For Better Baked Potatoes, Cook Them Twice (2024)

There was a time, way back when one of my favorite things to get from one of my favorite fast food restaurants was a humble baked potato. It was a meal unto itself, steaming and fluffy, ready to be mashed up with sour cream and butter before burning the roof of my mouth, a small price to pay in my young and hungry mind.

Let’s just say that while I still love a great baked potato, after I met the twice baked potato, it’s been hard to look back.

Why? A twice baked potato is the very best version of a baked potato you could ever ask for. There’s no work to be done once it hits the table (other than to eat it), it looks like it took a ton of effort (it really didn’t), and it’s more flexible in terms of making them ahead compared to potatoes baked once, which are best eaten just after they’re baked.

So if you’re a baked potato person, or just a potato person, here’s what you need to know to level up your potato game at home with delicious twice baked potatoes that everyone will be looking forward to.

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Tips for the Best Twice Baked Potatoes

  • Always use russet potatoes. There are two reasons: Russets are some of the biggest potatoes, which make for impressive twice bakes. Also, russet potato skins are a bit thicker, so they hold their shape the best after being scooped and refilled.
  • Use the biggest potatoes you can find. Get potatoes that are about 4 to 5 inches long and 1/2 pound to 1 pound each. This way, half a potato is the perfect serving size as a side.
  • Wash and season the potato skins, because you’re going to want to eat them!
  • Bake an extra potato. To make abundantly filled twice baked potatoes, bake one more potato than you need.
  • Scoop with care. When scooping the filling from the potato skins, use a regular cereal spoon and be careful not to scrape it too much. A little potato left inside the skin is okay, as it will only help the potato keep its shape when you refill it.

Filling Flavor Combinations

Twice baked potatoes are just like loaded baked potatoes—you can experiment with fillings. Another great thing to know? You don’t really need precise measurements. Here are some suggestions for fun flavor variations:

  • Steamed broccoli and cheddar cheese
  • Blue cheese and chives
  • Basil pesto and Parmesan cheese
  • Steamed spinach and artichokes
  • Feta cheese and fresh dill
  • Pecorino Romano cheese and lots of ground black pepper
  • Make twice baked sweet potatoes with butter, maple syrup and mini marshmallows

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3 Ways To Make Twice Baked Potatoes Ahead

If the idea of whipping up a batch of twice baked potatoes for dinner on a busy weeknight has you overwhelmed, don’t worry. It’s easy enough to split up the steps. Here are a few options to take the stress away:

1. Pre-bake the potatoes: Bake,microwave, orair frythe potatoes up to four days in advance, let cool, wrap in foil, then slice, scoop, re-fill, and refrigerate for quicker twice baked potatoes on your schedule! When ready to serve, bake for 30 minutes at 400°F, topping with remaining cheese and green onion halfway through to ensure they don’t burn before the filling is fully hot all the way through.

2. Pre-bake and fill the potatoes: Bake and fill, then let cool and store in the fridge, wrapped in foil. When you're ready to serve, bake the potatoes for 30 minutes at 400°F, topping with cheese and green onion only halfway through to ensure they don’t burn before the filling is hot all the way through.

3. Freeze the twice baked potatoes: Bake and fill, then let cool and store in a resealable freezer bag in the freezer. Let thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake for 30 minutes at 400°F, topping with cheese and green onion only halfway through baking. Only use green onion as the topping, not in the filling itself, as green onions do not freeze well.

More Classic Potato Recipes to Try

  • Potato Skins
  • Sweet Potato Latkes
  • Potato Croquettes
  • Potato Salad
  • Potato Gnocchi

Twice Baked Potatoes

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time90 mins

Total Time105 mins

If you want to save time, you can microwave or air fry the potatoes before skipping to step 2.


For the baked potatoes

  • 5 large russet potatoes, 4 to 5 inches long and 1/2 pound each

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling and topping

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1/4 cup thinly green onions, divided


  1. Bake the potatoes:

    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Scrub the potatoes really well with cold water. Dry, then poke with a fork all over. Rub the skins with the vegetable oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bake for 1 hour directly on the oven rack or on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

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  2. Cook the bacon for the filling:

    While the potatoes are baking, add the bacon to a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp all over, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

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  3. Scoop and mash the potatoes:

    Keep the oven on.

    Use a knife to halve the baked potatoes lengthwise, then let the halves cool for 10 minutes.

    In the meantime, add the sour cream, whole milk, butter, black pepper, remaining teaspoon of salt, half the grated cheddar, half the green onions, and the cooked bacon to a large bowl.

    Once the potatoes are cooled slightly, use a spoon to scoop out the insides and add them to the same bowl. You can keep the potatoes on a cutting board or baking sheet to do this, or you can use a kitchen towel to hold the potato halves in your hand for easier scooping. Try to get as much of the flesh out as possible without poking holes in the potato skins; a little potato left in the skin is OK.

    Put 8 of the skins back onto a baking sheet (discard or save the remaining two for another use or snack on them), then use a fork to mash and mix the potato mixture—it should resemble mashed potatoes in texture. If it’s too thick, add a splash of milk and mix again. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired.

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  4. Fill the potatoes and bake again:

    Divide the filling evenly between the potato skins. Top each with the remaining cheese and green onions, then transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are hot all the way through.

    Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days, or freeze them, well wrapped, for up to 3 months.

    Love the recipe? Leave us a review and stars below!

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
25g Fat
57g Carbs
16g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4to 6
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g32%
Saturated Fat 12g61%
Cholesterol 64mg21%
Sodium 683mg30%
Total Carbohydrate 57g21%
Dietary Fiber 6g21%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 22mg108%
Calcium 229mg18%
Iron 3mg16%
Potassium 1511mg32%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.

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