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Loaded Potato Skins, cooked to a crisp in garlic butter, and topped with melted cheese and crisp bacon, are a delicious two-bite appetizer.

homemade potato skins topped with sour cream
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Why this recipe works:

Potato skins are one of my favorite appetizer recipes. There are definitely some recipe tips and tricks that need to be followed in order to make them extra delicious.

  • These are simple to make, especially if you bake the potatoes in your instant pot. As a bonus, the potato that gets scooped out can be fried up as breakfast potatoes!
  • This potato skin recipe has a crispy skin on the outside and a creamy potato center.
  • The flavor of garlic is tasted in every bite.
  • The bacon is cooked crisp ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about biting into a piece of bacon that is under done.

Ingredients needed:

(full recipe below)

  • Russet potatoes – small work best
  • salted butter
  • garlic cloves
  • cooked bacon
  • shredded cheese
  • sliced green onions
  • sour cream

How to make these potato skins:

  1. First step is to bake your potatoes. As I mentioned above, I highly recommend baking potatoes in the pressure cooker. They turn out completely soft and moist all the way through, but with a crisp outer skin.
  2. Next you cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out all the flesh except for a quarter inch thick wall. What you scoop out can be transformed into potato soup or breakfast potatoes. Don’t let it go to waste! cooked russet potatoes with the centers scooped out
  3. Brush the melted garlic butter over the entire skin (top and bottom) and set them on a baking sheet. Broil the potato skins in the oven until they get crispy and golden delicious. How to make potato skins crispy
  4. Finally, top them with shredded cheese, crispy bacon, and sliced scallions. I cook the bacon ahead of time. I like to top my cooked skins with a dollop of sour cream, chives, salt and pepper just before serving.

Recipe tips:

  • When baking the potatoes, pierce the potatoes with a fork. If you use a knife they might split and you won’t be able to make your loaded potato skins.
  • My preference is for sharp cheddar, but you can certainly use something that melts better like Monterey Jack or gruyere. Freshly grated always melts better than pre-shredded.
  • A high quality butter like Kerrygold really adds to the flavor. Same goes for the bacon. I almost always use an applewood smoked or Black Forest cured bacon.
  • Make ahead directions: You can prepare as directed with the following changes. After you broil in the oven with the garlic butter, allow to fully cool before adding the cheese, bacon, and green onions. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Allow to come to room temperature and then broil in the oven until heated through.
potato skin with cheese and bacon

I absolutely love this recipe, but if you are a big fan of potato skins, you might want to try other variatons.

For example, you could load up your potato skins with pulled pork and homemade barbecue sauce.

What if you made a Philly Cheesesteak loaded potato skin recipe? Or how about a Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potato Skin? The possibilities are endless!

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Loaded Potato Skins

Prep15 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total30 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Loaded Potato Skins, cooked to a crisp in garlic butter, and topped with melted cheese and crisp bacon, are a sinfully delicious two-bite appetizer. They are simple to make, especially if you bake the potatoes in your instant pot. As a bonus, the potato that gets scooped out can be fried up as breakfast potatoes!

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 8 small russet potatoes baked
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 ounces bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 2 cups shredded cheese cheddar, monterey jack, gruyere, etc
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • top with sour cream chives, salt and pepper
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great recipe ideas from me every week!
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Instructions 

  • Slice baked potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out center so that the potato skin walls are about 1/4 inch thick, taking care not to tear the skin. Save the potato you scooped out for another recipe. Place the skins on a large baking sheet.
  • Melt the butter with the garlic and brush onto the tops and skins of the potato skins. Broil on high until the potatoes turn golden brown and the butter bubbles, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top with cheese, bacon, and green onions. Return to oven and broil on high to completely melt the cheese, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve hot and top with sour cream, chives, salt and pepper.

Notes

  • When baking the potatoes, pierce the potatoes with a fork. If you use a knife they might split and you won’t be able to make your loaded potato skins.
  • My preference is for sharp cheddar, but you can certainly use something that melts better like Monterey Jack or gruyere. Freshly grated always melts better than pre-shredded.
  • A high quality butter like Kerrygold really adds to the flavor. Same goes for the bacon. I almost always use an applewood smoked or Black Forest cured bacon. 
  • Make ahead directions: You can prepare as directed with the following changes. After you broil in the oven with the garlic butter, allow to fully cool before adding the cheese, bacon, and green onions. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Allow to come to room temperature and then broil in the oven until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 177kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 205mg, Potassium: 487mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 175IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 106mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    hi chrissy
    i really enjoyed reading your post and look forward to seeing MORE!
    is there a way that you could convert your potatoe skin(s) and loaded baked potatoe recipe(s)
    to an air fryer recipe
    when i make loaded baked potatoes – i start them off in my micro wave then to my
    air fryer
    thanx again….

    1. Sure thing. I often use my oven and air fryer interchangeably, especially if I want something with a crispy outside. That would be perfect for both recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    This potatoes recipe with bacon and sour cream on top is unbeatable. Made it for dinner. I should double the recipe! It was gone within a few minutes of serving. Delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    I once got sick from a restaurant potato skins but that didn’t stop me from loving them and eating them every chance I get, lol. This recipe looks easy enough to make at home. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    My favorite appetizer of ALL TIME! Thanks for these awesome directions! These have become increasingly difficult to find in restaurants. But now I can make these super awesome tasty ones at home whenever I feel like I need Tato Skin goodness! Yes, please!

  5. 5 stars
    We had these for dinner the other night and it was AMAZING.. even my kids raved about it! can’t wait to make again!