Crispy bacon, ooey, gooey cheese and crispy yet soft potatoes combine to make the most awesome of appetizers! Most places sprinkle thinly sliced green onions on top however we just like a big dollop of sour cream. The secret to making Potato Skins taste like they are made in a restaurant is using your deep fryer. Yep, I said it, deep fryer. It gives the skins a crisp outer edge and you will find on the inside some yummy, mushy goodness. Some restaurants charge an arm and a leg for their appetizers so since we are on a somewhat fixed income, we often skip it. Unless it is 1/2 off like during happy hour, then we sometimes splurge. On average, potato skins cost around $6.99 for 5 of them. Ok, can someone tell me why 5? Why not 6, why not 4? When there’s 5, our family of four gets a little unfriendly arguing about the last potato skin. And $6.99? Sheesh…I made 16 of these bad boys (yep, no arguing in our house) using stuff I already had in the fridge! Try this recipe out, I’m sure it will make it into your regular rotation of side dishes! Note: We used 8 oz of cooked bacon and 1 cup of shredded cheese to make 16 potato skins. I probably should have used 2 cups of shredded cheese to be honest. They still turned out awesome!
Printable Recipe: Restaurant Style Potato Skins
Potatoes, scrubbed and dried
8 oz of cooked bacon bits
1-2 cups shredded cheese of choice (we used colby-jack shredded cheese)
Salt & pepper
Sour cream (optional)
Green onions sliced thinly (optional)
Preheat deep fryer to 375 degrees. Puncture each uncooked potato with a fork several times. How many potatoes to use are dependent on how many you want. Remember that each potato will make 2 potato skins.
Place all the potatoes in the microwave and cook on high. For 8 potatoes, try 10 minutes. If the potato is not soft when squeezed, add 2 minutes on high until soft. Times will vary depending on the amount of potatoes being “baked” in the microwave and also will vary depending on the watts your microwave uses. Once potatoes are “baked” (soft when squeezed), remove from microwave to cool for at least 7-10 minutes.
Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice potatoes lengthwise in half. Using a spoon, gently scoop out the potatoes into a bowl leaving behind a potato shell. Save the scooped potatoes to make mashed potatoes another day. Prepare an area for the fried potatoes by doubling over paper towels over a cookie sheet.
Once deep fryer is fully heated, drop 3 potato skins (or how many you can fit in the deep fryer) into the hot oil. Fry for 45-60 seconds.
Remove potatoes and place open side down to allow oil to drain. Repeat until all potato skins have been fried. After placing the new batch open side down, turn the prior batch over to drain oil off the outside of potato skins.
Prepare a baking sheet by covering in foil and brush a little butter, margarine or oil onto the foil. Sprinkle with salt and/or pepper. Place cooled potato skins open side up onto prepared baking sheet. Turn oven on to broil.
Sprinkle salt and/or pepper onto potatoes. Fill potatoes with cheese as much as you like.
Sprinkle cooked bacon bits on top.
Broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with sliced green onions and/or sour cream (optional).
Enjoy Restaurant Style Potato Skins at a fraction of the cost in a restaurant! Even better, you end up with a second side dish the next day! Place the scooped out potatoes in a covered dish in the fridge. Remove from fridge the next day. Microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes until hot. Add a splash of milk, a few tabs of butter/margarine and some garlic salt! Beat with a mixer adding milk a tablespoon at a time until the mashed potatoes is the consistency you like. Tadah! Garlic mashed potatoes!