These fully loaded baked potato skins with cheese and bacon are a mouth-watering appetizer that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Crispy stuffed potato skins are filled with gooey melted cheese, crispy bacon bits, seasoned crumbled beef, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, and a dollop of special sauce to create the perfect savory bite that’s impossible to resist!
Featured review: I just made this, for two- only 2 potatoes but same amount of meat and special sauce, and I must say, you are a genius! Used all of the meat (cooked down quite a bit) and added savoy cabbage instead of lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. It was so filling! My husband said it was a great meal to have instead of an actual big mac!” – Cristina
Update: This post was originally published in January 2015. I made updates to the article below to include more information about making the best crispy stuffed potato skins at home.
About this recipe for baked potato skins
Consider these cheeseburger appetizers like a mini loaded baked potato with ground beef. Doesn’t that sound so yummy?!? Aside from being the absolute IDEAL appetizer for game day, potlucks, and parties, this stuffed potato skins recipe is also:
- Quick & Easy – You only need about 20 minutes of active prep to prepare these Big Mac-inspired cheeseburger baked potato skins. The oven does all the rest!
- Versatile & Crowd-Pleasing – While I love these bacon cheeseburger potato skin appetizers just the way they’re written, you can easily make them vegan or vegetarian-friendly with a few simple swaps. Read on below for tons of alternative toppings for potato skins so everyone is happy!
- Budget-Friendly – There are few ingredients that are as filling and inexpensive as russet potatoes. In fact, I just scored a 10-lb bag for $5! I’m no math major, but I think that’ll yield enough tater skins to feed an army of bottomless teenager tummies. 🤷♀️
Ingredients for baked potato skins
You only need a few easy-to-find ingredients to make these delectable cheeseburger potatoes:
- Russet Potatoes – Any starchy, thick-skinned “jacket” potato will work here, including Idaho.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Just your basic cooking oil is perfect!
- Sea Salt – You’ll need quite a bit for roasting the potatoes and rubbing the skins, so make sure you’re well-equipped.
- Yellow Onion – For adding some sweetness to the ground meat filling.
- Substitutions: White or red onions will also work!
- Garlic – Fresh is best, but in a pinch you can swap in jarred minced garlic or garlic paste instead.
- Ground Sirloin – This type of ground beef comes from the sirloin cut. It is leaner than regular 80/20 ground beef and has a meaty flavor.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in any form of ground meat including regular ground beef, chicken, turkey, bison, or vegan “meat” alternatives.
- Cheese – I prefer Colby Jack cheese on my beef skins; however, cheddar cheese works great too. Just make sure you purchase a block of cheese and shred it yourself for the best melty results.
- Ketchup – For sweetness.
- Substitution: Try swapping in your favorite BBQ sauce for a slightly smokier taste.
- Yellow Mustard – For some tang.
- Substitutions: You can swap in ground mustard powder, or use a different style of mustard like spicy brown or dijon.
- Worcestershire Sauce – For salty, umami goodness.
- Substitutions: Soy sauce, fish sauce, miso paste, or Maggi Seasoning are all good substitutions.
- Mayonnaise – For the creamy base of our special dipping sauce for potato skins. Feel free to swap in vegan, egg-free mayo if needed.
- Sweet Pickle Relish – For crunch and sweetness in the special sauce.
- Substitution: You can finely mince bread & butter pickles or dill pickles, or swap in dill relish for a tangier alternative.
- Distilled White Vinegar – For a touch of neutral acidity.
- Substitutions: Apple cider vinegar is a great substitute!
- Garlic Powder & Onion Powder – For allium sweetness. You can also use dehydrated garlic and onion flakes, but you’ll want to let the sauce sit a little longer for them to rehydrate.
- Paprika – For color and sweetness. Feel free to swap in hot paprika for a spicier take, or smoked paprika for a more charbroiled flavor.
- Sugar – Just a touch to help balance out the flavors of our secret sauce.
- Substitutions: Brown sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey can also be used.
