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Recipes // Side Dishes // Loaded Baked Potatoes

Loaded Baked Potatoes

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By Christy Jordan

Whenever I have company over for supper, I love to serve this go-to dish. It is a great way to round out the meal without taking too much additional prep time, since I make them up a few days ahead and keep them in the freezer. Then all I have to do is heat them up in the oven or, if I’m really pressed for time, the microwave.

To freeze these, simply place the baked, assembled loaded potatoes on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for about an hour until they’re partially frozen. Transfer the taters to a couple of large ziplock bags and store them in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat them, follow the directions in the Notes on the following page or pop them in a microwave at 100 percent heat for 11/2 to 2 minutes.

Makes 14 servings

Ingredients:

  • 7 medium-size russet potatoes (about 4 pounds), washed, unpeeled, and pierced with a fork
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 8 to 10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (see Notes)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Place the potatoes on a plate and microwave them on 100 percent power for 5 minutes. Transfer them to a baking sheet and bake until a fork pierces them easily, about 1 hour. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool enough to handle; turn the oven down to 350°F. 3. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop the pulp into a large bowl, leaving enough for the skins to retain their shape. Set the skins aside on a clean baking sheet.
  3. Add the butter and sour cream to the potato pulp and mash together to combine well. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, the salt, pepper, garlic powder, scallions, and bacon until well combined. Spoon the filling into the reserved potato skins.
  4. Top the potatoes with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until they are heated through and the cheese has melted, 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Notes: You can use 1 cup chopped ham or smoked pork chops in place of the bacon.

To reheat frozen potatoes, bake them for 30 minutes, then top them with the cheese and return them to the oven until the cheese has melted, 5 minutes more.

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