Baked potato skins are a well-loved appetizer that is easy to make.

Turn the skins of a potato into a cheesy favorite with a little garlic, butter, and cheese. And, of course, a sprinkling of bacon!

We love this version because it skips the deep fryer and they still come out crisp and delicious.

Crispy Oven Baked Potato Skins with sour cream

An All Time Favorite

  • Skip the deep fryer, potato skins can be oven baked or made in the air fryer and have better flavor than deep fried.
  • They’re budget friendly, keep the skins for snacking and save the insides for potato soup or mashed potatoes.
  • Top them with cheese and bacon, or add some leftover pulled chicken or taco meat.
  • Serve these crispy potato skins as an appetizer for game day, or movie night. Have sour cream ready for dipping!
  • The leftover white center of the potato can be used for making mashed potatoes, or cottage pie.
ingredients to make Crispy Oven Baked Potato Skins

Easy Ingredients for Potato Skins

Potatoes – Russet potatoes are the best option for this recipe because they hold up well in the oven, ensuring that they become crispy. Sweet potato skins are also a great option.

Cheese – This recipe calls for cheddar cheese, but try any cheese blend. Preshredded cheese works well in this recipe.

Bacon – Bacon adds a delicious smoky salty flavor.

How to Make Potato Skins

This is the best potato skins recipe, they come out crispy and full of flavor.

  1. Bake potatoes in the oven or air fryer. Allow to cool.
  2. Spoon out the flesh of the potato, leaving a shell.
  3. Brush the skins with butter and bake in the oven (as per the recipe below).
  4. Fill each potato with cheese and crumbled bacon and bake until bubbly.

Top with green onion and serve with sour cream or ranch dressing for dipping.

platter of Crispy Oven Baked Potato Skins with sour cream

Our Fave Toppings

For variety, add some ground beef with taco seasoning. Or add some pulled pork, or even sloppy joe filling. Top them with scallions or cilantro.

Tips for Great Potato Skins

  • Bake the potatoes in the microwave, air fryer or oven. Cool just until they’re easy to handle.
  • Scoop out the flesh while the potatoes are still warm.
  • Leave a ¼-inch shell; if it’s too thin, they won’t hold up.
  • If you cook bacon (instead of using bacon bits) use the bacon fat in place of butter for extra flavor.
  • Try other variations to use up leftovers. Turn these into loaded potato skins or try leftover chili, pulled pork, or even broccoli cheddar.

Prep Ahead

These are easy to make ahead.

  • Freeze the empty shells on a baking pan. and then once frozen, stack them in a freezer bag. They’ll keep for several months in the freezer.
  • Bake these easy potato skins starting right from frozen; no need to thaw them first!

More Delicious Appetizers

Did your family love these Crispy Oven Baked Potato Skins? If so, leave a comment and a rating below!

platter of Crispy Oven Baked Potato Skins with sour cream
4.98 from 167 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Crispy Oven Baked Potato Skins

Crispy oven baked potato skins are garlic buttered potato skins filled with cheese and bacon.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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  • 6 small baking potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 slices cooked bacon finely chopped or 3 tablespoons bacon bits
  • 2 tablespoons green onion or chives, sliced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • sour cream for serving


To Bake Potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Scrub the potatoes and poke each potato with a fork 5-6 times. Place them directly on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool until the potatoes are easy to handle.

To Prepare Potato Skins

  • Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon, scoop out the flesh leaving a ¼-inch thick shell.
  • In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. Brush the inside and outside of the potatoes with the butter mixture.
  • Place potatoes cut side down in a baking dish or 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Flip potatoes over and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until slightly browned and crisp.
  • Fill each potato with cheese and bacon. Return to the oven for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven, top with green onion and serve with sour cream.


Potatoes: The baking time for the whole potato is based on small potatoes. Larger potatoes can be used but will need extra baking time.
Microwave: Potatoes can be baked in the microwave if desired. The potato skins should be cooked in the oven or air fryer.
Air Fryer Instructions
  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
  2. Bake the scrubbed and poked potatoes for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Scoop out the flesh as per the recipe above.
  3. Place the potato skins, brushed with butter mixture, cut side down in the air fryer basket. Air fry for 7-9 minutes or until crisp, flipping halfway.
  4. Sprinkle cheese and bacon bits over the potato skins. Return to the air fryer and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
4.98 from 167 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2potato skins | Calories: 264 | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 752mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 329IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. They weren’t that great .
    Make sure you use
    Really potato’s that are not thick.
    They were more like boats than skins. I would probably cut the skins off on each side
    Instead of scooping.

  2. These turned out much too dry for me. I think it would only need 5 minutes max in the oven after being hollowed out.

    1. Hi Austin, make sure you brush them with the butter mixture and bake cut side down to begin to help prevent them from drying out. If your potatoes are on the smaller side you can also reduce the cooking time to help! I hope you enjoyed them.

  3. I just made these for dinner tonight. I saved the bacon grease and used it to brush the top edges and the whole outside of the scooped potato half for additional flavor. I made 1 full pack of bacon (12oz.) and decided as I was crumbling it that it probably wasn’t going to be enough, so I mixed in a small package of real bacon bits I had in the freezer. They were a definite hit and I’ll be making them again.5 stars

  4. So glad I found this recipe. It is wonderful. Love Love Love the idea of making the potatoes ahead of time and freezing the shells, this makes them easier to have more often.5 stars

  5. I’m getting ready to freeze 5lbs of these for a future party. Do I freeze them after they are scooped out or after they are scooped out and baked again? Thanks

  6. Good recipe, but mine were overdone. Next time I’ll skip the 5 min extra time on the shells. Tasty and easy!5 stars

  7. Holly,
    If I am freezing some for later, should I butter, season and crisp
    In the oven before freezing? Or, save that step until I’m ready to bake them next week?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Beth, I freeze them without baking first but if you’re going to add all of the toppings, you can make the recipe up to step 4 and then cool the skins. Once cooled, fill them with your toppings and freeze. They will need an extra 5 minutes or so.

  8. Needed something to bring to a tailgate party, no one had brought potato skins before. They were a hit I was asked to bring them again!5 stars

  9. I haven’t made the recipe yet, just saving it. But what do you do with the potato you scoop out? Any recipe suggestions there?

  10. These are amazing!! Far better than any I’ve ever had at a restaurant! Recipe is easy to follow and I did not make any changes. It’s phenomenal as is!! The skins come out perfectly crispy! I used 5 potatoes and had zero leftovers. I had leftover butter mixture and added that to the flesh and ate that while the skins were baking Many thanks, this is a keeper for sure!!!5 stars

  11. Thank you Holly for this. Years ago I tried baked potato skins and loved them. I haven’t had them since but when I saw your easy peasy recipe I just had to try. They turned out great and were a hit at my home. I’m planning on trying some of your other delicious looking recipes very soon. Again, thanks.5 stars