Smitten Kitchen’s Twice-Baked Potatoes Are a Fresh Take on the Classic
In the world of online food blogging, Smitten Kitchen is a legend. The beloved food blog founded by Deb Perelman is one of the first places I check when searching for recipe inspiration. I’ve cooked countless Smitten Kitchen recipes in the past and am always impressed. So when searching for contestants to include in my twice-baked potato recipe showdown, I knew I needed to see if Deb had a recipe.
Deb’s version is adapted from a Food52 recipe and calls for leeks and kale — two ingredients I had never seen in twice-baked potatoes before. They looked like a fun, veg-filled take on the classic and I was curious to see how they would compare to more classic recipes. I headed into my kitchen and gave the recipe a try.
Get the recipe: Smitten Kitchen’s Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale
How to Make Smitten Kitchen’s Twice-Baked Potatoes
Deb’s recipe is relatively easy but does have several steps, so make sure to set aside a couple of hours to make them (although most of that time will be hands-off). Start by baking some russet potatoes until tender. While the potatoes are cooking, remove the stems from a bunch of kale, spinach, or chard (I used kale) and tear the leaves into large pieces. Sauté the greens until tender, then transfer them to a colander and squeeze out the excess moisture. Chop the greens and set them aside.
Cut a leek into small pieces and sauté it in a pan with butter and oil until tender. Add the chopped greens, then transfer that mixture into a bowl.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. Add the flesh to the bowl of greens and mash it all together. Stir in sour cream, shredded cheese (I used Gruyère, although Deb offers several options), salt, and pepper. Fill the potato shells with the filling, top with more shredded cheese, and bake until melted and browned.
My Honest Review of Smitten Kitchen’s Twice-Baked Potatoes
I really enjoyed this recipe and was surprised by how much I loved the flavor and texture of the greens. The filling had much less dairy than the other recipes, and I actually loved that. It made the filling taste lighter and less overwhelming. The leeks gave the filling a subtle onion flavor that amped up the savoriness, while the kale provided a nice pop of texture. The flavor was rich, balanced, and delicious.
This recipe is so different from any other twice-baked potato I’ve tried, and I appreciate that! But that difference makes it difficult to compare to other recipes. If you’re looking for a traditional twice-baked potato recipe that’s heavy on the dairy and cheese, this isn’t the recipe for you. But if you’re looking for something that’s a bit lighter, I would highly suggest giving this version a try. The potatoes are filling, flavorful, and still feel decadent without being heavy. I would happily make this recipe again.
If You’re Making Smitten Kitchen’s Twice-Baked Potatoes Recipe, a Few Tips
Before you head into the kitchen to make this recipe, keep these tips in mind.
- Split up the prep: The next time I make these I will probably bake the potatoes and make the filling the day before to cut back on the amount of prep the day-of.
- Don’t skimp on the salt: Potatoes need a lot of salt to help make their flavor shine, so be generous when seasoning the filling. Deb suggests adding “more salt and pepper than you think you’ll need,” and she is exactly right.
- Use whatever greens you have on hand: Deb explains how you can use other hearty greens, like spinach or chard, in place of the kale, so feel free to go off-script.
Have you ever made Smitten Kitchen’s twice-baked potato recipe? Let us know in the comments!