh. I start with anything that I want to soften or melt. So here, I started with the cream cheese. Sometimes I’ll use butter instead and then I drop that in first.
Next up is the sour cream and seasonings. Mix that pretty well so your seasoning is evenly distributed.
I follow that with any chunky mix-ins like bacon and green onions. Then I always mix some shredded cheese in last.
And now…the fun and messy part! Spoon your filling evenly into the potato shells. You’ll have to heap it up on top to use it all. Then top it with the remaining cheese and throw them back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
The Recipe: Twice Baked Potatoes
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 2 green onions, sliced into rounds, divided
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp chives
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Wash potatoes and wrap in foil.
- Bake in 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes until soft, depending on size of potatoes. Place potatoes on a cooling rack and unwrap foil when cool enough to handle. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and then use a spoon to scrape the flesh out the potatoes, leaving about ¼ to 1/8 inch around edges of potato. Place the flesh in a bowl and mash slightly with a fork.
- Add sour cream, cream cheese, 2 tbsp of shredded cheese, chives, garlic powder, salt and all but 2 tbsp of the green onion. Mix until smooth.
- Fill the potato shells with the flesh mixture and then top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese has melted and is just starting to brown. Top with green onions and serve.