These decadently cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes without sour cream will transform your kitchen table into your new favorite steakhouse!
If twice baked potatoes are something you have only enjoyed in a steakhouse, it is time to craft them in your own kitchen. They really aren't difficult, it is simply a combination of making baked potatoes and creamy mashed potatoes.
What is it?
Twice baked potatoes are the perfect side dish to serve with a fat and juicy grilled steak. Baked potato skins are loaded with a mixture of mashed potatoes, and flavorings such as bacon, cheese, and chives.
What can I substitute instead of sour cream when making Twice Baked Potatoes?
Sour cream is absolutely not needed to make twice-baked potatoes. Sour cream adds its distinctive tanginess to the dish, as well as a bit of creaminess. However, you can have great results by substituting Greek Yogurt instead. You could also add cream cheese for creamy potatoes, but that will make your mashed potatoes heavier as well.
Alternatively, you can just omit it all together from the recipe and you likely won't taste a difference. There are so many strongly flavored ingredients used in this recipe it is hard to notice the subtle addition of sour cream anyhow.
What are the Best Potatoes for Twice Baked Potatoes?
Russet potatoes, also known as baking potatoes are the best choice for making traditional twice baked potatoes. Russet potatoes have a high starch content which allows them to bake up light and fluffy while the exterior skin bakes to a delectable crisp. After all, who doesn't love crispy baked potato skins?
Yukon gold potatoes and red potatoes are poor substitutions for this recipe because their waxy texture detracts from the texture of the mash, and the skin doesn't retain crispness well.
Ingredients Needed for this recipe
- Baking potatoes - Large Russet potatoes are best.
- Olive oil - Or you can substitute another vegetable oil such as canola oil.
- Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese - Medium or mild cheddar cheese will also work, but sharp has the most flavor.
- Milk - Half and half or heavy cream can be used too, afterall this is comfort food!
- Chives - Green onions can be substituted.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
How to Make Twice Baked Potatoes
To make twice baked potatoes begin by baking the potatoes at 375 degrees for one hour on the middle oven rack, or until tender. Then cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the interior, leaving enough to allow the skin to retain its structure.
While the potatoes bake, fry up the bacon and crumble it, and prepare the other ingredients. Then remove the potatoes from the oven and when they are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, placing it in a large mixing bowl.
The potato flesh is mashed with a potato masher and combined with the other flavorings and then loaded back into the potato skins. Top with cheese, chives, and the remaining crispy bacon (or your favorite toppings) and return to the oven a second time for 15 minutes to melt the cheese and ensure everything is heated through.
Note: I don't recommend using a hand mixer to mash the potatoes, or you can easily overwork them and turn them gluey.
When Are Potatoes Done Baking?
The standard way of testing baked potatoes for doneness is to pierce them with a knife or fork. If the utensil slides in effortlessly they are probably done. However, did you know you can check the doneness of a baked potato with a digital thermometer? Potatoes will be light and fluffy upon reaching an internal temperature of 210 degrees.
Tip: Whenever you are baking potatoes it is important to pierce them a few times with a fork or sharp knife. This allows steam to escape as the potato bakes, preventing the skin from bursting open.
Make-Ahead Twice Baked Potatoes
Twice baked potatoes are a great side dish to make in advance. Simply prepare the side dish as instructed, but instead of baking them one final time, place them in your refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container until you are ready to enjoy them.
To serve, cover them loosely in aluminum foil on a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees until reheated, approximately 20-25 minutes depending on size. If frozen, I recommend thawing them first, however, you can bake them from frozen as well (approximately 45 minutes), you just risk them drying out a bit more.
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Twice Baked Potatoes without Sour Cream
- 6 large baking potatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 slices bacon
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese divided
- ½ cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons chives divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (Plus more for salting the potato skins)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly coat each potato with vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt, and pierce a few times with a fork.
- Place potatoes in oven and let bake for 1 hour, or until potatoes are cooked completely through and they have crispy skin.
- While potatoes are baking cook bacon in a skillet, drain fat, and crumble.
- Remove potatoes from oven and let rest till cool enough to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the interior, leaving just enough to prevent the potato shells from collapsing.
- In large bowl combine potato flesh, ½ cup of cheese, 2 tablespoons of chives, along with butter, salt, and pepper. Add crumbled bacon, reserving some crumbs for topping.
- Mash potato mixture until smooth and slowly incorporate milk while mashing until you reach the desired texture. (Since potato size varies it is OK if you don't use the full ½ cup, or if you add a bit more)
- Spoon potato mixture back into the potato skins then top with remaining cheese, chives, and crumbled bacon.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake potatoes on the top rack for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, let cool slightly and serve.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com January 31, 2017.