These classic Twice Baked Potatoes have a delicious sour cream and butter mashed potato filling loaded with cheddar cheese and bacon. Freeze a batch to reheat whenever the craving strikes!
Twice Baked Potatoes are just plain delicious. The creamy texture, the smoky, salty bite from the bacon, and of course that cheese…. who could resist?
The only drawback is that they are a bit time consuming to make. But, fear not, Twice Baked Potatoes freeze and reheat beautifully! I honestly think they are at least as good, if not a little better, after freezing and baking. The potato shells remain firm and crispy and the sour cream and cheese in the potato filling ensures that they retain their fabulous, creamy consistency.
- Potatoes – The best potatoes to use for Twice Baked Potatoes are russet or Idaho potatoes. They are thick-skinned potatoes with a fluffy interior.
- Olive oil – A little oil helps crisp and firm up the potato skin to make a perfect shell for the potato filling.
- Bacon – Cooked, crumbled bacon adds big flavor.
- Butter – You’ll need half a stick of salted butter.
- Sour cream – Light or regular sour cream will work well.
- Milk – I recommend using 2% or whole milk.
- Seasoning – The seasoning consists of an all-purpose seasoning blend, like Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Green onion – It adds a nice, but not overwhelming onion flavor and some color contrast.
How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes
The First Bake (and the Bacon)
- Place the potatoes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and poke them several times on each side with the tines of a fork.
- Pour a small amount of olive oil on each potato and use your hands to rub it all over, coating all sides. Bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until very tender through to the middle. Remove the potatoes from the oven (don’t turn the oven off) and let them rest on the baking sheet for 20 to 30 minutes.
- While the potatoes rest, place the bacon on the foil lined baking sheet and bake it for 15 to 18 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain and cool.
Prepare the Potato Filling
- With a sharp knife, slice a thin layer off the top of each potato. If you have large potatoes, see Expert Tips below for alternate instructions.
- Use a spoon to scrape the insides and transfer them to a large mixing bowl, being careful not to tear the shell.
- Leave a small rim of potato intact for support.
- Add the butter, sour cream and half of the milk to the potatoes in the mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle in the all purpose seasoning and pepper and use an electric mixer to combine it well.
- Add half of the bacon, half of the cheese, and half of the green onions.
- Stir with a spoon to combine. If the mixture seems too thick, add as much of the remaining milk as needed to reach a creamy consistency.
The Second Bake
- Place the potato shells on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and divide the filling between the shells.
- Top each potato with the remaining cheese.
- Transfer to the oven and bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until warmed through. Remove from the oven and garnish with remaining bacon and green onions.
Freezing Twice Baked Potatoes
- Follow the recipe all the way through to stuffing the potato mixture in the potato shells, but don’t top them with cheese. Allow the stuffed potatoes to cool completely.
- Wrap each stuffed potato in a sheet of plastic wrap and then in foil and transfer them to the freezer. If desired, you can transfer the wrapped potatoes to a freezer safe plastic storage bag and label it with the date before freezing. Use the frozen potatoes within 3 months for the best quality.
Baking Instructions for Frozen Potatoes
To bake and serve directly from the freezer, remove the foil and plastic wrap and rewrap each potato with foil. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until thawed. Remove the foil, sprinkle them with the cheese and bacon, and return them to the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until warmed through and the cheese has melted.
Baking Instructions for Thawed Potatoes
Thaw the potatoes in the refrigerator overnight. Remove and discard the foil and plastic wrap and place the potatoes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Top with cheese and bake as directed. It’s okay if they are still a little icy in the middle, they may just take a bit longer to bake.
Since the size of russet potatoes can vary, your 3 pounds may consist of 8 smaller potatoes or 4 large potatoes. If your potatoes are large, instead of cutting a thin slice off the top, slice them in half to create 8 servings.
Don’t throw those thin slices from the tops of the potatoes away! Place them on the baking sheet with the stuffed potatoes, skin side down. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and season with some salt and pepper, and bake them with the potatoes. If needed, you can leave them in the oven a little longer until they are crisped. So yummy!
Twice Baked Potatoes are a great choice to serve with most Main Dish proteins. Some of my favorites are Southwestern Pork Tenderloin, Tender Eye of Round Roast Beef with Gravy, Balsamic Herb Grilled Chicken, or Mini BBQ Meatloaves.
Twice Baked Potatoes (Make Ahead and Freeze)
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, 4 large or 8 small, scrubbed clean
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 slices bacon
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup milk, divided, you may not need it all
- ¾ teaspoon all purpose seasoning, like Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
The First Bake
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet and poke them several times on each side with the tines of a fork. Pour a small amount of olive oil on each potato and use your hands to rub it all over, coating all sides. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until very tender through to the middle.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven (don’t turn the oven off) and let them rest on the baking sheet for 20 to 30 minutes.
Cook the Bacon
- Meanwhile, line a second baking sheet with foil. Place the stips of bacon on the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the 400 degree F oven. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain and cool. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Make the Potato Filling
- For Small Potatoes – With a sharp knife, slice a thin layer off the top of each potato. Scrape out the insides and place in a large mixing bowl, being careful not to tear the shell. Leave a small rim of potato intact for support.
- For Large Potatoes – With a sharp knife, cut each potato in half lengthwise and scrape out the insides as directed above.
- Lay the hollowed out potato shells back on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Add the butter, sour cream, half of the milk, all purpose seasoning, and pepper to the mixing bowl with the potatoes. Beat with an electric mixer to combine. Add half of the bacon, half of the cheese, and half of the green onions and stir with a spoon to combine. If the mixture seems too thick, add as much of the remaining milk as needed to reach a creamy consistency.
The Second Bake
- Divide the filling between the potato shells. Top each potato with remaining cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until warmed through. Remove from the oven and garnish with remaining bacon and green onions and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
This was absolutely delicious. I love that you can make it ahead of time. I had to substitute yogurt for sour cream because I didn’t have any sour cream. But it was still fabulous. Will definitely be making this often.
Now and then my local grocery store offers a 10 lb. bag of russet potatoes for far less than a 5 lb. bag. There are only the two of us so when I buy the bigger bag, I make a batch of these for the freezer using the largest potatoes in the bag to get them ‘used up.’ It’s so nice to have such a treat waiting in the freezer, especially when they are so inexpensive and easy to make. These are also a great way to use up leftovers from entertaining – I’ve used onion chip dip in place of some of the sour cream (skip the seasoned salt) and whatever cheese(s) I have handy. One suggestion I have is to freeze the filled (and cooled) potatoes on a tray, loosely covered, until solid, and then individually wrap – they’re a bit easier to handle that way. Also – don’t forget to add the baking instructions to the freezer bag.
Great tips, Ann. Thanks!