Home > Side Dishes > Baked Potato Baked Potato November 5, 2019 | 48 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. The secret to the perfect Baked Potato in a fraction of the time: Cut it in half! That’s right, we roast potato halves instead of whole potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfectly caramelized edges and a soft, fluffy interior. Finish the potatoes with your favorite toppings; we love salt and pepper, butter, sour cream, sharp Cheddar cheese, and green onions. Read on for more ideas for topping your potatoes and how to make them into a filling meal. The Best Baked Potato We’re obsessed with potatoes at my home, and in my opinion, there aren’t many meals easier than loading up a baked potato and calling it dinner—with a side of this Italian salad, of course! This is especially true when baking the potato takes around 35 minutes instead of an hour. The secret lies in cutting the potatoes in half and baking them that way. I use this technique when cooking sweet potatoes for these delicious loaded sweet potatoes, and the method works perfectly with russet potatoes as well. In fact, I’ve never had a tastier baked potato; the edges get slightly caramelized, the skin is perfectly crispy, and the inside is light and fluffy. The other important “secret” to these potatoes is to make sure you don’t skip the seasonings! Potatoes need salt and pepper. You can reduce this, of course, if you’re sensitive to salt or pepper, but if you’re wanting more flavor, it could be as simple as adding another sprinkle of salt and pepper. QUICK TIP Baking them in aluminum foil is a common practice due to its convenience and the ease of cleanup. However, this method has its drawbacks. The foil traps moisture, causing the potatoes to steam. This results in a flavor and texture that’s more akin to boiling than baking, with the skins turning out soggy rather than crispy. Ingredients In This Baked Potato Recipe Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes: These potatoes serve as the foundation of the dish, offering a robust, starchy base that becomes soft and fluffy inside while maintaining a crisp exterior after baking. Olive oil: Olive oil enhances the texture of the potatoes’ skin, making it crispier, and ensures the interior stays moist. It also helps the seasoning stick to the potatoes and contributes a mild, nuanced flavor. Salt & Pepper: This combined seasoning is essential for bringing out the potatoes’ natural flavors. It’s applied in stages to ensure both the flesh and the skin are properly seasoned. Optional toppings: Cheddar cheese, butter, green onions or chives, sour cream, cooked and crumbled bacon, etc.: These toppings introduce various flavors and textures, allowing for customization and complexity in each serving. How To Bake A Potato In The Oven The descriptions below correlate with the photo collage beneath the text. Wash and Cut: Thoroughly scrub the potato to remove any dirt or debris. Dry the potato, then precisely halve it lengthwise. Poke: With the tines of a fork, puncture the skin side of the potato 3 to 4 times, making sure to penetrate not only the skin but also the flesh underneath. Here’s why piercing your potatoes is crucial. Add Oil: Drizzle oil evenly over the potatoes, then… Rub Oil into the Potatoes: Rub the oil evenly onto both sides of the potatoes. Season: Apply salt and pepper to both sides of the potatoes, then rub them in evenly. Place the Potatoes Face Down: Finally, bake them! Baked Potato FAQs1Should Baked Potatoes Be Wrapped In Foil?I don’t recommend wrapping your potatoes in foil before baking. Foil traps moisture, leading to steamed rather than roasted potatoes, resulting in a boiled taste and texture. 2What Is The Best Potato For Baking?The best potatoes for baking are russet potatoes due to their high starch content, which gives them a light and fluffy texture when baked. Red potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes are also suitable for baking, offering a more buttery flavor with a less fluffy texture. I prefer red potatoes in this Creamy Vegetable Soup and Yukon golds in these insanely good Mashed Potatoes! 3Can You Bake Potatoes Ahead Of Time?You certainly can! They might not be as exceptional as when made fresh, but they’ll still be pretty great! Here’s how to do it: Bake the potatoes according to the recipe, then let them cool. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat, reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re adequately warmed through. 