Need a side dish that you can make ahead of time – even freeze – and reheat when you need it? Try these Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes. You might even make a big batch (if you’ve got the oven on, you might as well make the most of it), and freeze individual servings. Then, when you need them, you can pull out what you need, warm them up in the oven (my preference over the microwave), and have some comfort-food goodness to add to any meal.
This is a pretty flexible recipe~ you could swap out the bacon for diced ham, or even some leftover shredded chicken. I’d stay away from any veggies that have a lot of liquid, like zucchini, especially if you are planning to freeze them. It would be fun to experiment with different cheeses (try Fontina~ it melts beautifully). And, as you can see from the picture below, I like to use an old-fashioned potato masher. You can use a mixer, or a potato ricer, but I prefer the slightly lumpy texture you get from the masher.
- 8 each russet potatoes, washed and pierced with a fork or knife
- olive oil
- sea salt
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Make sure potatoes have been pierced on all sides. Rub potatoes with olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Wrap potatoes individually with aluminum foil.
- Bake until a fork pierces the skin easily, anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.
- Remove potatoes from the oven and unwrap. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Slice the top 1/4 off of each potato. Reserve the "cap" for later.
- Carefully scoop out the flesh of the potato, leaving slightly more than 1/4-inch thickness to the shell of the potato.
- Blend together the potato flesh, and remaining ingredients.
- Fill potato shells. They should be filled above the edge of the shell. Top potatoes with the "caps" reserved from earlier.
- Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- To freeze potatoes: Do not put potatoes in the oven for the second baking. Instead, allow to cool to room temperature. Freeze individually on a baking sheet, then wrap frozen potato in aluminum foil. Place wrapped potatoes in a reclosable freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
- To reheat: Thaw potatoes in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place foil-wrapped potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until heated through.
Want a couple other easy side dishes that are delicious? Deb’s Gorgonzola mashed potatoes are a winner. In fact, she has friends that beg her to make them. Not a white potato lover? Try these mashed sweet potatoes. Guess what? They actually freeze well which is a bonus. You can put them into freezer trays and pop out a portion whenever you like!