Baked Potato

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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.

Overhead image of Baked Potatoes being eaten with butter and fresh chives on top.

The secret

We’re obsessed with potatoes at my home, and in my opinion, there aren’t too many meals easier than loading up a baked potato and calling it dinner (with a side of this Italian salad of course)!

And this is especially true when baking the potato takes around 35 minutes instead of an hour. The secret is 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 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.

Overhead image of the potatoes used for these Baked Potato.

Topping your potato

  • Keeping it simple: Butter, salt, and pepper make a perfect side dish.
  • Jazzed up a bit more: The above additions, plus freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese), cooked and crumbled bacon, green onion or chives, and a scoop of sour cream (or Greek yogurt) take a potato up several notches.
  • Hearty meal: Try a broccoli-Cheddar cheese sauce or a few scoops of this famous Crockpot Chili.
  • Taco potato: Add taco meat (from these Taco Lettuce Wraps), Cheddar cheese, fresh lime, and sour cream
  • Sloppy joe potato: Add the meat 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!

And if you’re serving a crowd, you can make a baked potato bar. Set out all the toppings, bake the potatoes, and let guests chose how to finish them!

More veggie side dishes

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Baked Potatoes

5 from 20 votes
The secret to perfect Baked Potatoes in a fraction of the time: cut them 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.
Print Recipe

Baked Potatoes

5 from 20 votes
The secret to perfect Baked Potatoes in a fraction of the time: cut them 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
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 full potatoes
Calories 329kcal
Author Chelsea Lords


  • 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.


  • OVEN: 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 Notes

Note 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 Facts

Serving: 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.


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.


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      1. Chelsea, an air fryer is the absolutely best thing for all sorts of cooking. You can even make perfect hardboiled eggs in one roast whole chicken frozen pizza, I could go on and on. My daughter got me one for Christmas last year and I use it almost every day. I am constantly finding new uses for it. And they are quite reasonable now. You can find them for 50.00 on Amazon. I tell you once you try one you will be hooked,hugz, Martie

        1. Thanks Martie!! I think you’ve convinced me πŸ™‚ I’ve been wanting to try one for a bit, sounds like a great addition to my kitchen πŸ™‚ Appreciate your comment!

  1. My mother did her potatoes this way. The only thing she did differently was she topped them with butter and not oil as they baked. They were the best! She passed when I was 12. I am now 50. Thank you for reminding me of this.

  2. 5 stars
    Hi! I made these with dinner tonight, using Yukon Gold potatoes and my family LOVED THEM! So simple and easy but so delicious!
    My daughter absolutely loved them and she is so picky!

  3. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious. I live in Kenya and we don’t have Russets, but I got my hands on some large, pink-skinned potatoes and followed your recipe exactly and was very happy with the results. Thank you!

      1. 5 stars
        Coincidentally, I can get filet very affordably here, and when I make it, I do a method where I season it, then sear it on each side for 2 min on high heat (stovetop with butter in a cast iron skillet) then finish in the oven – 5 min on 400*, then let it rest 10 min on a plate before serving. So tonight, I’ll bake my potatoes first then cover them with foil to rest as I replace them with the filet in the already hot oven, While the filets rest, I’ll get all my toppings in order and stir fry my green beans to perfection, adding a little garlic and lemon juice at the end to perfection. It’s going to be a gourmet meal prepared in minutes. Mmmmmmmmm! Thank you for this great recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    These were so good and so easy! Very special and delicious looking. The treat was they tasted special but convenient enough to do everyday. I cheated a little and put the potatoes in the microwave for about three minutes before baking since I was also cooking a flank steak and corn. Fantastic dinner, thank you for this recipe!

  5. Made these tonight and they turned out great. I used gold (Yukon?) potatoes. I didn’t have parchment paper so I used a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    So amazing. Made duck breast and took them out jsut a tiny bit early so i could pan fry them face down in the duck fat and dWOW it was amazing . would recommend without the pan fry though all together great recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    I followed this recipe exactly. I used Yukon Golds because I love their buttery flavor. My husband told me they were the best he had ever had in his life! Instantly a favorite!

  8. 5 stars
    I came across your site while searching for times to bake golden potatoes. I’m so very glad I did. I served these along side a New York steak and sautΓ©ed vegetables. The potatoes were everything you said they’d be β€”- they were a huge hit! The caramelization on each potato was heaven. I used the parchment paper like you suggested (I think it was the key), along with the salt and pepper. My dinner guests added their own butter and Greek yogurt. Delish! Thank you.

  9. 5 stars
    These are so good! And easy. I would have never thought to cut them in half. They are a great baked potato kinda crossed with a roasted potato. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    My wife made these using Yukon Gold potatoes the other night, so good. Ate the leftovers the next day as a snack without warming them up at all. Just delicious.

  11. 5 stars
    Wow. These were fabulous and SO easy. Nice enough to use while entertaining too! I served them with Ina’s herbed buttermilk sauce on top and they were divine. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  12. 5 stars
    Made these potatoes tonight, they turned out great! I used Yukon Golds and I love how they got the right amount of crispy and delicious. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thank you.

  13. 5 stars
    Absolutely love how much easier, faster, and better our baked potatoes are with these tips. Thanks!

  14. 5 stars
    I don’t typically leave reviews, but I had to jump back on here after making these and rave about how delicious they were!!! So. Good!! I followed the instructions, which were VERY well laid out, almost exactly (I always season by eye). They cooked *perfectly*! I was lucky to be able to save one of the halves before all of the rest were devoured and it was super good heated up the next day as well. I’ll never cook baked potatoes any other way, this will be my go-to and something I’ll definitely tell friends and family about!

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