Variations of stuffed skins
There are SO MANY variations you can use to customize these cheesy bacon cheeseburger stuffed potato skins. These are just a few ideas to get you started, but feel free to get creative and experiment with different flavors to make your ideal potato skin appetizer. Remember, there’s no shortage of potato skins toppings to choose from!
- Use sweet potato skins instead of regular potato skins.
- Try different cheeses like feta, queso fresco, pepper jack, colby, or mozzarella.
- Jalapeno Popper Baked Potatoes Skins – Add diced jalapeno peppers and cream cheese to the ground beef and onion mixture and top with a dollop of sour cream.
- Buffalo Chicken Crispy Potato Skins – Substitute ground chicken for beef and use buffalo sauce instead of Worcestershire and mustard.
- Hawaiian Style Russet Potato Skins – Use ground pork instead of beef, mix with teriyaki sauce and pineapple chunks, and top with crispy bacon and shredded cheese.
- BBQ Pulled Pork Potato Halves – Use shredded BBQ pulled pork instead of ground beef, mix with BBQ sauce and cheese, and top with crispy onion strings.
- Philly Cheesesteak Tater Skins Recipe – Use thinly sliced steak instead of ground beef, mix with sautéed onions and peppers and provolone cheese, and top with crumbled bacon.
- Dairy-Free – Swap in your favorite vegan cheese alternative, or make regular hamburger potato skins rather than cheeseburger-filled potato skins.
- Vegetarian – Fill with a mixture of your favorite veggies like sautéed mushrooms, onions, and spinach, picking a cheese to match your fillings.
- Vegan – Follow the instructions for both dairy-free and vegetarian potato skin ideas.
Expert tips for the best tater skins
- Choose the right potatoes. Starchy russet or Idaho potatoes work best for potato skins, as they have a thick skin that holds up well during the cooking process.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the potatoes in half, and be careful not to remove too much of the potato flesh when scooping out the insides.
- Brush the potato skins with a little bit of oil before baking them to help them crisp up and prevent sticking.
- Season the potato skins with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings before baking them for extra flavor.
- Don’t be shy. Fill the potato skins with your desired toppings, such as cheese, bacon, and sour cream, and return them to the oven to melt the cheese and heat up the toppings.
- Potato skins are best served hot and crispy, so serve them immediately after they come out of the oven for the best texture and flavor.
How do I get my potato skins crispy?
The secret to perfectly crispy potato skins is triple baking. Meaning, you’ll bake the potatoes three different times. First, you will bake the potatoes whole, before cutting them in half and hollowing out the skin. Next, you’ll bake the tater skins plain in the hot oven. Then, you will stuff the potatoes and return them to bake in the oven until the cheese melts.
What potatoes make the best skins?
Russet potatoes are the best potatoes for potato skins recipes. They are large in size and their skin is thick and tough enough to handle both the preparation and the weight of the toppings. While other varieties of the potato, such as Yukon golds or little red skins, taste great, their thin skins don’t work well for stuffing or loading with toppings.
Serving stuffed potatoes skins
Looking for a scrumptious mash-up of fast food and comfort food? Look no further than these Big Mac-stuffed potato skins!
Imagine perfectly baked potato skins stuffed with juicy ground beef, melted cheese, and all the fixings you’d expect from a classic cheeseburger — tangy pickles, crisp lettuce, and creamy special sauce. Each bite is a satisfying explosion of flavor that’ll have your guests saying “I’m lovin’ it!”
These beefy potato skins make a perfect appetizer or snack for game day. They are also perfect for casual get-togethers with friends and family, or as a fun addition to movie or game nights.
- My friends think that potato skins go very well with a cold beer, particularly a light beer or pale ale.
- If you prefer wine, a light red wine like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais complements the flavors of these Big Mac potato peels.
- Serve your twice-baked potato skins with a side salad for a well-rounded meal.
- Other classic bar fare like chicken wings, queso, and nachos are all excellent pairs for these potato skin burgers.
