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Twice-Baked Potatoes

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Rich, cheesy mashed potatoes baked in crispy potato skins, twice-baked potatoes make any meal special.

Twice-baked potatoes are creamy, cheesy, mashed potatoes baked in crispy, salty potato skins. To make them, hot baked potatoes are cut in half and hollowed out, and the flesh is mashed with butter, cream, seasoning, egg yolks (yes, egg yolks!), cheese, and scallions. The filling is then mounded into the scooped-out potato skins and baked again to rewarm the flesh and crisp up the tops. Although twice-baked potatoes are easy to make, the potatoes take a long time to cook. The good news is that you can do the first bake and stuff the potatoes several days ahead of time or freeze them for up to 3 months. Then all you need to do is pop them in the oven for 30 minutes to finish the recipe, and you’ve got a decadent make-ahead side dish that will make any meal feel special.

Twice-baked potatoes pair well with pan-seared steak, steak au poivre, roast beef tenderloin, turkey, meatloaf, or roast chicken. What’s more, they are endlessly adaptable. You can top the potatoes with bacon, swap the heavy cream for sour cream, mix in your favorite fresh herbs, or substitute all or part of the Cheddar for Gruyère, Parmigiano Reggiano, or blue cheese.

What You’ll Need To Make Twice-Baked Potatoes

Russet potatoes, also known as Idaho potatoes, are ideal for making twice baked potatoes. They are large with an oval shape, and their flesh is fluffy and flaky when cooked. Before cooking, the potatoes should be scrubbed clean, rinsed, and dried. I bake an extra potato to bulk up the filling; twice-baked potatoes are more appealing when they’re piled high.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Bake the Potatoes

Preheat the oven to 400°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Directly on the baking sheet, rub the potatoes with the oil and sprinkle all over with ½ teaspoon of the salt.

potatoes rubbed with oil and sprinkled with salt

Bake until tender when pierced in the center with a sharp knife (or until the center of the largest potato registers 205°F to 210°F), 60 to 70 minutes. You can also squeeze the potatoes to see if they are soft (be careful; they’re hot!). Let sit until cool enough to handle, 5 to 10 minutes.
baked potatoes

Step 2: Scoop out the Flesh

Using a sharp knife, cut each potato in half so that the flatter, wider side will sit flat on the baking sheet. Scoop the flesh from each potato to within about ¼ inch of the skins, and transfer the flesh to a large bowl.

scooping flesh from potatoes

Discard 2 of the scooped potato skin halves (preferably the least perfect ones), and place the remaining 8 potato skin halves back on the baking sheet.

scooped potato skins

Step 3: Make the Mashed Potato Filling

Add the butter, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, and pepper to the hot potato flesh in the bowl.

potatoes in bowl with butter and seasoning

Using a potato masher or large fork, mash until the butter is melted and the potatoes are broken down. Pour in the heavy cream and mash until the cream is incorporated and the potatoes are creamy.

adding cream to potatoes

Add the egg yolks and mash until evenly combined.

adding egg yolks to potatoes

Stir in the cheese and the remaining scallions.
adding cheese and scallions to mashed potatoes

Step 4: Fill and Bake

Spoon the filling evenly into the potato skins, mounding slightly in the center. Sprinkle with the paprika.

potato mixture spooned into scooped potato skins

Return to the oven and bake until the filling is heated through and slightly crisp on top, 20 to 25 minutes.

twice baked potatoes fresh out of the oven

Sprinkle with the reserved scallions and serve.

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Rich, cheesy mashed potatoes baked in crispy potato skins, twice-baked potatoes make any meal special.

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean of dirt, rinsed and dried
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3 scallions, light and dark green parts, thinly sliced, divided
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set 1 tablespoon of the dark green scallions aside to use as a garnish.
  2. Prick each potato a few times all over with a fork, if you like (see note). Directly on the baking sheet, rub the potatoes with the oil and sprinkle all over with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Bake until tender when pierced in the center with a sharp knife (or until the center of the largest potato registers 205°F to 210°F), 60 to 70 minutes. You can also squeeze the potatoes to see if they are soft (be careful; they're hot!). Let sit until cool enough to handle, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut each potato in half so that the flatter, wider side will sit flat on the baking sheet. Scoop the flesh from each potato to within about ¼ inch of the skins, and transfer the flesh to a large bowl. Discard 2 of the scooped potato skin halves (preferably the least perfect ones), and place the remaining 8 potato skin halves back on the baking sheet.
  4. Add the butter, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, and pepper to the hot potato flesh in the bowl. Using a potato masher or large fork, mash until the butter is melted and the potatoes are broken down. Add the heavy cream and mash until the cream is incorporated and the potatoes are creamy. Add the egg yolks and mash until evenly combined. Using a spoon, stir in the cheese and the remaining scallions until evenly combined.
  5. Spoon the filling evenly into the potato skins, mounding slightly in the center. Sprinkle with the paprika. Return to the oven and bake until the filling is heated through and slightly crisp on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved scallions and serve.
  6. Note: Conventional wisdom says that prior to baking, you have to prick potatoes with a fork a few times to allow steam to escape during baking. The theory is that if you don’t prick the potato, the steam can build up under the skin and cause the potato to explode in the oven. I don't prick my potatoes and have never had a potato explosion, but pricking won't harm the potatoes, so go ahead and prick them as insurance, if you like.
  7. Make-Ahead/Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The potatoes can be stuffed ahead of time and refrigerated in a covered container for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, heat in a 400°F oven until the filling is warm throughout and crisp on top, 25 to 30 minutes. The stuffed potatoes can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Bake in a 400°F-oven directly from the freezer until hot throughout and crisp on top, 30 to 35 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 411
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 657 mg
  • Cholesterol: 107 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Hi Jenn.
    Can I skip the egg yolks, or will this alter the flavour?

    • — Debbie on November 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, It’s fine to leave them out; they just make the mixture a bit richer.

      • — Jenn on November 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • These are absolutely fabulous. Made them for a large family dinner and everyone wanted more. Note to self – double the recipe! Thanks, Jenn.

    • — Barb on November 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious!!! I have never made twice baked potatoes before and these did not disappoint–my whole family enjoyed them. I wasn’t sure about the egg yolks or not pricking the potatoes but I’ve learned to trust Jenn enough to do what she says and am always glad I did. Thanks Jenn for another winner!

    • — Rebecca on November 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can the potatoes be microwaved instead of baked in the oven if frozen for later?

    • — Millie on November 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Millie, I wouldn’t recommend that – sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • Question Jenn…what is the reason for the egg yolks?
    I’ve made twice-baked potatoes but have never used egg yolks. I love and trust your recipes so will try this one – I’m just curious as to the “why” behind the yolks 🙂
    Cheers,
    Susan

    • — Susan P. West Kelowna, BC Canada on November 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, You don’t have to use egg yolks for twice-baked potatoes, but they add wonderful richness and structure, similar to Duchess potatoes. Hope you enjoy them!

      • — Jenn on November 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Now you’ve piqued my interest, Jenn! Why the egg yolks?

    • — L on November 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi L, The egg yolks add delicious richness and structure. The filling here is similar to Duchess potatoes, which are typically piped into pretty shapes.

      • — Jenn on November 6, 2022
      • Reply

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