Loaded Baked Potatoes are an easy weeknight comfort food that are totally family friendly! Kids love to add their own toppings, like shredded cheese, roasted broccoli, bacon, black beans, corn, avocado, salsa and plain yogurt! Healthy too, with the endless topping possibilities making baked potato night a little different every time!
Simple Comfort Food
At first, I hesitated to post these. I thought, who wants to see loaded baked potatoes? Then I thought, no wait, this is actually an awesome dinner! They are homemade, whole ingredients, scratch cooking, everyone likes them right down to the high chair. These are the real food we grew up with as kids. My mom always topped her baked potatoes with Homemade Chili.
Start with a baked potato per person and get them in the oven. From there, see what’s in your fridge for topping ideas. I always have cheese to shred, plain yogurt, and black beans and corn. Frozen corn can simply be run under hot water to thaw when rinsing your black beans. To add some veggies, be creative and use what you have! Roasted broccoli or cauliflower, Kale Chips and Guacamole or just plain avocado make great toppings. I like to always have a jar of my 5 Minute Salsa in the fridge. It’s some extra veggies, made in the food processor with a can of fire roasted tomato, and it does just that – adds extra veggies! Store-bought salsa is just fine too.
The potatoes could easily be left vegetarian, but bacon adds that classic baked potato flavor. The whole package of bacon can be baked in the oven on a sheet pan along with the potatoes and whatever else needs the oven. I always cook the whole package of bacon and freeze the extras. Leftover frozen bacon is so handy to throw in omelettes, on a dinner salad, in soup, or in pasta. Or maybe you have some already frozen from leftover BLT’s that would be perfect to easily add to baked potatoes.
This is one of those dinner’s I save for weeknights when I’m out of ideas. It takes a bit of time to let the potatoes cook, but the whole concept is just so simple. When I thought I had nothing in the fridge for dinner, I was actually able to pull together a pretty satisfying meal. Save this one as a back up plan.
Loaded Baked Potatoes
- Baked Potatoes one per person
- Toppings I used: shredded cheddar, chopped red onion, bacon, black beans and corn, salsa, plain yogurt or sour cream, roasted broccoli, kale chips, avocado and scallions
- Other topping ideas: guacamole, cooked leftover chicken, cilantro, olives, cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 400° convection bake. Put the potatoes in right away (just wash them and poke a couple holes with a fork and place directly on the oven rack), they will take the longest, about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on their size.
- Anything else that needs to be cooked can be done in the oven on sheet pans while the potatoes are cooking, you will just need to watch them and take each item out when it is done...this includes the bacon (about 20 minutes), broccoli (toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, about 15 to 20 minutes), and kale chips (toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, about 7 minutes)
- When the potatoes are soft, slit them and squeeze them open and top them with everything!