Loaded Baked Potato Skins With Cheese and Bacon

Loaded potato skins with cheddar cheese and bacon.
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
169 Calories
8g Fat
17g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 169
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 182mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 109mg 8%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 465mg 10%
*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.)

These baked potato skins include a combination of shredded cheese, bacon, and green onions. The potato skins are a delicious snack, and they're always a hit. Because the potatoes skins are baked, not fried, they need very little hands-on cooking time, and you don't have to worry about cooking in batches. Another plus, they're lighter than deep-fried potato skins.

Feel free to adjust the toppings. Spicy pepper jack cheese or Gruyère would be excellent alternatives. Any good melty cheese will work in these tasty potato skins. For meat-free potato skins, replace the bacon with sautéed mushrooms or a vegetarian meat replacement.

Bake them and serve them as a snack for a family movie night or scale the recipe up for a large group or party. Or add them to a breakfast or brunch menu; they're an excellent alternative to home fries or hash brown potatoes.


  • 4 large baking potatoes

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 6 strips bacon

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese

  • 3/4 cup sour cream

  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Steps to Make It

Prepare Baked Potatoes and Bacon

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for baked potatoes and bacon.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F .Scrub potatoes and dry them thoroughly. Rub potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Prick them in several places with a fork, a metal skewer, or a small knife. Place potatoes on a rack in a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake potatoes for about 1 hour, or until tender.

    Coat the potatoes with olive oil and kosher salt and bake.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. While potatoes bake, cook bacon. Dice bacon and spread it out in a skillet. Place skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 7 to 9 minutes, or until pieces are browned and crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and reserve drippings in a small bowl. Set aside.

    Cook the bacon pieces.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. When baked potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato, leaving about 1/4-inch to make a sturdy shell. Brush inside of the potato shells with bacon drippings and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and pepper. Arrange skins on baking sheet, cut-side down. Brush outside of skins lightly with bacon drippings (or use melted butter). Return baking sheet to oven and bake for about 7 minutes. Flip potatoes over and bake for 4 to 5 minutes longer, or until edges are browned. Lower oven to 350 F.

    Bake the baked potato shells to crisp.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prepare the Toppings and Assembly

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for potato skin toppings.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Divide cheese among 8 potato shells. Return pan to 350 F oven and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

    Fill the baked potato shells with cheddar cheese.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Remove potato skins to a rack and top cheese with bacon and a light sprinkling of green onion. Add a small scoop of sour cream and more green onion. 

    Assemble the potato skins with toppings.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

What Are the Best Potatoes for Baking?

The best baking potatoes are starchy varieties, such as russets or Idaho baking potatoes. Medium starch Yukon Gold potatoes are fine for baking, but they will be a bit denser and less fluffy.

How to Use Leftover Cooked Potatoes

  • Mash with melted butter and warm milk; season with salt and pepper.
  • Mash and make potato patties.
  • Mash them and top a shepherd's pie or cottage pie.
  • Add some to a meatloaf.
  • Add some to bread stuffing or dressing.
  • Use them in a casserole.
  • Make Norwegian lefse.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the green onions with a few tablespoons of chopped chives.
  • For appetizer-sized portions, slice the baked potatoes lengthwise into quarters. Scoop out the potato and proceed with the recipe.
  • Pizza Potato Skins: Use a blend of mozzarella cheese and shredded cheddar. Replace the cooked bacon with mini pepperoni, and add the pepperoni to the potato shells after adding the cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted and then add some sliced ripe olives, peppers, or other favorite toppings.
  • Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Skins: Top the melted cheese with hot browned ground beef and sautéed mushrooms or onions.

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