Twice Baked Potatoes

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My goal was to have this recipe posted in time for the Superbowl. Coming in under the wire by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin. Twice baked potatoes are an iconic football snack, and I was surprised when I didn’t have a recipe to include in my 20 game day snacks post. The blasphemy! 

I started making twice baked potatoes 6 years ago when experimenting with Greek yogurt as a substitute for higher calorie options like mayo and sour cream. My husband and I lived in a tiny apartment and were both in the midst of finishing up our undergraduate degrees. There was approximately no counter space in the apartment kitchen, but I remember some of my best dishes being created there. It’s amazing what can happen when you have passion, determination, and a hungry man to feed! 

We hosted a SuperBowl party that year and twice baked potatoes were a star on the menu. I lightened them up by removing the sour cream, butter, and whole milk and using plain low-fat Greek yogurt instead. I scaled back the cheese, added scallions for fresh flavor, and baked them until hot and bubbly. At the time I left out the bacon because we were vegetarian, but when I re-visited the recipe yesterday I definitely added it in! I love the contrast between the crispy potato skins and the creamy, cheesy filling. We aren’t hosting a SuperBowl gathering this year (thanks impending 10-12 inches of snow), but I will definitely be enjoying some football snacks with my sweetie!

Ingredients

  • 6-8 small Russet potatoes (organic preferred)
  • 1 1/2 c. plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. milk (I used buttermilk); you may need more depending on the starch content of your potatoes
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, plus 1/2 c. for topping
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

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Wash and dry the potatoes; I prefer to use organic potatoes when possible since they are on the “Dirty Dozen” list of produce. Poke several holes in the potatoes with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for ~45 minutes, or until tender (a knife will easily pierce the potatoes when done).

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Remove potatoes from the oven and cool slightly. Slice each potato in half lengthwise and use a spoon to gently scoop out the inside of the potatoes into a large bowl leaving a 1/4 inch border; do this carefully in order to keep the skins intact. 

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Place potato skins back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

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Add the yogurt, milk, salt, and pepper to the potatoes in the mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to mix until smooth and creamy. Stir in a little extra milk, if needed, until the potatoes reach the desired consistency.

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Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir into the mashed potato mixture.

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Next add the bacon bits and scallions; mix well. Pretty sure I’d be happy eating this filling straight out of the bowl with a spoon, but filled potatoes are nice too! 😉

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Use a small spoon to fill the potato skins with the filling mixture until overflowing. There is enough filling to really stuff those babies so don’t be shy!

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Repeat with all potato skins then top with additional shredded cheese. Place back in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted.

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Greek yogurt is the perfect substitute for higher calorie sour cream and butter in this recipe; it makes super creamy potato filling and has a tangy flavor that is balanced by salty bacon and fresh scallions. These are a true comfort food winner that you can feel good about eating! Enjoy! :)

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