There are dozens of ways to enjoy potatoes, but twice-baked potatoes are one of my favourites. This classic steakhouse side dish is easy to make at home and offers a great way to change things up the next time you’re serving potatoes with dinner.
For the first bake, whole potatoes are simply cooked in the oven until they are tender. For the second bake, the potatoes are hollowed out and packed with a mashed potato mixture, then returned to the oven to cook until they are creamy in the center and crisp on top.
Choosing Your Potatoes
Use large russet potatoes for this recipe, and choose potatoes that don’t have too many eyes or other blemishes, if possible. You can make twice-baked potatoes with other types of potato, but russets are excellent for roasting and mashing, and they have a thick enough skin to hold up to the twice-baking process.
The First Bake: How to Bake a Potato
Baking potatoes in the oven is easy, but it requires a bit of patience because a good-sized potato typically takes an hour to cook all the way through. While it’s possible — and faster — to cook whole potatoes in the microwave, I feel that the skin of the potatoes holds up better if they’re first cooked in the oven. You really need the skin to remain intact for this dish, so keep that in mind as you work with the potatoes.
Check the potatoes for doneness by inserting a thin, sharp knife into the center. If the knife slides in and out easily, the potatoes are done.
The Second Bake: Making The Potato Filling
After the potatoes have been cooled slightly, cut them in half and use a spoon to scoop out most of the roasted potato. I like to leave about ¼” of potato against the skin to give the skins a little more structure.
Transfer the scooped-out potato to a large bowl where you can mash it into a smooth filling. You’ll combine the potatoes with sour cream, milk and cottage cheese, then season them with green onions, salt and pepper
The cottage cheese is an ingredient that my family has always used, as the little cheese curds turn into little pockets of mild, melted cheese in the finished potatoes. You can really use any flavors you like in your filling, as even “plain” mashed potatoes will turn into a beautifully finished potato here.
Once the filling is ready, spoon it back into the skins and baked until it is lightly browned on top. You can top the potatoes with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese for a little extra richness, too. Serve the potatoes while they’re still hot from the oven.
This recipe calls for three potatoes and yields five servings. While the potatoes are cut in half, I only use five of the halves for serving. I like the filling of my twice-baked potatoes to pile high over the top edge of the potatoes, and using an extra half a potato gives me just the extra that I need.
Twice-Baked Potatoes Recipe
Makes five servings.
- 3 large russet potatoes (about 1¼ to 1½ lbs.)
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup cottage cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- )½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Roast potatoes whole on the oven rack until tender, and a knife inserted into the center slips out easily. Allow potatoes to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the center of the potatoes to form a boat, leaving a ¼” thick layer of roasted potato against the skin. Discard one of the six potato boats.
Place all roast potato in a medium bowl. Mash roasted potato with sour cream, milk, butter, cottage cheese, salt, pepper and green onions.
Spoon mashed potato back into potato boats, piling it above the rim of the potato skin. Top each potato with 1-2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. Arrange stuffed potatoes on baking sheet.
Bake potatoes for approximately 20 minutes at 400 F, until cheese is melted and the tops of the potatoes are lightly browned.