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Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes recipe

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Twice Baked Potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, combining creamy, cheesy goodness with the crispy, flavorful skins of baked potatoes. This recipe is perfect for family gatherings, potlucks, or a hearty side dish for dinner. Follow these steps to create a delicious batch of Twice Baked Potatoes that everyone will love.

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Ingredients

For the Potatoes

  • 5 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, baked
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 squeeze bottle (for sour cream or other topping, optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Bake the Potatoes

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Bake the Potatoes: Wash the Yukon Gold potatoes thoroughly and prick them a few times with a fork. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Cool the Potatoes: Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool slightly until they are easy to handle.

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

  1. Scoop Out the Potatoes: Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the insides, leaving a thin layer of potato attached to the skins to maintain their structure. Place the scooped-out potato flesh into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mash the Potatoes: Mash the potato flesh until smooth. You can use a potato masher, a ricer, or even a hand mixer for this step.

Step 3: Mix the Filling

  1. Add Ingredients: To the mashed potatoes, add the kosher salt, ground black pepper, sour cream, shredded Mozzarella cheese, shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, chopped bacon (reserve some for topping), and half of the chopped green onions. Mix until everything is well combined and creamy.
  2. Taste and Adjust: Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt or pepper to your preference.

Step 4: Fill the Potato Skins

  1. Fill the Skins: Spoon the potato mixture back into the potato skins, mounding it slightly. Place the filled potatoes on a baking sheet.
  2. Top with Cheese: Sprinkle the remaining shredded Cheddar cheese on top of the filled potatoes.

Step 5: Bake Again

  1. Bake the Potatoes: Return the potatoes to the oven and bake at 400°F (200°C) for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve

  1. Add Toppings: Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool slightly. Top with the remaining chopped green onions and reserved bacon.
  2. Optional Squeeze Bottle: Fill the squeeze bottle with sour cream and drizzle it over the tops of the potatoes for an extra creamy touch.
  3. Serve: Serve the Twice Baked Potatoes hot and enjoy!

Tips for Success

  • Choose the Right Potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes are perfect for this recipe because of their creamy texture and buttery flavor. However, you can also use Russet potatoes if you prefer a fluffier texture.
  • Cook Bacon Perfectly: For perfectly crispy bacon, cook it in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels before chopping.
  • Customize the Filling: Feel free to add other ingredients to the filling, such as cooked and crumbled sausage, chopped ham, or even steamed broccoli for a twist.

Variations

  • Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes: Add toppings like chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, or a drizzle of ranch dressing for a fully loaded version.
  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon and add sautéed mushrooms, spinach, or bell peppers for a delicious vegetarian version.
  • Spicy Kick: Mix in some chopped pickled jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce into the potato filling for a spicy twist.

FAQ

Can I Make Twice Baked Potatoes Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare the potatoes up to the point of the second baking, then cover and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, simply bake them as directed.

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How Do I Store Leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through, or in the microwave.

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Can I Freeze Twice Baked Potatoes?

Yes, you can freeze them. Once filled and cooled, wrap each potato individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, bake from frozen at 375°F (190°C) until heated through, about 25-30 minutes.

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Twice Baked Potatoes are a versatile and delicious dish that can be customized to suit any taste. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with your own variations, these potatoes are sure to be a hit. Enjoy them as a side dish or even as a main course for a satisfying and comforting meal. Happy cooking!

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