Storing potato skin appetizer
- If you have leftovers, let the potato skins cool to room temperature and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If possible, leave the additional toppings separate so they don’t get soggy during reheating.
- To reheat, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the potato skins on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until heated through.
- Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. For best results, avoid reheating the potato skins in the microwave for too long or they may get soggy.
Alright, friends — I hope these cheddar bacon cheeseburger potato skins leave you feeling spud-tacular. Remember, life is short, so enjoy every delicious bite. Bon appetit, my foodie friends!
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More potato recipes!
If you love this recipe for stuffed potato skins, try these delicious recipes using potatoes next:
- Sweet Potato Hummus Dip
- No Mayo Potato Salad
- Sweet Potato Soup
- Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato Fries
- Harissa Chicken and Potatoes
- Mini Stuffed Potatoes
More bar snack recipes!
If you love these crispy beef skins, try these delicious bar food recipes next:
- Restaurant-Style Cheese Queso
- Salt and Vinegar Chicken Wings
- Tater Tot Nachos
- Chicken Wonton Nachos
- Fried Pickles Dip
Hamburger stuffed potato skins recipe👇
What’s your favorite potato skin filling? Have an awesome idea the world should know about? Let me know in the comments below or tag me (@nospoonnecessary) on your socials so I can cheer you on!
Stuffed Potato Skins
- 1 Large Baking Dish
- 1 large skillet
- 1 Large Rimmed Baking Sheet
For the Potato Skins
- 5 Medium Russet Potatoes – washed and dried
- 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Sea Salt
For the Loaded Toppings
- Olive Oil
- 1 small 1 small Yellow Onion – finely diced (about ½ heaping cup)
- 2 large Cloves Garlic - minced
- 1 Pound Ground Sirloin (Substitute: any form of ground beef, chicken, turkey or bison)
- 1/4 Cup Ketchup
- 1 TBS Yellow Mustard
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups Colby Jack Cheese (substitute: Shredded Cheddar)
- Optional Toppings: Cooked & Crumbled Bacon, Diced Roma Tomatoes, Chopped Dill Pickles, Shredded Lettuce, Snipped Chives or Sliced Scallions Sour Cream and Guacamole
- 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Heaping TBS Ketchup
- 2 tsp Sweet Pickle Relish
- 1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 tsp Smoked or Sweet Paprika
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 tsp Each: Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Prep Potatoes: Pour 1 cup of sea salt (1 cup) into a large baking dish and spread the salt out evenly across the bottom of the dish. Set the dish aside. Use the tins of a fork to pierce holes a few times all around the outside of the potatoes. Rub oil generously all over the potatoes skin and then generously sprinkle salt all over the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish, spacing them evenly apart for even cooking.
- Bake Potatoes: Transfer the potatoes to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the potatoes and flip them over. Return to the oven and continue baking for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through and easily pierced with a fork. Transfer the baked potatoes to a clean work surface and let cool for about 10 minutes, or until you can safely handle them. Reduce oven temperature to 400-degrees.
- While the potatoes are baking, make the special sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Whisk well to thoroughly combine. Taste the sauce and adjust for seasoning. Set the sauce aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- And prepare the beef filling: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds – 1 minute. Add the ground beef, and season with ¾ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper, Cook, stirring and breaking up the ground beef into crumbles, until browned and cook throughout, about 5-7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef mixture to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Wipe out the skillet and return it to low heat. Add the beef mixture back to the pan and stir in the ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Scoop out potato skins: Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a Chef’s knife to cut each potato in half, lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop the potato flesh out, leaving a ¼-inch potato boarder all around the skin. Brush the potato skins all over with oil and season the inside lightly with salt and pepper. Place the plain potato skins cut side down onto the aluminum-lined baking sheet.
- Bake potato skins plain: Place the potatoes skins in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, flipping the skins over halfway through baking.
- Stuff potato skins: Fill each potato half with the beef mixture and top with cheese.
- Bake again: Place the stuffed potato skins into the oven and bake until the cheese melts.
