Baked Potato

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The secret to the perfect Baked Potato in a fraction of the time: cutting 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.

Top 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 that are used for these Baked Potato.

Topping your potato

  • Keeping it simple: butter, salt, and pepper (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)
  • Hearty meal: a broccoli-Cheddar cheese sauce or a few scoops of this famous crockpot chili
  • Taco potato: 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: leftover BBQ pulled pork or chicken
  • Vegetarian: seasoned baked beans and Cheddar cheese

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 top them!

More veggie side dishes

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Baked Potatoes

5 from 4 votes
The secret to perfect Baked Potatoes in a fraction of the time: cutting 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 4 votes
The secret to perfect Baked Potatoes in a fraction of the time: cutting 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 254kcal

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.

Instructions

  • 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: 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 Facts

Serving: 4full potatoes | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.3g | Protein: 4.4g | Fat: 10.7g | Sodium: 12.8mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 1.7g

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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16 Comments

      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 ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been wanting to try one for a bit, sounds like a great addition to my kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

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