Recipe: The Best Twice-Baked Potato

Recipe: The Best Twice-Baked Potato

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Kelli Foster
Feb 9, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

When we talk about a great steak dinner we're really talking about the big picture of what's on your plate. The steak is front and center, but the sides are what makes it feel special. In fact, when it comes to steak dinners, a really good side can steal the show. In this series on Steakhouse Sides we're sharing recipes for the scene stealers so make sure you leave ample room on the plate!

To claim anything as the best is a bold statement, and not one I take lightly. So what makes these twice-baked potatoes worthy of such a lofty title? To start, let's look at the inspiration. We took everything we loved about baked potatoes and ultra-creamy mashed potatoes, and brought them together for a result that's way better than the sum of its parts.

These twice-baked potatoes deliver crispy skin plus a velvety, ultra-rich filling. Together they create a twice-baked potato powerful enough to steal the spotlight on your plate, and reminiscent of something you'd order at a fancy steakhouse.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Cook the Potatoes in the Oven

While there are three methods for making baked potatoes, you'll want to forgo the microwave and slow cooker for this version. The oven is the best method when making twice-baked potatoes. Two rounds of bake time in the oven produce a firm, dry, crispy outer skin that you just can't achieve when using the microwave or slow cooker.

Get the recipe: How To Bake a Potato in the Oven

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

The Filling Is Best Mixed Warm

It's not just the outside that matters — the real highlight of a twice-baked potato is the rich and creamy filling inside. Think of it as rustic mashed potatoes, with a refined edge.

The trick to really nailing the filling is mixing it together while the potatoes are still warm. Give them a few minutes to cool off after coming out of the oven the first time, then grab a clean dish towel to hold each potato as you cut and scoop the flesh. The butter quickly melts into the flesh and the sour cream and milk easily incorporate to create a rich, airy texture.

The Best Twice-Baked Potato

Serves 4 to 8

4 medium russet potatoes (3 1/2 to 4 pounds total)
Olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup full-fat sour cream, divided
1/3 cup whole or 2% milk
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon garlic powder (no-salt)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F.

Scrub the potatoes well and pat dry. Rub the potatoes all over with a thin coating of oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and place directly on the oven rack. Bake until fork-tender, flipping halfway through, 50 to 60 minutes total.

Place the potatoes on a wire rack. Open the foil packets and let the potatoes sit for about 5 minutes, until they're cool enough to handle but still very warm. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. To make them easier to handle if still hot, hold in a clean dish towel. Carefully scoop the flesh into a medium bowl, leaving about 1/4-inch of potato and skin as the shell. Place the potato skins skin-side down on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

Add the butter and 1/4 cup of the sour cream to the bowl with the potato flesh. Use a fork or potato masher to mash together until soft and well-combined. Do not overwork the potatoes. Fold in the remaining sour cream, milk, 1 cup of the cheese, scallions, chives, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Divide the filling among the shells, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted and the peaks of the mashed potatoes are crispy, 15 to 20 minutes (with an additional 5 to 10 minutes for potatoes that were made ahead). Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Make ahead: The potatoes can be baked and filled up to 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to bake the second time. Add an additional 5 to 10 minutes to bake time when made ahead.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More posts in The Great Steak Dinner: Classic Side Dishes
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