- Load the potato skins with toppings and serve: Generously sprinkle your favorite toppings, such as crumbled bacon, blue cheese crumbles, and green onions all over the tops of the potato skins.
- Serve: Drizzle the special sauce all over the stuffed potato skins or serve on the side as a dipping sauce. Serve and enjoy immediately.
- Baking Potatoes in Salt: This is totally optional; however, it makes THE BEST potato skins! If you prefer to skip it, follow the recipe directions and bake your potatoes on the aluminum lined baking sheet.
- Toppings: Use whatever toppings you love. For a comprehensive list, please see the article above.
- Sauce: In a pinch? Thousand Island dressing makes a great substitution for this potato skin sauce.
- Vegetarian Option: Tofurky or your favorite vegetarian beef alternative can be substituted for the ground sirloin.
- For Stuffed Baked Potatoes (versus skins): Bake the potatoes whole according the recipe instructions. Let the potatoes cool slightly. Then use a knife to split each potato open by making a deep slit, lengthwise, in the top of the potato. Use your hands to gently push the two ends of potatoes inwards to open the potato up slightly. Scoop out about 1-2 tablespoons of the potato flesh and reserve for another use (or eat it!). Stuff each potato with 1/4th of the meat mixture and grated cheese. Transfer the potatoes to a baking dish and bake until the cheese melts.
©No Spoon Necessary. All images and content under copyright protection. Please do not use any images without prior permission. Do not publish this recipe without prior consent. To reference this recipe, please link directly to this post.
Kate Cody says
I’ll come back to tell you how it went.
Cheyanne Bany says
I certainly hope these hit the spot, Kate!! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comment!! I hope you love these as much as we do! Cheers!! 🙂
Kate Cody says
These look like they can solve my guilty pleasure Big Mac cravings so perfectly!! I’m going to try this recipe asap!
How did I miss this?? Oh my goodness!! What a genius idea!! Love love that you put it all in a potato 🙂
Cheyanne Bany says
Thanks Zainab! We weren’t food blogging friends yet, that’s how you missed it! 😉 Hope you are having a stellar weekend!
I just made this, for two- only 2 potatoes but same amount of meat and special sauce, and I must say, you are a genius! Used all of the meat (cooked down quite a bit) and added savoy cabbage instead of lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. It was so filling! My husband said it was a great meal to have instead of an actual big mac!
Cheyanne Bany says
Cristina, oh I’m soo glad you and your hubby enjoyed them!! Substituting cabbage sounds like a wonderful idea! It’s funny you only made two potatoes, because Boy (my husband) and I used the same amount of filling for only two potatoes as well. I wrote the recipe as 4 because we thought people might think that amount of filling per potato is obnoxiously large. Lol. Happy to be proven wrong there! I’m going to make note of that in the recipe! 🙂 Cheers and thank you for giving one of my recipes a try!! You just made my night♡
Cheyanne Bany says
Yay! I am so thrilled you and your hubby loved these, Cristina! Music to my ears! Savoy cabbage sounds like a wonderful substitution! Thanks for coming back and letting me know how they were! Cheers to a beautiful weekend!
Trevor aka The Burger Nerd says
Awwwww HELLZ yeah!!! Sorry for yelling, I got a bit excited. Ahem, I mean that is a really great twist that I’ve never seen before. And just when I thought I saw all manners of potato skins….Boom! I should have put a seat belt around my head because you just took my mind for a wild ride. lol. But seriously, great recipe. Cheers!
Happiness Noel says
Great idea! You have taken the Big Mac to a better place! Good job! If you like US magazine you might like the website Daily Mail from Britain. It is slightly less tabloid, more informative and advertising loads of new and uplifting things while still covering celebrity society from sea to shining sea here and abroad.
Cheyanne Bany says
Thank you so much, I try to spin most things “to a better place” 😉 now if only I could apply that to my mischievous dogs! I’ll have to check out Daily Mail… thank you for the suggestion. And, thank you for stopping by! Cheers!