Freezer Friendly Potato Skins
Whether feeding a hungry crowd at a party, or as a quick anytime snack at home, these potato skins are always a hit. Make them anytime you find an extra good deal on potatoes and keep your freezer frugally stocked. For traditional skins use bacon, but save calories by using turkey bacon or make them vegetarian with vegetarian bacon.
A lot of restaurant potato skins are fried. These are baked, but no less satisfying. The secret is to rub the outside of the potatoes with oil before baking the first time, this will give the outside a perfect crisp texture.
The recipe below calls for large potatoes (for clarity’s sake), but know you can use any size potato when making this appetizer. In fact, for entertaining, I prefer smaller potatoes.
Makes 8 Large Potato Skins
4 large baking potatoes, baked
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
8 bacon strips (or turkey bacon or vegetarian bacon), cooked crisply and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
At Serving Time:
1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek style yogurt
2 green onions, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash potatoes well and dry completely. Lightly coat unpeeled potatoes with oil. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes (depending on potato size) or until tender when pierced with a fork.
When cool enough to handle, coat lightly with oil again. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-in. shell (see Tip below for suggestions on what to do with the insides).
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide bacon among the prepared skins, followed by the shredded cheese. To eat now, bake in a 450 degree oven for about 7 minutes or until cheese has melted and is starting to brown. Top with sour cream or yogurt and green onions and serve immediately.
Otherwise, cool completely and individually wrap in plastic wrap and freeze in a large zip-top freezer bag.
To Cook After Freezing:
Place frozen potatoes skins on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes (timing will depend on size of potatoes) or until heated through, crisp, and cheese has melted and is starting to brown. Top with sour cream or yogurt and green onions and serve immediately.
What to do with the leftover insides from the potatoes? You can use some to thicken a soup or stew. Also, you can turn them into mashed potatoes, just pick up your favorite recipe after the point where you would usually boil the potatoes. Here’s one of my favorites: Freezer Friendly Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes.