Today’s post is kind of a “fun with food” recipe. I had half a jar of generic pizza sauce left over from an impromptu pizza night a few days ago that I wanted to use up, so I decided to make these scrumptious Pepperoni Stuffed Baked Potatoes. What makes these potatoes so great? The pepperoni is baked INSIDE the potatoes! So, as the potato bakes, it soaks up all that yummy pepperoni flavor. Mmm-hmmm, that’s what I’m talking about.
After baking the potatoes, I topped them with that leftover pizza sauce and some shredded mozzarella cheese. This is where you could have some fun, though. Stop by the salad bar at the grocery store and pick up a handful of onions, olives, bell peppers, or whatever pizza toppings you like, and throw them on there as well. Or, check your fridge and see if there are any other leftover ingredients that could possibly go on top. Like pizza, a potato is a blank canvas just waiting for decoration.
And I’m sorry. I know I post a pizza related recipe just about every other week, but it’s just too easy and too good. I could eat pizza every day of my life and still want more. *shrug*
Pepperoni Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Pepperoni Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- 4 russet potatoes (about 1/2 lb. each) ($2.20)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
- Pinch of salt ($0.02)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend ($0.10)
- 32 pieces of pepperoni ($1.33)
- 1 1/3 cup pizza sauce* ($1.15)
- 4 oz. shredded mozzarella ($0.91)
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Wash the potatoes well and then pat dry with a paper towel. Using a large, sharp knife, cut parallel slits into the potatoes about 1/8th inch apart and about 80% of the way through the potato (see images below for details). Do not cut through the bottom of the potatoes--each potato should still be one piece.
- Place the sliced potatoes on a baking sheet covered with parchment or foil for easy clean up. Use your hands to rub cooking oil over the entire outside surface of the potatoes. Begin stuffing the slits in the potatoes with slices of pepperoni. Use 8-10 slices of pepperoni per potato, placing a pepperoni in every other or every third slit. Season the potatoes with a pinch of salt and a generous sprinkle of Italian seasoning blend.
- Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, or until they are tender all the way through. Remove the potatoes from the oven and pour about 1/3 cup pizza sauce over the top of each potato. Top the sauced potatoes with shredded mozzarella, then return the potatoes to the oven for an additional 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly golden brown on the edges. Serve hot.
Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash the potatoes well, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Using a large, sharp knife, cut slits into the potatoes about 1/8 inch apart and about 80% through the potato. The goal is to leave the potatoes attached at the bottom by not cutting all the way through. If you need help preventing yourself from cutting all the way through, you can place the handles of two wooden spoons on each side of the potato to act as a “guard” and prevent the knife from going all the way down. Be careful, though, because the ends of the potatoes may be higher off the cutting board than the guards.
Use your hands to rub cooking oil over the entire surface of each potato. Begin to stuff the slits in the potatoes with pepperoni slices. Rather than putting a pepperoni slice in each and every slit, I put one in every other or every third slit (otherwise that would have been a LOT of pepperoni). I like to leave a little of each pepperoni sticking out the top so that it can get crispy. After stuffing with pepperoni, season the potatoes with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning blend.
Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, or until they’re tender all the way through.
You’ll notice how after baking the slits that didn’t have pepperoni in them opened up a bit. You could always stuff a few more toppings in them at this time.
Pour pizza sauce over the top of each potato (more is better here–use around 1/3 cup for each potato).
Then top each potato with shredded mozzarella (I used 4oz. total).
Then back into the oven they go for another 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and a little golden brown on top.
Yeah, I know. I’m pizza obsessed.
But, I mean, can you blame me?