This recipe is sponsored by ALDI.
This fall, during the COVID college football season, I tried to put more effort into my food spread, because, you know, we weren't really doing much else besides watching football on the weekends. I started making these potato skins and loved how everyone could customize theirs by offering them as a bar with lots of topping options.
I personally love white potatoes. It pains me that so many avoid them due to not great reasons because they have great nutritional value including, but not limited to, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and even a little protein.
Offering a potato skin bar at football watch parties (I'll use that word 'party' loosely here due to the eminent pandemic) is a really fun way to offer a plant forward appetizer and allows people to gussy them up exactly how they want. I also love that you can make them a day ahead of time and heat them up quickly at game time.
Tips for Success
Here's a few things I've learned along the way that I think make these potato skins fantastic.
- Use gold/yellow potatoes: I personally prefer the taste and texture of yellow potatoes to Russet/Idaho because they are creamier and more moist. I think this helps you need a little less topping than if you used a more dry russet potato, but it's totally personal preference. Use whatever kind of non-sweet potato you like.
- Use smaller potatoes: We have found that a couple small potato skins is perfectly satisfying, but one huge one is too much. Ideally, I like ones that fit within in my ladies-size palm (see pic below), about 3" in length. Buying potatoes in a bag seems to the best way to get this size range.
- Broil the potatoes after scooping and before topping: Adding this quick broil before adding any toppings helps crisps up the edges of the potato and makes them a little more extra.
- Thin sour cream slightly: Whisk 1-2 tablespoons of water into the sour cream and it will drizzle on beautifully onto your finished potato skins. I keep a culinary squeeze bottle around to create pretty squiggles, but at the very least, it will come off the serving spoon a lot easier and more evenly.
There is no limit to what you can serve with your potato skin bar so dream big friends! I start with a basic recipe of cheese, bacon and green onions, but even that is negotiable. Here's some in, and out, of the box ideas to serve:
- Different types of cheese like monterey jack or gouda
- Avocado slices
- Sliced olives
- Chicken salad
- Refried beans
- Sauteed onions and peppers
- Roasted garlic
- Vegan cheese
- Salsas of all types
- Finely chopped Caesar salad
- Cooked, ground sausage
This recipe for a Potato Skins Bar is pretty basic, using easy to find and prep items. I find everything I need for a great price at ALDI.
Potato Skins Recipe
- 10 whole Yellow potatoes (from a 5 lb bag)
- 3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Ground pepper
- 8 ounce Block sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4-6 slices Uncooked bacon (more if desired)
- 1 cup Diced green onions (from about 4 green onions)
- ½ cup Sour Cream, for serving
- Arrange two oven racks toward the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Wash and dry potatoes, then prick each 4 times with the prongs of a fork. Lay potatoes on prepared rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until mostly tender when pricked with a fork.
- While the potatoes are baking, cook bacon. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay bacon strips on top. Slide onto the the other oven rack and cook for about 18-20 minutes, until crispy, with the potatoes. Using tongs, immediately remove bacon from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool. Then chop into bite size pieces.
- Preheat oven broiler and arrange rack about 7" from the top (not on the closest option).
- When the potatoes are cool enough to touch, gently slice them in half long-ways. Use a spoon to gently scoop out the potato flesh, leaving about ½" border of potato in each, or more or less to your preference. (Save scooped out potato for mashed potatoes for another meal.)
- Line the scooped potato skins back on to the baking sheet. Drizzle them evenly with the olive oil (or brush it on) and sprinkle a small amount of salt and pepper on each. Broil for 2-4 minutes, until edges of potato are golden color and crispy.
- Remove from oven and fill each potato skin with a big pinch of shredded cheese. Then top with a pinch of chopped bacon. Return pan to the oven and broil for another 2-4 minutes, until cheese is melted smooth or bubbly.
- When potatoes are slightly cooled, top with sour cream and chopped green onions. Serve with other toppings (mentioned above in post) if desired.
- Recipe can be prepared through step 5 (after scooping out skins) 1 day in advance.
- This recipe can be made vegan by using a vegan cheese and sour cream alternative.
More Game Day Recipes
Try these other Team Braddock favorite recipes for watching your big game: