These make-ahead Twice Baked Potatoes are an easy, delicious, and impressive-looking side dish. Once you know how to make twice baked potatoes, the crowd-pleasing recipe is sure to make a regular appearance on your holiday and special occasion menus. No one can resist the creamy mashed potato filling that's loaded with sour cream, bacon, cheese and chives!
Make Ahead Twice Baked Potatoes
A twice baked potato is exactly what it sounds like: a potato that has been baked once, then mashed, stuffed, and baked again! Creamy twice baked mashed potatoes typically include cheese and other flavorful ingredients, making them a decadent addition to holidays like Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Not only do they look impressive with their fluffy, cheesy filling piled high on top of each crispy potato skin, but the easy stuffed potatoes are a convenient side dish that you can make ahead.
This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you'll need for the best twice baked potato recipe. As always, the specific measurements and the complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- Russet potatoes: the ideal choice for twice baked potatoes. Russets have a thick skin, which gets nice and crispy in the oven, as well as a lot of starch, which creates a dry, fluffy interior.
- Vegetable oil: helps crisp the outside of the potato skins.
- Sour cream and butter: give the mashed potato filling a rich, creamy texture.
- Bacon: cook your own bacon until it's nice and crispy -- don't use store-bought bacon bits.
- Chives: add a fresh touch and a mild onion flavor. You can substitute with sliced green onions (scallions) if you can't find chives.
- Cheddar cheese: extra sharp cheddar is our preference for maximum flavor, but you can substitute with a mild cheddar or even a combination of cheddar, American, mozzarella, Gruyere, Colby, or Pepper Jack. Use a block of cheese that you grate by hand.
- Kosher salt and pepper: to enhance the flavors in the dish.
A Tip for the Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes
Bake 5 potatoes for just 4 servings (you'll discard the fifth potato skin, but keep the mashed insides). This way you'll have extra mashed potatoes for your filling, which yields taller, more impressive loaded twice baked potatoes. The extra potato also prevents you from needing to scrape the remaining potato skins quite as thin, which gives you a sturdier shell for filling.
How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes
These make ahead twice baked potatoes are a convenient side dish that you can assemble in advance and then just bake for the second time when you're reading to serve them. They're perfect for busy holidays like Easter or Christmas!
- Bake the potatoes in a 400° F for about 1 hour, or until they're crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Let the potatoes cool until you can handle them.
- Peel one potato, place the flesh in a large mixing bowl, and then discard the skin. That was your "extra" potato.
- Slice the top quarter lengthwise off of the remaining 4 potatoes.
- Use a spoon to scoop the flesh from the tops into the bowl and discard the skins.
- Scoop the flesh from the 4 potato bottoms, leaving a shell that's about ¼-inch thick.
- Arrange the 4 potato shells on a baking sheet.
- Mash the flesh in the bowl until smooth.
- Add sour cream, butter, bacon, chives and cheese. Stir until completely combined, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the mashed potato mixture evenly between the 4 hollow shells. Pile it on really high!
- Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake in a 400° F oven until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, about 15-20 minutes.
- Garnish with extra chives and serve warm.
To prepare the dish in advance, assemble the twice baked potatoes, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking for the second time.
How to Freeze
The assembled potatoes can be frozen before baking for the second time. Tightly wrap with plastic and then with foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the potatoes in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
Leftover twice baked potatoes will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheating Twice Baked Potatoes
To reheat leftover potatoes that have already been baked twice, place on a rimmed baking sheet and warm in a 350° F oven just until heated through (about 20 minutes). You can also reheat the leftovers in the microwave, but the skin will not stay quite as crispy.
What meat goes with Twice Baked Potatoes?
From a holiday ham or turkey to a Sunday supper of roasted chicken, these versatile potatoes pair well with almost any of your favorite meat-based entrées. Here are some easy ideas to serve with the best twice baked potatoes:
- Southern Bourbon-Glazed Beef Tenderloin
- Virginia Brown Sugar Baked Ham or Pineapple Glazed Ham
- Whole Roasted Chicken with Super-Crispy Skin
- Roasted Chicken Thighs with Garlic and Herbs
- Pork Sirloin Roast
- Crock Pot Ham with Cola Glaze
- Garlic and Rosemary Pork Chops
- Maple Glazed Roasted Turkey Breast
- Apple Cider Brined Turkey
- Pork Loin Roast
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- Oven BBQ Chicken Breast
Tips for the Best Twice Baked Potato Recipe
- Don't over-cook the potatoes. Keep an eye on them and roast them just until they're fork-tender (this will typically take about 1 hour, depending on the size of your potatoes). Overdone potatoes will have a wrinkly skin and the insides will appear gummy.
- Make sure that your sour cream and cheese are at room temperature. This will help them combine with the potatoes.
- I prefer to use cheddar cheese from a block that I grate by hand. It melts smoother into the potatoes.
More Potato Recipes to Try
- Aunt Bee's Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
- Hash Brown Potato Casserole
- Crispy Seasoned Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Make Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
Twice Baked Potatoes
- 5 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and dried
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, softened at room temperature
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or sliced green onions, divided
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, rub with oil, and arrange on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until fork-tender, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Peel 1 potato, place the flesh in a large mixing bowl, and discard the skin. Slice the top quarter lengthwise off of the remaining 4 potatoes. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh from the tops into the bowl and discard the skins. Use the same spoon to carefully scoop the flesh from the potato bottoms, leaving a shell about ¼-inch thick.
- Arrange the 4 potato shells on a baking sheet.
- Use a potato masher or a fork to mash the potato flesh in the large bowl until smooth. Add the sour cream, butter, bacon, 1 tablespoon of chives or green onions, and 1 cup of cheese. Stir until completely combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the mashed potato mixture evenly between the potato shells (it will be piled high). Top with remaining 1 cup of grated cheese.
- Bake the potatoes in a 400° F oven until heated through and the cheese is melted, about 15-20 minutes. Garnish with remaining chives or green onions just before serving.