Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

These potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes.  Crispy on top, just-cheesy-enough and creamy inside and a delicious chewy skin holds it all together.  So. darn. good.

Twice Baked Potatoes | Hugs 'n Kitchen

My mom used to save these for special occasions, but when I visit my folks in Miami I can usually convince her to work them into weekend menu!  This is just my second time making them, but now that I’ve perfected them I’ll definitely be making them again soon.

One of my best friends is moving to Chicago, and I am so sad about it.  Super excited for her, but super bummed at the same time.  I’m trying to see her as much as possible for the next two weeks until she leaves.  We invited her and her wonderful boyfriend for dinner last week and I made a feast!  Baked brie (recipe to come soon), two kinds of grilled steak (New York strip and skirt steak), chimichurri sauce, grilled asparagus, arugula salad with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, twice baked potatoes and a few bottles of juicy red wine.  We had gluten-free cupcakes for dessert from a neat bakery down the street.  Mmmmmm.

The beautiful thing about these twice baked potatoes is that you can prep them in advance and then pop them in the oven for the final bake before you’re ready to eat.  So earlier in the day I baked them, scooped the insides, mixed everything together and refilled the shells. Then while we were enjoying our baked brie appetizer I popped them in the oven to finish.

Potato Skin Shells

Potato Mixture

Twice Baked Potatoes | Hugs 'n Kitchen

Cooking the onions in (a lot of) butter is key.  They get a little caramelized and sweet, and it adds immense flavor to the potato filling.

Butter and Onions

Sautéed OnionsThe filling is addicting – be careful you don’t eat too much of it while you’re tasting for seasoning, because you might not have enough to stuff the potatoes back up. 🙂 These potatoes are delicious hot out of the oven, or cold from the fridge.  So addicting.

Let me know what you think!

Twice Baked Potatoes | Hugs 'n Kitchen

Twice Baked Potatoes | Hugs 'n Kitchen

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes
Recipe from my amazing Mom!

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese (or any sharp cheese will work)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup milk

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry the potatoes.
  3. Poke the potatoes in a few spots with a knife or fork.
  4. Place potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for one hour.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, melt one stick of butter in a sauté pan.
  6. Sauté the chopped onion until onion is clear, tender and browned a bit on the edges.
  7. Once the potatoes are finished cooking, carefully remove from the oven and slice each potato in half.
  8. Scoop out the insides of the potato into a large mixing bowl.  (Try to be careful not to rip the potato skins!)  Set the potato skins aside on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil.
  9. Add the paprika, salt, black pepper, butter/onion mixture and shredded cheese into the bowl with the cooked potato.  Mix until combined.
  10. Pour in 1/4 cup of milk to start, and beat until fluffy.  The mixture should be the consistency of thick mashed potatoes.  If you need to, add in a tiny little bit more milk.  It’s super important that you don’t add too much milk, otherwise the mixture will be runny and won’t hold up in the potato skin cups.  (It will run everywhere on the baking sheet and make a big mess.  Trust me, it happened to me one of the first times I was ever making dinner for my bf.)
  11. Taste the mixture for seasoning and add more salt or pepper as needed.
  12. Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins and sprinkle the tops with paprika.  (At this point, you can hold off for a few hours, or refrigerate overnight if you’re making a day in advance, and bake before you’re ready to serve.  If you do refrigerate overnight, let the potatoes come to room temperature before you bake them.)
  13. Bake at 375 degrees until the tops are browned, about 35-45 minutes.

Hugs, kisses & yummy dishes… xoxo
Lauren

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