We love potato skins, but most restaurants fry them first, which isn't very healthy. This baked potato skins recipe rivals any you can find in a restaurant
If there is one snack or appetizer that I always like to order at a restaurant or see on a table at a football party, it's potato skins. There is just something about the combination of potato, bacon and cheese that just tastes so good! Add a dollop of sour cream and I am in heaven! Put them out on a buffet next to some baked mozzarella sticks and bacon-wrapped smokies and you have the ULTIMATE football spread (although it won't be the best for your thighs!)
I have tried to make them at home so many times and they just never turned out right. The skin of the potato was never crispy enough and they just were never as good as the ones at the restaurants. Of course, I later figured out that it was because most restaurants, if they don't buy them pre-made, will deep fry to potato skin before filling it with bacon and cheese.
I am not a fan of deep-fat frying for 2 reasons:
- The added fat and calories that it adds to the food
- The lingering smell of the grease in my house for days after we use the deep fat fryer.
Of course, we get around the “smell issue” in the warmer months by doing any frying (my husband would deep fry a chocolate bar if he could) out on the back patio…but that isn't going to help you for the 2nd half of football season when it is 10 degrees outside….and then you still have the issue of all those extra calories!
So how do you get the crispy skin without frying them? The answer is simple: aluminum foil and olive oil…and butter! instead of baking the potatoes plain in the oven on the rack, rub them with some olive oil and salt and then bake them on a foil-lined sheet. This will start the crisping process. Then, before you fill them, you want to brush them with butter and stick them back in the oven for a little bit. Doing that will crisp up the skin and give you almost the exact same results as the potato skins restaurants!
My favorite potato skins are the ones from TGI Fridays and considering that they sell them at the supermarket, I must not be alone in the preference! The problem with buying them frozen? Aside from all the extra preservatives and chemicals in them, you end up paying WAY too much for them. Even if you can get them on sale, it ends up being about $2.50 for the equivalent of 2 or 3 potatoes and about 1/4 cup of cheese and a few tablespoons of bacon!
I really do think that this baked potato skins recipe is just as good and WAY cheaper!
- 4 Russet Potatoes
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp melted Butter
- ¾ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- ½ cup Chopped Crispy Fried Bacon (you can also use bacon bits, but they won't be as good)
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Wash, scrub and dry potatoes.
- Pierce each potato multiple times with a fork.
- Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Cut each potato lengthwise into thirds (if your potatoes aren't that large or you don't mind having a "deep well" in your potato skins, you can skip this step)
- Use a spoon to scoop out white potato of each remaining slice, leaving about ¼" thickness of potato in each.
- Brush potato skins with melted butter and bake for 25 minutes until crisp.
- Sprinkle with cheese and bacon and return to oven until the cheese is melted.
- Serve with sour cream and sliced green onions.