4How Long To Bake A Potato?A baked potato half can take 30-50 minutes in the oven, with the time varying due to factors such as potato size, oven temperature, the number of potatoes being baked, and their freshness. To check for doneness, simply insert a fork into the potato; if it penetrates easily, it’s ready. If there’s resistance, continue baking and check every 5 minutes. Be quick when checking to minimize oven heat loss. Topping Your Potato Keeping it simple: Butter, salt, and pepper make a perfect side dish. Jazzing it up: Take your potato to the next level by adding freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese), cooked and crumbled bacon, green onions or chives, and a dollop of sour cream (or Greek yogurt). Hearty meal: Consider a Broccoli and Cheese Baked Potato or add a few scoops of this renowned Crockpot Chili. Top with taco meat (from these Taco Lettuce Wraps), Cheddar cheese, fresh lime, and sour cream. Sloppy joe potato: Use the filling from this Sloppy Joe recipe. BBQ: Use leftover BBQ Pulled Pork or chicken. Vegetarian: Seasoned baked beans and cheddar cheese make this a complete meal! For a crowd, consider setting up a baked potato bar. Simply lay out all the toppings, bake the potatoes, and let your guests choose their own finishes! More Veggie Side Dishes Roasted Vegetables all on one sheet pan Reader Favorite! Roasted Brussel Sprouts Roasted Broccoli crisp and caramelized edges Savory and Sweet Variations: Roasted Sweet Potatoes Roasted Carrots (made 2 ways) FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Baked Potatoes 5 from 21 votes - Review this recipe The secret to the perfect Baked Potato in a fraction of the time: Cut it in half! That's right, we roast potato halves instead of whole potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfectly caramelized edges and a soft, fluffy interior. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Baked Potatoes 5 from 21 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe The secret to the perfect Baked Potato in a fraction of the time: Cut it in half! That's right, we roast potato halves instead of whole potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfectly caramelized edges and a soft, fluffy interior. Course Main Course, Side Dish, Vegetarian Cuisine American Keyword baked potato Prep Time 10 minutes minutes Cook Time 35 minutes minutes Total Time 45 minutes minutes Servings 4 full potatoes Chelsea Lords Calories 329kcal Author Chelsea Lords Ingredients▢ 4 (evenly sized) russet or Yukon gold potatoes (6-9 ounces in size) Note 1▢ 3 tablespoons olive oil▢ 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided▢ 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper, divided▢ Serve with your favorite toppings such as: freshly grated Cheddar cheese, butter, green onions or chives, sour cream, cooked and crumbled bacon, etc.US - Metric USMetric InstructionsOVEN: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, dark sheet pan with parchment paper. Don't skip the parchment paper; it really helps the potatoes cook evenly without the cut side getting too hard.CLEAN POTATOES: Thoroughly scrub the potatoes using cold water to remove all the dirt and any debris. Completely dry the potatoes and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.PREP POTATOES: Place the potatoes, flesh side down, on the sheet pan. Pierce the skin of the potato 3 to 4 times with the tines of a fork. Flip the potatoes flesh side up. Drizzle the oil over all the potatoes and take your time to rub the oil into both sides of the potatoes so all parts of the potatoes are sufficiently covered. Evenly sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper over all the potatoes (3/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon for ALL potatoes, not each). Now flip again, so the potatoes are flesh side down. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt over all the skins of the potatoes and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper on the skins.BAKE: Bake flesh side down for 35-45 minutes, checking at 35 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a fork into the biggest potato. If it goes in easily, the potatoes are ready! If not, add an additional 5 minutes. Cook until fork tender, checking every 5 minutes.ENJOY: Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite toppings. We like a pat of butter, Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions or chives. See the blog post for more ideas. Make sure to taste the potatoes and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Recipe NotesNote 1: Potato size: I have also tested this recipe with potatoes that are 9-13 ounces in size. Add an additional tablespoon of oil and they bake for about 10 minutes longer. You'll need to add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper on the larger potatoes after baking (taste first). Also, while you can cook more than four potatoes at a time, remember that the more potatoes on the sheet pan, the longer the overall cooking time will be. Nutrition information does not include the toppings. Nutrition FactsServing: 4full potatoes | Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 597mg | Potassium: 1245mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 3mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.