Twice Baked Potatoes

Last year was my first Thanksgiving away from my mother's table and in addition to my natural aversion to traditional Thanksgiving buffets, I was not at all ready to tackle the whole meal all on my own. Fortunately, I was not alone and my fellow quarter-lifers who were stranded in Singapore for the holiday decided to band together for a pot-luck of sorts. The company was fabulous, the sides were delicious, the homemade pumpkin pie was devine, but the pre-cooked [and surprisingly pre-carved] turkey was what really made the day [ha!].

My contribution to the smorgasbord: twice baked potatoes.

If you're looking for something to bring to your own Thanksgiving pot-luck or want to impress your family by chipping-in this year, twice baked potatoes are a great way to go.  What's best: they're an easy and delicious side-dish cleverly disguised as fancy food.

- 1/4 cup [or less] of sour cream
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbs butter/margarine
- a dash of garlic powder and basil and/or parsley
- 2 large potatoes

1.  Bake the potatoes for about a hour or until crispy.
2.  Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the contents, being careful to leave about a 1/4 inch of flesh on the skin.
3.  Mash the potatoes in a large bowl with the sour cream, butter, spices and about half the cheese.
4.  Spoon the mashed potatoes back into the hollow potato skins and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
5.  Bake for another 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
6.  Enjoy!
[Serves 2]

  • I actually throw out a skin or two so that the mashed parts really fill the skins.  If you're multiplying this recipe I would probably toss out 1 of every 4 half-potato skins or so.
  • Alternatively, some people recommend cutting off as little of the top of the potato as possible rather than cutting in half.    
  • I just read a claim that microwaving the potatoes for a minute or two first cuts the baking time in half.  I will have to give this a try some time and validate it...
  • I have not tried this yet, but this year I'm going to pop the skins in the oven while I mash the insides.  I'm hopping this will crisp up the skin "bowls" a bit more.  Will report back if it works!

  • Like the loaded mashed potatoes, the exact amount of butter, sour cream and cheese in your mix will be up to you!  The measurements given are the most common among recipes I've read.
  • A few versions swap out the sour cream with cream cheese.  Very tempting, hmmm.
  • Experiment with these!  I've given the classic version, but you can mix-in and top-on all sorts of things!  This year I'm thinking of making bacon-swiss versions with swiss cheese and bacon on top with a pinch of parmesan mixed-in.  Other common mix-ins are chives, paprika, chili powder, eggs and even ranch dressing!


  1. I like them with a sweet potato mixed in, too. Do about 1 sweet potato (also roasted in the oven, skin removed, and lightly mashed) for every 3 white potatoes. Just barely swirl in the sweet potato after you have mixed everything else together. Yum!

    On the cutting in half vs. cutting off just the top, I prefer just cutting the top when it's going to be a main side or main dish. About 1/4 of the way down does great. But I would think if you were doing this for a big meal, like Thanksgiving, cutting them in half would make the portions slightly smaller, which is good with so much food.

  2. ooh, that's interesting! i'm not really a sweet potato person, but that's worth a try. thanks, rach!

  3. *promised update*
    -This year's potatoes ended up being a dollup of sour cream, bacon bits, butter, a pinch of parmesan and garlic roasted with oregano (got a little fancy with that one, sorry...) and all topped off with cheddar cheese.
    - Didn't try the microwave short-cut 'cause I had a lot of time to waste that day, but I DO recommend leaving popping the skins back in the oven while you mash, but keep an eye on them!
    -Check out the updated pics!