Easy twice baked potatoes are creamy, cheesy, and packed with flavor!! Get the secret ingredient in this recipe that makes it amazing!
Twice-baked potatoes are one of those dishes that is incredibly versatile.
It can be:
- A quick lunch
- Fancy appetizers at a dinner party
- A frugal main-dinner option
- Or a side dish
What makes them even better is that you can make ahead these twice baked potatoes and save yourself a lot of time in the kitchen around mealtime.
You can even make them budget-friendly if you choose to use leftover baked potatoes from a prior dinner!
Easy twice baked potatoes can become a huge hit at your home.
They’re great for dinner parties with guests, family gatherings or snacking on while watching a football game. It can also be a sneaky way of tricking the picky eaters in the house to eat up the leftovers and keep your grocery budget trimmed of excess food waste.
How to make these baked potatoes ahead
- Because this easy twice baked potatoes recipe has you using already cooked potatoes the hard part is already done.
- Just slice the cooled and cooked potatoes down the middle lengthwise and scoop out the inside so that it can look like little bowls.
- Mix the cooked potato in a large bowl with the other ingredients in this recipe and then divide the mixture back into each of the potato skins.
- Make sure that you have the potato bowls laying flat on a cooking sheet for stability.
- After filling them up, top with a generous amount of shredded cheese and bacon bits.
- Then you can reheat and eat, or choose to cover and refrigerate them until you are ready to bake them.
How far in advance can you make twice baked potatoes?
You could choose to make these twice-baked potatoes as far in advance as you would like, but the results may vary.
For the best twice baked potatoes, it’s good practice to only make them a few hours in advance or the day before serving. As long as you have them stored in a covered container or covered in plastic wrap, you should be good.
Some people may choose to store twice baked potatoes in their freezer and meal prep for weeks in advance. To do this may require more effort in packaging to reduce the risk of freezer burn and it may come with some minor side effects or risks that should be noted.
- Any undercooked portion of the potato may turn black/purple when frozen. This is a result of the sugars in the potato and can be very unappealing.
- You can avoid this by making sure that your potatoes are fully cooked and that no parts are underdone. Cooked potatoes do not turn colors once frozen.
- The sour cream, cheese, and other filling ingredients may change slightly in texture and appearance when baked after having been frozen.
- While they might change, they are still perfectly safe to eat.
So enjoy your easy make-ahead twice baked potatoes whenever you want. Just make sure that you prepare enough because they go quickly!
The Best Twice Baked Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Slice baked potatoes in half lengthwise so that each half is deep instead of shallow, if possible.
- Gently scoop out the potato from the shell and set aside in a medium bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch edge on the potato shell.
- Combine the scooped out potato with the sour cream, ranch dressing, salts, pepper, 3/4 cup of the cheese, 2 tablespoons of the bacon bits and 2 tablespoons of the chives.
- Scoop filling back into the potato shells, mounding it slightly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon bits. I find it is easiest to place shells on a baking sheet for this step.
- Refrigerate, covered, until ready to bake.
- Bake on a sheet tray for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and the potatoes are heated through.
- Sprinkle with remaining chives.