oven baked potato skins

Well, it’s party season (Christmas, New Years, FOOTBALL), so I thought I’d throw some party food at ya.

I love potato skins because the topping variations are endless.

I made the classic bacon-cheddar-sour cream-green onion version here, but I can’t stop thinking about how a little drizzle of BBQ sauce would be on this or if you replaced the bacon with some BBQ pulled pork or chicken. YES.

Anyway, they’re pretty easy. This is a small batch, so if you’re having a party make sure to double it. Although I might be able to eat a whole plate, I set the serving size at about 3 because that’s when I started to feel stuffed. They’re deceptively filling!

So, happy party season and make yourself some tater skins!

Oven Baked Potato Skins

oven baked potato skins

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Oven Baked Potato Skins

Oven baked potato skins with cheese, bacon, sour cream, and green onions.

Total Cost $4.09 recipe / $1.02 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 6 small russet potatoes (2.5 lbs) $0.99
  • 6 oz bacon $1.50
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.06
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional) $0.02
  • 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese $0.70
  • 2 whole green onions $0.22
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.53
  • salt to taste $0.05


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the potatoes well and prick the skins a few times with a fork. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for about 45 minutes or until they’re tender all the way through. Cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your potatoes. Check doneness by piercing the largest potato with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the rest of the ingredients. Slice the bacon into small pieces and cook in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Slice the green onions and shred the cheese. In a small bowl combine the vegetable oil, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
  3. Once the potatoes are cooked, use a small dish towel to help hold the hot potatoes as you cut them in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the potatoes, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato attached to each skin. Save the scooped out potato for another use.
  4. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place each scooped out potato on the baking sheet. Brush the seasoned oil over the surface of the potatoes. Use any left over residual oil on the brush to lightly coat the outside (peel side) surface of the potatoes. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Move the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes at 400 degrees to allow the potatoes to crisp up.
  5. Once the potatoes have crisped and are lightly golden brown on the edges, sprinkle the shredded cheese over top. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Take the potatoes back out and top with a dollop of sour cream, crumbled bacon, sliced green onions, or any other ingredient that you’d like.

oven baked potato skins
I know, there are only 10 on this plate… I’ll give you three guesses where the other two went.

Step By Step Photos

wash potatoes
Wash your potatoes well and then prick the skin with a fork. Smaller potatoes work best for this. Potatoes that are sold singularly are usually pretty large, while bagged potatoes are pretty small. These were about 3 inches long each. Bake them in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until you can easily pierce them all the way through with a fork.

Meanwhile get the rest of the toppings ready, like the bacon. I found half a package (6 ounces) of bacon to be plenty for 12 potato skins. I like to slice the bacon before I put it in the skillet because it seems easier to cook (less splatter). I froze the rest of the bacon for later.

cooked bacon
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy. Let it drain on a paper towel and try not to eat it all.

flavor oil
Season some vegetable oil with garlic powder and smoked paprika. The oil is what makes the potato skins crispy. Restaurant potato skins are deep fried, so this kind of simulates that. Also shred your cheese and slice the green onions.

slice potoates
Once the potatoes are soft, slice them in half with a sharp knife. I used a small dish towel to help hold them while I sliced because the potatoes are still STEAMING hot.

scoop potatoes
Use a spoon to scoop out the centers of the potatoes, leaving about a 1/4 inch around the inside of the skin. Scoring the potato with the side of the spoon will help control what comes out when you scoop.

oil potatoes
Put the scooped out potatoes on a baking sheet covered with foil. Brush the seasoned oil liberally over the open surface of the potatoes. Use any leftover oil to lightly coat the skin side. Sprinkle the potatoes liberally with salt. Bake for 15 minutes (still at 400 degrees) or until the edges are golden and crispy).

Pull the potatoes out of the oven, sprinkle lightly with cheese, and pop them back in the oven for a minute or two so the cheese can melt.

melted cheese
Once the cheese is melted, pull them out and top each one with a dollop of sour cream, crumbled bacon, and sliced green onions.

oven baked potato skins