Homemade Potato Skins are one of my favorite appetizer recipes to make for a party. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these potato skins are the perfect base for a number of toppings like bacon and cheese!
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Potato skins brought the humble skin of the potato, so often overlooked and discarded, into the appetizer Hall of Fame.
That is, of course, the place where all the most worthy appetizers get the recognition they deserve. From nachos to bacon wrapped shrimp, potato skins stand out among the best of them.
Only the very best appetizers possess the ability to ruin your appetite for the main course and loaded potato skins, done right, rise to the level of main course worthy.
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Which potatoes do I use to make potato skins?
You can use just about any potato to make loaded skins. Here are a few options.
- Russet Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Fingerling Potatoes
- Red Skinned Potatoes (small and large)
The best recipe starts with the best and most delicious ingredients. In the case of potato skins, the Russet potato is hands down the best potato to use.
The skin is sturdy, the potato flavor is mild, and they tend to come in the right size for making potato skins. You want something big enough to feel like a hearty appetizer, yet small enough to be eaten in a few bites with the hands.
When choosing Russet potatoes, pick ones that are firm all the way around, don’t have any mushy parts, and have a tan coloring. Avoid ones that are green or have a greenish coloring just below the skin.
Are Potato Skins good for you?
Most people peel their potatoes before mashing them or even leave the skin and only eat the inside of a baked potato. That’s fine as the flesh is low in sodium, cholesterol, and fat. But the skin is where it’s at!
Potato skin is where half the total amount of fiber is located, as well as potassium, B vitamins, calcium, and other goodness. Don’t be so quick to peel! Just be sure to brush the skins, rinse, and pat dry before starting.
Plus, if you add olive oil and salt while baking, you have the best “potato chip” around if you eat the skin after the inside.
Before we can prepare the skins for filling, we need to cook the potato on the inside so we can scoop out the center, leaving the boat that holds all the cheesy and bacon-y goodies.
Ways to cook potatoes before scooping
- microwave – a round or two on the potato setting works wonders
- air fryer – 390F for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft
- oven – 400F for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft
- grill – foil wrap and grill at 375F (indirect heat) until potatoes are soft
Which ever method you use to cook your potato before turning them into amazing crispy potato skins, one thing is certain! Prick lots of holes in the skin before cooking.
This allows steam from the inside of the potato to escape. If you don’t have enough holes in the skin while cooking, then the skin will separate from the inside meat of the potato and make them hard to handle.
How do you scoop potatoes for potato skins?
Now that you have potatoes that are cooked on the inside, it’s time to scoop out the inner flesh and make our potato boats.
I have seen a person scoop out the inside before cooking because they said it was easier, but it looked pretty hard to me.
Plus, what do you do with those raw potato pieces? I guess you can boil them but my hand hurts just thinking about scooping that hard center.
When scooping, be sure to leave 1/4 inch of potato on the skin to hold your toppings. If you accidentally get too much or go all the way to the skin itself, don’t panic!
Just pat some back in there and move on. Easy as that.
This is not meant to be stressful by any means.
What do I do with all that extra potato?
Now that the inside is scooped out we have a nice boat to add our toppings to. All those yummy ones like bacon, sour cream, green onions, jalapenos, and of course cheese.
But before we fill them, we need to prepare them so they are super crispy on the outside and crispy and seasoned on the inside, so they don’t get soggy.
How to make Baked Potato Skins
To get them crispy, we are going to bake them for a little bit so let’s prep them for the oven.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Place the potatoes, skin side up, on the baking sheet.
- Brush the potatoes with olive oil (or butter) and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the skin is crispy and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and flip the potatoes over.
- Brush the insides with butter or oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until light brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oven.
Now your potato skins are ready to fill and top. This is where all the creativity comes in!
Can you eat sweet potato skins?
Yes, you can! Sweet potatoes make delicious potato skins that can be either sweet or savory.
If you prefer sweet potato fries, you might want to try sweet potato skins as well.
They also make a great dessert option with marshmallow on top!
Ways to top Potato Skins
Just because it is a potato skin appetizer, doesn’t mean you have to leave your creativity behind!
So, while those bacon, chive, and sour cream loaded potato skins never lose their charms, try going other directions too!
Some options might include:
- Loaded Potato Skins
- Chili and cheese
- Philly Cheesesteak, peppers, and cheese
- Nacho style
- Sloppy Joes
- Jalapeño Popper
- Taco or Southwest
- Buffalo Chicken
Mini Potato Skin Rounds
If you don’t want to go through all the trouble of cooking and scooping, you can go the super easy route and make small potato skin rounds.
Just take your potatoes, uncooked, and slice them thin crosswise. I like mine about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.
Spread on a lined baking sheet like above and cook until brown and tender.
Top with your favorite toppings and bake a few minutes more to melt all the cheese.
Serve and enjoy!
Can I freeze Homemade Potato Skins?
If you are going to make them in advance and it’s longer than a few days, you can pop the potato boats into the freezer. When they’re frozen solid, move to a zip top bag and keep frozen for up to one month. Thaw and use like before.
How long do they last in the fridge?
You can make the homemade potato skins ahead of time (stopping before the final heating) and store in the fridge for 3-5 days if tightly covered. You can heat and eat when ready!
Can I reheat them?
Yes, just place the skins on a baking sheets, bake at 350F for about 10 minutes or until heated through.
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Make your own Homemade Potato Skins and top them with your favorite toppings for the best appetizer around!
More Easy Appetizers
- Loaded Potato Skin Skillet Dip
- Air Fryer Potato Chips
- Cookie Fries
- Sriracha Honey Chicken Wings
- Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings
- 3 large russet potatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.
- Using a small spoon, scoop out the flesh leaving a 1/8" to 1/4" layer of potato inside.
- Brush both the inside and outside of the potatoes with olive oil or butter and sprinkle with salt.
- Place potatoes cut side down in on foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes.
- Flip potatoes over and bake an additional 5 minutes or until slightly browned and crisp.
- Cool and place in fridge if saving for later.
- If preparing now, fill each potato with toppings.
- Return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes or until toppings are heated through.
- Remove from the oven, top with any additional toppings.
- Serve and enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 potato skin
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2136mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
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